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Last Updated: January 25, 2024

UAE Work Visa

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has become the business nerve center of the world. This is mostly because ex-pats working in the UAE do not have to pay taxes on their income. This, combined with the fact that ex-pats are now allowed to purchase property in the country means that it is now an extremely lucrative destination for those who are looking for employment opportunities abroad. Hence, a lot of people from across the world move to places like Dubai to fulfill their career dreams. To get employed in the UAE, an individual will first need these three documents-
  1. a residency visa
  2. a health card and
  3. a labor card

Difference Between Work Visa and Work Permit

A work permit, issued by the Ministry of Human Resources of Emiratization (MOHRE), is required for entry into the United Arab Emirates for employment. But a work permit does not, by itself, grant entry into the nation for a candidate. Candidates must apply for a work visa with the General Directorate of Residency Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) to enter the nation with a work permit.

Types of Work Visas and Their Eligibility

There are four types of work visas to enter the UAE. These are:

Green Visa

Cost- AED 2,280
The UAE Green card is a type of residence visa that does not require employer sponsorship and enables holders to remain in the nation for 5 years. This visa is open to self-employed individuals, freelancers, and skilled workers. Self-employed individuals and freelancers must provide proof of at least AED 3,60,000 in annual income over the preceding two years, whereas skilled employees should earn at least AED 15,000 per month.

Standard Work Visa

Cost- AED 250 to AED 3,450
Cost- AED The employer of the candidate sponsors this visa, which enables them to work in the UAE for a period of two years on average. However, the applicant must have a written job offer from an employer in the United Arab Emirates.

Golden Visa

Cost- AED 1,250
The golden visa is a long-term resident visa that offers special benefits to foreign nationals who are highly skilled and allows them to work or study in the nation.

Domestic Worker's Visa

Cost- Roughly 8,500
Those who wish to work in the United Arab Emirates as domestic helpers for UAE citizens are granted this visa. The unified standard contract mandated by the Ministry of Labour must be followed by employers when entering into an employment agreement with domestic workers. The UAE's domestic labor law governs this visa. This law covers 19 different occupations. These are:

Types of Work Permits

Businesses that have registered with MoHRE can hire workers with 13 different kinds of work permits. These are:
  1. Work permit to hire someone from outside the United Arab Emirates.
  2. Work permit for a resident sponsored by theĀ family.
  3. Work permit to transfer a foreign worker from one establishment to another.
  4. Short-term work permit to employ someone to finish a project in a set amount of time.
  5. One-time work permit that is used to hire foreign workers for a single project or to fulfill a temporary position.
  6. Part-time work permit to hire employees on a part-time basis, where their working days or hours are less than their full-time contract.
  7. Student training and employment permit to hire a 15-year-old student who is already in the United Arab Emirates.
  8. Juvenile permit to hire a juvenile between the ages of 15 and 18.
  9. National trainee permit to train a national of the UAE.
  10. UAE/GCC national permit to employ a national of the UAE or the GCC.
  11. Golden visa holder permit to employ a worker holding the UAE's Golden Residence visa.
  12. National trainee permit to train a national of the United Arab Emirates.
  13. UAE/GCC national permit to employ a worker holding the UAE's Golden Residence visa.
  14. Freelancer permits are granted to foreign nationals who come to the United Arab Emirates on their own initiative and who work for individuals or businesses, without the need for an employment contract or sponsorship from a specific employer.
  15. A private teacher work permit enables skilled and qualified individuals to provide students in the United Arab Emirates with private instruction.

Who Needs to Apply for the Work Visa?

The citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council member nations are exempt from the need for a visa, permit, or sponsorship from a UAE national or resident. These nationals only need to present their national ID card or passport from a GCC country at the port of entry to enter the UAE. However, to enter the UAE, holders of residence permits for GCC nations must apply for a visa. On the other hand, citizens of some nations are able to enter the United Arab Emirates without a prior visa arrangement. At the port of entry, they can get a visa. These countries are divided into four categories:

Visit eligibility: 30 days
CanadaChinaHong Kong, China
JapanKazakhstanMacau, China
New ZealandRepublic of IrelandSan Marino
SingaporeUkrainethe United Kingdom
United States of AmericaVatican CityNorthern Ireland

Visit Eligibility: 90 days
ArgentinaAustriaBahamas Islands
BulgariaChile Colombia
Costa RicaCroatiaCyprus
Czech Republic DenmarkEl Salvador
MaldivesMalta Montenegro
PortugalRomaniaRussian Federation
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesSan MarinoSerbia
Solomon IslandsSouth KoreaSpain
Sweden SwitzerlandUruguay

Mexican passport holders are entitled to a 180-day multi-entry visa, which has a six-month validity period.
Indian normal passport holders with a visit visa or green card from the United States or a residence visa from the United Kingdom or the European Union valid for up to six months can obtain a 14-day visa upon arrival at the UAE entry port.

Cost of Work Permits

Here is the list of costs for work permits in the UAE:
Work Permit ApplicationAED 50
Issuance of Work Permit- 2 yearsAED 250 to AED 3,450
Issuance of Work Mission PermitAED 250
Issuance of ID cardAED 575
Medical Examination FeesAED 320
Additionally, candidates have to pay a fee of AED 70 when applying for an Emirates ID card through typing centers or AED 40 if applying online through the ICA website.

Steps to Apply for the UAE Work Visa

For the most part, the hiring company is responsible for completing the formalities for the entry visa and work permit before the candidate arrives in the country. Following are the steps to be followed to get a work visa and permit.

Employer Must Apply for Quota Approval from MoHRE

The candidate's employer must apply to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MoHRE) for quota approval. A current trade license must be held by the hiring company. An authorized company signatory must sign the application.

Submitting the Contract of Employment

The hiring organization is required to provide employment contracts to candidates following MoHRE approval. The contract must be signed by the candidate. The contract is written in three languages: Arabic, English, and the third language, which is typically the native tongue of the candidate. The MoHRE website offers digital access to this process.

Getting the Employment Entry Visa

The hiring company must then apply to MoHRE for a work visa for the candidate along with all necessary documentation. The Ministry of Labor determines if any citizen of the United Arab Emirates is qualified to fill the position. If not, the application for a visa is accepted prior to the issuance of an entry visa.

A Pink Visa, also known as an Employment Entry Visa, is issued by the Ministry of Labour. Depending on the type of visa, the validity period ranges from two to six months. Its goal is to allow the applicant to enter the United Arab Emirates and finish the requirements for obtaining a residency visa.

Upon Arrival in the UAE

The first task for a candidate upon arrival in the United Arab Emirates is to apply for an Emirates ID at the Emirates Identity Authority (EIA) center. To complete additional requirements and obtain a residency visa, this document is also needed.

The candidate must then go through a medical examination at a center that has been authorized in the nation. The employer is required to upload the employee's labor contract to the MoHRE website within 14 days of receiving the results of the employee'sĀ medical screening. The applicant must also obtain health insurance. In certain Emirates, though, the hiring organization is required to offer the employee health insurance. In all other situations, the candidate is required to obtain their own medical insurance.

The candidates can submit all supporting documentation with their application for a residence visa once all requirements have been satisfied. The residence visa is valid for two years and can be renewed.

Documents Required While Applying for Work Visa

The necessary documents can change based on the country, type of visa, etc. The following is a list of general documents that are needed to get a work visa in the UAE:

Renewing the Work Visa

The Public Relations Officer of the hiring company manages the process of renewing the work visa. Thirty days after the expiration date is the deadline for visa renewals. Obtaining a new residence visa and renewing an existing one are essentially the same procedures. In addition to undergoing a medical examination, candidates must apply for a new Emirates ID. Applying for an Emirates ID can be done through authorized typing centers or the ICP website. Next, at the General Directorate and Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) office, the PRO turns in all the necessary paperwork. After that, the candidate will have their visa renewed.
Documents Required While Applying for Visa Renewal

Top Jobs to Look For in UAE

Although one has the opportunity for any job one desires, given the immense variety of job opportunities in the UAE, an individual in search of rapid career growth and economic mobility must focus on the ones that are the most in demand, with no local talent available to compete for them. Most of these employment openings are found online.

Areas like engineering, construction, and architecture are recruiting thousands of immigrant employees every year. To be, however, on the safer side, one must also filter their options for jobs that promise to sponsor your work visa. English teaching jobs are prevalent in the UAE. Interestingly, most of these jobs also sponsor a work visa. If one is lucky enough, these jobs might provide them with accommodation facilities throughout the entire period of the contract. Some might also provide free airfare. English teaching opportunities are promoted in the UAE because of their increasing interest in westernizing their society. These work permits are renewable. Therefore, one may easily apply for their renewal once their validity has expired.

Some Things to Remember

Work Visa