Ex-pats who are planning long-term stays in the UAE require a residence visa. But if you wish to work in the UAE, along with residence visa you have to acquire a UAE work permit visa. You will require to be hired by a company in UAE and then the UAE work permit visa procedures will follow.

The employment visa for any emirate of the UAE has some specifications and regulations to be met with. This ensures the rights of the workers are not violated.

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Rules of UAE Employment Visa

You are eligible to work in the UAE if you meet the following criteria:

  • Your age should be of 18 years and above
  • The company that is interested in hiring you should hold a valid license
  • The company interested in hiring you must not have any violations
  • Your work should be in sync with the functionality of the company hiring you.

What is the eligibility scenario for a UAE Work Visa?

A foreign national who is above 18 years of age and has met the norms set by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation can work in the UAE. The upper limit of age is not specified, but for foreigners above 65 years of age, the company pays a higher fee. Ex-pat employees are categorised into 3 sections:

  • Category 1: A bachelor’s degree holder
  • Category 2: A post-secondary diploma holder in any field
  • Category 3: A high school diploma holder

What are the documents required for a UAE employment visa?

You will require many documents to support your application for a UAE employment visa like:

  • Your valid passport along with a copy of the same.
  • A passport size picture as per UAE protocol.
  • Clear copies of your qualifications. They have to be duly verified by the UAE embassy or consulate and Ministry of Foreign Affair of your home country.
  • Document of Medical Certificate issued by a UAE government-approved health centre.
  • Commercial license of the company hiring you.

As per the new employment visa rules in UAE for 2018, a certificate of good conduct is not required, until further notice.

How Do I get my Work Permit in the UAE?

The employer who is interested in hiring you will get your UAE employment visa on your behalf. The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation is responsible for issuing work permits for UAE. The process is as follows:

  1. The employer will print the application for a work permit on the Ministry of Labour’s online system.
  2. Required documents are submitted
  3. The ministry will scrutinize the application and ask for corrections if needed.
  4. Once the Ministry issues the approval, the employer can download from the Ministry website.


How much time does it take to get a UAE work visa?

Upon the complete submission of documents and fee, within 5 working days, the Ministry issues the work permit.

What is the validity of a UAE Work Permit?

Initially, it is valid for 1 month once you receive it. It is extendable and in the meantime, you and your employer will have to arrange for a Residence visa, Emirates ID card and your Labour Card.

Post the Residence visa, you are legally secured to work in UAE.

How Can I Get a UAE Work Visa?

Your approved work permit proves as an entry permit to UAE that allows you to enter UAE through employment. The UAE Employment visa starts only after entering the UAE.

Can a UAE Work Visa be renewed?

Yes, it can be renewed. Initially, the visa is issued for 1-3 years. You can, later on, extend it which is on the discretion of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs of the relevant emirate.

However, your sponsor may also renew your visa after it expires if it is within the UAE residence visa expiry grace period.

90 Days UAE Job Seeker Visa (Single Entry):

This visa is advised if you are looking for a job in the UAE. This visa permits a Single-Entry. You get 90 days to search and finalize a job you are looking for in the UAE. When you are finalized with the job you have to exit UAE. Post exit, apply for the work visa through the company that has hired you.

The visa validity will be 60 days from the date of issue. Your stay is valid for no more than 90 days from the date of entry in the UAE. Your visa expires once you exit the UAE.

Duration for Visa Processing: The processing time for the 90-Days UAE Job Seeker Visa (Single Entry) is from 24 to 72 business hours.

Note: The 90-Days UAE Job Seeker Visa (Single Entry) is issued only after you pay a security deposit as a guarantee. This security deposit will be refunded once you furnish proof that you have exited UAE. This visa does not guarantee any job in the UAE.