What are the UAE Work Visa Requirements?
It is illegal to work in the UAE while on a tourist visa. If you secure employment while in the UAE on a tourist visa, you must change your visa status before you start work and must get a UAE work permit.
Before you obtain a UAE work permit, you must either obtain an entry visa or change your visa status to work visa and an Emirate ID card. Your work permit, also called a labor card, will be listed in your work visa. The following conditions need to be fulfilled in order to obtain the work visa:
- You must be at least 18 years old.
- The license of the company hiring you has to be valid.
- The company must not have any violations.
- The work you do must correspond to the nature of the company hiring you.
- There is no maximum age for who can be employed in the UAE, but for workers over the age of 65, the company pays a higher fee.
Categories of Overseas Workers for UAE Employment
Foreign workers are divided into three categories, based on their academic qualifications/skill sets:
Individuals having a bachelor’s degree or higher. These posts come under category one:
- Accounts Clerk
- Marketing Specialist
- Quantity Surveyor
- Executive Secretary
- Administration Officer
- Reservation Officer
- Safety Officer
- Public Relations Officer
- Computer Operator
- Advertising Designer
Individuals having a post-secondary diploma in any field.
Individuals completed high/higher secondary school or diploma in any mechanical or technical field. These posts generally come under category three:
- Sales Executive
- Sales Representative
- Sales Supervisor
- Site Supervisor
- Administration Clerk
- Correspondence Clerk
- Customs Clearing Clerk
- Ticketing Clerk
- Cash Desk Clerk
- Store Keeper
- Tourist Guide
When applying for work visa for UAE, you need these supporting documents:
Your original passport along with a copy of your passport
- A passport-size picture, in line with UAE requirements.
- Copies of your academic qualifications. Your qualifications have to be authorized by the UAE Embassy or consulate in your country as well as from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.
- Medical certificate, issued by a government-approved health center like GAMCA.
- Documents from the company hiring you, such as the commercial license of the company or the company card.
All submitted forms and documents must be written in Arabic. The employment contract should also be written in Arabic. You will need three copies: one for yourself, one for your employer, and one for the Department of Labor.
There is no age stipulation when issuing work contracts, but work permits for those 65 years and older will incur an extra 5,000 AED (1,360 USD) fee every two years.
How to get a UAE Work Permit?
Your employer has to obtain the work permit on your behalf. It is the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) that’s in charge of issuing work permits for the UAE.
The application process for a UAE work permit is:
- The employer prints the application for the work permit at the Ministry of Labour’s online system.
- They submit the required documents.
- The Ministry reviews their application, and asks to resubmit any documents or correct any irregularities they think are necessary.
- The Ministry issues the approval, which the employer can download from the Ministry website.
- The employer then sends you the Work Permit.
How Long Does it Take to Get a UAE Work Permit?
Upon the complete submission of documents, it usually takes about 5 working days for the Ministry to issue the work permit.