UAE Work Visa Company Categories and Fees

UAE Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation

In this post we will cover the work permit fee that a company needs to pay to hire an employee from abroad. Please note that it is the responsibility of the company not the employee to bear all the visa expenses.

Here’s a video in this regards:

Companies are classified in categories depending on the percentage of skilled and unskilled employees they employ and the nationalities of the employees.

Skilled Employee

A skilled employee is one whose job requires an attested academic degree higher than a high school degree or equivalent.

Unskilled Employee

An unskilled employee is one whose job does not require an attested academic degree.

Cultural Diversity

According to UAE Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority (FCSA), in 2016 83.5% of labor force are non-nationals and 17.5% are nationals. If distilled to the private sector only, the workforce composition reports indicate that over 90% of the workers are expatriates.

In order to promote the UAE nationals the Miinistry of Labour in 2017 devised the following formula to calculate the cultural diversity: (Number of non-Pakistani, non-Indian and non-Bangladeshi employees / Total number of employees) * 100. Where the cultural diversity percentage is more than 50% (i.e. where non-Pakistani, non-Indian and non-Bangladeshi employees comprise more than 50% of the total employees in a company), then the MOL will consider the percentage of skilled employees in order to categorize the company (see the table below).

Company Classes

Companies in the mainland are currently grouped into three classes: 1, 2 and 3, with the second group being divided into sub-categories A, B, C and D. A company with a higher category can expect to pay lower fees for work permits issued through the MOL.

Cultural diversity and skilled worker percentage requirements

Class 1 No minimum requirement for cultural diversity and skilled workers.
Fishing boats owned by UAE nationals and small and medium establishments (subject to certain conditions to be determined by the MOL) fall under this class.

Class 2A
Companies with a cultural diversity percentage of more than 50% (i.e. where non-Pakistani, non-Indian and non-Bangladeshi employees constitute more than 50% of the total employees) AND where over 40% of the employees are skilled workers.

Class 2B
Companies with a cultural diversity percentage of more than 50% (i.e. where non-Pakistani, non-Indian and non-Bangladeshi employees constitute more than 50% of the total employees) AND where 10 – 40% of the employees are skilled workers.

N.B. Companies with 0 -3 employees fall under Class 2(B) regardless of cultural diversity or skilled worker percentages. Companies with 4 -10 employees and a cultural diversity percentage of more than 50% fall under Class 2(B) regardless of skilled worker percentages.

Class 2C
Companies with cultural diversity percentage of more than 50% (i.e. where non-Pakistani, non-Indian and non-Bangladeshi employees constitute more than 50% of the total employees) AND where 5 -10% of the employees are skilled workers.

Class 2D
Companies with a cultural diversity percentage of less than 50% (i.e. where Pakistani, Indian and Bangladeshi employees constitute more than 50% of the total employees) AND/OR where less than 5% of employees are skilled workers.

N.B. Companies with 4 -10 employees who do not have a cultural diversity percentage of at least 50% also fall under this category regardless of the percentage of skilled workers.

Class 3 Companies
The companies found to be in violation of certain duties (such as human trafficking, employing illegal employees, falsifying Emiratisation percentages etc) fall under Class 3.

Work permit fees for skilled/unskilled employees from inside/outside the country

The MOL has confirmed that all companies belonging to class 1 are not required to pay any work permit fees. At the other end of the spectrum, companies categorised as class 3 are required to pay a work permit fee of AED 5,000 for each skilled and unskilled employee (regardless of whether such employees are inside or outside the country).

In respect of companies falling under class 2, the following work permit fees are applicable (they differ according to whether the employee is skilled or unskilled and whether he or she is inside or outside the country):

Work Permit Fees For Skilled Employees

                             Inside country (new work permit)    Outside county (new or renewal work permit)
Class 2A              AED 250                                                      AED 500
Class 2B              AED 500                                                      AED 1,000
Class 2C              AED 750                                                      AED 1,500
Class 2D              AED 1,000                                                   AED 2,000

Work Permit Fees For Unskilled Employees

                            Inside country (new work permit)       Outside county (new or renewal work permit)
Class 2A             AED 500                                                        AED 1,200
Class 2B             AED 1,000                                                     AED 2,200
Class 2C             AED 1,250                                                     AED 2,700
Class 2D            AED 1,500                                                      AED 3,200

You may also want to visit the following pages for related information:

KashmirOverseas UAE Portfolio along with clients list.

Hiring Manpower from Pakistan for UAE – Work Visa/Work Permit Requirements