Immigration. Travel. Living.

Getting an employment visa: Work permit in the United Arab Emirates

It’s simple to see why ex-pats from all over the world travel to work in the United Arab Emirates, with its tax-free salaries and growing sectors.

The population of the UAE is estimated to be over 9.8 million people, according to World Bank data. The two largest emirates, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, accounting for roughly 70% of the population.

The United Arab Emirates is a hub for foreign employees, with global corporate culture. According to the United Nations, 88 percent of the population is foreign. Expats from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines, and Iran are the most numerous nationalities in the UAE.

Although the visa requirements for the UAE are relatively simple, there is still a lot of red tape and formalities to get through. In May 2019, a new golden visa system was created, which provides long-term residency to investors and those with “specific talents.”

Types of United Arab Emirates work visas

There is only one form of work permit in the UAE. A labor card is another name for this work authorization. Employees, on the other hand, must first obtain an entry visa, a resident visa, and an Emirate ID card before applying for a work permit.

Requirements to obtain UAE work visas

Employees will require the following documents to obtain a resident visa in the UAE:

  • The original and a photocopy of your passport
  • Photographs for passports
  • An Emirates identification card
  • The Ministry of Labor’s entrance permission
  • The outcome of a medical examination
  • An employer’s business card.
  • A duplicate of the business’s commercial license

After acquiring a residence visa, the employee may submit a work permit application. A work permit requires the above-mentioned documents, as well as a work permit application form that must be filled out in Arabic and an employment contract or job offer from a UAE-based company.

Application process

Acquiring a UAE work permit can be broken down into three steps: obtaining an employment entrance visa, an Emirates ID card (also known as a Resident Identity Card), and obtaining a resident visa and work permit.

How to obtain a visa for entry into the UAE

A pink visa is another name for an employment entry visa in the UAE. To initiate the process of securing this permission, the employer must submit a visa quota approval application on behalf of the employee. The Department of Labor will grant this authorization (MOL).

The employer will then submit an employment contract to the Ministry of Labor. The potential employee is required to sign this contract.

The Ministry must approve the work permit application before an employment entrance visa can be given. After acquiring authorization and a visa, the employee will have two months to enter the United Arab Emirates.

After entering the UAE on a pink visa, the employee has sixty days to apply for a resident visa and formal work permission.

Getting an Emirates ID

Medical screening requires an Emirates ID, and employees will need to apply for a resident visa. To apply for an ID, the employee must bring their entry visa, as well as an original and a copy of their passport. Employees must apply in person at an Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA) center, where biometrics such as fingerprints and a photograph will be required.

Obtaining a residence visa and work permit

The employee will need all of the documentation indicated in the preceding section to apply for a residence visa. In the United Arab Emirates, a resident visa is valid for one to three years and can be renewed. The resident visa will incorporate the employee’s work permit.

Once the work permit has been approved, the employee can begin employment.

Other important points to consider

Work permits must be sponsored by an entity that is locally licensed and incorporated in the UAE, which is one of the distinctive aspects of working in the UAE. This criterion may make the procedure more difficult for businesses in the early phases of worldwide expansion. If your company does not yet have a presence in the UAE, you can hire a worldwide PEO to act as your Employer of Record.

Some employees may prefer to bring their families to the UAE with them. After receiving their resident visa, employees can sponsor family members for residence visas.

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