Dubai is one of the most lucrative expat destinations in the Middle East. For the last three decades, the city has grown more than you can imagine in every sector. To support this growth, the city has also opened a golden pathway for foreign nationals to grab a dream job!
In order to secure a job in Dubai (or anywhere in the UAE) and earn a tax-free living, all expatriates must be in possession of a valid work permit and work visa. In this post, we are going to share all the essential details on how to get your Dubai work permit, aka work visa!
We have also included here the most common queries that arise while someone is looking for information about Dubai’s work permit and work visa process. We hope you will get the answers to all your relevant questions once you are done with this article.
What is a Dubai Work Permit?
Work permits in Dubai are issued by the UAE Ministry of Labours to any establishment which is wishing to employ a worker from inside or outside of the country.
One of the most striking key things to keep in mind about working in Dubai or UAE is that a work permit is applied and provided by the employer. An employee can’t apply for such a permit or visa on their own.
Document Requirements for a New Work Permit
Before your employer applies for your work permit, they need to procure the following documents before initiating the application process:
- The original e-signature card
- A copy of the employee’s passport
- A colour photograph of the employee with a white background
- A letter of approval issued by the competent authority shall be attached if required
- If there is a particular academic qualification requirement like post-secondary diploma, university degree or equivalent, a copy thereof should be authenticated by the UAE ministry of Foreign Affairs and attached
- The ID card is required for the following nationalities (Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran), to ensure that the identity is valid and that all data is clear and photocopied from both sides.
- No objection letter according to the type of work permit related to the type of work.
What Is the Process for Applying for a Work Permit Visa in Dubai?
As we have already stated, not the employee but the employer who needs to apply for a work permit visa in Dubai.
If you are looking for pursuing a career in Dubai or UAE, you have to first find a job. You can seek jobs through various job portals and websites.
Once you find a perfect job opportunity, you have to move to the second phase of Dubai’s work permit visa application.
The employer you are going to work for in Dubai will apply for a work permit to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE). If the conditions are met, the application for a work permit will be approved by the relevant authorities. Upon completion of payment, a new work permit will be issued attached with a job offer.
The work permit is then converted into a valid residency visa. The work permit along with a residency visa allows a foreign employee to enter the UAE and work in the country.
The permit comes with a limited validity of two months. During this two-month frame, the employer has to make arrangement for other formalities including medical testing, labour card, Emirates ID and residency visa.
The residency visa is a piece of strong evidence of the fact that you are sponsored by the organization you are hired for and it has also paid for your work permit, Emirates ID and medical tests.
Steps Involved with Obtaining a Dubai Work Permit
To give you a straightforward and simplified idea of the steps involved with a Dubai Work Permit Application Process, we are writing them down in a sequence.
- The employer applies for approval from the Ministry of Labour to hire a foreign employee/worker.
- If the conditions are met, the Ministry issues an entry permit visa. This visa allows the employee to enter the UAE and live there for 30 days.
- Once the employee arrives in Dubai, he/she has 60 days to secure a residency visa.
- Upon the arrival of the employee to Dubai, the employer applies for a work permit – also known as Labour Card.
- The employee approaches an Emirates ID service centre along with a valid passport and entry visa to obtain an Emirates ID.
- The employee then undergoes a medical examination in a Dubai government hospital.
- Then the employee applies for a residency visa through the immigration authorities.
- The employee visits the Department of Naturalization and Residency Dubai (DNRD) with all required documents. His/her residency visa will be stamped onto the passport.
- After obtaining a residency visa and work permit, the employee may begin to work in Dubai as well as in UAE.
You may also love to take a look at our How To Work In Dubai Article: Step By Step Guide
Who Can Apply For a Dubai Work Permit Visa?
The organization you are going to work for in Dubai can apply for work permit. The employees are not allowed to apply for the same on their own.
What Are the Conditions for Applying for a Work Permit in Dubai?
- The establishment must have approval for a quota of electronic work permits
- The worker/employee required to be hired shall not have a valid work permit/labour card
- The passport of the required employee shall be valid for a minimum of 6 months
- The age of the required work shall not be less than 18 years
- The profession assigned to the employee must be commensurate with the establishment’s activity
- The establishment must hold a valid license without any form of violations
- The authorized signatory must hold an e-signature card
How to Check the Work Permit Application Status?
If the customer is willing to track the application status, he/she can do this by accessing the inquiry services from The Ministry’s official website or through the smart application.
Do All Expats Need a Work Permit to Work in Dubai or UAE?
No, not all expats are required to secure a work permit to work in Dubai and UAE. One needs a work permit visa if any of the following three conditions arises:
- The employee has been hired by an establishment when he/she is still in his/her country
- The employee came across a job opportunity when he/she is on a visit visa or tourist visa in Dubai
- The employee is already working in Dubai or the UAE and wishes to switch companies
When Can the Employee Bring Family Members While Working in Dubai?
An employee can sponsor his/her family and them to the country only after obtaining a residency visa. Spouses, children and even parents can come to Dubai with an employee having a residence visa.
An employee, having a valid residency visa, needs to apply for visas on behalf of the family members whom he/she is planning to bring to Dubai. apart from standard required documents, employees have to furnish proof of their relationship (like birth or marriage certificate) with the family members.
What Is The Benefit Of Working in Dubai?
There are a lot of benefits and we are telling you the most common ones:
- Tax-free income
- Global exposure in career
- Plenty of work opportunities
- Quality of living
- Very low crime rate
- Luxurious lifestyle
- Access to world-class medical facilities
- Jaw-dropping infrastructure
- Countless tourist attraction
- A chance to be a part of a vibrant multi-cultural workforce community
- Sponsor your spouse, children and parents to bring them to Dubai
What Benefit Foreign Workers Get from the UAE Employers?
As a foreign employee in Dubai, you will get a bunch of special benefits from the UAE employer. You are eligible to get –
- Health insurance
- Housing allowance
- Salary bonuses
- Flexible working hours
- Allowance for further education
- 30 days of vacation per annum with air fare for a round trip to your homeland
- Private sector employees get 30 days of yearly leave after completing one year in a job
Is Dubai Work Permit and Dubai Work Visa Same?
Yes, it is the same.
How Many Types of Dubai Work Visas Are There?
Based on the education qualification and skill sets, there are 3 types of Dubai Work Visa. They are:
- Category 1: Owning a Bachelor’s Degree
- Category 2: Owning a Post-Secondary Diploma
- Category 3: Owning a High-School Diploma
Can Dubai Work Visa Be Renewed?
Yes, you can. Your employer has to apply for the renewal of your Dubai work visa at least 30 days prior to its expiration date.
What is the Process of Renewing Dubai Work Visa?
It is same as the procedure through which you obtained your Dubai Work Visa.
What is the Processing Time for Dubai Work Permit/Visa?
It usually takes 2 – 4 weeks.
Is UAE Work Visa the same as UAE Remote Work Visa?
No, they are not the same. A UAE Remote Work Visa allows you to stay anywhere in UAE and work for your employer outside the UAE. Whereas, UAE Work Visa allows you to stay in UAE and work for only UAE-based employers.
Job opportunity in Dubai is seriously huge and quite diversified. Earning a living without paying any income tax is an added advantage. Securing your Dubai work permit visa is the first step towards a golden career chance and hopefully, this write-up will be of great help when you take that first step.