How Can I get a Visa to Work in the United Arab Emirates?
The United Arab Emirates (As UAE) are a highly desirable location for anyone who’d like to locate somewhere for reliable work. This is a place that many people of various ethnicities relocate to in order to find work. There are multitudes of benefits to working in the UAE so it’s no surprise that many people apply. It’s also worth noting that the process of getting a UAE work permit / work visa is quite straightforward. All of this comes together to make the UAE a place that many people prefer to move to in order to find work.
Requirements for a UAE Work Visa
There are several things that you’ll need to have ready in order to apply for a UAE work permit. This includes the following documents:
- A passport sized picture that’s according to UAE guidelines.
- Original passport alongside a complete copy of the original passport.
- Complete copies of all academic qualifications (These copies must be authorized by the UAE Embassy as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the applicant’s country).
- A medical certificate which must be issued by a government-approved center in UAE.
- All documents received from the company that’s hiring the applicant.
It’s worth noting that, up until 2018, a certificate of good conduct was required to enter UAE. However, as per the new rules, this certificate is no longer required. This particular rule might change later on but, as of right now, a certificate is not necessary.
Eligibility for a United Arab Emirates Work Visa
There are three different categories of eligibility for a UAE work vias. The applicant has to be over the age of 18 in order to work in the UAE. The applicant must also meet the various standards established by the MoHRE (Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization. There isn’t a maximum age limit for those who’d like to be employed in the UAE. It’s important to note, though, that companies hiring workers over 65 must pay a fee accordingly.
The categories themselves are based on the academic qualifications of applicants as well as their skills. They are as follows:
- Category 1: Applicant has a bachelor’s degree or higher.
- Category 2: Applicant has a post-secondary diploma or similar in their field.
- Category 3: Applicant has a high school diploma or similar.
Getting a UAE Work Visa
Many countries have several different kinds of work visas for different conditions. This is not the case in the UAE, however. The UAE has one single kind of work permit but the process of acquiring it takes place across several steps. The steps required in successfully acquiring a UAE work permit are listed below:
Acquire Visa Quota Approval and Sign Job Contract
This is the very first step towards getting a UAE work visa. Employer’s have to get this on behalf of the employee that they’re hiring. It’s key to note that the quota approval must be granted before the applicant actually enters the UAE in case the application is for any of the free zones.
The work permit application has to be approved before an applicant is issued an entry visa for the UAE. This step requires the employer to send their job contract to the applicant in order to get it signed. All these documents are then reviewed by the UAE Ministry of Labor.
Work Permit Approval and Acquiring Employment Entry Visa
Once the aforementioned steps have been sorted out, the work permit application must be approved before proceeding further. The approval process is based on several different factors. These include the standing of the employer, the skills of the applicant, whether there are unemployed UAE citizens who are more fit for the job, and several other things.
After the approval of a work permit, the applicant will be issued an employment entry visa. The goal of this visa is to allow the applicant to legally enter the country. The visa allows the holder to remain in the UAE for up to 30 days. This visa can be extended twice while the formal work permit is processed for the applicant.
Completing Pre-requisites for a Residence Visa
The aforementioned employment entry visa is essentially what allows the applicant to enter the country. There are several other steps that need to be taken afterwards for a full residence visa. The residence visa is basically what allows expat workers to legally reside in the UAE, open bank accounts, purchase cards, and do other similar tasks. Getting a residence visa consists of the following steps:
- Medical screening after which a work permit is issued.
- Biometrics scanning in order to apply for an Emirates ID.
- Signing a labor contract which must later be sent to the Ministry of Labor. This can also be uploaded to their website.
- Acquiring the final work permit through which payroll for the applicant can officially begin.
- Acquiring a valid insurance card as health insurance mandatory in the UAE.
- Receiving the Emirates ID card.
Once the aforementioned steps are completed, the individual will be able to receive their residence visa a few days afterwards. The Emirates ID card is essential for everyday identification purposes. The residence visa stamping marks the final step after which the applicant can officially and legally live and work in the United Arab Emirates.
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Moving to the UAE soon? Find out more about life in the UAE and what to expect in our UAE country guide!
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