Step-by-Step Guide to Applying for a Work Visa in Dubai

dubai work visa

Dubai is one of the world’s most famous place to travel and serve as the economic center and cosmopolitan metropolis of the UAE. For International professionals seeking exciting career opportunities, an attractive destination that offers them a luxury lifestyle. Dubai is a magnet for talent around the globe due to its thriving economy that focuses on development and innovation.

If you are planning to apply for a work visa, this article provides you insights about the different Dubai work visas to make the most of the job prospects. From the partner/investor visa to the employment visa, we will explain each option in detail that is available to make this route easier and accessible for those who want to start a new life in Dubai

Types of Work Visas Available in Dubai

dubai work visa

Dubai is considered one of the main commercial and economic centers in the world. It is famous not only for one of the best sights in the world but it also attracts professionals from all over the world who are looking for interesting job opportunities. If in case a foreigner wants to start working in Dubai, it is important that he/she understands the different work visa types that are deliberately available in Dubai.

There are mainly two types of visas in relation to working in Dubai. The first one is an employment visa. As per this visa, a foreigner can receive a visa upon sponsoring him/her on company requests against the professional services from the competent authorities.

Likewise, there is also a Partner/Investor Visa. This visa must go through an exhaustive analysis, that is; a critical analysis in relation to whether the business that the investor wants to undertake in Dubai is beneficial for the local and national economy.

Hence, an employment visa is one of the most common types of work visa in the UAE.

The visa issuance is for those professionals who receive a job offer from a company that is based in Dubai and acts as his/her sponsor. Similarly, it is a fundamental requirement to acquire an employment visa to work legally in Dubai. It offers foreign workers the chance to take benefit of the numerous number of job opportunities that this city of luxury offers.

Employment Visa in Dubai

The Employment Visa is one of the most common types of UAE work visa.

For its part, the issuance of this visa is for those professionals who receive a job offer from a company based in Dubai and which acts as their sponsor. Likewise, the Employment Visa is a fundamental requirement to work legally in Dubai and offers foreign workers the opportunity to take advantage of the numerous job opportunities that this prosperous city offers.

To obtain an Employment Visa it is necessary to follow a series of steps and meet certain requirements:

  • Submission of the visa application to the Department of Residency and Foreign Affairs of Dubai by the contracting company.

Firstly, the employer or company that wishes to hire a foreign professional must submit a work visa application in Dubai to the Department of Residency and Foreign Affairs. This application must include visa documentation in Dubai, such as a copy of the employment contract, the employee’s valid passport, educational and professional certificates, and recent photographs.

  • Meet certain criteria:

In addition to the documents indicated above, the foreign professional must meet certain criteria to obtain the Employment Visa. These criteria usually include having relevant education and demonstrable work experience in the field corresponding to the employment.

Meanwhile, once the visa application is approved, an Employment Visa is issued that allows the foreign worker to live and work legally in Dubai for the duration of the employment contract. Now, if the employer wants his or her employee to continue working in his company, he or she can apply for a visa extension.

Investor/Partner Visa

This is a special type of work visa for those who wish to establish their businesses or invest in Dubai. This visa aims to attract international entrepreneurs, investors, and businessmen who wish to contribute to the economic growth of Dubai.

Requirements for visa change

dubai work visa

The change of the VISA in the UAE depends on the legal requirements that are established by the competent authorities. These prerequisites vary depending on the visa type and the applicant’s situation. In the next of article, we will discuss some general aspects to take into consideration about changing your UAE visa:

  • Sponsorship:

In the UAE, the visa system works on sponsorship, this means that a company or individual sponsors the visa applicant. Without sponsoring someone, it isn’t possible to obtain a visa. The applicant’s sponsor is responsible for visa processing and visa renewal and for certain financial and legal responsibilities.

  • Job change:

Dubai Visa holders must have to change work visas if he/she is willing to change jobs. To do so they need to obtain a new job offer from a UAE company. In fact, it is essential to obtain new employer approval and closely follow the procedures of the UAE Department of Residency and Foreign Affairs.

  • Sponsorship transfer:

It is mandatory to transfer the sponsorship if the Dubai work visa holder wishes to change it. It includes obtaining a current sponsor’s approval for the changing of sponsorship and making applications to the employment visa cancellation and relevant authorities.

  • Specific visa requirements:

Each visa type has specific conditions and requirements, including documents presentation such as a valid passport, educational certificates, recent photographs, criminal record certificates, medical tests, and other relevant documents. These documents and requirements may vary depending on the applicant’s nationality.

Employment Contract Rights

The main rights which are granted by a Dubai employment contract:

Make sure the employment contract must have mentioned the employee salary that he/she will receive for the services they will provide. Along with that, any additional benefits, such as:

  • Incentives
  • Bonuses
  • Transportation
  • Accommodation
  • Paid vacations, and
  • Health insurance.

Additionally, the employee’s salary must meet the minimum salary requirements set by Dubai labor laws.

  • Working hours and days off:

The daily or weekly number of working hours, annual vacations, and worker’s days off must be specified. For this, according to Dubai labor laws, it establishes limits on the maximum number of working hours per week and per day. In addition to this, the Dubai labor laws protect the employee’s rights to enjoy regular breaks.

  • Protection against discrimination:

In order to prohibit discrimination based on:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Gender
  • Nationality, or
  • Other factors

The employment contract must include clauses that prevent them from the case of discrimination.

It is essential that Dubai employment contracts protect the employee’s basic rights, including unfair dismissal protection. The Dubai work visa duration depends on the work contract validity. It means that if the employee faces unjustifiably dismissal by an employer and the employee does not take any appropriate legal action, in this regard he/she risks losing his/her Dubai work visa.

For this reason, it is important to do a status check for a work visa to verify work permit validity.

Additionally, employment contracts must align with Dubai laws and provide a solid basis to resolve employment disputes.

End-of -Service Benefits for employee

Employees will receive end-of-service benefits in Dubai as appreciation for their services. It’s a form of compensation received upon ending their employment with the employer, so end-of-service benefits are based on the employment duration. We will present some key features of end-of-service benefits in Dubai below:

  • Calculation of benefits:

The rules for the calculation of benefits in Dubai are as follows:


If an employee worked in a company for 4 years with a basic salary of 10,000 AED, the calculation of benefits for him/her will be as follows:

10,000 ÷ 30 = AED300 (which is equal to the value of the employee’s work day).

Now, multiply the workday value by 21 days, (which is the total of work duration).

AED 300 X 21 = 6,300. (This is the final result for End-of-service benefit)

In case of greater than 5 years job duration then the calculation will be made for 30 days instead of 21 days.

  • Benefit Payment:

Upon employment termination, the employee will receive an end-of-service benefit. This is not counted as a contract termination by the employer or voluntary resignation.

For foreign employees who are willing to work and live legally in Dubai, contact NG Manpower now!

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