Legal Rights and Protections for Foreign Workers in the UAE

employment visa uae

The key to having opportunities in the Emirates is the employment visa UAE but you will need to follow specific guidelines and rules to obtain it. However, the requirements to obtain visas are easier than in other Middle Eastern countries. Consequently, the Emirate is a good choice for starting a business or for global expansion.

In this article, you will find good help so that you can apply for an employment visa without problems in the UAE. In addition, you will know what the requirements are and other details that will be useful to make the process easier.

Application Process for the Employment Visa in UAE

employment visa uae

Next, we will show you the application process for the employment visa UAE for an easy process:

Get a Residence Visa and Work Visa in the UAE

The Dubai work visa serves as an entry permit to the Emirates. Likewise, the visa will be valid for 30 days and may be extended once for a total of 60 days. Thus, during this time of stay, your employer must apply for your residency visa. Additionally, after you have entered the country, the employment visa procedures will begin. Below are the steps to follow to apply for this kind of visa:

Application for approval of entry visa fee

The employer will apply for a UAE free zone visa if the worker lives and works in one of the 46 Emirati free zones. Likewise, the Ministry of Labor will be the entity authorized to approve the visa quota. In the same way, there are restrictions on visa quotas for employers that will depend on the free zone where they are.

For example, in Dubai, the fee will be 1 visa per approximately 9 square meters of office. Additionally, when the employer reaches the maximum quota, they may move to a larger office or request an improvement in their quota.

Show the signed employment contract

After the quota is approved, the employer will present the signed employment contract to the Ministry of Labor to request approval. In this case, this contract will be in Arabic, English, and the language of the worker if it is different.

Submission of an application for a UAE employment visa and entry visa

Now, the employer will submit the application for the Dubai work visa or in any other emirate to obtain approval. The Ministry of Labor will then certify that the sponsor has a corporate entity registered in the Emirates. In addition, it will determine if there is an Emirati citizen who can fill the vacant position in place of the foreign applicant.

In the same way, it is the Ministry of Labor that is in charge of approving your employment visa application before the entry visa.

Take the work entry visa

After the approbation of the employment visa UAE, the Ministry of Labor will issue the work entry visa, known as the pink visa. Likewise, this document will be valid for 2 months for holders of the standard visa and green visas. However, for holders of the Golden visas, the validity period will be 6 months with multiple entries.

The moment you come to the UAE, you will receive the arrival visa. Nevertheless, if you cannot travel within 60 days, they may request a single extension. Otherwise, if the worker is already in the Emirates but with a different visa, they will have to request a change of status or border crossing. Thus, you will be able to obtain an entry visa upon arrival

Once in the country, collect the necessary data to apply for the residence visa, UAE ID, and health certificate. Additionally, the employer will present the additional documents required to make your employment visa official.


If you enter or move to the United Arab Emirates, you will need to obtain the Emirates ID that you will need for the medical examination. In addition, the identification will be linked to the residence visa and will serve as the identification document instead of the passport.

Therefore, to apply for the emirate ID, you must go to the Emirates Identity Authority center or by its acronym EIDA. Also, carry your passport and entry visa in addition to providing details such as your fingerprints and photograph.

Undergo a medical check-up

As a residency visa applicant, you will need to have a certified medical check-up at a clinic approved by the UAE government. Likewise, you will need the result of the check to apply for a resident visa.

Upload an employment contract to the MoL website

One of the steps to formalize the employment visa UAE is to upload the employment contract to the MOL website. Hence, the employer will make the charge within 14 days after receiving the medical examinations of the employee.

Get health insurance

For foreigners, obtaining health insurance in the United Arab Emirates is mandatory. Also, employers in Abu Dhabi and Dubai must provide health insurance to their workers and their families. However, if you are an employee residing in Sharjah or any northern Emirate, you will have to obtain your health insurance plan.

Similarly, if you do not present a health insurance card, the Ministry of Labor will not issue or renew the employment visa UAE.

Obtain employment visa and start payroll

Once the process is completed, the Ministry of Labor will issue the employment visa Dubai in 5 business days. Therefore, upon receiving it, you can start working legally in Dubai or any other emirate. Likewise, as an employer, you can start the payroll process through the official system of the United Arab Emirates.

Obtain the Residence Visa

The next step to get the employment visa UAE is to submit the documents along with your residence visa application. However, if you do not have the identification of the Emirates, the receipt of your application will be enough. Moreover, the residential visa has a validity period of 2 years and is renewable. The Ministry of Labor will include the employment visa as part of the residence visa.

In the same way, every foreigner will need these visas to live and work in the UAE legally. Likewise, you need this document to open your bank accounts, buy cars, or open the postal section.

Application Fees and Type of Permit

The employment visa UAE cost to apply for approval of a work permit online for all categories or levels is AED 200. Likewise, for approval of work permit, recruitment, hiring and your employment card of the employee will be like this:

  • Category 1 will be AED 300
  • Category 2 has 3 levels:

A, it is AED 600

B, it will be AED 1500

C, it will be AED 2000

  • Category 3 AED 35000

For expatriate workers over 65 years of age, it will be AED 5000

Additionally, the second category consists of several levels according to the number of qualified or unqualified employees in the company. However, the employer will be responsible for paying the UAE employment visa fees.

Visa types

In the UAE there are 3 types of visas available, the UAE work visa, the gold visa, and the green visa. Next, we will show you what each one is about so you can request the one you need:

Standard work visa

The standard employment visa UAE is the employer-sponsored visa that will allow the foreigner to live and work in the country. This visa has a validity period of 2 to 3 years and after this period the employer will proceed to remove or cancel it. Additionally, of the visas available, it is the most common to hire talent to work in the UAE.

Besides, you will need the employee contract along with the approval of the MoHRE or Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization. Also, before traveling you must have a written job offer and an entry permit upon arrival. Thus, with the entry permit, you will be able to begin the process of your work and residence visa.

Green Visa

The authorities introduced the green card in the UAE in 2022 to attract and support foreign self-employed, employers, and freelancers. Likewise, it has a validity period of 5 years and does not require sponsorship from any employer. Among the benefits of the visa is the ability to sponsor your immediate family members to move with you to the country.

The grace period is of 6 months since the validity period ends and has an easy application process. As for the required documents, it will depend on the job category of the applicant employee. Generally, the documents required will be the following:

  • An employment contract or a permit to work on your own.
  • Proof of education.
  • Proof of sufficient support to stay in the UAE.
Golden Visa

The Golden Visa is for highly qualified professionals to live, study, and work in the Emirates for 10 years without a sponsor. Likewise, these personalities are generally scientists, doctors, inventors, athletes, artists, and health personnel, among others. Among the benefits you will receive with the Golden visa is access to exclusive health insurance packages.

You may also sponsor immediate family members and staff for unrestricted support. Also, you can spend time outside the Emirates without affecting the validity of your visa. Similarly, the documents to apply for the Golden visa will depend on the background you have. Additionally, on the website of the Federal Identity Authority, you will find an eligibility survey.

However, the ICP will be the entity in charge of qualifying you or not to obtain the employment visa Dubai.

Discounts on Application Fees in the UAE

There are no employment visa rules set out as such for visa applications. However, about the application fees or depending on the type of permit, if you do them personally you will pay 50% less. For example, the application in person for the work permit would be AED 100 but online it will be AED 150.

Checking Visa Status and Validity

employment visa uae

Below, you will see how to check the status and validity of the employment visa UAE by following these steps:

  1. Enter the GDRFA platform.
  2. Go to VISA STATUS. Already on the home page, you will see a section that says MORE SERVICES, and below you will find a list of common services. Next, select VISA STATUS.
  3. Start services. To do this, look under VISA STATUS for the START SERVICE option. Now, click on this option and the verification process will begin.
  4. Enter the requested information. When you click on START SERVICE, enter your data such as passport number, visa file number, or other information requested.
  5. Look at your visa status. After entering the data, send the form and the system will immediately show the status of the visa.
  6. Additional Information. For more details or in case of any inconvenience, go to the CONTACT US section, located at the bottom of the website.

Additionally, if you wish to check the validity of the UAE visa or employment visa UAE call 600522222.

How much do you need to wait to update the status?

Depending on the circumstance of your request, the processing time for updating the status will be between 2 and 5 business days.

Documentary Proof and Formalities for the Visa

The requirements for the employment visa Dubai and the rest of the UAE will be according to the type or category of the visa. However, the documents required for the application are:

  • Original and copy of the Passport.
  • Passport-size photos as per Emirates requirements.
  • The UAE ID Card.
  • An Entry Permit accredited by the Ministry of Labor (MoL).
  • The health certificate is issued by a government-approved clinic in the UAE.
  • Likewise, Copies of the academic qualifications of the worker authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the UAE Embassy in their country of origin.
  • The personal documents of the employer, such as the company card and business license.

Likewise, the employer will be responsible for requesting the employment visa and paying the fees.

Change from a visit visa in UAE to an employment visa

Foreigners cannot work on a tourist or visit visas in the United Arab Emirates. Instead, they will have to apply for a valid employment visa UAE and residence. Likewise, the employer is primarily responsible for applying for all these permits. Thus, the law will consider it illegal if you work without the proper visa and of course, there will be legal consequences.

Consequently, if you have an employment contract in your hands, you must undergo a medical examination and additional security checks to those described above. Finally, with all the necessary documentation, you must wait 5 business days to change your status from tourist to resident of the Emirates.

Therefore, if you want to work in the Emirates, you will need an employment visa UAE as it is the only valid legal document for this. Furthermore, this document will have to be accompanied by a work proposal from the employer who will also be the sponsor. However, if you have any further questions, contact us and the professionals in our organization will help you.

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