Work Permits for Dubai

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All non-UAE citizens working in Dubai require a residency visa, which allows them to obtain a work permit (labour card) issued by the Ministry of Labour.

Working in UAE - Arab businessmenMost expats arrive in Dubai after already securing employment, and don’t have to deal directly with the complicated process as employers usually take responsibility for the visa application process, and thus the work permit, while also acting as the sponsor for the visa. Employers also normally incur the costs of the application.

There are different types of work visas for the UAE, depending on the duration of the employment contract. In order to obtain a work permit for Dubai, expats need a residency visa, which allows them to remain in the emirate for up to three years. Before getting a residency permit, applicants have to pass a health check, which includes testing for HIV/AIDS.
All forms and documents for the work permit should be written and processed in Arabic. The employment contract should also be written in Arabic and three copies are needed: one for the employee, one for the employer and one for the Department of Labour.
The requirements for a labour card include:
  • A residency visa
  • Applicant must have a qualification that is needed in the country
  • Valid passport with no less than six months validity
The following documents are required to secure a work permit in Dubai:
  • Photograph of applicant
  • Passport (with at least six months validity) and residency visa
  • Valid health certificate
  • Photocopy of sponsoring company’s trade licence
  • Three copies of employment contract with signatures of employee and employer
  • Copies of professional qualifications

*Visa regulations and requirements for work permits are subject to change at short notice and expats should contact their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.

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