If you are considering working in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), it is important to know the types of visas and permits that exist. Thus, you can choose the one that interests you the most and adapts to your needs. This is a country that, due to its dynamic and diversified economy, offers many interesting job opportunities. It must also be taken into account that they have strict legislation that regulates the entry and stay of foreigners. That is why, before looking for a job, you must inform yourself well about the working visa in UAE.
In this article, we will explain practically and simply everything you need to know about the working visa in UAE. In principle, we will tell you what the general and specific requirements are for each category. Additionally, how to request and renew them and what to do in case of any problems or doubts. Thus, you will be able to plan your trip and your professional career with more security and confidence.
Getting Your UAE Work Authorization
In recent years, the number of foreigners who move for work reasons has increased substantially. In this way, the UAE has become one of the main destinations for these people in search of new job opportunities. For this reason, the requirements to obtain a work visa in the UAE are simple, and hence 88% of the population is made up of foreigners.
Before you decide to move to the UAE, foreign citizens must apply for a work visa in the UAE. On the other hand, it is important to clarify that the work permit in Dubai is obtained after the visa. The process for applying for a work visa is divided into different steps, where one is choosing the right work visa, applying for an Emirates ID, having a medical check-up, etc.
For this reason, before you move to the UAE to work, you must have your UAE work visa. In this case, applicants will be able to choose between 3 different visas: the standard work visa, the golden visa, and the green visa. In this way, the person must choose the visa that is most appropriate to their circumstances or needs. Also, other permits will be necessary such as the Dubai freelance work permit
The applicant must pass all the necessary medical examinations in the UAE. It must be determined if the candidate has HIV, hepatitis C, or tuberculosis, because, if positive, both the work permit and the permit to enter the country will be denied. Due to the investment opportunities in Dubai, many foreigners try to work in the country and that is why they take all these measures.
Criteria for UAE Work Permit Eligibility
The eligibility criteria for work visas in the UAE vary according to the type of visa applied for and the sector of work. However, some requirements must generally be followed. Among them we find being of legal age, that is, having already reached 18 years of age. Also, you must have a valid job offer from a company that is registered in the UAE.
On the other hand, you must have your passport, and it is valid for a minimum of 6 months. In addition, you must have a medical certificate proving that you do not suffer from any contagious disease and have no criminal record.
The Green visa: In this case, the eligibility criteria will depend on the type of applicant, but these requirements must generally be met:
- Qualified workers: Valid work contract and be classified among the first 3 occupational levels according to the MoHRE. In addition, they must have a university degree the equivalent of a monthly salary of AED 15,000
- Freelance work permit Dubai: Have the UAE freelance permit or work independently from the MoHRE or a recognized free zone.
The Golden visa: As with the Green visa, the criteria will depend on the type of applicant and must meet these requirements in general:
- Investors: Must have made an investment of at least AED 2 million in a licensed investment fund in the UAE or real estate. You will also be able to if you own a company that has a capital of at least AED 2 million in the UAE.
- Entrepreneurs: Have an economic project that is of a technical or innovative nature with a value greater than AED 500,000. In addition, it must be confirmed by a UAE auditor.
Duration & Renewal
When foreigners work legally in the UAE, they must obtain a work permit and a work visa. The work permit is issued by the MoHRE, while the work visa is issued by the GDRFA. If you want to cancel one, it is important to know that the authorities that supervise these documents are different and the processes also vary.
The validity period of a work permit in the UAE is currently 2 years. However, the Federal National Council, or FNC recently announced that the duration of this permit will soon be extended to 3 years. In this way, you must be aware of the duration that your work permit will have since you must renew it before its expiration date passes to avoid problems.
As the expiration date of your permit approaches, your employer must request its renewal. In addition, after the expiration, you have a period of 30 days to renew your work permit. If you do not comply with this, you can face fines from the government. For this reason, if you want to move to Dubai for work, you should be aware of all these aspects of your work permit and visa.
Validity and how to renew
Previously, you could see that there are three types of working visas in UAE. Each of these types of visas has different processes for their renewal. For this reason, the three renewal processes for the three types of visas that exist will be discussed below.
Green visa: To renew the Green visa in UAE, you have to follow the following simple steps.
First step: Request the renewal of the visa through the mobile application or website of the Federal Authority of Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security (ICP). The other option is to enter the General Directorate of Residence and Foreign Affairs – Dubai (GDRFA-D).
Second step: Subsequently, you must present the necessary documents, which may vary depending on the type of Green visa (for freelancers, investors, partners, or qualified employees).
Third step: Pay the corresponding fees, which also vary depending on the type of Green visa you have.
Final step: Receive and enjoy the renewal of the residence permit by SMS or by email.
Working visa in UAE: The steps you must follow to be able to renew a work visa in UAE are the following.
- Your employer has to apply for visa renewal at the GDRFA of the relevant emirate.
- The employer must submit the necessary documents. For instance, passport, work permit, health insurance, and others.
- In addition, the employer has to pay the corresponding fees, which may vary depending on the type of work permit and the emirate.
- Finally, the employee will receive the renewal permit by SMS or by email.
Golden visa: To renew a Golden visa, the renewal process is practically the same as for the Green visa. Both visas have a duration of 5 or 10 years and can be renewed for the same period upon expiration.
Remote Work Visa
The remote work visa is currently also known by another name which is the Virtual Work Program. This is a visa that allows people to work and live remotely or remotely in the UAE. It has a specific period; which is 12 months and does not need a workplace in the country or a physical office.
The purpose of the remote work visa or the virtual work program is for people who meet certain requirements. These include qualifying, start-up companies working or residing outside the UAE and entrepreneurs.
Something interesting is that foreigners with working visas in the UAE who work outside the country can reside here. Any foreigner with a one-year visa can enter the nation of their own free will, without inconvenience. Additionally, you can participate in jobs that meet the terms and conditions of the visa.
In order to apply one of the trending ideas for freelance companies, you must have a remote work visa. In addition, you can enjoy different benefits through the virtual work program. For instance, get services like telecommunications, healthcare, utilities, and education. You can also take advantage of Dubai’s smooth and robust digital infrastructure.
Among other benefits of the remote work visa, is that you can establish international contacts for the company. In addition, to have access to a personal income of zero taxes in Dubai.
You have to know that currently, remote work is expanding very quickly. And not only that, it also has an exponential trend. Thanks to the remote work visa, you can enjoy the thousands of locations that this country has. That is, from small coastal towns to modern megacities, such as Dubai. That is why all freelancers compete to access all these advantages.
Requirements for Getting the Remote Work Visa or “Work from Home Visa
Taking into account all the benefits of the remote work visa, you are probably wondering how to get a freelance work permit in Dubai. The first thing you should know is that the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – Dubai (GDRFA-D) is in charge of the process. Next, you will see all the steps you must follow and all the requirements you need to obtain this visa.
Remote work visa requirements: Certain requirements must be met for this short-stay permit. Therefore, you will need to provide the following documents as proof.
- The first thing is, to show the valid passport for a minimum of six months.
- The applicant must have health insurance that is valid in the UAE.
- Evidence that serves as proof to prove that you work remotely for a company outside of the UAE.
There are some additional requirements for applicant employees.
- A one-year contract from the current employer.
- Proof of minimum monthly salary of US$5,000 (last month’s pay stub).
- Bank statements of the last three months from the request.
Business owners must also submit additional documents, including:
- Proof of business ownership valid for one year or more, with the possibility of extension. In addition, you must have an average monthly income of US$ 5,000 or the equivalent in other currencies.
- Proof of remote work outside the UAE.
Start the application: The first thing is to visit the GDRFA-D website. There you must create a username and password. Then, select the New Virtual Work Permit service.
Complete the form: You will be provided with an application form that you must fill out with accurate and current information.
Attach the documents and pay the fees: Subsequently, you only have to send the documents and pay the corresponding fees. Finally, send the request and wait for the response.
Step-by-step process to apply
To obtain a working visa in UAE, you must follow a series of steps. To simplify the process of how to apply for an employment visa in Dubai, it will be divided into three stages. That is, getting an entry employment visa, getting an Emirates ID, and finally, getting the residence visa and work permit.
Obtaining the visa to enter the country: The first thing will be for the employer to request the approval of the visa fee on behalf of the employee. The Ministry of Labor (MOL) is in charge of delivering this approval. Subsequently, the employer must bring to the MOL an employment contract and this must have the signature of the employee.
Before issuing an entry visa, the Ministry must approve the work permit application. With this approval and the visas, the employee will have two months to enter the country.
Obtaining the Emirates ID: To be able to carry out the medical examinations that are requirements for a working visa in UAE you need the Emirates ID. To make this request, the employee must present their entry visa, in addition to the original passport and a copy of it.
Subsequently, workers must apply in person at the Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA) center. Finally, you must provide biometric data. That is a photograph and fingerprints.
Obtaining a working visa in UAE: Finally, you just have to apply for a residence visa and bring all the necessary documents. This visa only has a maximum validity of two years and with the possibility of renewal. Once you have the approval, you can start working without having legal problems.
Required paperwork for your application
Next, you will see all the documents you need to apply for a working visa in UAE.
- Copy of the passport and in turn, the original.
- A passport-size photo, but you must look for the directions for this photo in the UAE.
- Photocopy of academic qualifications.
- Medical certificate, you must look for it in a health center that has the approval of the government in the UAE.
- All the important documents of the company that hires you. For instance, establishment cards and commercial licenses.
Finally, you must have an employment contract from a company in Dubai or a free zone. It is important to note that work permits can only be obtained through the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MoHRE).
Golden visa: To obtain the Golden visa you need the following documents.
- Form to apply for the Golden visa.
- Photocopy of the passport that is valid for at least six months.
- Photocopy of the tourist visa with the entry stamp (for those who do not have a resident visa in the UAE). Otherwise, bring a photocopy of the resident visa.
- Rental or employment contract.
- Photo in passport-size digital format, with a white background and in color. This photo must be recent.
- High school diploma or college degree.
- Medical certificate and Emirates ID card (where applicable)
- Photocopy in digital format of the personal bank statements of at least the last six months.
- IBAN number (i.e. International Bank Account Number).
In addition, specific requirements must be met depending on the type of visa applied for. For instance, an innovative business, relevant professional experience, or having a minimal investment.
Green Visa: The requirements are similar to the Golden Visa, but there are certain discrepancies that it is good to investigate.
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