Steps to get your work visa and work permit in Dubai

Dubai, the most populous city in the Emirate, offers a thriving commercial environment for businesses looking to expand internationally. The city’s rapid economic growth and streamlined process for obtaining work permits make it an ideal location.

Foreigners interested in working in Dubai can obtain a work visa, which provides sufficient validity for the specified period of employment. A separate residence visa is not required to live and work in Dubai. However, it is recommended to familiarize yourself with the process of obtaining a residency visa in Dubai for a comprehensive understanding.

In the following sections, we will provide detailed information on the steps to acquire a work visa and work permit in Dubai, ensuring a smooth transition for your business operations.

A work permit in Dubai: what are the procedures?

To obtain a work permit in the UAE, your employer must initiate the application process on your behalf through the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE). Here are the steps involved:

  1. Your employer prints the work permit application from the Tas’Heel website, the Ministry of Labor’s online system.
  2. All required documents are submitted.
  3. The Ministry reviews the application and may request any necessary revisions or additional documentation.
  4. Once approved, the Ministry provides clearance, which can be downloaded by the employer from the Ministry’s website.

It’s important to remember that the employer is responsible for obtaining the work visa in Dubai, and as an employee, you cannot apply for visas or permits directly. To find employment in the UAE, you can start your job search through various online platforms and job portals. For more detailed information and a step-by-step guide, refer to our comprehensive guide on finding work in Dubai.

Steps to get your work visa and work permit in Dubai

A work visa for Dubai: how to acquire one?

Once you have been issued a work permit and authorized by the UAE, the work permit serves as your entry into the UAE as a working individual. This authorization is valid for one month, with the possibility of extension.

During this period, your employer can apply for your resident visa, and the following steps are involved:

  1. Your company will prepare necessary documents on your behalf, such as an Emirates ID, labor card, and residence visa.
  2. To obtain a work visa in Dubai, you will need to undergo approved medical exams, which may include blood tests and a chest X-ray to screen for pulmonary TB.
  3. Demonstrating a job offer or employment contract with a company in Dubai is a key requirement for obtaining a work visa.

Lastly, it’s important to note that the entity sponsoring your work permit, medical exams, and Emirates ID must acknowledge the validity of your resident visa. Additionally, familiarize yourself with the cost of living in Dubai before obtaining a work visa.

Steps to get your work visa and work permit in Dubai

How does the Dubai work visa process work?

Now that you are aware of the requirements to obtain a work visa in Dubai, let’s break down the process into the following steps:

  1. Obtain an entry permit visa, Emirates ID card, and resident visa to legally work in Dubai.
  2. Upon arrival in the UAE, your employer will apply for a resident visa on your behalf at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), using permission from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MOHRE).
  3. If your application is approved, the GDRFA will stamp your passport with a Residence visa for work purposes (employment visa) and issue an Emirates ID card, valid for the same duration as the visa.
  4. The UAE authorities will be informed of your employment status through the provision of a work card.
  5. Once you have obtained a residence permit, you can sponsor your family and bring them into the country.

It’s important to note that single mothers raising children alone and men who are supported by their wives or girlfriends can also be granted work authorization in the UAE.

Steps to get your work visa and work permit in Dubai

Who is eligible to submit an application for a work visa in Dubai?

In general, the ability to apply for a work visa in Dubai is determined by one of three criteria, each of which will be discussed in more detail below:

Get a work visa in Dubai if you have been hired from your country

To obtain an employment visa in Dubai, follow these steps:

  1. Have your employer apply for a work visa on your behalf at the Ministry of Labor.
  2. Once the application is approved, you will receive an entrance permit visa, allowing you to enter the UAE for 30 days, with the option to extend it twice. During this time, you have 60 days to apply for a labor card, valid for two years.
  3. Visit the Emirates ID service center and submit the completed application form, original valid passport, Entry Permit Visa, and any required medical test results.
  4. Present all the necessary documents to the Department of Naturalization and Residence in Dubai (DNRD) for visa and passport stamping.
Steps to get your work visa and work permit in Dubai

Those who are in Dubai on a tourist visa or a visit visa

There are two routes to obtain a work visa for Dubai:

  1. Leave the UAE: In this scenario, you can leave Dubai and travel to a neighboring country to obtain employment authorization. This can be done through a “visa run” by making a stopover in a country like Oman. Airlines such as Air Arabia and Fly Dubai offer these options.
  2. Changed Status: Your potential employer can contact both the regional General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDFRA) and the federal Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) to modify your visa status through the “Changed Status” process.

Please note that specific procedures and requirements may vary, so it is advisable to consult with the relevant authorities or seek professional advice for accurate and up-to-date information.

Steps to get your work visa and work permit in Dubai

Those who want to change their working company in Dubai

Regardless of your skill level, you can take advantage of the legislation and obtain a work visa in Dubai. However, the circumstances differ for different groups:

Skilled Workers: If your contract in Dubai has ended or been terminated, you are eligible to apply for a new employment visa in Dubai with a different organization.

Unskilled Workers: If you are an unskilled worker, your employer must provide consent for the termination of your contract, and you should have completed a minimum of six months of employment before the request is considered.

Freelancers: Freelancers in technology, media, or education fields can apply for a freelancer visa in Dubai. They need to submit an application for freelancing permission through platforms like “go freelance” to obtain a Dubai work permit visa for themselves and their dependents.

It is important to note that specific requirements and procedures may apply in each case, and it is advisable to consult with the relevant authorities or seek professional advice for accurate and up-to-date information.

How long does it take to receive a Dubai work visa?


Once your work visa application has been processed, you can expect to receive your work visa within approximately one day. During this time, the Ministry of Labor will conduct investigations to ensure that the job you are being hired for cannot be filled by a local citizen.

It is important to note that all forms and documents related to your work visa application should be either written in Arabic or accompanied by a written translation. This is a crucial requirement of the process to ensure clear communication and adherence to local regulations.

What are the guidelines for getting a work visa in Dubai?

To obtain a work visa in the United Arab Emirates, both you as the employee and the employing company must meet certain requirements, which include:

  1. Age Requirement: You must be at least 18 years old to be eligible for a work visa.
  2. Valid Business License: The company that is employing you must hold a valid license that allows them to operate and hire employees.
  3. Legal Compliance: The company should have a clean legal record, without any infractions or violations.
  4. Job Alignment: The job you will be performing should align with the purpose and activities of the company that has hired you.

Meeting these requirements is essential to ensure a smooth and successful process of obtaining a work visa in the UAE.

Steps to get your work visa and work permit in Dubai

Who is qualified to apply for a work permit visa in Dubai?

To obtain a work visa in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), individuals over the age of 18 must meet the requirements set by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE). While there is no upper age limit for workers in Dubai, companies may incur higher costs for employees above the age of 65.

Foreign workers in Dubai are categorized based on their academic qualifications and professional experience. These categories include:

  1. Bachelor’s Degree or Equivalent: Individuals with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.
  2. Postsecondary Education: Those who have completed some level of postsecondary education in any field.
  3. High School Diploma: Individuals with a high school diploma.

These categories help determine the placement and eligibility of foreign workers in Dubai.

Steps to get your work visa and work permit in Dubai

Dubai employment permit visa requirements

To obtain a resident visa in Dubai, foreign nationals are required to provide certain documentation, including:

  1. Filled-out and submitted application form.
  2. Passport-sized photographs with a white background.
  3. Copy of the applicant’s birth certificate, passport, and, if applicable, marriage certificate.
  4. Original and copy of a valid passport (with a minimum validity of six months).
  5. Copies of educational certificates (attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the applicant’s country).
  6. Photocopy of a current company identification card.
  7. Health certification.
  8. Ministry of Labor’s permission to enter.
  9. Proof of payment for the application fee.
  10. Evidence of financial capability to sustain oneself in Dubai.
  11. Proof of accommodation in Dubai, such as a copy of the lease agreement.

Applying for a residence visa and work permit concurrently is possible for foreign nationals in Dubai. It’s worth noting that purchasing a property in Dubai may also make an individual eligible for a resident visa in the emirate.

Steps to get your work visa and work permit in Dubai

How to renew a Dubai work visa?

The majority of Dubai visas, including tourist visas, may have their validity extended. For instance, if you fly to Dubai and suddenly decide that you want to remain for a longer period, you may extend your visa. Do you need to figure out how to accomplish that? You may find information on our website about “How to renew or extend a tourist visa in Dubai.”

Renew your work visa and work permit in Dubai

In addition, the duration of all residency Dubai visas, which range from one to three years, is extendable. If you already have a work visa for Dubai and you wish to extend it for another year, your employer must submit an extension request at least 30 days before your current visa expires.

You can apply for an extension of your work visa in the United Arab Emirates in the same manner you initially received a work visa in the UAE. In order to do so, your sponsor must submit an application to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in the relevant emirate.

Steps to get your work visa and work permit in Dubai

Conclusion on the steps to get your work visa and work permit in Dubai

Thank you for choosing our company. We have provided you with all the necessary information to obtain a work visa and work permit in Dubai. It is important to secure employment with a company in Dubai in order to pursue paid work opportunities. Additionally, if you are interested in buy a house in Dubai, Iland Real Estate is available to assist you in finding the best options. Dubai offers a city full of wonders for you to explore and enjoy.

Steps to get your work visa and work permit in Dubai

FAQs about steps to get your work visa and work permit in Dubai

Now that you know everything about work visas and work permits in Dubai, it’s time to answer some of the most frequently asked questions: 

Is it possible for non-citizens to get a legal work visa in Dubai?


Absolutely! Dubai provides opportunities for foreign nationals to obtain work permits and employment visas, regardless of their educational background or professional experience. With the right qualifications and proper documentation, individuals from around the world can pursue employment in Dubai and contribute to its thriving economy.

How long does a work visa last in Dubai?

The validity period for Dubai work permits and employment visas can vary from one to 10 years. The duration depends on various factors, including the type of visa, employment contract, and the specific regulations set by the authorities. It is important to note that work permits and employment visas may need to be renewed or extended before their expiration to continue legally working in Dubai.

What are the prerequisites for getting a job in Dubai?

If you are a non-resident of Dubai and wish to work in the city, it is necessary to apply for both a residence visa and a work permit. These documents are essential for legally residing and working in Dubai. The residence visa allows you to stay in the country, while the work permit grants you permission to work for a specific employer. Both applications typically need to be submitted through your employer or sponsor, following the procedures and requirements set by the relevant authorities in Dubai.

What is the cost of obtaining a work visa in Dubai?

The cost of a standard two-year work visa in Dubai can vary between AED 3,000 and AED 7,000, including any applicable taxes. The price may depend on various factors and individual choices during the application process.

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