Sometimes referred to as the “City of Gold,” Dubai is the largest city in the United Arab Emirates and a thriving location for business. If your company is planning to expand abroad, Dubai will be an excellent choice of location due to the growing economy and relative ease of obtaining work permits for any foreign employees who are willing to make the move. Even so, it can be helpful to have an experienced global PEO on your side to make sure the process of obtaining visas and permits is as smooth as possible.
Types of Work Visas in Dubai
Before obtaining a permit to work in Dubai, foreign nationals will need a visa to enter the United Arab Emirates. The UAE issues several types of visas and entry permits to foreigners, including:
- Entry permit visas
- Visit visas
- Tourist visas
- Student visas
- Multiple-entry visas
- Visas for medical treatment
Foreign nationals who plan to obtain permits to live and work in Dubai will need to begin the process by getting an entry permit visa.
Requirements to Obtain Dubai Work Visas
To work in Dubai, foreign nationals will need a residence visa as well as a work permit. Foreign nationals will need to provide the following documents to obtain a residence visa:
- A completed application form
- The applicant’s original passport along with a copy
- Several passport photos
- A copy of a valid company card
- A certificate of health
- An entry permit issued by the Ministry of Labor
- Proof of payment of the application fee
Applicants will also need to undergo a medical examination upon arrival in Dubai.
The required documents to obtain a Dubai work permit include:
- An employment contract with a company in Dubai
- Copies of the applicant’s birth certificate, passport, and marriage certificate if applicable
- Proof of accommodations in Dubai, such as a copy of a lease agreement
- Evidence that the applicant has sufficient financial means to support themselves in Dubai
In Dubai, the employer is responsible for obtaining the necessary visas and permits for foreign workers. The employer is also required to shoulder the cost of any visa fees. The process is as follows:
- The employer applies for approval from the Ministry of Labor to hire a foreign employee.
- The Ministry issues an entry permit visa, which will allow the employee to enter the UAE and stay for an initial period of 30 days.
- The employee travels to Dubai. Once they arrive, they have 60 days to obtain a residence visa.
- Upon the employee’s arrival in Dubai, the employer begins the process of applying for a work permit — also known as a labor card.
- The employee visits an Emirates ID service center with their valid passport and entry visa to obtain an ID.
- The employee goes to a government hospital for a medical examination.
- The employee applies for a residence visa through the immigration authorities.
- The employee brings all of the appropriate documents to the Department of Naturalization and Residency Dubai (DNRD).
As of December 2022, Dubai residence visa passport stamps will no longer be issued, and the foreign national’s original Emirates Identity Card will serve as proof of their residency status.
After obtaining residence and work permits, the employee may begin working in Dubai.
Other Important Considerations
Your company should also be familiar with the process employees will need to follow to bring family members with them to Dubai. Spouses, children, and even parents can move to Dubai with employees as long as they also obtain a residence visa.
An employee who holds a residence visa will need to apply for visas on behalf of any family members they plan to bring to Dubai. Along with the standard required documents, they’ll need to provide proof of their relationships, such as birth or marriage certificates.
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The Globalization Partners team is fully equipped to handle all the challenges involved with your company’s international expansion. Contact us today to learn more about the advantages of our comprehensive solution.
THIS CONTENT IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL OR TAX ADVICE. You should always consult with and rely on your own legal and/or tax advisor(s). G-P does not provide legal or tax advice. The information is general and not tailored to a specific company or workforce and does not reflect G-P’s product delivery in any given jurisdiction. G-P makes no representations or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness, or timeliness of this information and shall have no liability arising out of or in connection with it, including any loss caused by use of, or reliance on, the information.