+971 58 543 7712
+31 20 808 11 45

All about the Employment Visa

October 21, 2022
Amal Eeckhout
employment visa dubai

If your business expansion includes relocating employees to Dubai, understanding the process of obtaining employment visas is crucial. Dubai, a dynamic and rapidly growing business hub, attracts thousands of expatriates annually, drawn by its vibrant lifestyle and diverse professional opportunities. As an employer, it's your responsibility to navigate the visa process for your team.

What is an Employment Visa in Dubai?

An employment visa in Dubai is essentially a work permit that allows expatriates to legally work and live in the city. This vital document is issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE). Here's what you need to know:

  • Work Permit Application: As an employer, it's your duty to apply for the work permit on behalf of your employees. This is the first step in legitimizing their employment status in Dubai.
  • Conversion to Residency Visa: After obtaining the work permit, it must be converted into a residency visa. This is an essential step for your employees to legally reside in the country.

Timelines and Processes

Understanding the timelines and processes involved can streamline the visa application process:

  • Application Window: The application for the residency visa should be initiated within the first sixty days of your employee's arrival in the country.
  • Online Process: Fortunately, the majority of this process is conducted online, making it more accessible and less time-consuming. The digital platforms provided by the MoHRE are user-friendly and efficient.

Employer Responsibilities

As an employer, facilitating your employees' transition to Dubai involves several key responsibilities:

  • Documentation and Support: Ensure all required documents are prepared in advance. This includes employment contracts, passport copies, and academic qualifications, among others.
  • Guidance and Assistance: Offer your employees guidance throughout the visa process. Assisting them with paperwork and answering their queries can ease their transition.
  • Legal Compliance: Staying compliant with all the legal requirements is essential. This includes adhering to the employment laws and regulations set by the MoHRE.

Additional Considerations

  • Health Insurance: In Dubai, it's mandatory for employers to provide health insurance to their employees. This should be arranged prior to the visa application.
  • Accommodation and Logistics: Consider the logistics of your employees' relocation, such as housing, transportation, and cultural orientation, to ensure a smooth transition.
Employment visa for dubai

Preparing for the Work Permit Application: Essential Documents

As an employer, it's imperative to guide your employees through the work permit application process by providing a comprehensive list of required documents. This clarity ensures a smooth and efficient application experience.

List of Required Documents

Ensure your employee prepares the following documents for the work permit application:

  1. Copy of the Employee’s Passport: A valid passport copy is essential for identity verification.
  2. Visa Application Form: The employee must fill out the visa application form accurately.
  3. Health Certificate: This certificate is a mandatory requirement to ensure the employee meets the health standards set by Dubai authorities.
  4. Employee Photograph: Provide specifications for the photograph format as required by the application guidelines.
  5. Entry Permit: A copy of the employee’s entry permit is necessary to initiate the process.
  6. Copy of the Employment Contract: This document outlines the terms of employment and is crucial for the visa process.
  7. Application Fee: Be prepared to cover the application fee as part of the process.
  8. Your Trading License: As an employer, your trading license is required to validate your business operations in Dubai.

Key Information about Employment Visas in Dubai

Understanding the legal framework for employment in Dubai is crucial for compliance and smooth operations.

Age Requirements:

  • Minimum Age: The legal minimum age for employment in Dubai is 18. However, individuals as young as 15 can obtain a juvenile work permit, subject to approval.
  • Maximum Age: The standard maximum age for employment is 60. Exceptions can be made for individuals up to the age of 65, with special approval from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

Visa Cancellation Process:

  • Upon the termination of an employment contract, the visa cancellation process is primarily online and efficient, typically completed within two days.

Employer’s Role and Responsibilities

As an employer, your role extends beyond just providing the list of documents. It involves:

  • Guidance and Support: Assist your employees in gathering the necessary documents and guide them through the application process.
  • Compliance with Regulations: Ensure that all procedures are in line with the legal requirements set by Dubai authorities.
  • Facilitating Health and Insurance Requirements: Arrange for the mandatory health check-ups and insurance coverage for your employees.