Employment Visa

To work in Dubai you need a UAE residence visa, which is sponsored by your employer. This visa permits you to live and work anywhere in the UAE, and you can live and work in different emirates; some people, for example, choose to work in Dubai and live in Abu Dhabi due to cheaper rents there. 
Once you receive a job offer, your employer, and sponsor, will start to process your residence visa with the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA). All the paperwork should be taken care of by your PRO (Public Relations Officer); you will need to take a medical test and hand over your passport and attested education certificates. Your labour card or free zone ID will be processed at the same time. Your PRO should also help with your application for your Resident ID.  

The validity of the visa is two years, or three years if you work in some free zones or government jobs, and it is valid in line with your labour card or free zone ID – essentially, your permit to work. If you leave the UAE for a period of more than six months at any one time, your residence visa will lapse. To renew it you will need to complete another medical and re-apply for both the visa and your Resident ID; once again your PRO will help with this.

The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – previously called the Department of Naturalization and Residency (DNRD) – takes care of immigration and visa issues.The HQ is located in Bur Dubai, but there are also branches in Umm Suqeim, Deira, Karama, and Dubai International Airport (T3).

​Family Sponsorship
Anyone with a residence visa (employment) and with a minimum monthly salary of Dhs.4,000, or Dhs.3,000 with accommodation allowance, can sponsor family members (wife, husband, children) allowing them to stay in the country as long as you are here. The application process for a family residence visa is generally the same as for an employment visa, (and they will also need to apply for a Resident ID card), although you may find you have to do all the legwork and pay the application fees - unless you have a very understanding boss.

If you are sponsored by your husband or wife on a family residence visa, you can still legally work. Your employer will simply need to apply for your labour card; you will need an NOC from your sponsor as well as your passport with residence visa, your sponsor’s passport and your attested education certificates.

Temporary Work Permits
Non-GCC nationals who are above 18 years of age can now enter the UAE on a short-term work permit which is valid for 60 days; these can be extended/renewed up to six times (subject to a fee and bank guarantee).

Latest News

View More
  • Broadway nights

    Downtown Dubai, dubbed the ‘Centre of Now’, and the nearby dynamic financial district, are hotspots for t...

  • An alternative mall experience

    There is much more than stores and eateries at The Dubai Mall, one of the world’s largest shopping destinations...

  • Dubai's stunning architecture

    The UAE continues to develop at pace and almost every week makes incredible announcements. There are too many formid...

  • Eats, engines & entertainment

    The culinary culture in Dubai takes a detour from its usual gastronomic delights to introduce a new breed of ‘m...

  • Innovative workspaces around Dubai

    Traditional office settings too mundane? Or perhaps one too many distractions while working from home? We have the so...

Newsletter Subscription