In the UAE, obtaining a work permit or job visa is rather simple. The vast majority of expats arrive in the UAE with a job lined up. Most UAE companies manage all residence visa and work permit requirements, including covering visa expenses, which simplifies the visa process.
The duration of work permits and employment visas can range from one to ten years. The Gold Card, the UAE's first ever permanent residence scheme, was launched in May 2019. This visa is intended for "extraordinary experts." Read more about it in our section on Residency Permits.
You must first get an entry visa, an Emirate ID card, and a resident visa before applying for a UAE work permit. In your residence visa, your work permit, also known as a labour card, will be listed. Please check our Residency Permits: Temporary and Permanent section below for further information on obtaining a residency visa.
Proof of a work contract or employment offer from a company in the UAE is the most crucial work visa criterion. All other requirements for a work permit are also required for a residence visa:
Emirates ID card
Original passport plus photocopy
Copy of valid company card
Valid commercial license of the company
Medical check and health certificate
Entry permit issued by the Ministry of Labour
In the emirate state where you work, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) issue labour cards. Your labour card will arrive in around 10 days. It usually lasts for two years.
All forms and documents submitted must be written in Arabic. It is also recommended that the employment contract be drafted in Arabic. Three copies will be required: one for you, one for your company, and one for the Department of Labour.