Here’s Everything You Need To Know About A UAE Work Residency Visa

Mayar Ibrahim

When relocating to a new country, the first step to take is discovering everything about how the country works. Additionally, one of the first things you must sort is the residency visa.

What is a UAE Residency Visa?

In the name itself, “residency” means “the fact of living in a place.” So, a residency visa is a document that foreigners moving to the UAE must obtain to be able to stay long-term. These visas are valid for 1 – 10 years depending on the conditions.

How many types of Residence Visas are there in the UAE?

There are 6 types of long-term visas in the UAE.

  1. Work Visa
  2. Retirement Visa
  3. Investment Visa
  4. Student Visa
  5. UAE Domestic Workers Visa
  6. Family Visa

In this article, you will find all the details relevant to a Residency Work Visa in the UAE. Additionally, the details involved are the different types of Work Visas, Documents Required and the steps required to follow.

Here are the different types of residency visas that fall under the work visa:

  • Standard Work Visa

    • This type of visa in the country is an employer-sponsored work visa. Also, it allows an expat to live and work as an employee in the UAE for 2 – 3 years. Once the visa expires, it is up to the employer to renew or cancel the visa.
    • This kind of visa requires an employment contract and approval from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.
    • Additionally, before arriving in the UAE on a standard work visa, a foreign national must accept a job offer in writing and obtain an entry permit.
  • Green Visa

    • In October 2022, the UAE introduced a series of new visas. The Green Visa was a part of the new visa scheme. This visa is meant to attract and support foreign freelancers and self-employed individuals in the UAE. Moreover, the Green Visa grants holders residency for 5 years and does not require employer sponsorship.
    • Moreover, this visa has additional benefits! Such as the ability to sponsor immediate relatives to relocate to the UAE, a 6-month grace period upon visa expiry or cancellation and a simplified application process.
    • The documents required to apply for a Green Visa vary depending on the applicant’s work category. Moreover, there are standard required documents such as a valid employment contract or self-employment permit from the MoHRE. As well as proof of education and proof of sufficient income during the applicant’s stay in the UAE.
  • Golden Visa

    • The Golden Visa is an extended residency visa. It allows professionally to live, work, and study in the UAE for 10 years without a sponsor. A few people who qualify for the Golden Visa are doctors, scientists, athletes, inventors, and more.
    • Additionally, Golden Visa holders enjoy various benefits. Such as access to exclusive health insurance packages and the ability to sponsor immediate family members. Also, Golden Visa holders can spend unlimited time outside of the UAE without it impacting the validity of their visa!

Read More: All You Need To Know About The New UAE Visa Schemes That Are Officially In Effect

Who can get a Work Visa in the UAE?

People over 18 years-old can legally work as an expat in the country. However, this is provided that the employer and employee meet the MoHRE’s standards.

An example of these standards are:

  • The employer has a valid operating license.
  • The employer has no violations.
  • The employee’s work corresponds to the nature of the company’s operations.
  • The employee has at least a high school diploma.

Find the document requirements for a UAE Work Visa:

The UAE residency visa for work have varying requirements. As the requirements depend on the visa category.

However, here are the general document requirements:

  • Original passport and copy
  • Passport-sized photos in line with UAE requirements
  • Emirates ID card
  • Entry permit from the Ministry of Labour
  • Medical certificate issued by a government-approved health center in the UAE
  • Copies of the employee’s academic qualifications with authorization from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a UAE Embassy in the employee’s home country
  • Documents from the employer, such as their commercial license and company card

The employer is responsible for the work visa application process and related costs. On the other hand, the employee is responsible for submitting documents for the residence permit.

You’ll have to go through 3 stages to get a UAE Work Residency Visa

1st Stage:

  • Apply for a Free Zone Visa
    • If the applicant resides and works in one of the UAE’s 46 free zones, the employer must apply for a free zone visa. For all the details click here.
  • Submit a signed employment contract
    • The employer must submit a signed work contract to the Ministry of Labour for approval. The contract must be in English, Arabic, and the employee’s native language (if it isn’t English or Arabic).

2nd Stage:

  • Apply for an Emirates ID
    • Foreigners entering or relocating to the UAE for work must get an Emirates ID. This card is necessary for the required medical screening. Moreover, the ID directly links to your residence visa and serves as an everyday identification card in the UAE.
    • Additionally, to apply for an Emirates ID, you must visit an Emirates Identity Authority center with your passport and entry visa. These documents are required for you to provide biometrics – fingerprint scan and photograph.

3rd Stage:

  • Get a medical checkup
    • You’ll need to get a Medical Checkup in any Government approved medical centre. In this checkup, the clinic will withdraw your blood for analysis and do a chest x-ray.
  • Submit a labour contract
    • Your employer must upload your labour contract within 14 days after you receive your medical results on the Ministry of Labour website.
  • Apply for Health Insurance
    • In most companies, employers provide their employees and their families a valid Health Insurance. It is important to note, the Ministry of Labour does not issue or renew work visas for people without valid health insurance.
  • Receive a work residency visa
    • Once you complete all the above steps, it takes up to 5 days for the Ministry of Labour to grant a work visa.
  • Receive your Emirates ID
    • Your work visa is registered as a residence visa, and you will be receiving your Emirates ID once all parties complete the above steps.

Read More: Here’s How You Can Get A Driver’s License In The UAE


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