UAE work visa 2023: Eligibility, Cost, Requirements

Asma Ahmed - | UAE

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is quickly gaining a reputation as the nation of choice for expats from around the world who are interested in relocating. Dubai, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, stands out as a busy hub that strikes a harmonious balance between business pursuits, social activities, a vibrant nightlife, and a range of indoor and outdoor experiences for expats. This culturally varied country offers a multitude of opportunities, with Dubai standing out as a bustling hub that strikes a harmonious balance between business endeavors, social activities, and a vibrant nightlife.

The UAE Opportunities and Visa Process

For those contemplating a move or work in Dubai and the UAE, here is a comprehensive guide on applying for a Dubai work visa permit, including the cost, requirements, and more.

As Individuals wishing to work in the UAE must obtain a job permit or work visa to legally work within the emirate. A work permit, also known as an entry permit, is an authorization granted by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, allowing foreigners to enter and work legally in the UAE for a specified duration.


To be eligible for employment in the UAE, candidates must meet certain criteria:

  • Age: Applicants must be at least 18 years old.
  • Company Affiliation: Employment must be with a company holding a valid license that complies with UAE laws.
  • Alignment with Business Type: The nature of work must align with the business that has hired the applicant.

Employment Visa Eligibility and Categories

Employment in the UAE is open to foreign nationals who meet specific criteria established by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE). While there is no maximum age limit for employment in the UAE, employers may have different terms for workers over the age of 65. Foreign workers are categorized based on their academic qualifications and skill levels:

  • Category 1: Holders of a bachelor's degree or higher.
  • Category 2: Possessing a post-secondary degree in any field.
  • Category 3: Individuals with a high school diploma.

Required Documents for a UAE Work Visa Permit

Applicants must adhere to UAE employment visa requirements when applying for a job visa, including the submission of essential documents such as:

  • Valid Passport.
  • Passport-sized Photographs.
  • Academic Certificates.
  • Medical Certificate.
  • Company Documents (Commercial License, Company Card, etc.).

Types of Work Visas in the UAE

In Dubai, there exists one primary type of work permit, known as a labor card. However, employees must obtain an entry visa, a resident visa, and an ID card before applying for a work permit. The UAE has also introduced short-term employment mission permits for temporary work assignments. Visitors related to UAE nationals or residents may also be eligible for special visit permits under certain circumstances.

Process for Obtaining a UAE Work Visa and Permit

The process for obtaining a UAE work permit is primarily managed by the employer. The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) issues work permits for the UAE. The steps for acquiring a UAE work permit include:

  1. Requesting the TASHEEL application by the company.
  2. Submission of required documents by the employer.
  3. Review of the application by MOHRE.
  4. Receiving approval and downloading the permit.

After arriving in the UAE on a Pink visa, applicants have 60 days to obtain a residence visa and an official work permit. This involves medical examinations, visits to the Emirates ID service center, biometric testing, and the submission of necessary documents.

Cost of UAE Work Visa

The cost of an employment visa in Dubai varies depending on the category and level of the worker. The fees typically include:

Initial Approval: AED 200.

Category 1: AED 300.

Category 2:

  • A Level: AED 600.
  • B Level: AED 1500.
  • C Level: AED 2000.

Category 3: AED 5000.

Employers generally cover the employment visa cost in Dubai, and the Ministry typically issues the work permit within approximately 5 working days after receiving the necessary paperwork.

Visa Validity and Renewal

The validity of an employment visa in the UAE is typically one month, extendable for an additional month. Within this period, the employee and the employer must arrange for a residence visa, an Emirates ID card, and a labor card.

Depending on the purpose of the trip and UAE authorities' discretion, residence visas in the UAE can be valid for 1 to 3 years, ensuring the maintenance of employment visa UAE validity.

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Asma Ahmed
Asma Ahmed
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