Visit our social pages

Successfully Applying for an Employment Visa in the UAE

The job seeker Visa UAE grants the possibility to different individuals to work in the country. There is no doubt that the United Arab Emirates, as a hub for innovation and development thanks to its solid position as an oil rich country, has become for foreigners a great center of attraction and interest for job opportunities of any given field. Therefore, the country has changed during the past years its visa policies in order to open more doors.

In this article, it will be provided the proper information related to the UAE new residence visa rules, types of visas (such as the Golden visa Dubai and Silver visa UAE), and the right procedures plus requirements necessary for a successful application of the employment visa UAE.

Understanding the types of employment visas

employment visa uae

There are different types of employment visas UAE, in which every one of them will offer different advantages based on your qualifications. They will come with a different validation expiry period.  Below, these visas are listed:

Work visa for employment

  • The standard work visa, sponsored by employers in various sectors or free zones, is the most common in UAE. Additionally, it typically remains valid for around two or three years. Morever, it will be valid for around two or three years.
  • Unlike the standard work visa, the Green Visa targets freelancers, self-employed individuals, and skilled workers. Additionally, eligibility requires a valid degree and contract. Furthermore, submission of proof of income or financial solvency is necessary. Note that this employment visa UAE is valid for 5 years.
  • Similar to the green visa, the Golden Visa offers upgraded perks for investors, entrepreneurs, scientists, professionals, students, and frontline heroes. Thus, it enables talented foreigners to live, study, and work in the United Arab Emirates and it is valid for 10 years.
  • As for the Job seeker visa, it allows foreigners to enter the UAE and look for a job in an estimated period of 60, 90, and even 120 days with no need for a sponsor/host.
  • The silver visa is a residence permit that grants talents, investors, students, and professionals the opportunity to work in the UAE. Moreover, the silver visa UAE has a long-term of validity (for up to 5 years).

The Golden Visa UAE is not specific to any particular emirate within the UAE. However, it does apply to the entire country. On the other hand, the Golden Visa Dubai refers to residency schemes specifically, which the Dubai government offers.

Additionally, the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs, and Port Security (ICP) issues the golden visa UAE. This visa covers the entire UAE. Meanwhile, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – Dubai (GDRFAD) issues the golden visa Dubai. Consequently, it only covers Dubai.

Also, the application for these visas can be done online through the ICA smart services website.

Missionary Visa for Temporary Work Assignment UAE

  • The mission visa is a type of permit that allows professional individuals to come and work in the UAE, but only with a local company for a specific short period of time depending on the project. Considering the nature of this visa, workers issued to the missionary visa serve as probationary employees while they are under this visa category.
  • Mission Visas consist of one-entry-only to the UAE and its validation lasts for 3 months (90 days). To clarify, holders of the Mission Visa does not have permission to exit the country until the visa expires. In case they do leave before its expiration, cancellation will come as follow as a result.
  • If they ever plan to come back to the UAE after the expiration, the person in question would have to apply again for the Mission visa.
  • To obtain a missionary visa, the sponsoring organization or employer must provide documentation outlining the purpose and duration of the assignment. Additionally, specific activities outlined in their visa application restrict Missionary visa holders. Therefore, they must depart upon completing their assignment.

Free Zone Employment visas

In the UAE, authorities issue a work permit, known as a free zone employment visa, for those working in designated economic areas. These zones provide tax incentives, business-friendly regulations, and complete foreign ownership.

A free zone employment visa allows foreign workers to legally work and reside within a specific free zone. Also, the sponsoring company typically sponsors the visa for the individual it employs, and it typically remains valid for a specific period.

Since the free zone employment visa UAE provide individuals with the opportunity to work in there. Thanks to this, they can enjoy the benefits and privileges offered within the designated free zone in the UAE.

  • Tax Incentives. Free zone employment visas offer tax benefits, including exemptions from corporate and personal income taxes, as well as customs duties on imports and exports.
  • Business-Friendly Regulations. Free zones provide a conducive environment for business operations with streamlined administrative processes, simplified licensing procedures, and regulatory flexibility.
  • 100% Foreign Ownership. Companies operating within free zones can have 100% foreign ownership, allowing investors full control over their businesses without the need for a local partner.

For instance, if you plan to apply for this visa or the missionary one. You need to consult with a different channel such as the GDRFA, the MOHRE, or the respective free zones authorities. Although, not through the ICA smart services as it does not apply for these categories.

Employment Visa UAE Cost

The employment visa UAE cost will depend on the type of visa, duration, and the skill of the worker. Below, it is listed a brief overview.

  • Green visa: For the entry permit the cost of this visa is AED 650. Also, for the residence permit is AED 1,150.
  • Standard work visa: The cost of this visa varies depending on the skill level of the worker. Therefore, it can go from AED 300 to 5,000 for the work permit, and AED 200 to AED 250 for the residence permit.
  • Job seeker visa: The cost for the change of status for this visa is AED 640.
  • Golden Visa: Applicants from outside the UAE must pay between AED 3,800 and AED 4,800 for the Golden visa. Plus, they need to pay an application fee of AED 150 for the Golden visa.
  • Missionary visa: For this visa, there is an application fee of AED 100 and the company is responsible for paying a fee AED 500-600. Furthermore, a mandatory deposit of AED 3,000 needs to be submitted.
  • Free zone visa: For these visas, the cost may vary depending on the free zone authority, but it can range from AED 3,000 to 6,000 for each visa.

Application Process of The UAE visa

The application process of the UAE visa depends on the type of visa the applicant is opting for. However, there are key steps to follow for each one of them. Below, it is outlined and explained the stages step by step.

Job Offer Acceptance and Contract Signing

  • Apply for entry visa quota approval. Here, the applicant must initiate at the MOL to obtain this visa, the employer is required to do the work. If your visa happens to be for one of the 46’s different free zones in the UAE, the applicant must ensure to get the approval before going to the UAE. Also, there is a settle of rules and restrictions issued to free zone employers and companies.
  • Submit a signed employment contract. Once received quota approval from the Ministry of Labour, the employee must receive and signed a job contract from the employer to send it back to the MOL for further approval. Besides, the contract must be in three language formats: English, Arabic, and the employee’s native tongue. Remember, this contract serves as evidence to prove the employee is hired for a genuine job.
  • Submit a work visa application and apply for an entry visa. Get the approval from the MOL for the work permit before you get the entry visa. During this stage, the Ministry of Labour evaluates if another UAE citizen can fulfill the job of the foreign applicant. If the results are positive, the applicant should get the approval.
  • Receive an employment entry visa. When you receive the work permit, the MOL grants an employment entry visa (referred as pink visa, too) for the employee. With the pink visa, you can enter the UAE legally with a validity of two months. During this time, you need to formalize your documents. In the same way, this also includes both your resident and work visa.

Submission of Required Documents

  • Original/valid photocopy and passport. Ensure that the expiry period is at least 6 months beyond the date of your intended stay in the UAE.
  • Passport Photos. They must be lined with UAE requirements; the size of the photos should be 4.5 cm in height and 3.5 cm in width. However, there could be circumstances where it might be a bit higher than that; therefore, the resolution must be of decent quality, at least 600 dpi.
  • Emirates ID card. This is an identity card provided by the ICP. For everyone in the UAE, this card is required. Additionally, you can apply for the UAE ID card online on the ICP website.
  • A medical certificate approved by a medical center of the UAE.
  • Academic copies of the employee’s qualifications. The Ministry of Foreign affairs and an embassy of the UAE residing in the employee’s native country must authorize them.
  • Commercial license and company card. The employer provides these documents.

Employment Visa UAE Processing time

To obtain the work permit and the residence visa to work legally in the UAE, the time will vary depending on the type of visa, the employer, and the services provider. However, the general steps and average time for each goes as follow.

  • Job offer acceptance, the employee must receive a job offer contract/letter to be signed. typically, within two days this can be done.
  • Work permit approval. This can take three to five days, so the employer applies for the work permit from the MOHRE and gets approval for the employee in the UAE. In other words, this process will depend on the employer since it is the one in charge as the sponsoring company.
  • Entry permit issuance. The time expected for this can take three days, the employer applies for the entry permit from the ICP, and it’s sent to the employee.
  • Medical exam and Emirates ID application. The employee enters the UAE using the entry permit and undergoes a medical exam and applies for the Emirates ID within 60 days of arrival. The medical exam can take one to three days and the Emirates ID can take five to seven days.
  • Residence visa and Emirates ID collection. The employee receives the residence visa and Emirates ID and starts working in the UAE. The residence visa is usually valid for two years, or three years for some government or free zone jobs.

Although the lapse of time depends on different factors, the application process for an employment visa UAE should not take long. Thanks to the efficient system, the results are fast.


employment visa uae

Successfully applying for an employment visa in the UAE demands meticulous planning and attention to detail. Staying updated with the UAE new residence visa rules is crucial for a seamless process. By comprehending the different types of employment visas, associated costs, and application procedures, both employers and employees can navigate the process confidently.

Moreover, the employment visa UAE facilitates the integration of more foreigners into the country’s thriving economy and diverse opportunities. Consequently, the UAE remains an attractive destination for talented professionals worldwide, offering ample room for career advancement and growth.

In essence, obtaining an employment visa UAE opens doors to a world of possibilities, enabling individuals to contribute to the country’s continued prosperity and development. With its welcoming business environment and myriad opportunities, the UAE stands as a beacon of success and opportunity on the global stage.

Connect Services Middle East

Our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to helping you navigate the local laws and regulations and provide you with customized solutions that suit your unique business needs. We believe in building long-term relationships with our clients, and our commitment to their success is at the core of everything we do. Whether you are a small startup or a large corporation, we are here to support you every step of the way.

Related Posts

Do you need specialized assistance?

Contact us today and experience the difference of working with Connect Middle East.