Dubai employment visas in 2024

Overseas professionals who want to live and work in Dubai must obtain both a residency visa and a work permit (also known as the labour card). A foreign national is entitled to a residency visa in the UAE after i) business formation in the UAE or ii) becoming a shareholder of a UAE company or iii) purchasing real estate in the UAE or iv) employed within the UAE. Healy Consultants will help our Clients with getting a work and residency permit in Dubai.

  • Entrepreneur visas

    • Entrepreneurs relocating to the city of Dubai to manage their UAE business can apply for an investor visa. An investor visa is usually granted for a period above 3 years;
    • Entrepreneurs can simultaneously apply for residency visas for their spouse and children.
    • Investors owning a property worth AED5 million or more will be eligible for a 5-year residency visa. Those investing a total of AED10 million or more in property, an established company or a business partnership will be granted a renewable 10-year visa. Note that the investment cannot be mortgaged nor financed;
    • Entrepreneurs with a previous project worth a minimum of AED500,000 or those with special accredited business incubators in the UAE can be granted a 5-year residency visa;
    • Specialists with exceptional expertise working in certain industries such as medicine, science or research are also eligible for up to a 10-year residency visa;
  • Employment visas

    • All foreign workers require a residence visa and a “labor card”. Expatriate employees must be sponsored by their employer to obtain a three-year employment visa in Dubai. The employee must i) undertake a medical examination in Dubai ii) show copies of employment contract iii) provide UAE embassy attested academic qualifications and professional qualifications and iv) provide an employer sponsorship letter;
    • Employment visas are issued by the Ministry of Labor and residence visa are issued by the Department of Immigration. The labor card is also an identity card and is always to be carried;
    • Residence visas are granted to dependents of employees. Currently no quota system is imposed on immigration into the UAE;
    • Foreign investors with free zone companies must take into account their quota for employee visas is directly proportional to the size of office premises leased. In many free zones the standard rule of thumb is 10 sqm per visa;
    • UAE offshore companies are not eligible to apply for employment visas.
  • Dependent visas for family members

    • Once our Client’s entrepreneur or employment visa is secured, Healy Consultants Group will be happy to apply for family visas;
    • The estimated timeframe to secure the same is approximately 3 weeks per dependent visa;
    • Dependent visas can only be applied after the principal sponsor has obtained i) an Emirates ID card; ii) a signed lease agreement for a UAE residential property, large enough to accommodate all dependents; and iii) the Ejari registration for this residential property.
  • UAE Employment Visa Process (step-by-step guide):

    • Before submitting a visa form applicants must:
      • Supply UAE embassy attested documents. Healy Consultants Group will supply you a complete list of documents once engaged;
      • Ensure their passport has at least 2 blank pages and a validity of at least 6 months;
    • During the visa application process, applicants will:
      • Need to travel to Dubai and stay in the country for 5 complete business days;
      • Undergo a medical examination in Dubai;
      • Record their biometrics with the Government Authority;
    • The employee visa application process takes approximately 4 weeks, counting from the moment of visa submission. Dependent visa applications take 3 weeks;
    • If a visa application is commenced with the applicant inside the UAE, the applicant must remain within the country during the entire visa application process. Similarly, if the visa application is submitted while the applicant is out of Dubai, our Client can only enter UAE once the entry permit has been issued;
    • The applicant must enter Dubai within 2 months from the date the entry permit is issued;
    • The Government enjoys ultimate power of approval of visa applications. Consequently, guaranteed success is outside of Healy Consultants Group’s control. What is inside our control is the preparation and submission of a high-quality immigration visa application that maximizes the likelihood of visa approval.
  • Important UAE visa considerations

    • UAE recently approved measures to increase the Emiratisation rate for private sector.
      • Mainland registered private sector employers with more than 49 skilled employees are required to hire UAE nationals and will be required to increase Emirati employees by a minimum of 2% annually until 2026. Refer to the table below for clarify. A skilled employee is defined here;
      • Number of skilled workers Number of UAE nationals be hired each year
        0-49 exempted
        50 One UAE national
        51-100 Two UAE nationals
        101-150 Three UAE nationals
        151 and above One UAE nationals for every 50 skilled workers

      • The deadline for compliance with this new targeted increase is 1 January 2023. Non-compliant companies will be subject to fines of AED 6,000 per month. Other sanctions will additionally apply.
  • Fees

    • Healy Consultants Group will be pleased to provide your Firm with employment visa services in Dubai;
    • Our fees structure for a Dubai employment visa is US$4,950 for per applicant;
    • Our fee includes i) an Employee Protection Program (EPI) fee (US$23 to US$155 depending on salary range and type of visa); ii) a medical fitness test (US$235) iii) Emirates ID application (US$165) and iv) government application fee (US$1,500);
    • If required, Healy Consultants Group will also apply for dependents’ visas. Our fees are i) US$2,950 for a spouse and ii) US$1,950 per child.
  • Involuntary Loss of Employment scheme

    From 1 January 2023, all employees in the UAE are required to obtain a job loss insurance. This insurance provides financial assistance to employees who lose their jobs due to termination by their employers (except for gross negligence). The annual insurance cost varies between AED60 to AED120, depending on the employee’s basic salary and can be secured here. This insurance is included when our Client engages us to secure their UAE employment and residency visas.

Frequently asked questions

Contact us

For additional information on our employment visas services in Dubai, please contact our in-house country expert, Ms. Chrissi Zamora, directly:
client relationship officer - Chrissi