UAE residency and work visas

Overseas professionals who want to live and work in the UAE 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 Group will help our Clients with getting a work and residency permit in the UAE.


  • Securing a two-year residency visa in the UAE is easy and straightforward when compared to other jurisdictions. Once obtained, it can be easily renewed
  • Individuals holding a UAE residency visa can sponsor their family members.
  • Five- and ten-year residency visas are also available
  • 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

Visas for professionals

  • Entrepreneurs relocating to the UAE to manage their UAE business can apply for a two-year residence visa
  • Entrepreneurs with a project worth a minimum of AED500,000 or those with special accredited business incubators in the UAE can be granted a five-year residency visa
  • Real estate investors can get a five-year renewable Golden Visa by owning property or properties with a total value of at least AED2 million
  • Investors in the UAE can secure a Golden Visa for up to 10 years without a sponsor by fulfilling one of the following criteria: depositing AED2 million in a UAE-accredited investment fund, holding a commercial or industrial licence with a declared capital of at least AED2 million, or proving annual government payments of AED250,000 through the FTA
  • Specialists with exceptional expertise working in certain industries such as medicine, science or research are also eligible for up to a ten-year residency visa

Employment visas

  • All foreign workers require a residence visa and a “labour card”. Expatriate employee visas are sponsored by their employer. The employee must i) undertake medical examination and record biometrics in the UAE ii) supply copies of the signed employment contract iii) provide UAE embassy attested academic qualifications and professional qualifications (for job titles or Managers or above) and iv) provide an employer sponsorship letter
  • Employment visas are issued by the Ministry of Labour and residence visa are issued by the Department of Immigration. The labour card is also an identity card and must always to be carried

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 three 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 application to the Government, applicants must ensure their passport has at least two blank pages and a validity of at least six months
  • Once engaged, Healy Consultants Group will provide you with a complete list of documents required. Depending on the job title, UAE embassy attested documents may be required
  • During the visa application process, applicants will:
    • Need to travel to Dubai and stay in the country for seven complete business days
    • Undergo a medical examination in Dubai
    • Record their biometrics with the Government Authority
    • Secure a local health insurance
  • The employee visa application process takes approximately four weeks, counting from the moment of visa submission. Dependent visa applications take three weeks
  • If a visa application is commenced while the applicant is in the UAE, the applicant must remain within the country during the entire visa application process. If the visa application is made when the applicant is abroad, our Client may only enter the UAE after receiving the entry permit
  • If the entry permit is secured while the applicant is abroad, the applicant must enter Dubai within two 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 we can do is ensure the preparation and submission of a high-quality immigration visa application that maximises the likelihood of approval
  • Once the visa is issued, the applicant must visit the UAE at least one day every 180 days to avoid visa cancellation
  • 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. This insurance is included when our Client engages us to secure their UAE employment and residency visas

Involuntary Loss of Employment scheme

As of 1 January 2023, all UAE employees must have job loss insurance. This may offer financial support to employees who are terminated by the employers, excluding cases of gross negligence. The annual cost of this insurance ranges from AED60 to AED120, based on the employee’s basic salary. We include this insurance automatically when our Client engages us for UAE employment and residency visas

Health insurance

Prior to securing a UAE visa, visa candidates will need to secure a local health insurance. Our fees cover securing a basic health insurance.

Contact us

For additional information on our company registration services in UAE, please contact our in-house country expert, Ms. Chrissi Zamora, directly:
client relationship officer - Chrissi