How to get a UAE work visa

If you are reading this, then chances are that you need to get yourself or your workers into the UAE.  If work is the purpose then yes, you need to get them a visa.  If you don’t know how to do this it can be a daunting task and you may not know where to start.  For a detailed look at the process you can view our full UAE Work Permit and Employment Visa Guide but for a brief overview please continue reading. 

The UAE visa process has quite a few steps, if you are planning to do it yourself then these are the actions you need to take:

  1. Get visa quota approval from the Ministry of Labour (MOL):

The number of expats you can hire will depend on the size and nature of your business.  You must get visa quota approval from MOL before you start the process. 

  1. UAE Visa Document Submission

You will need to collect the below documents from your workers.  These are what you will need to submit to the ministry of labour to get their visa approval

  • A copy of their passport
  • Passport photos
  • Their education certificates
  • Their MOL onboarding forms
  • A signed copy of their employment contract
  1. MOL Approval and Entry Visa

The Ministry of labour will review all the above documents and will also check that the sponsoring company are a registered entity. Once you have this approval from MOL an entry visa will be granted.

  1. Mobilise your workers to the UAE

The Entry Visa allows your workers to mobilise to and enter the UAE.  The e-visa is valid for 2 months from its issue, but it only allows them to stay in the UAE for 30 days once they enter (it can be extended). 

  1. Converting entry visa to residence visa

Once they are in the UAE you will need to work with them to complete a number of other formalities to finalise their residence permit, including:

  • Medical check-up
  • Document submission for emirates ID card
  • Submission of labour contract to MOL
  • Issue medical insurance card
  • Stamp residence permit
  • Collect emirates ID card

So that’s what you need to do, but can you do it all yourself?  A lot will depend on whether you have a registered entity in the UAE already. If not, then you have the option to partner with a local workforce management company who can support you throughout the visa process. 

By partnering with a local company, you get access to UAE visa experts who have completed the process multiple times and are able to deal with any challenges throughout the process. You can submit the documents mentioned in point 2 and then wait for the partner to present your workers with e-visas. Once they arrive, your workforce management company would then assist with all of the other formalities meaning less running around for you, because let’s face it, nobody wants to be running around in that heat!

For more information on the UAE visa process, have a look at our full UAE Work Permit and Employment Visa Guide .

For a rough timeline on how long each step takes have a look at the following article How  Long does it take to get a UAE Work Visa?

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