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Entry Permit for Employment in the UAE

In this article, we will explain the eligibility criteria for an entry permit for employment in the UAE and how to apply. For expert assistance with your immigration matter, contact Reiss Edwards, immigration lawyers and solicitors in London, on 020 3744 2797 or by email at info@reissedwards.co.uk

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For international workers with high levels of skills and work experience, the UAE is undoubtedly a highly desirable destination. As one of the most advanced regions in the Middle East, the UAE has a robust economy, excellent job prospects, and high rates of pay. In order to gain the permission needed to work in the UAE, candidates first need to secure employment and then apply for an entry permit. We also discussed in another article about the new employment visas available in the UAE, which you can take a look at.
In this article, we will explain the eligibility criteria for an entry permit for employment in the UAE and how to apply.

Do I need a pre-arranged entry permit for employment in the UAE?

Not everyone needs an entry permit for the UAE. Nationals of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, which include the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, State of Kuwait, Kingdom of Bahrain, State of Qatar, and the Sultanate of Oman, do not need to apply for an entry permit for the UAE. Citizens of these countries simply need to produce their GCC country passport or national ID card at the point of entry into the UAE.

If you intend to work in the UAE and you are not from a GCC country, you will most likely need to apply for a visa.

Am I eligible for a pre-arranged employment entry permit for the UAE?

Applicants for a pre-arranged entry permit for the UAE must :

  • Have an offer of employment from a company in the UAE.
  • Be sponsored by their employer – this may be a government entity or a company in the private sector or free zones which is locally licensed and incorporated in the UAE.
  • Have a genuine passport, valid for at least six months.

How do I apply for a pre-arranged employment entry permit for the UAE?

There are three main stages to securing the permission you need to work in the UAE:

  1. Gaining an employment entry visa
  2. Gaining an Emirates ID card
  3. Gaining a UAE residence visa and formal work permit

The application process for a pre-arranged employment entry permit for the UAE is initiated by the UAE employer. The first part of the process involves the employer applying to the UAE Ministry of Labour (MOL) for visa quota approval on behalf of the foreign employee. If this is approved, the next stage is for the employer to prepare and submit an employment contract (which must be signed by the employee) to the Ministry of Labour.

If the MOL is satisfied that the requirements for a work permit have been met, they will issue an approval for an employment entry permit (this is sometimes referred to as a ‘pink visa’).

Once the entry permit for employment is approved and issued, the foreign employee then has two months to travel to the UAE to commence their work contract.

Applying for a residence permit and formal work permit in the UAE

Having arrived in the UAE, employment permit holders then have 60 days to secure a residence permit, allowing them to live for the time specified in the country.

To apply for your residence permit, you will need to submit the following documents:

  • Your valid passport and a photocopy
  • 2 x passport photos
  • Your Emirates ID card (see below for more details on the Emirates card)
  • Your entry permits
  • The results of your medical screening examination
  • A copy of the company’s company card and commercial license

Once you have secured your residence permit for the UAE, you can then apply for a formal work permit. To make an application for a work permit, you will need to submit your residence permit and employment contract from your employer in the UAE.

Do I need to apply for an Emirates ID?

The Emirate's ID is an identity card given by the UAE’s Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship and must be held at all times by all UAE nationals and residents (this is a legal requirement). An Emirates ID is a prerequisite when applying for your formal work permit after you arrive in the UAE on your entry permit. In addition, as medical screening is often required for those applying for a residence permit, an Emirates ID is necessary to access the medical examination centre. A full list of medical examination centres can be found online.

Emirates IDs are issued by Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA) centres. Applicants need to show:

  • Valid Passport Copy
  • Valid Residence Permit/Visa Copy
  • 2 Passport size photographs with white background.
  • Valid Emirates ID copy (only for the renewal of a residence visa)

As part of the process of applying for an Emirates ID, applicants are required to provide their biometrics, including fingerprints and a photograph.

Can I bring my family members with me to the UAE if I have an employment permit?

Depending on the length of your employment contract, you may wish to bring your immediate family members to join you in the UAE, including your spouse and children. Foreign employees with an employment permit are able to sponsor their eligible family members for a residency visa, but only after securing their own residency permit. For more details on bringing your dependant family members with you to the UAE, speak to an immigration lawyer specialising in UAE immigration law.

Reiss Edwards has the resources and expertise to assist with all aspects of UAE immigration. If you need assistance with your employment permit for the UAE or any other immigration matter, contact our UAE Immigration Solicitor on 020 3744 2797 or by email at info@reissedwards.co.uk

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"Andy Tieu is absolutely amazing, as a lawyer myself I can categorically say tha...

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Kiran Sardar

"I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this profes...

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Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was ou...

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Isaac .T

"Professional service. I was very impressed with the fact that my ILR applicatio...

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