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4 types of residence visas that allow expatriates to work


The expat community is growing rapidly in the Emirates and is attributed to changes in residence visas and civil law reforms.

The United Arab Emirates is home to over 9.06 million expats from 200 countries around the world and offers exceptional standards of living. The expatriate community is experiencing rapid growth in the Emirates, which is attributed to changes in residency visas and civil law reforms.

A residence visa is issued to people who are already in the country after entering the UAE on an entry or tourist visa. It allows them to live and work in the country and can last from two to ten years, depending on the sponsor and type of permit.

The United Arab Emirates offers four types of residency to expats seeking employment opportunities in the country. Below are different types of permissions.

Green Visa to work

The Green Visa is a type of residence visa that allows its holders to self-sponsor for five years, eliminating the need for a UAE national or employer to sponsor their visas. It is designed to attract highly qualified professionals, investors, entrepreneurs and students to the country.

Who can apply for a Green Visa?

Self-employed workers, freelancers and skilled employees can apply for a green visa.

1. Self-employed and/or self-employed

Self-employed and/or self-employed persons who wish to apply for a Green visa must present:

  • a self-employed/self-employed work permit from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization
  • proof of a bachelor’s degree or specialized diploma
  • proof of annual income from self-employment during the previous two years in an amount of not less than Dh360,000, or proof of financial solvency during your stay in the UAE.

2. Qualified employees

To apply for a green visa, qualified employees must:

  • have a valid employment contract
  • Be classified in the first, second or third occupational level according to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization.
  • have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree or equivalent
  • have a salary of not less than 15,000 dirhams per month.

Renew the visa

The visa is renewable for the same period upon expiration.

Standard work visa

An expatriate can obtain a normal work visa, usually for two years, if:

  • Employed in the private sector.

Apply for a residence visa for a person working in the private sector – GDRFAD Dubai

  • Employed in the government sector or a free zone.

Apply for a residence visa for an individual in (free zone) – GDRFAD Dubai

The employer must apply for the standard residence visa.

Golden Visa

The UAE Golden Visa is a long-term residence visa that allows foreign talents to live, work or study in the UAE while enjoying exclusive benefits including:

  • a six-month entry visa with multiple entries to proceed with the issuance of residency
  • a long-term residence visa, renewable and valid for 5 or 10 years
  • the privilege of not needing a sponsor
  • the ability to stay outside the UAE for longer than the usual six-month period to keep your residence visa valid
  • the ability to sponsor your family members, including spouses and children, regardless of their ages
  • the ability to sponsor an unlimited number of household employees
  • permission for family members to remain in the UAE until the end of the duration of their permission, if the main Golden visa holder dies.

Golden Visa Requirements

The requirements to obtain a work permit through the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiritization (MoHRE) for a UAE Golden Residence Visa holder are:

  1. a light colored photo with a white background
  2. a copy of a valid passport which must be valid for at least six months with a copy of a valid residence visa (golden)
  3. Approved employment contract issued by the Ministry, which includes the signature of both the employer and the employee.
  4. Academic certificates: A clear certificate bearing the employee’s name, endorsed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for the following skill levels:

Skill levels (1 and 2): Bachelor’s degree or higher endorsed by the competent authorities;

Skill level (3 and 4): Graduated with diploma or higher – attested by the competent authorities

Skill level (5): Secondary school certificate – attested by the relevant authorities

5. Professional license issued by the competent authority, for example, doctor, nurse, etc. (professional license issued by the Ministry of Health – Department of Health)/Teacher, teacher assistant (Ministry of Education – Knowledge Authority (Dubai) – Abu Dhabi Education Council – Sharjah Education Council), physical trainer (Authority of Youth and Sports)/Ombudsman (Ministry of Justice).

Domestic worker visa

The United Arab Emirates has specific visa regulations for domestic workers. These regulations aim to protect the rights and well-being of domestic workers, who often come from other countries to work in the UAE.

Domestic workers in the UAE are often sponsored by their employers. This means that your visa is linked to your employment in a specific household.

Here are some key points regarding domestic worker visas in the United Arab Emirates:

  • An expatriate who wants to be a sponsor must earn a salary of at least Dh25,000.
  • The domestic worker cannot be related to the person who sponsors him or her.
  • The sponsor must be a resident of the UAE and live with his or her family.
  • If the domestic worker is a private driver, then the sponsor must have two personal cars registered in his or her name in the UAE.

News Source: Khaleej Times


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