Expats wanting to work in Dubai require a residency visa, which allows them to obtain a work permit.

Most expats arrive in Dubai after already securing employment, and don’t have to deal directly with the complicated process as employers usually take responsibility for the visa application process, and thus the work permit, while also acting as the sponsor for the visa.

Employers also normally incur the costs of the application.


Getting a work permit for Dubai

In order to obtain a work permit for Dubai, expats need a residency visa, which allows them to live in the emirate. The employer usually handles the full application process, so the employee will need to supply all the necessary documents to their employer.

All forms and documents for the work permit should be written and processed in Arabic. The employment contract should also be written in Arabic and three copies are needed: one for the employee, one for the employer and one for the Department of Labour.

Before getting a residency permit, applicants have to pass a health check. Individuals who test positive for HIV/AIDS or pulmonary tuberculosis will not be granted a residency visa and will be deported.

Once the residence visa has been secured, expats will be supplied with a labour card, which is the official document allowing them to work in Dubai.

*Visa regulations and requirements for work permits are subject to change at short notice and expats should contact their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.

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