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Work Hard, Play Harder: UAE’s Work Permit

Dust off your dreams and pack your ambition! – the UAE’s fresh work permit regulations are your ticket to the world of work. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has ushered in significant changes to its work permit regulations with the introduction of the UAE New Domestic Workers Law. These amendments have far-reaching implications for individuals seeking employment in the UAE. In this blog, we’ll delve into the essentials & a guide to work permits.

man holding tickets and passport

Understanding the Extended Validity Period

One of the most notable changes in the UAE’s work permit policies is the extension of the validity period. Previously, work permits were issued for a duration of two years, requiring renewal soon after expiration. However, with the recent adjustments, the validity period has been increased to a more advantageous three years.

The extended validity not only offers greater job security but also translates into cost savings as renewal fees are no longer an immediate concern.

The Importance of Work Permits

It is essential to underscore that working in the UAE without a valid work permit is illegal. The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) is responsible for issuing work permits, and these permits are granted only after approval from the Federal National Council (FNC). Therefore, it is imperative to have all necessary documents and permissions in place before starting any employment.

Step-by-Step Procedure for Obtaining a UAE Work Permit

1. Eligibility and Company Registration:

   – To begin the process of obtaining a work permit in the UAE, the first requirement is that the company you plan to work for must have a valid trade license.

   – Ensure that the application for a work permit is filed by the authorized signatory of the establishment.

2. Probationary Period:

   – After joining a company in the UAE, you will typically undergo a probationary period.

   – The recent changes in UAE work permit laws also introduce a recommendation that employees who complete the probationary term should have the opportunity to work with the same company for an additional 12 months.

3. Work Permit Types:

   – Familiarize yourself with the different types of work permits issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE), depending on the nature of your job.

   – Ensure you apply for the appropriate work permit that aligns with your specific employment situation.

4. Application and Approval:

   – Submit your work permit application, which will be processed by MoHRE.

   – MoHRE may refrain from issuing or renewing work permits for various reasons, including providing incorrect documents or non-compliance with labor market regulations.

5. Validity and Renewal:

   – With the recent changes, work permits now have an extended validity period of three years, reducing the frequency of renewal.

   – Keep in mind that renewing your work permit is essential before it expires, as working without a valid permit is illegal.

Person using a wax seal

Types of Work Permits

MoHRE issues various types of work permits, catering to different employment scenarios. These include:

1. Work permits for recruiting workers from outside the UAE.

2. Work permits for transferring foreign workers from one establishment to another.

3. Work permits for residents under family sponsorship.

4. Temporary work permits for specific job durations.

5. One-mission work permits for temporary projects.

6. Part-time work permits.

7. Juvenile permits for workers aged 15 to 18.

8. Student training and employment permits.

9. UAE/GCC national permits.

10. Golden visa holder permits.

11. National trainee permits.

12. Freelance permits for self-sponsored foreigners.

Each type of permit serves specific needs, and consulting Dubai lawyers can help determine the most suitable one for your situation.

The Cost of Work Permits

The cost of work permits varies depending on the classification of the company (A, B, or C) and ranges from AED 250 to AED 3,450. These classifications reflect a company’s compliance with UAE labor laws and regulations. Companies with a history of violations and non-compliance typically fall into category C.

The recent changes in UAE work permit laws, including extended validity and fee waivers for job changes, are undoubtedly positive steps for foreign workers.