How to Get a UAE Work Permit

How to Get a UAE Work Permit

To work lawfully in the UAE, all individuals must acquire a work permit (also known as a labor card). Nationals, residents, and expatriates are all included.

This post will explain all you need to know about the application procedure and what you should be aware of as an employee or employer in terms of work permits.

work permit

1. What Are the Several Kinds of Work Permits in the UAE?

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiritisation (MoHRE) provides 12 distinct sorts of work permits to various company owners according on the nature and type of employment.

The following are the several forms of work permits:

  1. Foreign worker permit: to hire an employee outside of the UAE
  2. Transfer work permit: to move a foreign employee from one employer to another
  3. Temporary work permit: to employ someone in the UAE to work on a project for a set amount of time
  4. One-mission work permit: to hire a foreign worker to finish a short-term task or assignment for a set amount of time.
  5. Juvenile work permit: to hire a minor between the ages of 15 and 18
  6. Student training work permit: to hire an existing student in the UAE who is 15 years old
  7. National apprentice permit: to train an Emirati
  8. Freelance work permit: for foreigners in the UAE who are self-employed.
  9. Work permit for a citizen sponsored by their relatives.
  10. Part-time work permit
  11. Permit to hire an Emirati or a GCC citizen
  12. Golden Visa work permit

2. How Do You Apply for a Work Permit in the UAE?

Work permits are issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiritisation (MoHRE). Additionally, the employer is responsible for obtaining a work visa and all associated charges.

If you are an employer who is new to the process, here is how to apply for a work visa in the UAE on behalf of an employee:

  • Use UAE Pass or your username and password to log in. (Only for smart and online platforms)
  • Send in an application using one of the methods for service fulfillment
  • The application will be sent to the Ministry for review along with supporting documentation
  • Any issues will be brought to your attention for resolution
  • The work permit will be granted once all criteria and paperwork have been satisfied
  • After the ministry approves the work permit, you must pay the associated fees.

If you are ready to relocate to the UAE for a new career, we have broken down the process of obtaining your work visa into four simple steps:

  1. After the employer and employee sign the formal offer letter, the employer can apply for the work pemit on behalf of the employee
  2. MoHRE then grants a Pre-Approval Work Permit and issues the Employment Entry Visa, which allows the employee to travel to the UAE. It is valid for 60 days, during which the employee must complete all other formalities.
  3. Within 14 days of the employee’s arrival to the UAE, the employer must submit the employment contract to MoHRE and apply for the employee’s Residence Visa and a health check. This allows the employee to receive their Emirates ID card.
  4. After the medical screening and receiving the Emirates ID Card, which includes details of the residence visa, the work permit can be formalized.

3. What Documents Are needed for a UAE Work Permit?

The following documents are necessary to obtain a new UAE work permit:

  1. A coloured picture with a white backdrop
  2. A photocopy of a passport valid for at least 6 months
  3. The ministry’s formal employment offer form, signed by both the employer and the employee.
  4. The academic documentation required is based on the profession’s skill level:
    • Skill levels 1 and 2: A bachelor’s degree or higher is needed
    • Skill levels 3 and 4: A high school diploma is needed
    • Skill levels 6 to 9: No certificate needed
    • Workers who earn less than AED 4000/month or who do not have a degree are not considered skilled.
  1. Professional license issued by the competent UAE authority. For example, doctors and nurses need a professional license from the Ministry of Health (DHA in Dubai and HAAD in Abu Dhabi).
  2. Nationals from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran must provide a readable and clear photocopy of both sides of their current national ID issued by their home nations.


4. How Can an Employer Verify the Status of a Work Permit Application in the UAE?

Visit the MoHRE Inquiry website, choose “Application Status,” and input the application number.

5. What Are the Requirements for Getting a Work Permit in the UAE?

To acquire the initial approval of the work visa in the UAE, the employer and employee must meet the following requirements:

  • The employee must be at least 18 years old (unless the work permit is for a juvenile, training, or student employment)
  • The employee’s occupation must correspond to the activity of the employer’s establishment.
  • The establishment’s trade license must be valid and free of infractions.
  • The employee must fulfill the standards for specialized professions or jobs that require a license to practice the profession.
  • The legally authorized signatory on behalf of the employer must submit the work permit application.


Moreover, the MoHRE may refuse to grant, renew, or cancel work permits if the employer:

  • False documentation is presented
  • Is dishonest or fails to carry out their authorized activities
  • Infringes on the “Wages Protection System” or any other mechanism governing the domestic labor market.

6. How Much Does a Work Permit in the UAE Cost?

A work permit in the UAE costs between AED 250 and AED 3,450, depending on the kind of work permit and the company’s classification.

Moreover, the MoHRE devised a three-tier categorization system to classify firms in the UAE. Tier 1 corporations are the most compliant with the new UAE labor standards, while Tier 3 companies are the least.

The following are the fees for issuing various types of work permits to residents:

Type of Work PermitCost in AED
Event Work Permit50
Part Time Work Permit50
Temporary Work Permit50
Training permit50
Worker test permit50
Work permit for residence holders50
A worker permit for holders of residency or self-employment for a period of two years250

7. How Can a UAE Employer Cancel a Work Permit?

The procedure of canceling a work permit comprises certain fundamental actions that the employer must do to guarantee the cancellation is completed, which are as follows:

  • Submit a work permit cancellation request.
  • Fill the required information and data.
  • Pay any fines linked with the work permit’s late issuance or non-renewal.
  • Send their acknowledgment that they have paid all of the employee’s dues.

Please keep in mind that the worker’s signature is required on the permit cancellation form when canceling a work permit.

cancelling a work permit


1. Can I Work in the UAE Without a Work Permit?

It is prohibited to operate in the UAE without a valid work permit issued by MoHRE, according to UAE Labour Law. It is a serious matter that should not be treated lightly, because working without a work permit risks deportation or being barred by the state.

Also, you cannot assert your employee rights unless you have the necessary documentation to show your employment.

2. Do I Need a Work Permit in the UAE if I have a Golden Visa?

Absolutely, even if you have a Golden Visa, you must obtain a work permission in order to work in the UAE. This is a requirement for all employees in the UAE.

3. How Can I Locate My UAE Work Permit Number?

Your labor card or work permit number can be found on your labor card.

4. How Long Does a UAE Work Permit Last?

In the UAE, a work visa is valid for up to two years and can be renewed.

5. How Long Does It Take to Get a Work Permit in the UAE?

When the employment contract has been signed and filed, along with the other needed papers, the usual processing period for a UAE work visa is 5 to 7 days.

This article is only offered for educational purposes, providing a general understanding of its material, including relevant laws and regulations, and is not meant to provide specific legal advice. The Blog is not meant to take the place of qualified guidance from a licensed professional.

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