UAE: 4 types of residency visas that allow expats to work

UAE: 4 types of residency visas that allow expats to work

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

The UAE is home to over 9.06 million expats from 200 countries worldwide and offers exceptional living standards. The expat community is experiencing rapid growth in the Emirates which is attributed to residence visa changes and civil law reforms.

A residence visa is issued to people 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 the type of permit.

The UAE offers four types of residency to expats seeking employment opportunities in the country. Below are different types of permits.

Green Visa for work

The Green Visa is a type of residence visa that allows 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 skilled professionals, investors, entrepreneurs, and students to the country.

Who can apply for a Green Visa?

Freelancers, self-employed, and skilled employees can apply for a Green visa.

1. Freelancers and/or self-employed people

Freelancers and/or self-employed people who wish to apply for a Green visa need to submit:

  • a freelance/self-employment permit from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation
  • proof of a bachelor’s degree or a specialized diploma
  • evidence of annual income from self-employment for the previous two years amounting to not less than Dh360,000, or proof of financial solvency throughout their stay in the UAE.

2. Skilled employees

To apply for a Green visa, skilled employees must:

  • have a valid employment contract
  • be classified in the first, second or third occupational level as per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation
  • hold a minimum of bachelor’s degree or equivalent
  • have a salary of not less than Dh15,000 per month.

Renewing the visa

The visa is renewable for the same term upon its expiry.

Standard work visa

An expat can get a normal employment visa, usually for two years, if he/she is:

  • Employed in the private sector

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

  • Employed in the government sector or a free zone

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

The employer must apply for the standard residence visa.

Golden Visa

The UAE’s Golden Visa is a long-term residence visa that enables foreign talents to live, work or study in the UAE while enjoying exclusive benefits which include:

  • an entry visa for six months with multiple entries to proceed with residence issuance
  • a long-term, renewable residence visa valid for 5 or 10 years
  • the privilege of not needing a sponsor
  • the ability to stay outside the UAE for more than the usual period of six months in order to keep their residence visa valid
  • the ability to sponsor their family members, including spouses and children regardless of their ages
  • the ability to sponsor an unlimited number of domestic helpers
  • the permit for family members to stay in the UAE until the end of their permit duration, if the primary holder of the Golden visa passes away.

Golden Visa requirements

The requirements to obtain a work permit through the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiritisation (MoHRE) for a UAE golden residency visa holder are:

  1. a clear-coloured photo with a white background
  2. a copy of a valid passport that must be valid for at least six months with a copy of a valid residency (Golden) Visa
  3. approved employment contract issued by the Ministry, which includes both the employer's and employee's signature
  4. academic Certificates: A clear certificate bearing the name of the employee, attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for the following skill levels:

Skill levels (1 & 2): Bachelor Degree or higher attested by the competent authorities;

Skill level (3 & 4): Diploma graduate or higher - attested by the competent authorities

Skill level (5): High school certificate - attested by the competent 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), Fitness Trainer (Youth and Sports Authority)/Advocate (Ministry of Justice).

Domestic worker visa

UAE has specific visa regulations for domestic workers. These regulations aim to protect the rights and welfare of domestic workers, who often come from other countries to work in the UAE.

Domestic workers in the UAE are typically sponsored by their employers. This means that their visa is tied to their employment with a specific household.

Here are some key points regarding domestic worker visas in the UAE:

  • The expat looking to be a sponsor has to earn a salary that’s at least Dh25,000
  • The domestic worker cannot be related to the person sponsoring them
  • The sponsor has to be a UAE resident already who lives with their family
  • If the domestic worker is a private driver, then the sponsor must have two personal cars registered under their name in the UAE.

News Source: Khaleej Times

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