|Real Estate News|
Non UAE nationals who want to live and work in the UAE need a Residence Visa. First, a firm job offer must be secured, after which the employing company becomes your 'sponsor' and they apply for your residence visa (a sponsor is someone who legally vouches for you - usually, your employer).
The details below cover only private sector employees. Public sector employees (government workers) and people working in the Free Zones are subject to different employment rules, and the Labor Law is not applicable to them.
Before entering the UAE
In order to apply for your entry visa, your prospective employer will ask you to send them the following standard documents.
Education or degree certificate/s
If you are a degree holder, you must have your certificates attested by a public notary in your home country and then by the Foreign Affairs Office to verify the notary as bona fide. The UAE Embassy or Consulate in your home country must also attest the documents.
While entering the UAE
A copy of your entry visa will be sent to you by your employer. You will enter the UAE by exchanging this document with the original, which will be deposited by your employer at the airport of arrival.
After entering the UAE
Once you join the company, your employer will apply for the following necessary documents for you - Health Card, Residence Visa, Labor Card
Health card includes a medical test (children under 18 do not have to undergo this test) that consists of a blood test (for AIDS, Hepatitis, etc.) and chest X-ray (for TB, etc). This card entitles residents to free medical treatment at public hospitals.
There are two types of residence visa:
Sponsored by the employer for employment (Employer sponsorship)
Sponsored by a family member for residency (Family sponsorship)
The employer generally takes care of all the paperwork. Just supply the necessary documents, which are normally the same that you submitted for the entry visa.
The Labor Card is essential for anyone working in the Emirates and is issued by their employer.
Before a Labor card is issued, you would need to sign your Labor
Contract, which is a standard form issued by the Labor Authorities and completed with your details of employment.
The Labor Contract is printed in both Arabic and English. It is advisable to have a translation of the Contract made, since the Arabic part is taken as the legal document in the event of any legal dispute.
Labor cards and residence visas are renewable and valid for three years in the case of private companies and five years for government organizations. If you are a qualified professional with a degree, or have an established employment history, there should be few difficulties in obtaining the necessary documentation.
For those coming to the UAE to search for a job, you will be entering the UAE on a visit visa and once you have found a job, you can transfer to a residence visa by either re-entering the country or else directly transferring it.
If you are planning to bring your family members to live with you, then you will need to get a family residence visa. This visa will allow you to sponsor your spouse, children, and parents, if they are coming with you. In order to have a family residence visa, your salary must exceed AED 4,000 a month.
All expatriates must undertake a government-controlled medical examination prior to the issue of a work residence visa. The examination includes a general health check to look for serious infectious diseases and infirmities, but especially for HIV and AIDS. The examination is likely to be more stringent for workers from the Indian sub-continent and south-east Asia, who may have greater exposure to disease and less access to advanced medical resources in their home countries than westerners. The AIDS test is mandatory, including for spouses and, if you’re shown to be HIV positive, you will be expelled immediately. The test is also given when work visas are renewed, which is usually on a three-year cycle.
For more information on Visa, please refer to our article on Visa Requirements & Procedures