Dubai Work visa

Dubai hosts thousands of foreign workers per year and aims to continue attracting a wide range of talent and skill to its flourishing city. To this end, Dubai offers the Dubai working visa to any eligible foreign national, who holds an employment contract by a company registered with the UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE).

As of late, Dubai also offers the freelance (self-employed) work permit for those wishing to continue working an existing job remotely from Dubai.

In order to work in Dubai, foreign nationals are required to hold a Dubai work permit, which is applied for and sponsored by a hiring MoHRE registered company.

Depending on the type of work involved, these sponsored work permits in Dubai allow MoHRE registered companies to recruit, hire, and sponsor foreign nationals. On the other hand, self-sponsored Dubai business visas are offered to foreign nationals who demonstrate exceptional talent or skill, have a proven business track record, are looking to start-up a business in Dubai, are willing to work remotely while living in Dubai, or are financially capable of investing in Dubai. Both sponsored Dubai work visas and self-sponsored Dubai business visas, such as the Dubai remote work visa, benefit foreign nationals with Dubai residency and all the living and working infrastructure perks that Dubai has to offer.

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To apply for a work permits in Dubai on the foreign national’s behalf, the MoHRE registered company must meet the following criteria:

  • The MoHRE registered company must hold a valid trade license 
  • The MoHRE registered company’s authorized party must file the Dubai work permit application on behalf of the foreign national employee

Once a work permit has been issued, the foreign national can then convert their Dubai visa entry permit into a Dubai residence visa. A Dubai residence visa requires the foreign national to undergo a medical evaluation and background check required by the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs & Ports Security.


The types of UAE work permits are:

  1. A work permit to recruit a foreign worker from outside the UAE
  2. A work permit to transfer a foreign worker from one company to another
  3. A work permit for a family sponsored resident
  4. A temporary work permit for a foreign worker to fulfill a job in a specified period of time
  5. A one-mission work permit for a foreign worker to fulfill a temporary job
  6. A part-time work permit to recruit a foreign worker for a part-time contract
  7. A work permit to recruit a 15 to 18-year-old juvenile
  8. A student training and employment permit to employ a student already in Dubai
  9. A UAE/GCC permit to employ a UAE or GCC national
  10. A Dubai golden visa holder permit to employ a foreign worker who hold a Dubai golden residence visa
  11. A national trainee permit to train a UAE national
  12. A freelance permit to a foreign worker to work remotely from Dubai

Depending on the type of work involved, an MoHRE registered company will apply for one of the types of sponsored Dubai work permits on your behalf (#1-11), while the Dubai freelance permit (#12) is a self-sponsored work permit that foreign nationals can apply for on their own.

Dubai Work visa requirements

For the process of Dubai work visa online apply, foreign nationals, above 18 years old, should meet the following requirements:


The foreign employee’s sponsor must fill out an online Dubai visa application form that the local sponsor then submits on the applicant’s behalf. Dubai visa application forms can be found through local sponsors or on the GDRFA Dubai mobile application.

Passport copy

Applicant must hold a passport that is valid for at least 6 months from the date of visa application submission. Passports should be machine readable, as no hand written passports will be accepted at Dubai ports of entry. In addition, applicant should supply 1 color copy of their passport biometric page.

Personal photo

Applicant should take a recent color photograph, against a white background, which follows the standard dimensions and other passport photo guidelines, such as high-quality imaging, frontal angle, natural facial expressions, etc.


Applicant must have a confirmed return or onward airline booking or travel ticket that proves their departure from Dubai at the end of their stay.

Dubai visa

Foreign workers should hold a valid Dubai work permit or Dubai residency visa that permits them to legally live and work in Dubai. It is important to note that foreign nationals cannot work in Dubai on a Dubai tourist visa.

Health evaluation

Foreign workers should be medically screened at an approved Dubai health center. Failure to pass the medical exam may lead to immediate deportation.

Depending on the type of employment involved, additional tests, screening, or documents may be required, such as professional certifications or exams. Please note that foreign workers, who hold a degree from outside the UAE, must get their degree certified at a UAE embassy or representation office abroad, as well as from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your home country.

Dubai Work visa application

Applying for a Dubai working visa is an easy online process, in which applicants can follow these 3 simple steps:

Initiate application

Depending on the type of work, The MoHRE registered company should apply for the foreign employee’s work permit

Pass tests

Foreign worker should pass medical screening and security and background checks of the UAE Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship & Ports Authority

Apply for ID

The foreign worker should apply for an Emirates ID card from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship

Processing time

All Dubai e-visas take between 4 to 5 business days to be fully processed and issued. It is always recommended that you apply for your Dubai working visa as early as possible, in case of delays or unforeseen circumstances.

Visa extension

Companies can renew the Dubai work permits of their foreign workers through the online platform of MoHRE.


Once the Dubai visa entry permit has been issued, it will be valid for 60 days, during which the foreign worker can enter Dubai. The length of stay permitted depends on the type of Dubai work permit being applied for and on the sponsor applying on the foreign employee’s behalf. The Dubai golden visa program offers long-term stays in Dubai, in order to afford exceptional foreign nationals with the time and resources necessary to fulfill their business needs in Dubai and obtain Dubai residency.

Dubai visa FAQ

Yes, Dubai is currently issuing work visas and Dubai business visas to any foreign national who meets the requirements for the particular Dubai visa type.

Foreign nationals who hold a valid work visa or business visa in Dubai are afforded with a Dubai residency permit, which allows you to reside in Dubai long-term.
Depending on the Dubai visa type and classification, Dubai employment visa can range between AED 250 to AED 3,450. If you’re looking for specific Dubai work visa price details, these variations should be considered.
A work visa in Dubai is applied for by a company registered with the UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE), on the foreign employee’s behalf. Dubai business visas can be applied for any eligible foreign national, who meets the requirements for one of the self-sponsored Dubai golden visas, without the need of going through a local Dubai sponsor. Additionally, if you’re interested in exploring new job opportunities in Dubai, you may also consider applying for the job seeker visa Dubai authorities issue for foreigners, all without requiring a host or sponsor.
To obtain a family visa in Dubai, the sponsor should have a minimum salary of AED 4,000 or AED 3,000, in addition to accommodation in Dubai.