Work Visa in the UAE | Requirements, Legal Age, Retirement & More

  • Publish date: Wednesday، 06 September 2023
Work Visa in the UAE | Requirements, Legal Age, Retirement & More

The United Arab Emirates has become a hub for talents, innovators, and investors over the past few years. The government makes sure to support residents and citizens with updated laws and regulations to ease their stay in the country. 

The government issues several types of UAE visas based on the purpose of the visit and type stay. They range from business visa, to tourist visa, transit visa, student visa, retirement visa, eVisa for GCC residents as well as Green Visa, and Golden Visa and others. In this article we will show you all what you need to know about the work visa in the Gulf country. 

What are the types of work visas in the UAE?

In September 2022, the UAE government implemented new immigration regulations residence permits for work that include:

  • Residence permits for contractual employment: an employer-sponsored resident permit that requires Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MoHRE) approval and an employment contract.
  • Green Visa: a five-year self-sponsored residence permit for investors, highly-skilled works, and freelancers, eliminating the need of a UAE national or employer to sponsor their visa.

Work Visa in the UAE | Requirements, Legal Age, Retirement & More

What are the requirements needed to obtain UAE work visas?

To obtain a residence visa in the UAE, employees will need the following documents:

  • A valid passport and a photocopy
  • Passport photos
  • An Emirates ID card
  • An entry permit from the Ministry of Labor
  • The results of a medical screening
  • A copy of a company card from the employer
  • A copy of the company's commercial license
  • A work permit application form (must be completed in Arabic)
  • An employment contract or job offer from a company in the UAE

How to get an entry permit to the UAE?

An entry permit is a document that allows the foreigners to enter and stay in the UAE legally for a certain period of time. The document may be in a physical or an electronic form.

The party sponsoring the person who wants to enter the UAE will handle the entry permit transaction through the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs' (GDRFA) online and offline channels. The sponsor could be a company from the private sector, a public entity, a relative, a UAE-based airline or a hotel and so on.

There are various types of entry permits. One of them is:
the employment entry permit 

Work Visa in the UAE | Requirements, Legal Age, Retirement & More

What is the UAE employment entry permit? 

The employment entry permit in the UAE is also referred to as a pink visa. To obtain this permit, the employer must apply for visa quota approval on behalf of the employee. This approval will be obtained through the Ministry of Labour.

Then the employer will submit an employment contract -- which must be signed by the prospective employee -- to the ministry, and the ministry must approve the work permit application before issuing an employment entry visa. 

How long is the employment entry permit valid?

Upon entering the UAE with a pink visa, the employee has a period of 60 days to obtain a residence visa and formal work permit. 

As of February 2023, foreign nationals unable to travel to UAE within the first 60 days are allowed to apply for an extension of an additional 60 days. 

Work Visa in the UAE | Requirements, Legal Age, Retirement & More

What is the legal minimum age to work in the UAE? 

Children below the age of 15 are prohibited from being employed in the UAE. 

Those between the ages of 15 and 18 years can go for positions like internships and other jobs. This is subject to the regulations on hours and work conditions and after getting juvenile work permits.

Juvenile work permit

Students who are between the ages of 15 and 18 years may get a temporary work permit, known as the Juvenile Work Permit, valid for a year. MoHRE issues these Juvenile Work Permits, provided that applications meet the requirements set by the ministry.

Work Visa in the UAE | Requirements, Legal Age, Retirement & More

What is the retirement age in the UAE?

Expat residents in the UAE can retire when they are 60. However, they are allowed to continue working until they turn 65. This is provided their employers apply for their work permits successfully via MoHRE.

Labour cards for employees above 60 also need to be renewed annually.

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