Recent reports claim that it takes only five working days to get your visa in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This is definitely not true! It is very common to be told this by people who have invested their time into traveling to the UAE and seeking employment there, only for it to take much longer than what they expected.
In fact, it can sometimes even cost them money as employers will require proof of job offers or contracts before giving you your work visa. This article will talk about some things you need to know about Emirate visas so that you are prepared and never are left waiting or having to pay extra fees because of false information.
What Is An Emirat Work VISA?
A work visa in the UAE is typically referred to as an “Emirat Work Permit” or simply a “permit.” A permit does not necessarily mean you are hired immediately but rather that you are allowed to look for employment while you wait for yours. Some may also refer to these permits as a “work visa” which could cause confusion.
Typically, the length of time needed for a permit depends on two main factors: whether you have a sponsor and whether your employer is known to do business with other countries. If both are yes, then your permit can often be issued within one week. However, most applicants spend well over a month looking for employment and receiving their visa.
To be able to work in the UAE as an employee, you will need to have your visa pre-approved before you travel here. This means that you must have proof of employment within the country you’re traveling to, as well as transport while working.
If this is not possible, then you cannot enter the UAE. You can always stay in a hotel or use public transportation until you find suitable accommodation and/or job opportunities.
There is no stipulation as to how long it takes to get approved for work visas, but most employers take 30 days. Some companies even require one year of employment! So if you want to apply during this time frame, make sure you do so ASAP.
Another thing to note is that many people mistakenly believe that there is a two month grace period after leaving the UAE where they can live and work freely without having a visa. This isn’t true – you have to reenter with a valid visa or face deportation.
Finding out how many days are needed to work as a foreigner in the UAE is another factor that can affect your life here. It’s important to know what visa types require a length of time before you can begin working, so that you don’t waste any money by paying expensive fees or waiting too long.
There are two main categories of employment visas in the UAE – limited entry (permit) visas and non-limited entry (work permit) visas. The difference between these two is just how many times you are allowed to enter the country, but also if you have to wait to be able to do so.
A limited entry visa requires only that you live within Dubai city limits and that you start looking for work one month after you arrive. You can look for work at any time during this period, but you cannot perform paid jobs until four months into the stay. After this fourth month, you must either leave the country or apply for residency — which we discuss below!
A non-limited entry visa doesn’t have this restriction. You can search for work immediately and you don’t even need to reside in Dubai to apply. But you cannot accept payment for services or products for the first year that you are resident here unless you are an “essential worker.” This term applies to professionals like doctors and nurses, for example.
Essential workers may be granted permission to work while under the initial one year visa.
Being able to work while on a visa is not easy, especially if you are living outside of your home country. Most employers check employees’ visas so making an effort to be idle can be tricky.
If you find yourself with little to do and a valid working visa, you can always look into online job opportunities or start your own business. Both options will take some time to get going, but once you do, you can begin looking for employment.
Remember that even though it may be illegal to employ someone who does not have the right visa, most companies won’t go through with it because it is too costly and they want to keep doing business.
If you do not have proper documentation, your chance of being allowed to stay in the UAE is very slim. You will most likely be deported or requiered to return home without entering any sort of formal business negotiations with the United Arab Emirates.
This can seriously hurt your career and personal life.
Your employers and colleagues may feel uncomfortable working with you until this is sorted out. It’s best to be completely honest when asked about your visa status as this could negatively affect your job search.
In some cases, it is possible to apply for an entry/exit visa, which is usually less than six months. This would require you to spend only one week in Dubai though so please make sure this is okay for you and your family before applying.
If you have no way of proving employment outside of your home country, then there is another option. This alternative is called the work/study permit. A work/study permit does not require you to live in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as an expatriate or resident, nor do they offer citizenship benefits like other visas.
A work/study permit can be up to one year in length and must be used for educational purposes. To qualify, you will need to show that you will be attending school somewhere within the UAE or Saudi Arabia. You also must make sure your department accepts education from non-government sources such as private universities or online courses.
Because these permits do not legally prove income, only use them if you have backup documents confirming employment.
If you are traveling at a time when there is no job opportunity, then your visa will not be approved. You can still enjoy your vacation while waiting for better opportunities, but make sure you have enough money to survive away from home!
In fact, most employers require at least six months of employment before they issue visas to their next employee. This includes a labor permit, work visa, or residency permit.
So, even if you find a job quickly, you cannot start working until well after your current visa expires. You also cannot apply for a new visa until you are employed again either.
If you do not plan on returning to your country of residence permanently, staying longer than three months may put additional restrictions onto your stay.
Finding employment opportunities outside of your home country can be difficult as most countries have restrictions on how many days they will grant you work visa sponsorship. Most nations require at least one week of job training before granting you a work visa, if not more depending on what position you are being hired into.
Some employers may try to pull some tricks by offering only a part time position but with no way to make money extra spending money, so don’t fall for it! A lot of people have been fooled due to this trick.
Usually, the employer will send their employee back home after the initial training period has ended. They then look for another employee that fits their qualifications better and brings in more income which is why it is important to do research and check out potential employers.
By doing these things early, you will know whether or not this company is worth investing your energy into.
Finding employment in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is not easy, but it’s possible to make an existence out of freelancing or running your own business. There are several ways to gain entry level work here, including through referrals, social media, advertising, community services, and more.
The most common way to find new clients is via LinkedIn. By connecting with appropriate people, you can create a profile that is relevant to the type of work you want to do and add “employment” as one of your skills. Then you can start creating messages and sending offers to potential employers.
Another option is posting about your availability online in various places such as freelance websites, job boards, and chat groups. The more accessible you are to this information, the easier it will be to find work!
By being aware of local hiring laws, you will know what documents must be presented when interviewing for positions. Make sure to check if there are any visa requirements before accepting a position.
Networking plays an integral role in securing a job or building business connections in the UAE. Having a strong network can increase your chances of getting referrals, learning about unadvertised job opportunities, or finding potential clients for your own business.
Dubai Chamber of Commerce: This is one of the best places to start networking. They often organize events, workshops, and seminars where business leaders from various sectors gather. Attendees not only get to learn from the sessions but also get the chance to mingle with other participants.
Business Groups and Associations: There are numerous business groups and associations in the UAE for various sectors. Joining such groups, attending their meetings, or participating in their events can provide networking opportunities.
Expos and Trade Shows: The UAE, especially Dubai, frequently hosts international expos and trade shows. These events attract a global audience, and attending them can provide opportunities to network with professionals from around the world.
Social Media: Apart from LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram are popular in the UAE. Many professionals and businesses actively use these platforms. Engaging in relevant discussions, following industry leaders, and joining UAE-based professional groups can be beneficial.
Alumni Associations: Many international universities have their alumni associations in the UAE. These associations often organize get-togethers and events that can be a good place to meet and connect with fellow alumni working in the region.
In conclusion, while the visa process and requirements in the UAE might seem complicated and, at times, discouraging, with the right approach, patience, and networking, it's possible to navigate the system efficiently. Remember to always stay informed and updated about any changes in visa regulations, and when in doubt, consult with professionals or those who have been through the process before.