Passport and visas
Before coming to the UAE, make sure that your passport is authentic and valid for at least six months.
Foreigners planning to work in the UAE must know that they cannot work on visit visas or tourist visas. They need legitimate work/residency visa/permit to be able to live and work legally in the UAE. The employer needs to procure the work and residency permits. Working without first obtaining the proper visa status is illegal and could lead to imprisonment, fines and/or deportation. The penalties apply to both: the employer and the employee.
Certificate of Good Conduct
In line with the Ministerial Resolution 8/1 of the year 2017, foreigners including domestic workers planning to work in the UAE need to present a ‘Certificate of Good Conduct’ from their home countries, or the country of their residence for the past five years to prove that they do not have a criminal record.
If one lived and worked in multiple countries in the past five years, a certificate of good conduct must be produced from each country. This certificate must be duly authenticated in UAE Embassies and Consulates abroad and/or Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in the UAE.
Sponsors are required to submit the certificate when applying for employment permit/visa for their prospective employees to Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation and the General Directorate for Residency and Foreigners Affairs.
The certificate serves as a security check on foreign workers coming to the UAE for the first time. It is not required from residents born and raised in the UAE. It is also not required for employees’ dependents, tourists, students and people who come to the UAE on medical or mission visas.
Foreigners planning to work in the UAE will need to undergo medical tests at government approved health centres in the UAE. Candidates will be tested for communicable diseases such as HIV and TB. Those found to be HIV positive or have tuberculosis will be deported immediately by the UAE authorities. Hence, if you suspect that you suffer from a communicable disease it is advisable to get tested in your home country first.
A new Cabinet Resolution was passed in 2016. As per this resolution, all resident expatriates while renewing their residence visas have to undergo TB screening. Those found with scars or active TB or found having drug-resistant TB will be issued a conditional fitness certificate and be issued residence visa for one year. They will then have to undergo treatment in the UAE.
If you are holder of a degree from a foreign country, you must get it certified from the UAE Embassy or Consulate in your country and also from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your home country. In addition, some jobs require these certificates to be equalised by the UAE's Ministry of Education- Higher Education Affairs.
Medical professionals such as physicians, lab technicians and others are required to take an exam from Ministry of Health and Prevention in order to practice the profession in the UAE.
Some professions, such as that of a lawyer licensed to appear before the judge and carry out the defence can be practised only by UAE nationals.
Your rights and duties
Read the UAE Labour Law and be aware of the rights and duties as an employee in the UAE. One of the important rights is that the employee is entitled to possession of his passport.
Updated on 14 Feb 2018