Work permit for a new job
Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) issues work permits. The employer needs to apply to MoHRE for the work permit. Check the ministry website for documents and conditions.
Under Article 1 of Ministerial Decree No. 766 of 2015, an employee whose employment was terminated because of expiry of his contract, whether limited or non-limited can get a new work permit when he wishes to join new employment.
An employee can also get a new work permit for all limited and non-limited contracts if:
- it is determined that the employer has failed to meet the legal and contractual obligations, including but not limited to failure to pay wages for more than 60 days
- MoHRE confirms that the employer has not provided work due to the firm being inactive for more than two months and if the worker reports to the ministry during this period
- the final ruling in a labour case (which MoHRE referred to the Labour Court on the basis of a complaint) is in favour of the employee and where the case pertains to early termination or outstanding wages which are less than two months of dues for end of service.
If the employee is in the UAE, he must maintain a status which allows him to transfer his residency to a different sponsor.
New permits for unskilled workers
A new permit can be granted when both the worker and the employer mutually consent to terminating the contract during the term provided that the worker has completed at least six months' employment.
The ministerial decree notes that a new permit can be issued to a worker whose employer terminated him unfairly, without the need to complete six months.
New permits for skilled workers
The requirement of six months' employment is waived if workers qualify for the skill set series 1, 2 or 3 as classified by the ministerial decree, which denotes holding a university degree, post-secondary diploma or high school diploma respectively. This is applicable if the employee fulfills his contractual commitments.
Related links from MoHRE:
Procuring a work visa
Procuring a work visa involves MoHRE and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) of the emirate where a person is employed.
The process starts with procuring a work permit for an expatriate from MoHRE. The work permit allows the holder to enter the UAE for employment and it is valid for two months from the date of issue.
After the employee enters the UAE on the basis of the work permit, the sponsoring company arranges to complete the formalities of medical testing, obtaining UAE Resident Identity (Emirates ID) Card, Labour Card and stamping the work residency permit on his passport within a scope of 60 days. The work residency permit on the employee's passport denotes that he is sponsored by the company he is employed by.
After this process, the employee can sponsor his family members and bring them into the country. Read about sponsoring family members.
The authority for issuing employment visas is GDRFA under Ministry of Interior. Its office is located in each emirate. Below are links to the local GDRFA offices.
Work visas - offshore
To expedite the process of work visas, MoHRE and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation have set up centres outside the UAE. At the centres, employees would be able to know their rights, duties and terms and conditions of employment and all privileges they are entitled to, in the language they understand. This mechanism ensures a transparent contractual relation between employers and employees and prevents any fraudulent attempt to replace job offers upon the arrival of the employee in the UAE.