UAE Laws and Islamic Finance

Laws of the UAE and Islamic Finance

Employment Immigration Guide to the UAE

Dubai Department of Naturalization and Residency (DNRD)

 +971 (0)4 398 0000

Trade Center Road

Dubai, UAE on Entry permits, residence visas, visit visas.

www.eform.aeOnline applications for permits.

www.emo.aeMinistry of Labor e-services website (Arabic and English).  Enter application number to get information about work permit, company, labor card, etc.


Non- GCC nationals may reside in the UAE with an employment/residency visa secured by the sponsoring employee or a labor card obtained through a sponsored qualified family member.  Non- UAE nationals may only be employed in the UAE after obtaining the labor card.  Furthermore, purchasing certain types of property may entitle the owners of the property to apply for certain types of residency permits/visas.   Investment totaling 70K+ in the share capital of an LLC would entitle the investor to apply for a UAE residency visa as well.

Each Emirate in the UAE has their own Department of Naturalization and Residency to take care of immigration, visa, and entry permit related issues.   Most residents of the UAE are resident expatriates with a UAE residency visa, which allows them to live in the UAE for a renewable period of time usually between one and three years.  Immigration Rules are federal and are not applied consistently in each Emirate.

UAE Visa Table from (

Type Length Cost Renew Effective Notes
Conference Visit Visa 30 days Dh100 no 01 Aug 2008
Employment Visa 30 days employer arranges, not a work permit, entry only
Exhibition Visa see Conference Visa
Family visit visa 30/90 days Dh620* no* 01 Aug 2008 *possibly yes, Dh1120 for 90 days, min salary
Friend Visit Visa 30 days 01 Aug 2008 min 10k salary, Dh1000 deposit, not confirmed
Investor Visa 3 yrs Dh300 invest Dh70k in partnership with UAE National
Maid visa UAE 1 yr Dh5100 yes
Medical Visit Visa 90 days Dh1000 yes, 1x 01 Aug 2008 renewal Dh500
Mission Visa 90 days Dh200 no (yes?) 01 Aug 2008 cost 600 dhs? renewable for 500 dhs?
Mission Visa business 14 days* Dh320 no *possibly 14 days, intended for professionals on short business trip
Multi-entry Visa 180 days Dh2000 yes, ?x 01 Aug 2008 14 day max stay each visit
Parent residence visa 1 yr Dh100 yes 01 Aug 2008 deposit Dh5000, need special FNRD permission
Relative Visa see Family Visa
Residents Permit see Residence Visa
Residence Visa 3 yrs yes employer should arrange
Residence Visa property 6 mths Dh2000 yes 01 Jun 2009 Validity period might be 180 days, conditions apply.
Residence Visa – family 1-3 yrs yes Dh5000 deposit needed for parents
Student Visa (residence) ask college or university when applying for entry
Student Visit Visa 60 days Dh1000 yes, 2x 01 Aug 2008 UAE university registration, renewal Dh500
Tourist Visa 30 days Dh110 yes? 1x 01 Aug 2008 only from hotels and tour operators
Transit Visa 96 hours Dh100 no 01 Aug 2008 need outbound ticket, some reports say 14 days
Visit Visa 30 days 30 days Dh500 no 01 Aug 2008
Visit Visa 30/60 days 30 days free* yes, ?x *free visit visa countries , 30 days only from Jan 2009
Visit Visa 90 days 90 days Dh1000 no 01 Aug 2008
Visit Visa GCC* 30 days Dh100 yes, 1x 01 Aug 2008 renewal Dh500, *GCC nationals / citizens
Visit Visa GCC* 30 days Dh100 yes, 1x 01 Aug 2008 renewal Dh200, *visitors with GCC nationals
Visit visa renewal 30 days free* unknown *only for visit visa on arrival nationalities
Work Permit not a visa, employer arranges after arrival in UAE
Work Visa see Work Permit or Employment Visa


Employment Permits/Visas:

An Employment Visa or Permit can be issued by the Immigration Department after gaining the approval of the Ministry of Labor.  The employee must pass a medical test and obtain a medical certificate prior to gaining approval from the Ministry of Labor.  An Employment Permit/Visa allows the holder to enter the UAE once for a period of 30 days up to a period of 2 months.  During the validity period of the visa, the sponsoring company must arrange for the health card and medical fitness examination of the employee from a government health center and to complete the worker’s residence visa stamping in the worker’s passport.  The application for the Labor Card must be submitted to the Ministry of Labor within 30 days of the employee’s entry into the country.  The application to the Immigration Department for stamping of the residency visa in the employee’s passport must be completed within 60 days of the arrival of the employee into the UAE and is usually completed with help from the company’s PRO and administrative staff.


Work Permit and Residence Visa Cancellation:

Generally, your employer will arrange for the cancellation of your residence visa and work permit when departing the UAE or when changing jobs.  However, often times employers are reluctant to grant a non-objection certificate, which is necessary to transfer to a new sponsor.  In this case, the employee can file a case with the Ministry of Labor. The visa cancellation procedure involves closing bank accounts, returning credit cards, cancelling telephone subscriptions and utility accounts, moving out of company provided accommodation, etc.  If you are working in a free zone, the free zone authority is your sponsor and not your employer, so the free zone authority is responsible for cancelling your visa.


Before resigning, you may want to consider the following issues:

  • In what way it the best way to resign and what do I have to do before resigning to ensure that I can exit the country in the best way possible?
  • Freezing of your bank account (withdraw all your money before you resign or transfer to a new account which you did not open under your company’s sponsorship)
  • Outstanding loans – i.e. car loans
  • Debtor’s Prison for bounced checks/debts
  • Credit Cards
  • End-of-Service Gratuity and entitlements
  • Accommodation
  • Telephone and utility connections
  • Shipping
  • School fees if paid by your company
  • Health insurance
  • Residence and employment bans
  • Transferring to another Sponsor

Labor permit cancellation can be done at the DNRD (where residence visas get cancelled) instead of the Ministry of Labor offices from 2009.   


If you are in company provided accommodation, then you are entitled to stay for up to 30 days after receiving your final pay- out for entitlements owed to you under the UAE Labor Law.
Visa Cancellation Grace Period:
Once your residence visa is cancelled, you have up to 30 days to exit the country, otherwise you will be fined 25 AED per day for the first 6 months, 50 AED per day for the next 6 months, and 100 AED for every day after that.
Cancelling Visa at Employee’s Request:
The employer must accede to a worker’s request to cancel their visa.  If a company refuses to cancel a visa, the employee can file a complaint at the Ministry of Labor. 
Exit Strategy:
Maintain good relations with your PRO and other administrative staff at your company.  If relations go sour with your employer, these are the people that can assist you with any administrative processes such as visa cancellation, etc.


  sunil wrote @

i am working in jebel ali free zone (dubai)
i want to know if the working hour is 8 perday or just to complete 48 hours a week excluding lunch break
and i would like to know also abt over time is it count based on year or monthly cause right my company is calculating overtime based on yearly and they are deducting also for please explainne me how over time should be calculated

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UAE Laws and Islamic Finance

Laws of the UAE and Islamic Finance

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