Visas in UAE
The topic of visas can be confusing and a google result will show numerous contradictory statements made by companies who are not expert in dealing with and processing visas. Our expertise at processing numerous visas per day allow us to stay up to date on any new Laws and Regulations. Contact us to find out more about visa processing, contract recruitment and how we can assist you or your business.

Types of Visa in UAE
Whether it is your first visa or a change of job the regulations for UAE residency changes regularly so it is important to stay up to date with new initiatives designed to improve the application process. Since EA first established a presence in the Middle East some 15 years ago the improvements in obtaining visas has been considerable. Here we hope to explain the most crucial parts of residency in the UAE and in future updates we will clarify the wider GCC region.

• Visit visa
As the UAE is such a multi-cultural country with 200 nationalities taking up residency and visiting on holiday it is advisable to check how you can obtain a visit visa. This is important for people who are arriving in Dubai for their employer to then process a visa. If you are eligible for a visit visa on arrival this will be valid for 30 days to allow your employer to process residency visa. The full list of visa on arrival countries can be found here click here   

• Residency Visa
In the UAE prior to starting the visa process you will most likely receive an offer letter, this outlines the basic terms and conditions of your employment. Including but not limited to remuneration, job title, working days and hours, annual leave entitlement and any additional bonuses or commission structure.

Once your offer letter has been signed and returned the employer will commence the visa process. This is the same process for everybody and you will need to supply various documents and information for this to happen. Such as Passport Copy, Attested Degree Certificate (if required), passport photos and personal information regarding your country of origin including permanent address and family details.

There are two different types of resident visa –
• LLC (colloquially called a mainland visa) – 2 year visa
• Freezone – 3 year visa (limited or unlimited)
The only differences are the length of the visa and who you sign your labour contract with. For LLC visas your contract is issued by the Ministry of Labour. In Freezones your contract is issued by the body responsible for the freezone your employer is registered in

• Others
Mission visa – valid for three months but the party must leave the country on or before the expiry date
Investor visa – there are two remaining visas that can be obtained, an investor visa which business owners of freezone companies can apply for and a home owner visa which will be issued for home purchasers above a set limit.

 Contracts of Employment
If you have accepted a job offer outlining your terms of engagement you will still be required, under UAE Labour Law, to sign a Local UAE Employment Contract, which adheres to the Labour Law.

• Medical Insurance
It is mandatory for all Employers to provide an approved Medical Insurance cover as a benefit to your employment contract. This insurance will need to be obtained prior to full VISA submission.

• Timescale
Depending on your status, in our experience, the full VISA process from start to finish can take anything from 15 days to 45 days.

If you are organized and present the full list of documents in clear pdf format, signed contracts and acceptable photos in a timely manner to your new employer, the system is very straight forward. Delays can occur in country when passports are not submitted on time, medicals are delayed, or medical insurance is not applied for at the right time.