Can I work in the United Arab Emirates on a family visa?

Mar 26, 2024

The United Arab Emirates attracts numerous expatriates from around the globe, including families and spouses who accompany their husbands or wives and obtain a family visa. However, once settled in the UAE, many of these individuals aspire to explore professional opportunities and contribute to the country's economy. Nevertheless, working in the UAE as a spouse with a family visa requires a precise understanding of specific labor regulations.

  1. What is a family visa?

Unlike other countries, the United Arab Emirates issues visas to individuals sponsored by someone: a company, an employer, or a spouse. When a person obtains their residence visa, they have the right to sponsor their spouse and children.

  1. Work permits for family visa holders:

According to the Ministry of Human Resources (MOHRE), a work permit can be issued to spouses, whether it be to the wife under the sponsorship of her husband or vice versa. Additionally, a child over the age of 18, sponsored by their parent, is also eligible to work legally in Dubai. However, a work permit is required to engage in professional activities, manage a business, or provide professional services in the UAE.

  1. Authority issuing the work permit: 

The work permit is issued by the Ministry of Labor. In free zones, the relevant authorities issue the work permit, and the conditions may vary from one zone to another.

  1. Documents required to obtain a work permit:

The work permit application for an individual with a UAE family visa will be handled by the prospective employer. Certain documents need to be submitted to the competent authorities:

  • A no-objection certificate (NOC) from your sponsor/parent;
  • Copy of your passport and visa page, valid for at least six months;
  • Copy of your sponsor's passport and visa page, valid for at least six months;
  • Colored passport-sized photograph with a white background;
  • Copy of the academic diploma attested by the MOFA if the profession is qualified;
  • Your Emirates ID.

  1. Fees for obtaining a work permit with a family visa:

The fees for the family work permit are covered by the employer, as per Article 6 of Ministerial Resolution No. (52) of 1989.

In summary, working in the UAE as a spouse with a family visa is a feasible option, but it requires a clear understanding of labor regulations. Our team is here to guide you through this process and address all your queries to help you succeed in the Emirati job market. Contact us:

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