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UAE Employment Visa Rules and Regulations (FAQs)

Employee; Know Your Rights

You are entitled to keep possession of all your personal identification documents once your residency permit is issued

If you are asked to sign a contract with different terms and conditions, even if you are advised that the changes are of advantage to you, report immediately to the nearest Labour Office, as contract substitution is illegal

If your employer fails to present you with a contract or provide you with work, the Labour Office will assist you in finding alternative employment

If your employer fails to present you with a work contract within one week of your arrival, report to the nearest Labour Office

To avoid violating the law, do not accept other employment without first reporting to a Labour Office

UAE law requires your employer to pay the costs of your recruitment and deployment including residency permit

Your contract must match your job offer, and you should keep a copy of your signed contract

You have the right to leave your job at any time, but be aware of your contractual obligations

The termination of your contract can be ended by the employer or the employee, and it can be by mutual consent

It is important for employees to follow the required legal steps for terminating a contract, as the Labour Office can help recover any dues that are owed to the employee and arrange placement in alternative employment if eligible to obtain a new work permit

The relationship between employers and employees is governed by Federal Act Number 8 of 1980 and its amendments. The Act is applicable to all employment relationships when engaging an employee, whether a UAE citizen or a foreigner. It is not applicable in the case of employment by a government authority.

A work permit is issued by the Ministry for two years, subject to renewal for similar periods. Employment contracts may be for a limited period specified in the contract or for an unlimited period, in which case the employee will continue working with his employer until the contract is terminated.

Working hours

Working hours are eight hours a day or 48 hours a week. However, for persons or employees in trade, hotels, and restaurants, the daily working hours may be increased to nine hours. For overtime work, the employee is entitled to an amount equivalent to the wage paid for ordinary working hours, plus 25 per cent. Overtime may not exceed two hours per day unless necessary. An employee is entitled to an annual leave of 30 days, and maternity leave and sick leave are not part of the annual leave.

Act Number 8 stipulates certain provisions for the employee’s health and safety and for workmen’s compensation against work accident. The employment contract may be terminated by mutual consent of the parties or on expiry of its duration. Any dispute arising between the employer and the employee will be resolved by the Ministry of Labor, which must make a recommendation within two weeks from the date the application for a dispute settlement is filed. If the parties fail to settle the dispute as recommended by the Ministry, the matter should be referred to the courts. The time limit for a lawsuit relating to an employment contract is one year from the date on which the amount claimed or entitlements become due. Employees are exempted from court fees before the court of first instance and court of appeal.

As per the UAE Labour Law, employers have to bear the cost of visa fee of the employee and the health insurance coverage of the spouse and two dependents below 18 years of age, and all the other costs, visa fee for children and their other document processing fees like national identity cards (Emirates ID), are paid by the employee.

Frequently Asked Questions
Employee can work for sponsor only
I have been working with a company in Dubai for more than six months on a limited contract. Now, I want to avail power of attorney of my mother’s company in Sharjah.
Since it’s a family business, my mother wants me to take care of some parts of the business and for that she is willing to give me power of attorney to legally run her business. Is it legal to work for my mother’s company under a power of attorney approved by the Sharjah Court though I am working for another employer?

A: According to Article 67 in the third chapter of the federal law number 6 for the year 1973, a sponsored person is under a duty to not work except for his sponsor. Similarly, the sponsor is under a duty not to employ who is not sponsored by him. Hence, if your mother’s entity is not sponsoring you, you cannot take a role in it and this will be considered as a breach of the law.

Breaching any of these obligations and working in an entity where you are not sponsored put all the parties in a risk of being prosecuted and hence, subject to a minimum fine of Dh50,000 each or imprisonment and the same amount of fine (KT).

Q: How much does a recruitment agency in UAE charge for job applicant?

A: There should be no charges from the applicant. The sponsor or employer has to pay the agency for all the expenses that may occur.

Q: What are the basic rights of foreign workers in UAE?

A: For professional, skilled and semi- skilled:
The employer should apply for Medical, Emirates ID, Labour Contract and Resident visa within 60 days from the date of worker's entry. Visa is valid for two years.
A copy of the Employment Contract  must be given to the worker.

There should be one day-off for the employee.

The regular hour of work is 8 except for Hotel, Restaurant and Sales where the working hour is 9.

Overtime must be given to the worker beyond 8 hours and 9 hours respectively.

Gratuity or service benefits should be given to the employee upon completion of contract agreement.

Household Service Workers:
Household Service Workers (HSWs) should have Emirates ID, Immigration contract and residence visa for 2 years. If the sponsor is a foreigner, then the residence visa is valid for 1 year only, renewable yearly. Medical test is must for first visa stamping and renewal. Sri Lankan and Indonesian housemaids should do Medical test from their home country also.

One day day-off should be given to a domestic helper, as per agreement between the employer and employee.

No overtime pay for HSWs.

Q: Is it legal to take part-time job?

A: No. An employee can only work with his/her sponsor whose name or company’s name is written in the residence visa. But some categories can apply for part-time work permit.

Q: What is the meaning of Overstaying?

A: An employee is considered “overstaying” if her/his residence visa is already expired. A grace period of one month will be given to the employee after the cancellation of his/her visa.

Q: What is the currency of UAE and how much is its equivalent in US$ Dollars?

A: The currency of UAE is Dirhams (AED) and equivalent to US$ 3.68.

Q: What is the dominant language/dialect in UAE?

A: Arabic is the native language. English is widely used for business and everyday communication.
Related Pages
Abscond Reporting
Annual Leave
Ban-1 Year
Clearance Letter from Employee While he is in Service
Changing Employment Visa and Dependents Visa without exit
Bank Guarantee Refund
Emergency Leave
Employment Ban
Employment visa during Ban Period
Employment visa Renew
Employment rules
Employment Visa
E-Signature Card
Haj Leave
Labour Contract
Labour Contract Amendment
Labour Contract FAQs
Labour Contract New (After Entry)
Labour Dispute
Labour Establishment Card
Labour Establishment Card Amendment
Labour Fees Information
Labour Card Fine Calculator
Labour Guarantee Refund
Labour Law
Limited Contract
Lost Labour Card
Maternity Leave
Non-competition clause
Notice Period
Occupational Disease
Part-time Work Permit
Probation Period
Profession Change
Reasons of Work Permit rejection
Salary increment
Severance Payment
Sick Leave
Tasheel Centers-Dubai
Tasheel Centers-Abu Dhabi
Unpaid Salary
Visa Cancellation
Visa Transfer
Work Permit for relative Sponsored Ladies
Work Permit rejection

Ministry of Labour, Qusai, Dubai 
Timing: Saturday to Thursday 7:30am to 7:00pm
Call Centre: 800 665
Website: www.mol.gov.ae

Family Visa

Medical Test


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