This page provides information about the process and rules relating to recruiting employees by a business on the mainland.
After setting up your business and acquiring your licence, you need to sponsor your employees. This section outlines the key regulations and formalities for sponsoring staff to work in your company and the requirements which govern the process.
When giving work permit, Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation considers the following:
Key entities involved in sponsoring employees
At the federal level
The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in the emirates of:
The ministry has introduced a new standard employment contract and requested the employers to abide by fully. No initial approval for employment is granted until after an employment offer is issued by the employer.
The employment offer must conform with the standard employment contract and duly signed by both the employer and employee. The offer letter is registered with the ministry and at that point, an employer can apply for an employment visa for the employee.
The ministry further stipulates that no new clauses may be added to the standard employment contract unless they:
Employment contracts in 11 languages
Read about the language of employment contract.
If proven that workers did not go through the annexes before signing the labour contract, the employer will be fined AED 20,000 for submitting incorrect data to the Ministry.
Verify your job offer
You can enquire about the authenticity of a job offer you receive from the UAE through this eService or call on toll free number 60059000 or use other communication channels provided by the ministry.
The process involves two phases:
First phase: Applying for work permits/ labour cards
The employer must first approach the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation and request the issuance of eSignature card for his firm. The eSignature is a prerequisite for any application submitted by the employer. The ministry will issue the card only after inspecting the business premises and verifying lack of any violations. After the issuance of the card, the employer can apply for pre-approval work permit for its employees.
Documents required for pre-approval of work permit for employees:
Number of employees
The number of employees a company can hire depends on the quota approved by the ministry. The ministry will determine the quota according to the legal form of the company, the area of the premises, the projects involved and the demand of the work operation as evidenced by the employer. This quota can be changed on request from the employer and the approval of the Ministry.
Terms and conditions
In addition to a signed employment offer, there are other conditions which must be met:
Please note the following:
Second phase: Applying for the employee work permit from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs
After getting the preapproval of the ministry, the employer will have to approach the respective General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs. The employer must request a firm card also from the respective General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs. Once the card is issued, the employer/company will have a file with the immigration authorities which will entitle it to apply and obtain work permits for new employees in future.
Who bears the cost of employment?
Employers bear the cost of visa sponsorship. No employer is allowed to withhold any amount from an employee's salary or deduct visa fees or any other charges.
Can an employee start working at the company based on the pre-approval issued by Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation?
No, he cannot. He can only join after having his residency permit is stamped on his passport.
Useful links from Ministry of Human Resources and