Women in UAE Can Now Work Without Changing Visa Status

Are you living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) under your husband's sponsorship with a 'housewife' visa? Are you interested in pursuing employment opportunities without changing your visa status? This article provides valuable insights into the legal framework and procedures for working in the UAE while holding a 'housewife' visa.

Living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) under your spouse’s sponsorship with a ‘housewife’ visa comes with its unique set of questions and challenges. One common query is whether you can work for a company without changing your visa status.

Can a woman on a housewife visa work in the UAE?

Yes, a woman on a housewife visa can work in the UAE without changing her visa status. However, there are a few requirements that she must meet.

  • She must obtain a work permit from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE).
  • She must provide a no-objection certificate (NOC) from her husband.
  • She must meet the same eligibility requirements as any other foreign worker in the UAE.

In this article, we’ll delve into the UAE’s regulations and procedures surrounding this issue to help you understand your options and avoid potential legal complications.

1. Employment Opportunities on a ‘Housewife’ Visa

If you’re looking to take up employment in a mainland company in the UAE while residing under your husband’s sponsorship, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s possible. The UAE’s legal framework allows for this, as outlined in Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022 and other relevant laws.


2. Legal Basis for Employment

The legal foundation for your employment on a ‘housewife’ visa is established in Article 6(1)(c) of Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022, which states, “Subject to the provisions of Article 6 of the Decree Law, the types of work permit shall be determined as follows:

  • Work permit for residents sponsored by their families: This type of permit is issued to residents who are sponsored by their family and employed to work in an establishment registered with the Ministry.”

This provision explicitly allows individuals under family sponsorship, such as ‘housewives,’ to seek employment in registered establishments.

3. The Work Permit Requirement

To work legally in the UAE, regardless of your visa status, you must obtain a work permit from your prospective employer. This requirement is detailed in Article 6(1) of the Employment Law and Article 5(4) of the Immigration Law:

  • Article 6(1) of the Employment Law: “No work may be performed in the UAE, and no employee may be recruited or employed by any employer without obtaining the work permit from the Ministry, in accordance with the provisions of this Decree-Law and its Executive Regulations.”
  • Article 5(4) of the Immigration Law: “An alien is obligated not to engage in any activity or work except in accordance with the legislation in force in the State.”

These provisions emphasize the necessity of securing a valid work permit before starting any employment in the UAE.


4. The Work Permit Application Process

To ensure a smooth transition into the workforce, both you and your prospective employer must adhere to the guidelines outlined in Administrative Resolution No. 38 of 2022. This includes the application process for a work permit, offer letters, and employment contracts.

In some cases, you may be required to provide a No Objection Certificate (NOC) signed by your husband. The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) may request this document, which your prospective employer will need to submit to MoHRE as part of the work permit application process.

5. Penalties for Working Without a Work Permit

It’s essential to be aware that working in the UAE without a valid work permit is considered illegal. Both you and your prospective employer may face legal consequences if you engage in unauthorized employment. These repercussions can include fines, penalties, and even deportation.


In conclusion, if you’re living in the UAE under your husband’s sponsorship with a ‘housewife’ visa and wish to work in a mainland company, it is indeed possible and legal. However, it’s crucial to follow the UAE’s established procedures, obtain the necessary work permits, and ensure compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.


By doing so, you can pursue employment opportunities while safeguarding your legal status in the UAE.

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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Travelobiz.com, he's passionate about writing.

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