Working in UAE Without a Valid Work Visa? Here Are the Risks

If you are offered a job in the UAE, make sure that you have a valid work visa before you start working. Your employer should be able to help you with this process.
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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a popular destination for work seekers from all over the world. However, it is important to note that it is illegal to work in the UAE without a valid work visa. If you are caught working illegally, you could face serious consequences, including fines, deportation, and imprisonment.

This is the law in the UAE, and there are strict penalties for employers and employees who violate it.

What is the law?

The Federal Decree-Law No. 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Employment Relations states that “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.”

The Federal Decree-Law No. 29 of 2021 Regarding Entry and Residence of Foreigners also states that “An alien is obligated not to engage in any activity or work except in accordance with the legislation in force in the State.”

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What are the penalties?

The penalties for employers and employees who violate the law are severe. Employers who employ an employee without a valid work permit can be fined up to AED 200,000 and/or imprisoned for up to six months. Employees who work without a valid work permit can be fined up to AED 50,000 and/or deported.

What can I do if I am offered a job in Dubai?

If you are offered a job in Dubai, you should not start working until you have obtained a valid work permit and UAE residency visa. Your employer should be able to help you with this process.

How can I get a work permit and UAE residency visa?

Your employer will need to apply for a work permit for you with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE). Once the work permit is approved, you can then apply for a UAE residency visa.

The process of obtaining a work permit and UAE residency visa can take several weeks, so it is important to start the process as soon as possible.

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Can I work in Dubai on a tourist visa?

No, you cannot work in Dubai on a tourist visa. A tourist visa is only valid for tourism purposes, and it does not allow you to work in the UAE.

What if I get caught working on a visit visa?

If you are caught working on a visit visa, you could be fined up to AED 50,000 and/or deported. Your employer could also be fined up to AED 200,000.

How can I avoid getting caught?

The best way to avoid getting caught working on a visit visa is to simply not do it. If you are offered a job in Dubai, make sure that you have a valid work permit and UAE residency visa before you start working.

Here are some additional tips for avoiding legal problems when working in Dubai:

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  • Make sure that your work permit is valid and that it is sponsored by your employer.
  • Do not work for an employer who is not registered with the MoHRE.
  • Keep a copy of your work permit and UAE residency visa with you at all times.
  • Be aware of the laws and regulations governing employment in the UAE.

By following these tips, you can help to ensure that you are working legally in Dubai and that you are protected from legal problems.


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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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