Work Permits in Abu Dhabi: What They Are and How to Get One |

Work Permits in Abu Dhabi: What They Are and How to Get One

Moving to the Capital for work? Here's some things you NEED to know about working here

Posted on

10 June 2017

Last updated on 10 June 2017
Work Permits in Abu Dhabi: What They Are and How to Get One

In order to fully settle as an expatriate in Abu Dhabi, there are processes you need to follow to make sure you have all of the right documentation and permissions to stay and work here. 

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Whether you're moving here to find employment, or to start a commercial activity as an investor or partner, you need to get a work permit or carry a valid residency visa. 

What types of work permits are there?

There are four types of work permits that are most commonly found:

  1. Permits for working with public sector (including federal ministries, government entities, rules and their respresentatives' courts and the entities that are not governed by the Labour Law) 
  2. Permits for working with the private sector
  3. Permits for working as license holders (investors and partners)
  4. Permits for working for individuals, such as home help, private drivers, farmers, etc. 

Getting a work permit as an expatriate

As per the UAE's Labour Law, expats are unable to take up employment on a temporary visit visa. Ideally, work permits should be arranged through your prospective employer in Abu Dhabi.

They must submit the work permit application at the General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), along with the required documents including a copy of your passport and the letter of appointment, among other things. 

It's important to be patient during this process; from experience, we have all learned as expats that it can take a little time to fully set up your life here. 

Work permits in Abu Dhabi

What if I'm an expat investor?

Those individuals who want to begin a commercial activity in Abu Dhabi also require an entry permit. Your application should be submitted by your sponsor, and stamped along with a certified copy of partnership contract and the trade license. 

You'll also need to obtain a No Objection (NOC) letter from the external offices of the GDRFA. 

If you wish to apply for a mission visa to take up a temporary position, or gain a multiple entry permit to visit the country frequently, you should apply through the UAE embassies, consulates or other diplomatic missions in the country you're in.