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uae employment visa requirements
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Navigating the transition between a visit visa and an employment visa in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) may seem daunting, especially when considering the time it takes for visa processing in UAE. Typically, the transition takes between one to three weeks, given that all necessary paperwork, protocols, and legal obligations are duly met. However, it is important to understand that this period is merely a general estimate as individual circumstances greatly affect the duration.

Understanding the Basics of UAE Visa

Before diving into the conversion process, let’s familiarize ourselves with the types of visas significant to our discussion as well as the documents required for UAE visit visa, the essential first step for those planning to come to the UAE.

What is a Visit Visa?

A visit visa is a permit that allows an individual from a foreign country to temporarily stay in the UAE for a specified period varying from 30 days to 90 days. You can utilize this visa for several purposes such as tourism, education, or business, but it does not grant work privileges.

What is an Employment Visa?

On the other hand, an employment visa, or more formally known as the original Dubai employment visa, is a sponsored permit issued to foreign nationals who have gained employment in the UAE. This visa grants you the legal right to live and work in the country for the duration of your employment contract.

With a foundational understanding of these visas, the plan for transitioning from visit visa to residence visa UAE becomes clearer.

original dubai employment visa

The Process of Converting a Visit Visa to an Employment Visa

Let’s delve into the steps required for the transition, complete with the UAE employment visa requirements and the estimated time it takes for each.

Acquiring an Employment Offer

The starting point is to secure a legitimate job offer from an employer in the UAE. Your prospective employer will then apply for an employment visa on your behalf, effectively meeting the UAE employment visa requirements. This stage’s duration can be unpredictable as job hunt durations vary.

Cancellation of Visit Visa

Once you’ve secured a job offer, the process to transition from a visit visa to a residence visa UAE begins. It starts with the cancellation of your visit visa. Your employer handles this process, usually by submitting a request to the immigration authorities. You can expect this process to last roughly three to five days.

Applying for the Employment Visa

After your visit visa cancellation, your employer can now proceed to apply for your employment visa — the main phase most people associate with the conversion process.

The rest of the transition process, including any further UAE employment visa requirements, will follow. This initial phase provides the groundwork for potential visa holders to understand the process ahead.

visa process in uae

Potential Delays in the Conversion Process

While the transition from a visit visa to an employment visa can be quite swift, there are potential delays that prospective applicants must account for.

Delay in Job Offer

The duration to secure a job offer can prolong the overall process. Job hunts largely depend on individual circumstances such as qualifications, experience, and vacancies. This unpredictable factor can prolong the waiting time before your employer begins the visa shift.

Delay in Document Verification

Another significant delay can occur during the verification of documents. As part of the UAE employment visa requirements, you will need to submit several documents, including travel documents, qualifications, and police clearance. The verification of these documents can take anywhere between seven to 14 days, depending on the authority’s workload.

While these delays may seem inconvenient, it’s crucial to remember that they are part of the checks and balances that make the UAE’s immigration system thorough and trusted.

How to Expedite the Visa Changeover Process

To avoid unnecessary delays and to expedite the visa changeover process, consider the following strategies:

  1. Effective Planning: Plan your move to the UAE meticulously. Research thoroughly about all the steps involved, including the laws and UAE employment visa requirements. Ensure your presence in the UAE aligns with job hunting periods to maximize your opportunities for rapid employment.
  2. Getting Professional Assistance: Consider seeking help from immigration consultants. They are aware of all the recent regulations, can help you complete the process accurately, and can assist in speeding up your transition.

This way, the process of visa changeover can be made efficient and hassle-free.

dubai visa requirements


Transforming your visit visa into employment status in the UAE is generally a smooth process. The timeline generally takes between one to three weeks but may be influenced by factors such as job offer, pending legalities, and processing periods for document verification. It is always advisable to seek professional guidance and plan effectively to expedite the changeover process.


  1. What is the difference between a visit visa and an employment visa? – A visit visa permits you a temporary stay in the UAE whilst an employment visa gives you the legal right to live and work in the country for a specific duration.
  2. What are the potential delays in the visa changeover process? – Delays in job offers and in the verification of documents can potentially slow down the process.
  3. How can one expedite the visa changeover process in the UAE? – Planning and getting professional consultation can aid in speeding up the visa changeover process.
  4. What factors affect the duration of transitioning from a visit visa to an employment visa? – The validity of your visit visa, how quickly your employment visa processes and any pending legal obligations can impact the duration of the process.
  5. Are there any strategies to make the visa changeover process more efficient? – Optimal planning and seeking professional assistance are key strategies to making the visa changeover process in the UAE more efficient.