Dubai is one of the most popular destinations for overseas employment due to its diverse job opportunities, tax-free income, and high standard of living. Hence, it represents a promising opportunity for international employment and career growth for many Filipinos.
However, securing a work visa in Dubai can vary depending on circumstances.
In this article, we’ll explore how to get a working visa in Dubai from Philippines, whether you are a skilled professional, a domestic worker, or someone looking to start a new career abroad.
Types of Working Visas & Entry Permits in Dubai
Philippine residents can qualify for four different types of UAE work visas depending on their qualifications.
Here are visa options available for Filipino workers seeking employment in Dubai.
Standard Work Visa: This is a common choice for Filipinos who secure employment with UAE-based companies.
Green Visa: This visa is meant for Filipino freelancers and self-employed individuals who wish to work independently.
Domestic Worker’s Visa: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) offers a domestic worker’s visa for Filipinos, enabling them to work as household staff in Emirati households. This visa facilitates employment opportunities for Filipinos in roles such as housekeeping, childcare, and other domestic services within the UAE.
Golden Visa: Typically reserved for individuals with exceptional qualifications, such as doctors or scientists.
Before applying, consider your eligibility.
How can I get a Work Permit in UAE?
To get UAE work permit from the Philippines, you’ll need:
- Secure a job in Dubai.
- Your employer initiates the application on your behalf.
- Get approval ready for travel.
Please note: The permit requirements vary with job categories.
Specific Qualifications, Skills, and Experience Required for Different Job Categories
The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) employs a classification system delineated by the International Labour Organization.
These classifications include (Source: U.ae):
- Level 1: Covers managers, legislators, and business executives.
- Level 2: Include technical, science, and humanitarian professionals.
- Level 3: Encompass technicians in scientific, technical, and humanitarian fields.
- Level 4: Covers writing professionals.
- Level 5: Embrace roles in service and sales occupations.
- Level 6: Incorporate skilled agriculture, fisheries, and animal husbandry workers.
- Level 7: Encompass artisans specializing in construction, mining, and related trades.
- Level 8: Include operators and assemblers of machinery and equipment.
- Level 9: Pertain to simple professions.
To qualify as a skilled laborer, you must:
- Belong to a professional level within the first five categories above.
- Hold a certificate superior to a secondary certificate or an equivalent duly authenticated by relevant authorities.
- Your monthly salary (excluding commissions) must be above AED 4,000.
Visit Dubai Before Taking the Big Step
Before deciding to work or live in Dubai, visiting and getting firsthand experience of this vibrant city is important.
Just get yourself a UAE tourist visa or eVisa. It’s easy to apply Dubai visa for Filipino tourists by online. All you have to do is fill out the visa application form and provide all the required documents. Next, pay the processing fees and await for your visa approval.
On approval, you will get your visa in your email within the time selected during your application, and with that, you are ready to travel UAE.
Let’s explore tips on how to find a job in Dubai while on your visit.
How to Find Job in Dubai on Visit Visa
Are you stuck on how to find job in Dubai on visit visa? Here are some practical tips you can apply.
Finding Employment in Dubai
You must be strategic and systematic to get a job opportunity in Dubai from the Philippines. Here are helpful tips on how to get a job in Dubai.
- Utilize online job portals that specialize in Gulf region employment. Websites like Bayt, GulfTalent, and Naukrigulf.
- Attend related industry events and join relevant online forums or social media groups.
- Visit recruitment agencies.
- Create a strong LinkedIn profile showcasing your skills and experience.
- Identify companies you’re interested in and apply directly.
Getting a job in Dubai is the first step to applying for a work visa.
The Importance of Securing a Job Offer Before Applying for a Working Visa:
Getting a job offer before applying for a working visa is crucial due to:
After securing a job, prepare your documents for your visa application.
During the application, get your documents ready and check for their eligibility.
List of Essential Documents Required for the Working Visa
To qualify for the UAE work visa, you’ll need:
- Original passport and copy
- Passport-sized photos meeting UAE criteria
- Emirates ID card
- Entry permit from the Ministry of Labor (MoL)
- Medical certificate from a UAE-approved health center
- Copies of the employee’s academic qualifications, authenticated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the UAE Embassy in the employee’s home country
- Employer documents
Your documents must meet the criteria to avoid rejection.
Guidance on Obtaining and Authenticating These Documents
Before you forward your documents, ensure they are valid and correct.
- Your passport must be up to date and meet the requirements.
- Ensure your passport photos meet UAE specifications.
- Your employer will guide you through obtaining an Emirates ID card after arrival.
- Your employer will apply for the entry permit on your behalf.
- Your employer should guide you through medical certificates.
- Authenticate your academic documents; Have your documents attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Philippines. Also, visit the UAE Embassy in your home country for further authentication.
- Ensure your employer provides company-related documents for your application.
Lastly, work closely with your employer and follow their guidance throughout the application.
Visa Application Process in 10 Steps
Once you have all the documents, it’s time to apply for your work visa.
Step 01: Request the Employer to Apply for an Entry Visa Quota Approval
If the job is within any of the UAE’s 46 free zones, the employer is obligated to request a UAE-free zone visa. Then,
Step 02: Submit a Signed Employment Contract
Your employer should then present a signed employment contract to the Ministry of Labor (MoL) for validation.
Step 03: Submit a Work Visa Application and Apply for an Entry Visa
Next, your employer should send your work visa application for assessment and approval to the MoL. After approval, you’ll receive your entry visa.
Step 04: Receive an Employment Entry Visa
After your work visa approval, MoL will issue you an entry visa (pink). The visa allows legal UAE entry for work and residence visa formalities.
Step 05: Apply for an Emirates ID
To get your Emirates ID, visit an EIDA center with your passport and entry visa and provide biometrics (fingerprints and a photo).
Step 06: Get a Medical Checkup
Visit a government-recognized clinic in the UAE for medical screening. The checkup results are a major requirement for your residence visa application.
Step 07: Submit a Labor Contract
Submit your labor contract to the Ministry of Labor (MoL) website within 14 days of receiving your medical screening results.
Step 08: Get Health Insurance
Expat workers in the UAE must have health insurance in Dubai and their families.
Step 09: Receive a Work Visa and Begin Payroll
After getting health insurance, you are ready to receive your work visa authorizing you to work in the UAE. Also, the visa allows your employer to initiate payroll processing through the official UAE system.
Step 10: Apply for a Residence Visa
To get an UAE residence visa, submit your documents. You can use the application receipt if the Emirates ID is pending.
How much will My Dubai Work Visa Cost?
The fees for UAE work permits are structured as follows:
- A new electronic work permit approval will cost AED 200 for all categories/levels.
- Approval of the new electronic work permit, including worker recruitment, hiring, and Labor Card:
- Category 1: AED 300
- Category 2:
- Level A: AED 600
- Level B: AED 1,500
- Level C: AED 2,000
- Category 3: AED 5,000
- For foreign workers aged over 65: AED 5,000 across all categories.
Category 2 is subdivided into levels depending on the company’s ratio of skilled and unskilled workers. In most instances, it’s your employer’s responsibility to cover the costs of the UAE work permit.
Budgeting Tips and Financial Considerations for Filipino Applicants
When planning for a UAE work visa, here are useful budgeting tips and financial considerations:
- Check the latest fee structure for accurate budgeting.
- Invest in the associated costs if your educational or professional certificates require attestation.
- A mandatory medical examination is required for the UAE work visa.
- Ensure you have funds for the Emirates ID card, a vital component of your UAE residency.
Remember that it’s common for employers to cover certain costs, such as work permits and entry visa fees. So, seek clarification on which expenses your employer will cover and which ones you are responsible for.
Waiting Period and Processing Time
The Ministry typically processes and issues the work permit within five business days after submitting your documents.
How Long is a UAE Work Permit Valid?
A UAE work permit is typically valid for two years but can be renewed upon expiration.
Tips for Staying Patient During the Application Review Period
Staying patient during the visa application review can be challenging but essential. Here are some tips to help you remain patient:
Remember that the visa application process can vary in duration, and there may be factors beyond your control.
Visa Approval and Arrival
Once your visa application is accepted, you can utilize the work permit to enter UAE.
What to do Upon Receiving the Visa Approval
After you arrive in UAE, your employer will coordinate a medical examination and submit an application for a Residence Card on your behalf at the GDRFA.
It’s important to complete this step within the 60-day validity period of the permit.
Preparing for the Journey to Dubai, Including Accommodation and Flight Details
After your Dubai work visa approval, it’s time to prepare for your journey.
- Research and secure temporary accommodation for your initial stay in Dubai. You can book a hotel or use accommodation platforms like Airbnb.
- Book your flight to Dubai. Ensuring it aligns with your visa’s entry and expiration dates.
- Confirm your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned stay in Dubai.
- Plan how you’ll get from the airport to your temporary accommodation.
- Compile a list of emergency contacts, including your country’s embassy or consulate, in case of unforeseen situations.
- Prepare your work permit and other essential documents for presentation upon arrival in Dubai.
Addressing these details before your journey will make your relocation comfortable and stress-free.
Employment Visa Renewal in Dubai
To renew your UAE work visa, your employer must initiate the process within 30 days before its expiration. Additionally, your employer can renew your visa after its expiration, provided it falls within its expiry grace period.
The UAE work visa renewal process resembles the initial application procedures followed when obtaining your visa: your employer must submit the renewal application to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in the respective emirate.
Legal and Employment Rights
A recent agreement between the UAE government and the Philippines demonstrates a commitment to safeguarding the rights and welfare of Filipino workers.
- Filipino workers should have an English or Arabic written and signed employment contract outlining employment terms and conditions.
- Filipino employees in Dubai are entitled to one day off per week, often on a Friday, the official day of rest.
- Employees should receive a salary that meets their basic needs. At the same time, domestic workers are entitled to at least $400 per month.
- Employees must keep their passports.
- Domestic workers must keep their phones.
- Before the worker departs from the Philippines, an assigned authority must review the employment contract and determine the monthly wages.
- Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy working environment.
- Employees have the right to work in an environment free from harassment and discrimination.
- Filipino workers have the right to legal representation and should seek legal counsel where needed.
However, Filipinos are urged to know their legal rights and protections. Also, they need to seek assistance in case of their rights violations.
Guidance on Employment Contracts and Labor Laws
Filipino workers in Dubai should;
- Carefully read and understand the employment contract. Ensure it includes all relevant terms, such as your salary, working hours, benefits, and responsibilities.
- Familiarize yourself with the labor laws and their legal rights.
- Maintain copies of your employment contract, pay stubs, and any relevant communication with your employer in case of disputes.
- Seek legal advice or assistance from the relevant authorities or legal professionals in case of violations.
- Stay updated on labor regulations and employment practices in Dubai.
Filipino workers in Dubai need to be aware of their legal rights, follow labor laws, and protect their interests in the workplace. You can read more on UAE Labour Law 2023.
Cultural and Social Adjustment
Adjusting to the culture and lifestyle in Dubai can be a rewarding experience.
Tips for Adjusting to the Culture and Lifestyle in Dubai:
Here are some tips for a smooth transition, as well as information on Filipino communities and support networks in Dubai:
Filipino Communities and Support Networks in Dubai:
When working and living in Dubai, joining Filipino communities and support groups are important. These may include:
By embracing the local culture and tapping into the Filipino community resources, be sure of a fulfilling and enjoyable experience living and working in Dubai.
Dubai’s vibrant and diverse community welcomes individuals worldwide, including Filipinos. It offers a unique blend of professional growth and cultural experiences.
As you take this significant step toward pursuing your career in Dubai, keep your goals focused, stay patient, and embrace the rich culture and opportunities.
As you venture into this exciting chapter, you’ll find the support and comradeship of fellow Filipinos.
In the face of challenges, remember that this journey is a testament to your resilience and the boundless potential that you carry within. Take that step, believe in your abilities, and embrace the opportunities Dubai has in store for you.
Your adventure begins now, and we wish you success and fulfillment in pursuing a new and exciting career in Dubai.