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To work in the UAE you need to have a work permit issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. Picture used for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: If you are living in the UAE on your spouse’s sponsorship, how can you work legally in the UAE? To be able to work anywhere in the UAE, you need to have a work permit issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE).

MOHRE provides the option for issuing a work permit under the residence visa issued by a relative.

According to the Ministry’s official website, if you would like to work in the UAE if you are on such a visa, these are the steps that need to be followed.

Who can receive the work permit?

According to the Ministry’s website, the work permit can be issued for a wife on her husband’s sponsorship, as well as a husband on a wife’s sponsorship. If a woman, over the age of 18 is under the sponsorship of her father, she is also eligible to work legally and a work permit can be applied for.

Documents required

The work permit application will be managed by your employer, and you would be required to provide the following documents to your human resources department:

1. A No Objection Certificate (NOC) from your sponsor/relative.

2. Copy of your passport and visa page, valid for at least six months.

3. Copy of your sponsor’s passport and visa page, valid for at least six months.

4. Passport-sized colour photograph with a white background.

5. Academic qualification copy if the designation is a skilled profession.

6. For specialised professions like doctors, engineers, nurses or teachers, an approval letter issued by the competent authority is required.

7. Your Emirates ID.

Process to follow

According to Moosa Bin Ali Dayani, a Public Relations Manager at a Dubai-based company, the company’s public relations officer (PRO) will then need to submit the following documents at a Tas’heel centre. Tas’heel centres in the UAE are authorised to process labour applications for MOHRE, like the issuance of work permits.

“We visit the Tas’heel centre and provide details like the breakup of the salary, which includes the basic salary along with the allowance, the working hours, weekdays, weekends and working hours of the employee. The work permit is usually issued within two to three working days,” he said.

A company may apply for a short-term, temporary work permit, which is valid for six months; or a long-term work permit, which is valid for one or two years.

According to the MOHRE call centre, when the duration of the work permit is over, the work permit is automatically cancelled. If the employee wishes to continue working, a new work permit would need to be applied for.


The cost of the work permit is paid for by the employer, according to Article 6 of Ministerial Resolution No. (52) for 1989.

Article 6 (a) states: “An undertaking from the employer to the effect that he shall sponsor and be responsible for the recruited Labourer, the bearing of his recruitment expenses and his employment in accordance with the employment contract in a way not prejudicing the provision of the Federal Law No (8)/1980 referred to herein.”