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Dubai: If you are visiting the UAE and have received a job offer, it is important to ensure that your papers are in order, before you begin your new work assignment in the UAE. This is because not having the right work permit is a serious violation of the UAE’s labour laws.

In a post on its social media accounts on January 12, Dubai Public Prosecution warned people that working without obtaining the necessary work permits will face strict action that can include three months jail as well as a fine of up to Dh10,000.

The advisory posted by the prosecution read: “Every foreigner who entered the country under a visit visa and wished to work in the country must obtain a permission from the competent authority, otherwise he shall be penalised in accordance with imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months and a fine not exceeding Dh10,000, or one of these two penalties, and the court shall order the deportation of the violator from the state.”

Where can I get a work permit from?

Depending on whether you are working with a company in the private sector, in a free zone or in the public sector, your work permit will be issued by the relevant authority. All work permits for the private sector are issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE), while each free zone has an authority which regulates the labour contracts and relationships between employers and employees within their jurisdiction. In the public sector, at the federal level, Federal Authority for Government Human Resources (FAHR) is in charge of managing human resources for ministries and federal authorities which are subject to the Federal Decree Law No. 11 of 2008, while government departments within each emirate are governed by local government authorities.

Regardless of which jurisdiction you fall under as a worker, it is critical to ensure that you have a valid work permit when you start working for an organisation in the country.