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Abu Dhabi Visa Process Explained, Learn Here

By July 26, 2016March 21st, 2023No Comments
Abu Dhabi Visa Process Explained

If you’re taking your business to the UAE, getting an Abu Dhabi visa may be a crucial piece to your plan. Abu Dhabi is the second most populous city in the United Arab Emirates falling just behind Dubai. It’s an attractive region for business owners because of its increasingly strong economic stance and growing population. Since the 90s, the UAE’s population has grown from 2 million to nearly 9 million people. Roughly 10% of that increasing population is made up by foreign nationals who immigrated to the region for work opportunities. Abu Dhabi is a city to consider when creating your global strategy. Here’s how you can obtain an Abu Dhabi visa and kick off your overseas operations.


Abu Dhabi Visa for Employees

To legally work in the city, foreign nationals need to obtain a work permit, which is otherwise known as a residence visa sponsorship for employment. Obtaining this visa is necessary to have an employer sponsor them through a job contract. If you’re bringing a team member to Abu Dhabi, you’re typically responsible for completing the brunt of the paperwork and getting it through to the proper channels.

If your employee is a citizen of the United States, they are required to obtain a visa to enter the UAE and begin working. They must also have a local sponsor before getting a visa. Citizens of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are not required to have a visa. Outside the US, other countries’ citizens that need to have a visa include UK, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Finland, Spain, Monaco, Vatican, Iceland, Andorra, San Marino, Liechtenstein, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Hungary, Latvia, Estonia, Malta, Cyprus, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

Recent Changes Alleviate the UAE Visa Process

As previously reported by Velocity Global, Gulf News quoted Brigadier Dr Rashid Sultan Al Khadar, spokesman for the Naturalisation, Residency and Ports Department at the Ministry of the Interior.  He said that those living in the UAE with a tourist visa do not need to leave the country to transfer their visa into a work permit.

Under resolution 377 of 2014, visa-holders of all types can modify the status of their entry and residency permits while staying in the country.

“Customers will be able to amend the status of their entry permits electronically through a few quick and user-friendly steps,” he said. “As a result, visitors will not need to leave the country, instead updating their visa status and paying all the necessary fees while in the UAE.”

Steps to Getting an Abu Dhabi Visa

With the changes mentioned above, it may be much quicker to get your employees into the country on a visit visa and then start the process of getting a more permanent work permit.  There may be certain circumstances where this would not work, but if you’re concerned about getting employees onboard quickly, you may have options.

The steps to obtaining a work permit in Abu Dhabi are relatively straightforward. First, the employee must get a job contract from the employer. They will then provide you with the required paperwork for you to submit to the General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs-Abu Dhabi (GDRFA).

After approval and upon arrival, foreign nationals must pass a medical exam and submit those results to their employer. The application will be finished using this information, they will be issued a labor card.  The labor card gives them the right to work in Abu Dhabi and is typically valid for two years.

A foreign national’s family can come with them, and they would need to obtain an entry permit into UAE. These permits are valid for two months from the date of issuance, after entry, the residence visa has to be issued within 30 days.

Taking Your Business to Abu Dhabi

Now that you understand how your employees can obtain an Abu Dhabi visa, you can start considering a move into UAE, if you’re not already operating there. If you want to set up shop quickly, a service like FSaaS or International PEO gives you the tools to begin working in days. Contact us today to learn more about all your employment options in Abu Dhabi and UAE.