Comprehensive Guide to UAE Work Permits (2024)

Last Updated on July 9, 2024 by Vadim

Navigating the UAE’s job market requires a solid understanding of the various work permit options available. This guide breaks down all 13 work permit types issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) for the private sector in 2024. Whether you’re an employer or job seeker, this information is crucial for compliance and career planning.

1. Work Permit (Recruiting a Worker from Outside the State)

This permit allows registered establishments to bring in workers from abroad.

Key Points:

  • Employers handle all hiring procedures
  • Covers residence visa, medical testing, Emirates ID, and Labour Card
  • 60-day completion window from employee’s arrival
  • All costs borne by the employer

Penalties: Fines of AED 50,000 to 200,000 for non-compliance

2. Transfer Work Permit

Facilitates the movement of expatriate workers between MOHRE-registered establishments within the UAE.

3. Work Permit Under the Residence of Relative Permit

  • For individuals sponsored by family members
  • Employer applies for work permit only, not visa sponsorship

4. Temporary Work Permit

  • Duration: Up to six months
  • For workers already residing in the UAE
  • Ideal for short-term or project-based employment

5. One-Mission Permit

  • For recruiting workers from abroad for temporary work or specific projects
  • Duration limited to the project timeframe

6. Part-Time Work Permit

Key Features:

  • Minimum 20 working hours weekly
  • Allows work for multiple employers without primary employer’s approval
  • Separate contracts required for each employer

7. Juvenile Work Permit

  • Age Range: 15 to 18 years
  • Requires written parental/guardian consent
  • Maximum 6 working hours per day
  • Restricted from hazardous or hard work

8. Student Training and Employment Permit

  • Eligibility: UAE residents aged 15 and above
  • Duration: Three months
  • For private sector training of students
  • Requires written parental/guardian consent

9. UAE and GCC National Permit

Allows establishments to employ UAE or GCC citizens.

10. Golden Visa Work Permit

Golden Visa holders still need this permit to work in the private sector. Applicable in these scenarios:

  1. Not working when Golden Visa obtained, now seeking employment
  2. Renewing work permit with current employer
  3. Changing jobs to new employer

11. National Trainee Permit

For companies training Emiratis according to their academic qualifications.

12. Freelance Permit

  • Can be applied for by individuals, not employers
  • Allows self-employment without specific employer sponsorship

13. Private Teacher Work Permit


  • Registered teachers in government/private schools
  • Government and private sector employees
  • Unemployed individuals
  • School students aged 15-18
  • University students

Application is free through the MOHRE website.

General Notes on UAE Work Permits

  • Most permits must be applied for by the employer
  • Penalties apply for hiring without proper permits
  • Specific rules and restrictions apply for juveniles and students
  • Even Golden Visa holders need appropriate work permits if employed in the private sector

Key Takeaways

  • The UAE offers a diverse range of work permit options to cater to various employment scenarios.
  • Understanding these permits is crucial for both employers and employees to ensure legal compliance.
  • Special provisions exist for students, part-time workers, and freelancers, offering flexibility in the job market.
  • Employers bear significant responsibility in the permit application process and face penalties for non-compliance.
  • Even privileged visa holders, like those with Golden Visas, need to obtain proper work permits for private sector employment.

By familiarising yourself with these work permit types, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the UAE’s employment landscape. Whether you’re a recent graduate, seasoned professional, or looking for flexible work arrangements, there’s likely a permit option suited to your needs. Stay informed, comply with regulations, and make the most of the opportunities available in the UAE’s dynamic job market.

If you want to read more about related topics, check out these articles:

  1. Streamlining Hiring in Dubai: The 5-Day ‘Work Bundle’ Solution
  2. How to Set Up a Business in UAE in 15 Minutes: Basher Platform Guide [2024]