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UAE: What is the procedure for Golden Visa holders to change jobs?

KT reader asks what the law says about 10-year residency holders who plan to take up new work in the country

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Published: Sun 29 Oct 2023, 8:36 AM

Last updated: Sun 29 Oct 2023, 11:25 PM

Question: I am a Golden Visa holder planning to take up a new job in the UAE. What are the formalities and procedures for me to switch jobs? Do I have to cancel any documents or apply for new ones for me and/or family members sponsored by me?

Answer: Pursuant to your queries, it is assumed that you are currently employed in the UAE and intend to take up employment offered by a mainland company in the UAE. Therefore, the provisions of Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Employment Relations, Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022 on the Implementation of Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 regarding the Regulations of Employment Relations and Administrative Resolution No. 38 of 2022 concerning the Guidelines for Implementing Ministerial Resolution No. 46 of 2022 Regarding Work Permits Offer Letters and Employment Contract Forms are applicable.

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An individual who is residing under a UAE golden residency visa may take up employment in the UAE. This is in accordance with Article 7 of the Employment Law read with Article 6(1) (j) of the Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022, which states, “Subject to the provisions of Article 7 of the Decree-Law, the type of work permit shall be determined as follows:

Golden Visa holders permit: This type of permit is issued upon the request of an establishment registered with the Ministry that wishes to employ an employee holding a Golden Visa in the State.”

Furthermore, a UAE golden residency visa holder upon resignation from his or her current employment needs to cancel his or her existing work permit with the current employer. This is in accordance with Article 7 (3) of the Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022, which states,

“Procedures for cancelling work permits:

a. The submission of an application for cancelling the work permit shall be through the channels specified by the Ministry:

b. Completion of the required data and attached documents.

c. Payment of the fines for delays in issuing the work permit or for failure to renew it, if any.

d. Acknowledgment by the establishment of granting the worker all of his entitlements.

e. Any other conditions determined by resolution of the Minister or whomever he delegates.”

Based on the aforementioned provision of law, once a work permit of a UAE golden residency visa holder is cancelled, he or she may sign an employment contract with a prospective employer and obtain a work permit in accordance with provisions as laid down in Administrative Resolution No. 38 of 2022.

The requirements to obtain a work permit through the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiritisation (MoHRE) for a UAE golden residency visa holder in accordance with Administrative Resolution No. 38 of 2022 are:

1. clear coloured photo with a white background

2. A copy of a valid passport that must be valid for at least six months with a copy of a valid residency (Golden) Visa

3. Approved employment contract issued by the Ministry, which includes both the employer’s and employee’s signature

4. Academic Certificates: A clear certificate bearing the name of the employee, attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for the following skill levels:

Skill levels (1 & 2): Bachelor Degree or higher attested by the competent authorities;

Skill level (3 & 4): Diploma graduate or higher – attested by the competent authorities

Skill level (5): High school certificate – attested by the competent authorities

State issued certificates are excluded

5. Professional license issued by the competent authority, for example doctor, nurse, etc (professional license issued by the Ministry of Health – Department of Health)/Teacher, teacher assistant (Ministry of Education- Knowledge Authority (Dubai) – Abu Dhabi Education Council – Sharjah Education Council), Fitness Trainer (Youth and Sports Authority)/Advocate (Ministry of Justice).

Therefore, as you are self-sponsored to reside in the UAE under Golden Visa residency, the requirement to change the residency visa status of your family members may not be necessary as you need to only cancel your existing work permit with your current employer issued by MoHRE and obtain a new one from your prospective company through MoHRE.

You may contact the MoHRE for further clarifications on this matter.

Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom and India. Full details of his firm on: Readers may e-mail their questions to: [email protected] or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.


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