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Work and Study Opportunities in the United Arab Emirates

Even though 90% of the workforce in the United Arab Emirates is foreign, the federation strictly controls the movement of foreigners
Even though 90% of the workforce in the United Arab Emirates is foreign, the federation strictly controls the movement of foreigners. Obtaining visas and work permits is a rather involved task that must be done according to bureaucratic procedures.

Unfortunately, if you are denied access to the UAE, there is little hope for an appeal. But typically, expatriates don’t have to deal directly with the labyrinth of bureaucratic procedures involved in obtaining residence and work visas. If you are hired by a company in the UAE, that company likely has a worker whose job is solely to help foreign workers obtain the proper documentation. This person will even accompany you on visa-related tasks when your presence is required at a ministerial department.

When you enter the UAE, you are required to have a number of documents with you:
  1. Passport valid for at least six months from date of entry
  2. Six or more passport sized photographs
  3. Marriage certificate if applicable
  4. Birth certificates for all family members
  5. Copy of your labor/tenancy contract
You will probably be denied entry if you hold an Israeli passport. Even if you have Israeli stamps in your passport you may have problems getting in. It is a good idea to contact the UAE embassy where you live to find out if you need to get a new passport.

Once in the UAE, you have to carry your passport or identity card, plus entry and residence visas on you at all times. At work, it is common for there to be random spot checks on businesses to find illegally employed workers.

Most visitors to the UAE require a visa of some sort, whether on a vacation or business trip. Of course, you do need a proper visa to work in the UAE. Because visa requirements change, you should contact the UAE embassy where you live to find out exactly which documents you will need.

If you are going to work in the UAE, you’ll need a labor card and a residence visa, which require that you first undergo medical examination. Once your labor card is issued, you surrender your passport to your employer. Residence visas last for three years, but they are easy to renew. The age limit for residence visas is normally 50, but exceptions can be made with sufficient reason.

Gaining citizenship in the UAE is not likely. The government of the UAE does not want foreigners to become a permanent part of Emirati society. Even if you marry a UAE national, you may not qualify to become a naturalized citizen, especially if you are not a Muslim. Children born in the UAE will have the nationality of the parents. If the father is a UAE national, a child born in the UAE will usually be granted nationality and may later qualify for a local passport.

If you are planning to attend a college or university all these and some training schools provide student visas. But before enrolling, you should find out the specifics from the school you want to attend. When you have found a program or school that is of interest, you must apply for admission and make sure you are accepted before beginning the process of getting the necessary documents for studying in the UAE.
Depending on the institution, you may have to be admitted and pay fees before they can issue your student visa. This process usually takes about 30 days. Some institutions include the fee for a student visa in their registration fees and some do not.

In the UAE there are some government run universities and colleges that only admit UAE nationals, but there are a large number of private schools that open enrollment to any student meeting admission requirements.

There are a number of good reasons to consider work or study in the UAE. There are numerous companies hiring talented people, and there is no personal income tax in the UAE. There is great cultural diversity, and you’re sure to meet people from your country of origin. The UAE has some of the best restaurants and hotels in the world, and it’s a great place for shopping.

The UAE also boasts a low crime rate and political stability, along with repatriation of earnings, which means that you can make money and send it back to your country of origin if you want. The UAE is also a good place to raise a family and has very impressive institutions of higher education.

The UAE is located at the intersection of numerous cultures and nationalities due to its location on the Persian Gulf. It is easily accessible from Europe, Asia, other Middle Eastern countries and the Indian subcontinent. It has experienced massive economic growth and has some of the most modern cities in the whole world. For those looking to work or study abroad, the UAE is definitely worth consideration.

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