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UAE Labor Card 2024: Everything you need to know

By WebHR Administrator


A UAE Labour Card, also known as a work permit, is your ticket to legally work in the UAE. Without it, you cant legally work in the United Arab Emirates.

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Welcome to our complete guide on the UAE Labour Card, a must-have for working legally in the United Arab Emirates. Understanding the UAE Labour Laws and the essentials of having a Labour Card is crucial for everyone aiming to work here, whether you're just landing your first job or running a company. This guide will walk you through what a Labour Card is, why it's important, and how it affects your employment in the UAE.

What is the UAE Labour Card?

A UAE Labour Card, also known as a work permit, is your ticket to legally work in the UAE. It is a document that proves you're allowed to work here. Think of it as your work ID that carries all your job details.

For Employees: The Labour Card is your proof of employment. It holds key details about you, like your job, who you work for, and when your permit needs to be renewed. Without it, you can't legally work in the UAE.

For Employers: It's your responsibility to make sure all your employees have valid Labour Cards. This ensures your business complies with UAE Labour Laws, avoiding any legal issues or fines.

Eligibility for a UAE Labour Card

For Employees

To be eligible for a UAE Labour Card, you must meet a few key criteria. Let's break them down:

You should be at least 18 years old but not older than 60. This age range is set to ensure you're capable of handling the work physically and have the maturity the job requires.

Depending on the job you're aiming for, you might need specific qualifications. For instance, if you're looking into a professional role, you'll likely need a degree or a diploma that proves you're trained for the job.

Before you can start working, you need to pass a medical examination. This is to ensure you're healthy and fit for work, and you don't have any medical conditions that could affect your performance or the health of others at your workplace.

For Employers

If you're an employer, you have responsibilities too. Keeping your workforce legal and compliant with UAE Labour Laws is crucial. Here's what's expected of you:

Keep up-to-date records for all your employees. This includes their job details, personal information, and their Labour Card status. Ensuring these records are accurate helps avoid any legal complications.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) sets out clear guidelines for employing staff in the UAE. Please make sure you're familiar with these rules and follow them closely.

Once someone joins your team, you have 60 days to get their Labour Card sorted. Delaying beyond this can lead to fines and indicates you're not following the rules.

Types of UAE Labour Cards and Work Permits

The UAE offers diverse Labour Cards and Work Permits to cater to the wide range of employment needs in the country. Each type is tailored for specific job roles, industries, and employment conditions, ensuring compliance with UAE labor laws and facilitating the efficient hiring of talent.

Work Permit for Foreign Workers

Allows businesses to hire employees from outside the UAE, contributing to the diversity and skill set of the UAE workforce by facilitating the recruitment of international talent.

Transfer Work Permit

Enables the transfer of a foreign employee from one employer to another within the UAE, providing flexibility for employees to move between jobs and for employers to retain skilled workers.

Temporary Work Permit

Issued for employment on short-term projects or temporary positions, it allows companies to hire the right talent for specific projects without long-term commitments.

One-Mission Work Permit

For hiring foreign workers to complete a temporary task or project for a specific period, enables businesses to address immediate or specialized job requirements effectively.

Juvenile Work Permit

Permits the employment of individuals between the ages of 15 and 18, providing young workers with opportunities for early career experience while ensuring their protection under labor laws.

Student Training Work Permit

Allows companies to hire students in the UAE for training or internship purposes, facilitating practical learning and work experience for students and bridging the gap between education and the workforce.

National Apprentice Permit

To train UAE nationals in various professions, supporting Emiratization by preparing nationals for meaningful careers in the private sector.

Freelance Work Permit

For self-employed foreigners in the UAE to offer services to individuals or companies, encouraging entrepreneurship and flexibility in the job market by allowing professionals to work on a freelance basis.

Work Permit for Citizens Sponsored by Relatives

Enables UAE citizens to work while being sponsored by family members, supporting family stability and economic participation of nationals within the local job market.

Part-Time Work Permit

Allows employees to work for multiple employers on a part-time basis, offering flexibility for workers seeking multiple job opportunities and for companies needing part-time staff.

Permit for Hiring Emirati or GCC Citizens

Streamlines the process for employing UAE nationals or citizens from other GCC countries, promoting the employment of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nationals and enhancing regional integration.

Golden Visa Work Permit

For individuals holding the UAE’s Golden Residence Visa, allowing them to work in the country and attract and retain high-skilled professionals and investors by offering long-term residency and work opportunities.

How to Apply for a UAE Labour Card as a Candidate

If you're a candidate looking to work in the UAE, obtaining a Labour Card is a crucial step towards legal employment. Here's a step-by-step guide tailored for candidates on how to secure your UAE Labor Card, along with the documents you'll need during the application process.

Step-by-Step Process for Candidates

  1. Secure a Job Offer: Your journey begins with receiving a formal job offer from a UAE-based employer. Ensure the offer clearly outlines your role, salary, and other employment terms.
  2. Employer Applies for Work Permit: Once you accept the offer, your employer will initiate the process by applying for a work permit on your behalf through the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE). This step is crucial for your legal entry into the UAE job market.
  3. Entry Permit Issuance: With the work permit approved, you'll receive an entry permit (if you're outside the UAE), which allows you to enter the country for employment purposes.
  4. Undergo Medical Testing: Upon arrival in the UAE or if you're already in the country, you must complete the mandatory medical tests to prove you're fit for employment.
  5. Apply for Emirates ID: Concurrently, start the process for obtaining your Emirates ID, a mandatory identification card for all UAE residents.
  6. Residency Visa Application: Your employer will now process your residency visa, which is linked to your employment and allows you to legally reside in the UAE.
  7. Labour Card Application Completion: With the residency visa in hand, your employer will finalize the Labour Card application through MoHRE. This step cements your legal status as a worker in the UAE.
  8. Receive Your Labour Card: Once processed, your Labour Card will be issued. Nowadays, this is typically done digitally, and you can access your Labour Card through the MoHRE app or website.

Required Documents for Candidates

  • Passport-Sized Photograph: With a white background, for identification purposes.
  • Valid Passport: Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months from the application date.
  • Copies of Academic and Professional Certificates: Relevant to your job position, possibly requiring attestation depending on your home country and the UAE’s requirements.
  • Medical Test Results: From a UAE-approved health center, confirming you're free from communicable diseases.
  • Signed Employment Contract: Provided by your employer, detailing your job role, salary, and other terms of employment.
  • Entry Permit: For candidates outside the UAE, provided by the employer upon work permit approval.

Following these steps diligently and ensuring you have all the required documents ready will smooth the path to obtaining your UAE Labour Card. Remember, your employer plays a crucial role in this process, so maintain open communication with them to ensure all steps are completed promptly.

How to Check Your UAE Labour Card Online

Checking your UAE Labour Card status online is straightforward, thanks to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) digital services. Here's how you can easily access your Labour Card details using the MOHRE App, Website, UAE Pass App, and Tas’heel service centres.

Using the MOHRE App

  1. Download and Install the MOHRE App: Available for both iOS and Android devices, you can find it on the App Store or Google Play Store.
  2. Register or Log In: If you're a first-time user, you'll need to register by providing your personal details and creating an account. If you already have an account, simply log in.
  3. Navigate to Labour Card Details: Once logged in, look for the option that lets you view your Labour Card or UAE work permit details. This section will provide you with all relevant information, including your work permit number, issue and expiry dates.
  4. View Digital Labour Card: The app also offers a feature to view a digital copy of your Labour Card, which you can use for verification purposes.

Using the MOHRE Website

  1. Visit the MOHRE Website: Go to the official MOHRE website
  2. Services Section: Click the 'Services' tab or a similar option that leads to labour services.
  3. Select 'Work Permit Inquiry' or Similar Service: Choose the service that allows you to check your Labour Card or work permit status.
  4. Enter Required Details: You may need to input your Labour Card number, passport number, or other identification details to proceed.
  5. Access Your Labour Card Information: After submitting the required information, you'll be able to view the details of your Labour Card.

Alternative Methods

UAE Pass App:

  1. Download the UAE Pass App: Install it from your device's app store.
  2. Log In: Use your UAE Pass credentials to log in. If you don't have UAE Pass, you will need to register first.
  3. Access Labour Card Details: Navigate to the section that links to MOHRE services and find the option for Labour Card details.

Tas’heel Service Centres:

  1. Locate a Tas’heel Centre: Find the nearest Tas’heel service centre in your area.
  2. Visit in Person: Go to the centre and request assistance in checking your Labour Card details. You may need to provide identification and possibly your passport number or Emirates ID.
  3. Obtain Labour Card Information: The staff at Tas’heel will help you access the details of your Labour Card or work permit.

Labour Card Renewal Process

Renewing your UAE Labour Card is an essential process to ensure your continued legal employment status in the country. Below is a detailed explanation of the renewal process, including the timeline and required documents.

Timeline for Renewal

  • Start Early: Ideally, begin the renewal process 2-3 months before your Labour Card expires. This gives you ample time to gather documents and address any issues that may arise.
  • Renewal Window: The UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) typically allows for Labour Card renewal up to 60 days before the expiry date.

Required Documents for Renewal

  1. Completed Application Form: Available through MoHRE’s online portal or at Tas’heel service centers.
  2. Passport-Sized Photo: Recent and with a white background.
  3. Valid Passport Copy: Ensure your passport has at least six months of validity.
  4. Copy of Current Labour Card: Needed to verify your existing details.
  5. Valid Company Trade Licence Copy: To confirm the employer's legal operating status.
  6. Valid Emirates ID: A copy of your current Emirates ID.
  7. Medical Fitness Test Results: For certain categories of employees, updated medical fitness results might be required.
  8. Educational Certificates and Professional Qualifications: Especially if there have been any changes or updates since your last application.

Steps for Renewal

  1. Employer Initiates Renewal: Your employer should start the renewal process by submitting the application and required documents through the MoHRE portal or at a Tas’heel service centre.
  2. Payment of Fees: Renewal fees vary depending on the type of Labour Card and the company’s category. Your employer will be responsible for paying these fees.
  3. Issuance of Renewed Labour Card: Once processed and approved, your renewed Labour Card will be available. The UAE is moving towards digital documentation, so check the MoHRE app or website for your digital Labour Card.

Steps to Take if You Lose Your Labour Card

  1. Report the Loss: Inform your employer about the lost Labour Card as soon as possible.
  2. File a Report: Depending on the emirate, you might need to file a report with the local police station or directly through MoHRE.
  3. Application for Replacement: Your employer will need to apply for a replacement Labour Card through MoHRE. This usually involves filling out a specific form and possibly providing a copy of the police report.
  4. Payment of Replacement Fee: There is a fee for issuing a replacement Labour Card. Your employer will be responsible for this payment.
  5. Issuance of New Labour Card: Once the application is processed, a new Labour Card will be issued. Like the renewal process, the replacement card may also be available digitally through the MoHRE platform.

Simplify the process of managing labor cards in the UAE with comprehensive HR software, providing you with all the tools and resources necessary to navigate the intricacies of labor card regulations effortlessly.