UAE Announces Changes to Work Permit System and Extends Validity to 3 Years

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The Federal National Council (FNC) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has recently granted approval for an extension of work permits from two years to three. The decision was made in response to a request made by an FNC committee to reduce the financial burden involved with obtaining work permits.

Extension of Work Permit Duration

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization currently issues work permits in the UAE for a period of two years. It is important to note that Working in the country without a valid permit is strictly prohibited.

The FNC Committee on Financial, Economic, and Industrial Affairs, on the other hand, advocated extending the period to three years in order to expedite the procedure and minimize costs for individuals and enterprises. This recommendation was adopted by the FNC, indicating a significant shift in the labour market.

Also Read: UAE to Introduce New Flexible Work Permits for Freelancers

Additional Recommendations

The FNC committee also put forth several other suggestions to enhance the efficiency and flexibility of the work permit system. Among these recommendations is the waiver of work permit fees for job changes, aiming to facilitate greater mobility for employees within the UAE.

Another approved proposal is the requirement for workers to spend a minimum of one year with an employer following the probation period. However, this condition can be waived if the employer grants consent.

Enhanced Inspection Measures

During discussions, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation informed the FNC about its rigorous inspection efforts conducted throughout the country.

This year alone, over 72,000 inspection visits were carried out, including 2,300 visits related to suspected cases of fraudulent Emiratisation. The ministry identified approximately 430 cases, with some being referred to the public prosecution for further action.

Must Read: UAE Announced New Service Fees To Issue Work Permits

Protective Policies for Employers

During a recent FNC meeting, Abdulrahman Al Awar, the Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, emphasized three key policies aimed at safeguarding employers from various risks:

1. Worker Protection Insurance System

Employers are obligated to provide insurance coverage to protect workers in cases of company insolvency or the inability to pay dues. Presently, over 96 per cent of registered workers are covered under this scheme.

2. Wage Protection System

This system ensures that employee salaries are paid in a timely and secure manner. Companies and establishments are required to fulfil wage obligations through authorized financial institutions.

3. Unemployment Insurance

More than 2 million individuals, including 40,000 Emiratis, have subscribed to the unemployment insurance scheme. Eligible workers in the UAE must subscribe to this scheme before June 30 to avoid penalties. The scheme provides a low-cost safety net for workers who may face job loss.


In conclusion, the FNC’s approval of the extension of work permits to three years reflects the UAE government’s commitment to enhancing the labour market and easing administrative procedures for workers and businesses.

The measures introduced by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation aim to strike a balance between protecting employees’ rights and supporting employers in meeting Emiratisation targets.

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