Can I come on visit/tourist visa and look for a job in Dubai UAE?

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Tourist Visa and Job Search

It is illegal to work on a visa other than a valid employment visa in UAE meaning you can not arrive in the UAE on visit or tourist visa and work.

However, you may arrive on a visit or tourist visa and search for jobs in the UAE. (This is much better than many other countries where in order to work, you can not arrive on visit/tourist visa and look for a job.)

But once your visit visa or tourist visa expires, you will have to exit the country prior to the expiry of visa. On the other hand if you are able to secure an employment, you will still have to exit the country or pay necessary fees to convert your tourist/visit visa into employment visa.

There are applicable costs for this. It happened to me as well. I arrived here on visit visa for 3 months in the year 2005 and was hired by a local bank. (Lucky me!). They did not allow me to work till my employment visa was stamped.

If any employer asks you to start working on visit/tourist visa, he is not complying with the Labour Laws of UAE. You as well as the employer might get into trouble.

 If you choose to work without a valid employment visa in the UAE, you:

  1. Will not be in compliance with the Labour Laws of UAE. Incase of any dispute between you and the employer, you have no say in anything.
  2. Run into the risk of being fined and deported if caught while working without a valid employment visa. You will also be blacklisted so that you may never return on an employment visa to the UAE.
So be careful.
Never agree to work on visit/tourist visa if you are looking for a long-term employment in the UAE or any of its emirates.
Click on the following link and start looking for jobs in UAE.

30 Responses to “Can I come on visit/tourist visa and look for a job in Dubai UAE?”

  1. Neha

    Dec 09. 2014

    Hi Mr. Deepak,
    My Husband wants to come to Dubai on a 90 days visit visa in search of job.. the prices for dubai visit visa and sharjah visit visa are different. is there any difference in rules also if he changes the visit visa to employment visa? please advice which visit visa is recomended?

    Reply to this comment
    • Deepak Machado

      Dec 10. 2014

      whatever works cheaper for you is better.
      But check whether it is visit visa or tourist visa.
      On visit visa the residency visa can be changed without exiting the country.
      But for tourist visa, he will have to exit the country to stamp residency visa.

      Reply to this comment
  2. jorgie

    Dec 09. 2014

    Hi deepak,

    I just want to ask is it posibble to convert tourist visa to visit visa?

    Reply to this comment
    • Deepak Machado

      Dec 10. 2014

      You will have to exit the country and reapply for visit visa.

      Reply to this comment
  3. Narisa

    Dec 09. 2014

    Hi Deepak

    My husband was on 3 mos. visit visa when he was hired in a company, I was his sponsor. He was working for 1 year in the company without an employment visa and constant follow ups were made…He reached to the point of resigning from his post since he is no longer comfortable working without an employment visa. He submitted in person his resignation letter to the owner with the reason of his visa status and the CEO gladly accept it with immediate effect and wishing him all the best. And when he asked about his visa settlement, atleast to cover the fines..he replied ” I’ll check”.
    His passport was with the company and eventually his colleague called him up to pick up his passport as it was handed over to him.

    It’s been 4 days we are trying to cooperate with them but got no success. By all means, work visit, phone calls, sms.

    They have leave us no option but to seek assistance from MOL..Is this the right thing to do?

    We have documentations of exchange emails, sms, pay slip, offer letter, job contract, screen shots of his online visa application on MOL website.

    Appreciate your time and look forward to hearing from you,

    With my kind regards,

    Reply to this comment
    • Deepak Machado

      Dec 10. 2014

      Did your husband have labour contract with the company?
      If yes, then he is eligible for gratuity.
      If no, how did he work without a labour contract? This is illegal.
      If he was illegally working, I don’t think there is any legal recourse with MOL.
      On the other hand, if he was legally working, you could approach MOL to sort out your issues.

      Reply to this comment
      • Narisa

        Dec 11. 2014

        Many thanks Deepak for your reply, much appreciated.
        He does not have A labour contract from MOL, only offer letter & Job contract within the company signed by the CEO & with company stamp.
        The secretary sms him informing that they have cancelled his medical insurance.
        My husband contacted the CEO via mobile last Tuesday, 9Dec to follow up with his overstay settlement & replied him with ” don’t worry, I will arrange, I will settle…” my husband asked “when?” we’ve got a comforting answer ” I’ll check with HR and I’ll let you know”. My husband sms him with thank you message & look forward to hearing from him at the earliest…”
        By faith, once again we have taken the CEO’s words.
        What will be the next thing to do? since there is no any legal recourse with MOL.

        Hope to hearing from you,
        Thanks & regards,

        Reply to this comment
        • Deepak Machado

          Dec 13. 2014

          Is your husband’s company based in Free zone? How come there is no labour contract. Does he have labour card?
          If not, there is no recourse with MOL as you have not signed labour contract!
          You could wait for the CEO to reply and take some action. His integrity and words will be tested here!!

          Reply to this comment
  4. Mohammed sadiq ahmed

    Dec 08. 2014

    Hi deepak, I am sadiq from India. I did my BE Mechanical and I have 2 years experience as a maintainance engineering. I am looking forward to work in dubai.i have already forwarded my resumes to many companies but no response from, I decided to go on visit visa and search jobs in dubai.Is that a right decision.sugest me
    Thank you

    Reply to this comment
  5. Jho

    Nov 13. 2014

    Hello Deepak… I am on a visit visa and is soon to expire ( already extended ). I already found an employer who will work out on my Employment visa. My employment Visa will be applied 2 days AFTER my Visit Visa expires. What will I do,, will I Pay a certain amount for Overstay while waiting for my employment Visa.? My employer instructed me not to Exit Dubai… thanks.

    Reply to this comment
    • Deepak Machado

      Nov 14. 2014

      Since you have signed contract/offer letter, your employer will need to pay the overstay fees.
      The fees is around 25 dirhams per day.

      Reply to this comment
  6. Muhammad Kashif

    Nov 12. 2014

    Dear Depak Sir, i read the comments and views that if a tourist/visitor is asked by the employer to do job in UAE on the tourist/visitor visa so in case of caught he will be deported or ban for lifetime in UAE, but sir my question is that,
    is there any fine/ban for employer for this act or these all rules are made for innocent visitors/tourist.

    Reply to this comment
    • Deepak Machado

      Nov 13. 2014

      No, everyone is same under law. Don’t work when you are on tourist visa or visit visa.

      Reply to this comment
  7. Samie Ullah

    Nov 09. 2014

    Reply to this comment
  8. Dipak

    Nov 09. 2014

    Hello Deepak, currently I am working in Saudi Arabia as a driver. I am looking forward to work in Abu Dhabi as soon as possible.

    1. If possible can I come on tourist visa and search for jobs in UAE?
    2. I have a valid driving license in Saudi Arabia. Can i change or convert
    to UAE driving license?
    3. My friend living and work in UAE now, can he sponsor for me to
    apply labour visa?

    Looking forward for your reply.

    Reply to this comment
  9. Henna

    Oct 21. 2014

    Hi Deepak,

    My finance lives in Pakistan and is going on a visit visa to Dubai in December. He has his Pakistani bachelors in computer science and is currently enrolled in an online university to complete his Masters in IT. He is looking for a network engineer/system administration position… do you think its possible that he should be able to find a job? He has 7-8 years of experience.

    Reply to this comment
  10. MJ

    Oct 08. 2014

    Hi. I am on visit visa. Well on the top of my visa is written tourist. Do you know if I can extend my visa?? My visa expires on 11th Nov but the agency have given me the return ticket of 15th October. I have not got any job yet.

    Reply to this comment
    • Deepak Machado

      Oct 09. 2014

      what is the length of your original visa? Is it long term or short term?
      You may have to pay fine if you exit country post expiry of visa.

      Reply to this comment
  11. ahad jamshed

    Sep 08. 2014

    hello deepak i am ahad jamshed from pakistan.i am coming to dubai on visit visa for a job in this month september 2014. i am bachelors in computer science.i want any administrative, offiice assistant, graphics and video editing job or anyother related job such as sales or marketing. deepak do u know any links in dubai for helping to find a job or any requirtment company in email address is [email protected].
    your reply is appreciating me
    thank you
    Ahad Jamshed

    Reply to this comment
  12. Fareeda

    Aug 15. 2014

    Hi Deepak , I am fareeda from India. I am having 10 years of teaching exp and planning to come to Dubai in the first week of sept on visit visa. After coming over there which is the best thing for me to search a teacher job. Should I consult an agency or is there any way to get hired……
    Hope you will respond to me and suggest me the right way.

    Reply to this comment
  13. Alexandra M.

    May 23. 2014

    I just wanna asks, my friend working in a syrian house here in uae. The family of her boss have a longterm visa, but they are stayed here for more than 6 months. Is that possible?

    Reply to this comment
    • Deepak Machado

      May 26. 2014

      if they are staying without a valid visa it is illegal

      Reply to this comment
  14. Adil

    Mar 13. 2014

    Hi I am on a visit visa in Dubai and found a job here the company told me that they have started my visa process and say that I have to exit and then come back in few days ! Can I just trust them ? Is there no way to check if they have processed my visa or not ?

    Reply to this comment
    • Deepak M

      Mar 16. 2014

      I dont think you can check personally. If they say that your visa is under process you need to trust them. Since it is a visit visa you need to exit the country to come on new employment visa.

      Reply to this comment

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