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

Tourist Visa, Visit 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 visa or tourist visa and work.

However, you may arrive on a visit visa 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 visa/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 visit visa into employment visa. For those on Tourist Visa, you will have to exit UAE to get a new employment visa processed.

To change your visit visa to employment visa, there are applicable costs . 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 received. (Pink Employment visa)

If any employer asks you to start working on visit visa or 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.

What are the fines if you are caught working while on Visit visa or tourist visa?

If you are caught working while on tourist visa or visit visa, you are liable to pay 50000 Dirhams as a fine for the offence. It is not worth for you to work while on visit visa. Companies who employ people who are on visit visa or tourist visa will face high penalties if they are caught working.

What if my employer makes me work on visit visa or tourist visa

If your employer or company makes you work while on visit/tourist visa, please let them know that they are breaking UAE Laws. If they insist, I recommend that you do not work for them till they obtain your labour approval or labour contract. Ultimately, you should have your employment visa.

So be careful.
Never agree to work on visit visa/tourist visa if you are looking for a long-term employment in the UAE and any of its emirates.
Click on the following link and start looking for jobs in UAE.
About Deepak 505 Articles
Deepak is a passionate blogger with interests in bitcoin, online marketing, and writing.
  • 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 ?

    • 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.

      • hi am here in visit visa for 3 month .but i have already sing offer letter in dubai company before i came uae, but for which company i have sing offer letter it is going to delay for more than two i am here in visit visa now want do job in another company until my first company will call if i get job and my first company call me after six month than i can resing second company or not?

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

    • MJ,
      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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Hello I am on a visit visa here in dubai, I am an MBA graduate from india with 4 years experience in Marketing and sales. I am staying at Hor Al Anz Dubai Please suggest me the best way to get a job profile that suits my qualification, as i have only one week left to the expiry date of my visa. My contact details are
    [email protected]

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

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

  • 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

  • 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,

    • Narisa,
      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.

      • 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,

        • Narisa,
          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!!

  • 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?

    • Neha,
      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.

  • hi deepak

    iam coming to duabi by this month ending or may be next month on tourist visa to search a job in one month and give some suggestions how to get job on any platform plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    and one more is nessicity of HRD attestation for dubai when coming by touristvisa or we can do after getting job???plz help me in this two things

  • Hi deepak,
    im on visit visa and been in abu dhabi for a month now, im waiting for my employement visa to employer said that work visa in free zone will takes time 10 to 15 days, is it true? And he told me I can start working because my work visa will finish in days, but I knew this is breaking the law so I decided to wait until my work visa to be done.
    do you think I should exit uae once my employement visa ready?
    thank you for your time

    • Fita,
      Yes, True.
      It is illegal to work without proper visa and approval.
      Exiting depends whether your visa is visit visa or tourist visa!

  • Hi Deepak !! Kudos for all your replies to everyone!! It really means a lot to them!, aswell as me if i get a reply!!

    Am planning to visit dubai very soon on a visiting visa, obviously for job hunt. I am a graduate (Btech) in EEE, 2 years experienced in marketing sales and also technical part.

    Looking forward to work in a Good concern for a better carreer growth. THing I fear about is, will i get a engineering visa ? what salary (AED) can i expect? what will be the minimum package for candidate with my profile !!

    And mostly which particular area (locality) to concentrate on searching jobs with well established companies??

    Please do replyas it is a now or never situation for me!!

    Thanks in advance!!Cheers!!

  • Hi Deepak !! Kudos for all your replies to everyone!! It really means a lot to them!, aswell as me if i get a reply!!

    Am planning to visit dubai very soon on a visiting visa, obviously for job hunt. I am a graduate (Btech) in EEE, 2 years experienced in marketing sales and also technical part.

    Looking forward to work in a Good concern for a better carreer growth. THing I fear about is, will i get a engineering visa ? what salary (AED) can i expect? what will be the minimum package for candidate with my profile !!

    And mostly which particular area (locality) to concentrate on searching jobs with well established companies??

    Please do reply as it is a now or never situation for me!!

    Thanks in advance!!Cheers!!

  • hi, if we come on visit visa to Dubai and are unable to find a job within 3 months, can we covert to student visa?

  • Hi, i am working in dubai from last 2 years. after 2 months i want to bring my fiancee here for job. So, i am planning to take 90 days visa so that she able to get time to search job here. She has done MBA and working in india. Will she get job in UAE and what are the sources that she should apply for job.

  • Hi deepak, pls advice if a lady on visit visa can change to maid visa if she gets a emarati sponsor. Pls explain the procedure and fee applicable. Also pls advice if she can come on visit visa issued from abu dhabi or dubai or sharjah, and later get transferred to maid visa in abu dhabi as her sponsor will be from abu dhabi. Thanks

      • Thanks deepak for replying. I have some more doubts.According to travel agents the government is not allowing to issue visit visa for females. So they should exit to kish and come back on new visa. Is it so?

        Another issue is she is of ECR category. SO due to practical difficulties, the travel agent advised this lady to come on a visit visa to uae and get her visa changed. But she is worried what will happen in future or when she has to travel back to india for vaccation? will the airport officials allow her to travel back to uae as she will bypass this step now?

        • Geeta,
          Once the visa is stamped, I don’t think Indian authorities will ask any questions.
          But ECR will be an issue. This needs to be sorted.

          • Hi deepak, thanks a lot for ur advices. I still have some doubts regarding the maid with ECR. Once she reaches uae and gets transferred to uae residence visa will the ECR still be an issue while traveling to and fro India, even though she has a valid visa and labour card. Will she be stopped by indian authorities in airports in india when she wants to travel back to uae. Another clarification required on the issue of her coming here on tourist visa, since she will be transferred under a locals sponsorship does he require to pay the deposit aed 9500 ad make a contract with indian embassy? And are you sure she has to exit the country if she comes on touristvisa , as some agencies says transferring from tourist visa to employment visa does not require to exit the country. Another opinion is that to bring her under 3 months visit visa and then get her transferred without exiting. Pls clarify. Kindly advice the charges involved for the transferring with in uae.

            • Geeta,
              Yes, ECR will still be an issue. Better to clear ECR requirements. You could convert it into ECNR here in Indian Consulate in Dubai.
              No requirement of 9500 since she was hired here in UAE. Deposit is only in case she is directly recruited from India.
              Yes, if you are on tourist visa, you will need to exit in order that new visa is applied.
              Yes, you could get her on VISIT visa and transfer later to employment visa.
              I am not sure about the charges. They keep changing.

  • Hello, I am a diploma holder in civil, kindly advise me on few points.
    What are the chances to get a job in dubai on visit visa?
    Do i have to attest my certificates?
    Is there any special procedure for engineers to for applying a job in dubai, because some one told me that you cannot get a job on visit visa.


  • Hi, I am on a New Long Term visit single Entry – Tourism in Abu Dhabi, I came here a week ago and have been looking for a job. Sir, if I found a job before expiration of my visa, do I need to exit the country and wait for my employer to send my employment visa or is there a way I can convert the visa to employment visa here?

    • Olawale,
      If you are on a tourist visa, yes you will need to exit.
      If you are on Visit visa, you do not need not exit.

  • Hi, am an accountant by profession but I came here as amaid can I change from being amaid to another job without aban. Thanx

  • Hi Deepak….
    1- i’m in dubai on visit visa if i find a job then must be exit or not.
    2- how can i check my visa in internet myself

    • Asim,
      1. NOt required to exit in VISIT visa. Note that Tourist visa is not same as visit visa.
      2. Which visa?

  • hii deepak,i am on long term tourist visa right now.i got a job and they want me to immidiate joining.can i exit immidiately after issue of employment visa .

  • Hi. I am on a 30 day tourist visa and I found a job.
    Employer said that I need to work now on tourist visa since my employment visa is under process. Can I work now?

    • Abid,
      Working while on tourist or visit visa in UAE is ILLEGAL.
      Your employer must be aware of this!

  • Hi deepak, I have a few questions, Thanks in advance for answering !
    1. I am here in dubai, it is written on top of my visa “tourist/single-short”, is it a tourist or visit visa ?
    2. I already found a job and my employer told me that I should exit so they can apply for my employment visa, I already signed an offer letter, what is my assurance that when I leave the country they will going to process my employment visa ?
    3. Approximately how many days will it take for my employment visa to be released from the day I left dubai ?

    • Michael,
      1. Tourist Visa.
      2. No assurance!!
      3. Can not put any number of days as there is a procedure and depends from person to person.

  • hi iam on visit visa in sharjah now , applied all job sites but did not got reply, my visa is going to expire soon so i would like to go and meet firms directly by my self, but dont know where to. please suggest me. iam mechanical engineer with 2 years experience.

  • Hi! Deepak working dh here in dubai and i will finished my visa on may but my employer doesnt give me a release paper..xan u help me

  • My agency apply my visit visa in Sarjah.

    My question is can I enter in Dubai Airport with my Sarjah visit visa?

    • Yebs,
      Yes, you could enter as long as the visa is valid and you have the original.
      But there may be preconditions.

  • My employer took my original tourist visa and original passport and gave it to third party PRO to process my visa 3 weeks back, I dont have offer letter and now my trourist visa is expiring in 3 days, I have only photostat copy of the PRO receipt given to company and I dont have any other proof, what should I do now

    • Chandu,
      You should request your passport and head back to your country if you visa/Labour card is not approved.

  • hello .my visa was finished mrach 30 2015 .and also my grace period also finishes april 30 2015 .i want to seacrh job and i planned to exit to kish .so i can get visit visa or tourist visa after i exit


  • Hi Deepak,
    My friend and his wife wanted to come to Dubai in search of the job, so can I apply for a visa for them ?
    If yes then I have to apply for Visit Visa or Tourist Visa ?

  • dear Deepak ,
    can I buy tourist visa then I search job on tourist visa its ok or must b take visit visa they are same or not tourist visa is not expansive and tourist visa will b extent after 30 days and I will apply in job on tourist visa .

    • Ziafat,
      No, you can’t extend the tourist visa. Either you take 30 day (short term) or 90 day (long term) tourist visa.
      However, you do not have to stay outside UAE for 30 days before a new visa can be applied!!

  • Hello Deepak… I am Safia From India and currently working for a real estate company as a broker from Nov 2014 in DUBAI.I dont have any other experience. I have done my B.Tech in IT and completed my studies in 2009. And i want to make my career in IT field. can i get a job easily in IT field without any experience..??? And where should i apply so as to get a job in IT sector

  • Hi Deepak,

    Is there a restriction to which country you can exit to if an employer is ready to hire you. I have heard that on a visit visa you can exit to Kish, but of you are on a tourist visa, then you have to exit to your country of boarding.
    Does anyone know about this?

    • Reeba,
      If you are on tourist visa, you must exit to your home country.
      Visit visa, you can go to Kish.

      • Hi Deepak,
        It gave me a lot of knowledge. I am new and happened to take up PRO responsibilities for a budding company in Abu Dhabi.

        However, I have similar case. A Filipino, on long term tourist Visa, expiring on 23rd and getting ready to exit to Oman after our company secured a job for her.

        The person who is currently arranging these matters say it is OK but you say that such visa holders should exit to there county of origin.

        What is correct? Will she in trouble if she exit to Kish?

        • Rodrigo,
          Usually those who are in tourist visa should exit to their home country.
          However, I am not sure whether she could exit to other countries. I do not see any problems in that.

  • SIR.

    I have taken long Term tourist visa (90 days) and presently in UAE. Should i exit to home country if i get job before it expires. Can i Convert this into employment visa. Employer requested me to start the work and required passport and my tourist visa för Thé same. Should go to kish.Pl. Suggest to proceed

  • hi deepak,
    i got job in UAE and now am in Duabi, mine is long term visit visa, company is transferring that to work visa, how many days it will take?

    • Bibin,
      I can not say how many days exactly. It may take anywhere between 2 to 5 weeks due to various clearances required.

  • hello deepak..

    what does this visa status means….??? is it a visit visa or a tourist visa.. please read the visaz status carefully and reply…


    is this a visit visa or a tourist visa..???

    if i get a job in dubai with this visa status then do i need to leave and come back again to get a employment visa or there is no need to go out and come to get a employment visa.. please do reply

    • Safia,
      Long term means 90 days and you can only enter UAE once with such kind of a visa.
      Yes, you will have to exit UAE once you find a job if you are on Tourist visa.

    • I am confused about the same. Any luck figuring it out whether it is a tourist or Visit visa?

  • hi gud morning can u advice me plan I’m currently work in housemaid this July 28 2015 my passport visa expired I try to
    apply other job in online . what is I got the job I need Togo back in my country or not or I start my new job . or refer me what visa i apply if I go in my country and I come here. thanks hope u reply

    • Mirasol,
      First you will need to renew your passport and then look at all other things.
      yes, you will have to exit the country once your visa is expired.

  • Hi,
    I am just confused with visit/tourist visa.
    my visa status- TOURIST/SINGLE-LONG TERM
    Do I have to exit UAE when it expires?

  • Hi!
    I have offered job in sharjah can I travel on visitors visa and apply for work visa latter . Because it needs to get HRD done for degree certificate which takes around 30 days.

  • hi, deepak as i am on visit visa i got a job and i have more 1 month to expire my visit visa they are saying to go me my country, so plz can u say me in the presence of my in dubai employement visa wil b issue r not. and how many days it takes to issue the visa..

    • Salman,
      I cannot say anything about the processing period.
      It depends on the Authorities.

  • My cousin got employment recently when he was on visit visa in Dubai. He exited back to India awaiting his employment visa. After receiving his employment visa from the company, he could not board the flight due to ECR issue (Although he is graduate now he had received Passport with ECR as at that time he was not graduate). Now my question is whether he can get visit or tourist visa(considering the fact he still has valid employment entry permit), so that he can come on visit and exit to kish and enter again in UAE with his employment visa.

    • Sachin,
      No, when he has an employment visa, visit visa or tourist visa can not be applied!
      Better to get ECNR done!
      Or he could obtain visit visa to another GCC country and enter UAE from there!

  • Is that true that the Travel Agency can blacklist me on the immigration because of over staying? or I will just pay the fine 200 first day and 100 each day. Thank you

    • Jake,
      If they have sponsored your tourist visa, may be they could file blacklist against you.
      I am not completely sure about this.

  • Dear deepak
    Right now m working in abudhabi on visit visa but I want to change my job because I am not happy with my current job . I have two years experience in telecom industry in India in coustmer service department plz suggest me how do I get job in telecom sector in UAE

  • Hi,

    I recently got a work visa (from a spouse visa) in abudhabi. I came to India for a wedding n on return couldn’t board because my passport had ECR. My question is: as I have a valid visa to Europe , can I board a. Etihad flight to a European country. The flight will transit at Abu Dhabi and since I have a work permit to enter UAE can I do this option? I don’t see India airport authorities having a problem with it. Am I correct?

    • Deepak,
      ECR is must even if you have valid Europe visa!
      Why don’t you get that cancelled to ECNR.
      It is not airline’s issue but an immigration issue.

  • Dear Sir,
    Need to know about the VISIT-VISA Which is like (Entry Permit – New – Long Term visit Single Entry – Tourism) In this visa shall can work? actually one company is hiring people from india to UAE on this visit visa for 90 days to work in construction base companies on site. Than after completion of 90 days they will tell them to exit the country again they will make him the same 90 days of visit visa again for work. Like they are calling overseas deputation. let me know if this is legal or illegal to work in UAE.
    Iam Waiting fr your needful information Thanks.

    • Abdul,
      it is illegal to work under visit visa or tourist visa whether short term or long term.

      • Hi…Mr.: Rahul,
        I have gone through your comments regarding the 3 months Visa.
        For your kind information 3 months Job visa is available in UAE which is called Mission Visa/Sutdown Visa. Most of the banks and construction companies who have the project for 3 months to 6 months in UAE will be utilizing this facilities. So working with 3 months mission visa is legal.
        For more details please visit this link

        I think Mr.: Abdul is asking about this type visa only. None of the employer will entertain recruiting companies for bulk recruitment in visit visa. I am running a PRO and HR consultancy company in UAE. As per my limited knowledge the 3 months work visa is available in UAE.