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.)
[junkie-alert style=”yellow”] Read: How to search and get a job in Dubai – Step by step guide. [/junkie-alert]
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:
- 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.
- 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?
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.