Changing visa status - Arrival on Employment Visa

UAE Employment Visa Overview

In this stage your investor visa application has resulted in a temporary UAE employment visa- the PINK SLIP. Basically this visa allows you to stay in the UAE for 60 days to obtain your UAE Residence visa as an investor / partner.


UAE Pink slip example to enter the UAE for a residence visa
UAE Pink slip example to enter the UAE for a medical test & finger printing - This is A4 sized piece of paper

Although the term "UAE employment visa" for a Free Zone Company investor or partner sounds weird, it's the common name used for this type of visa.

From the date of issue on the "Pink Slip" - there is a maximum of 120 days to reach the UAE resident status. A pink slip expires after 60 days from the date of issue by the immigration office.

After the UAE Immigration Department issued the "Pink Slip", there are 60 days to get your passport stamped with the UAE employment visa at the border or at the UAE immigration department. The pink slip is handed in at the border.

Next there are 60 days to obtain your residence visa status.

The UAE residence visa is issued while on a UAE employment visa.
The UAE residence visa is issued while on employment visa.


The pink slip - important notes

1) Once you're in the UAE on Employment Visa Status it's common to stay in the UAE till you have received the UAE residence visa. In case you have pressing (family) business outside the UAE during this stage consider to use the "Pink Slip" only when returning to the UAE. This in stead of immediately using the "pink slip" to reach the employment visa status, because the pink slip is only issued once.

2) Use the 120 "pink slip" days carefully - if it's possible to get things done in the UAE on a visit visa (if you're in the country already) while you already have the pink slip. Use your visit visa to the fullest before rushing to the border and get into the 2nd part of the 120 "pink slip" Days.

3) When you don't have a UAE drivers license from a previous UAE residence visa; the moment you reach  residence status, you are not allowed to drive a car until you have obtained the UAE drivers license.
Not many people are aware of this and can keep on driving a rental car obtained with a foreign drivers license while on a tourist or temporary 60 day employment visa (pink slip). In case of an accident with the same rental car after the change to residency status, insurance will not cover damage.

The next step is to do the medical test.
The previous step is to apply for the investor visa.

What do you need to get the UAE Employment Visa status?

- Employment visa (Pink Slip)
- Passport
- Possibly a fee

The Process

The Free Zone Company investor  / partner enters the country on an UAE employment visa using the "Pink Slip". The pink slip is kept at the border station of entry.

The Free Zone Trade Zone can send the Pink Slip to the airport / border station also which eliminates the time to ship the document by courier.

Entering the UAE may involve an Eye - Iris scan to validate the entry.
Duration: 1 to several days

The Result

  1. - UAE Employment visa in passport
  2. - Iris scan done

An UAE employment visa is nothing more than the same passport stamp as used for a visit visa.
The main difference is validity - which is noted next to the stamp.

Visa changing details

In case your UAE visit visa has expired - get ready to pay the fine at the border.

  The UAE residence visa is issued while on a UAE employment visa.

Use your pink slip wisely - once you reach residence status your legal status changes.

In 2009 it's 200 AED for the first day and 100 AED for the next days if total expiration is within 30 days. Beyond that call the UAE immigration department what to do.

This visa change process can be done in 3 ways:

  1. Investor is in the UAE already and changes visa status at the Oman border by driving up there. (ie Hatta border to Oman)
  2. Investor is in the UAE already and changes visa in the country at the UAE immigration department by paying a fee. (About 550 - 800 AED at least)
  3. Investor is outside the UAE and enters through land or airport borders.

The UAE Employment Visa is issued on a "Pink Slip" - valid for 60 days after issue, plus 60 days after stamped into the passport.