WorkStudy in UAE

3 Steps to Work and Study in the UAE

Oftentimes, students enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs seek out part-time employment to offset the cost of their education or to gain more practical experience in their field of study – outside the walls of their classroom and the scope of their campus. But when seeking international education in the UAE, is such a balance possible, or even legal?

As of October 2016, the answer is “yes.” University students in the UAE, both domestic and international, are now allowed to work part-time in conjunction with their studies.

The question is, how?

Step 1: Obtain your UAE student visa

As the UAE continues to grow and shift its focus toward academia, the process of earning a student visa has become more and more streamlined for international students. Typically, the university to which a student has been accepted will act as a sponsor for the visa, requiring the student to submit the requisite documents and undergo an official medical check-up. Keep in mind, annual renewal of student visas is required for each year of study.

Step 2: Apply for a part-time job

It is important to remember that this step comes before the actual application for the work permit under the student visa: the companies students intend to work for are required to pay certain fees in order to employ them, meaning those companies must have approved of the position or job before the student can apply for the permit.

Many universities provide a limited number of jobs for students on-campus. Students throughout the country can be found earning a little extra money working in campus libraries, conducting research, assisting in administrative offices, etc.

Additionally, the new regulations allow students to apply for part-time employment with over 4,500 companies in a range of industries (ICT, Human Capital Development, Design, and more) in Dubai’s creative clusters, including Dubai Internet City, Dubai Outsource City, Dubai Media City, Dubai Knowledge Park, Dubai International Academic City, etc.

Step 3: Gather the necessary documents

Under the new federal law, if you are an international student, you can work under your university-sponsored student visa, so long as you acquire a work permit once in-country. This is a huge advancement for the UAE, as it continues to attract international students at an increasing rate.

The documents/requirements for obtaining the work permit are simple: students must…

  • 18 years or older
  • ...provide a valid passport and student visa copy
  • ...provide one passport size photograph with white background
  • ...provide a copy of your labor contract
  • ...provide labor establishment card from new company (if applicable)

Step 4: Go get that permit

With documents prepared and university sponsorship confirmed, students just need to approach the UAE Labor Department to obtain a permit which will allow them to take up part-time work in Dubai, legally. The UAE Labor Department has offices in the UAE’s biggest cities, including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, and Ajman. To find locations nearest your employment or university, take a look at their website, here.