UAE: Can you stay in country with visit visa after being fired from your job?

Reader asks KT how long employees have before they need to leave the Emirates if they are terminated


Ashish Mehta

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Published: Sun 18 Jun 2023, 7:57 AM

Last updated: Sun 18 Jun 2023, 11:20 PM

Question: I work in a Dubai-based firm. If I am made redundant, how long do I have before I have to exit the country? Alternatively, can I get a visit visa without exiting the country?

Answer: Pursuant to your query, it is assumed that you are employed by a mainland firm in Dubai. Therefore, the provisions of Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022 on the Implementation of Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 regarding the Regulation of Employment Relations are applicable.

In the UAE, an employer needs to initially cancel a work permit of an employee once an employee is terminated or resigned from employment. An employer needs to follow various procedures relating to the cancellation of a work permit as per the guidelines of the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation ( MoHRE). This is in accordance with Article 7(3) of the Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022, which states,

“Procedures for cancelling work permits:

a. The submission of an application for cancelling the work permit shall be through the channels specified by the Ministry;

b. Completion of the required data and attached documents.

c. Payment of the fines for delays in issuing the work permit or for failure to renew it, if any.

d. Acknowledgement by the establishment of granting the employee all of his entitlements.

e. Any other conditions determined by resolution of the Minister or whomsoever he delegates."

Moreover, upon cancellation of the work permit of an employee by an employer, the UAE residency visa of such an employee is to be cancelled. Once the UAE residency visa of an employee is cancelled, he or she may normally reside in the UAE on a grace period of up to 60 days and during this period he or she may change his or her residency status by having another UAE residency visa either sponsored by a prospective employer, immediate family member, company/firm owned by him or her and by self-sponsoring the UAE residency in the UAE based on investments or profession.

Alternatively, an employee may also opt for a visit visa/tourist visa to reside in the UAE once his/her UAE residency visa sponsored by an employer is cancelled without exiting the UAE.

Based on the aforementioned provision of law and procedures of cancelling the work permit and UAE residency visa, you may normally reside in the UAE for up to 60 days and may obtain a visit visa/tourist visa without exiting the UAE. However, you may seek further advice from the General Directorate of Residency & Foreigners Affairs – Dubai with regards to obtaining a visit visa/tourist visa without exiting the UAE once your UAE residency visa is cancelled by your current employer.

Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom and India. Full details of his firm on: Readers may e-mail their questions to: or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.


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