UAE work visas to be processed in five days under expanded efficiency drive

Work Bundle platform allows companies to submit paperwork for new staff in less than a week

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - May 27, 2012 - People wait to be fingerprinted and photographed during the registration process for their Emirates ID card at the Emirates ID Authority in Al Barsha in Dubai City, Dubai, May 27, 2012. Some people had been waiting for an hour to register. (Photo by Jeff Topping/The National)
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The UAE has expanded a government initiative to cut processing times for residency visas and work permits from up to 30 days to only five, authorities said on Tuesday.

The scheme – first introduced in Dubai in April – has been introduced across the country and aims to cut red tape and streamline services to allow companies to hire staff quicker and more easily.

The Work Bundle platform is part of a wider drive to tackle government bureaucracy and boost efficiency across the Emirates. It aims to simplify the processes involved in securing residency and work permits.

“The initial launch of the Work Bundle platform witnessed a strong response from companies,” said Khalil Khoori, undersecretary for Human Resources Affairs at the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

He said the move would benefit more than 600,000 businesses employing more than seven million staff.

“Procedures that took 20 to 30 days can now be completed within five days through the new platform," he said. “The platform allows companies to submit requests and upload fewer documents.

“Before this service, multiple documents had to be submitted to different departments. Now, all necessary information is accessible through a single platform.”

The Work Bundle project will bring together several bodies – including the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security, Emirates Health Services, Abu Dhabi Department of Health and the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority – in an effort to foster more agile and effective government.

The new system will reduce the number of procedures from 15 steps requiring 16 documents to five steps requiring five documents.

The online platform – – is expected to broaden its scope in the future, including a focus on easier hiring protocols for domestic staff.

Efficiency drive

In February, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, set out wide-reaching plans to make government services more efficient.

Sheikh Mohammed, also Vice President, said government departments would work to eliminate 2,000 unnecessary procedures within a year as part of the strategy.

Departments will now aim to halve the time taken to carry out services, under the Zero Government Bureaucracy programme, unveiled in November.

Bonuses of up to Dh1 million ($272,000) will be awarded to the employee or work team that performs best in raising standards.

“Our goal is to facilitate people's lives, provide people with the comfort and service they deserve in the UAE, and aim to be the best government in the world in providing services,” Sheikh Mohammed said at the time.

Boost for business

Maysam Al Mousily, manager of the Al Nukhbah Media and Communications company in Ajman, welcomed the introduction of a streamlined visa application service.

“In the past, the process of obtaining work visas and permits may be delayed for multiple reasons, including requests to submit the same documents several times to different bodies,” she said.

“This not only consumed valuable time but also added to the uncertainty in planning workforce needs.

“With this new platform, it will be a straightforward, centralised process that ensures all necessary documentation is submitted once and accessed by the relevant authorities seamlessly."

Updated: June 12, 2024, 11:46 AM