UAE to issue permits for overseas workers for first time in seven months

Public and semi-public sector employers can bring new staff in from abroad, and domestic workers can also be hired

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The UAE will allow some employers to hire staff from abroad for the first time in seven months.

Government departments and semi-public sector firms can now secure work permits for new arrivals.

Families can also process work permits for domestic workers who are arriving from outside the country.

The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA), the country's main immigration agency, announced the move on Monday.

It said the process was intended for 'vital sectors' such as health care, transport and sanitation.

Employers have been able to make some hires from abroad, depending on the circumstances and profession. But foreign workers have largely been difficult to bring into the country due to the pandemic.

Domestic workers looking to take up job offers will be given work permits. Work permits for those living in the country were already being renewed.

UAE visa renewal: your questions answered

UAE visa renewal: your questions answered

A work permit is a document that allows a foreigner to enter, stay and work in the country legally for a certain period of time.

Work permits are usually issued for two months during which a sponsor must change the employee’s status to residence visa, which allows them to live in the country for typically two or three years.

The UAE halted all new work permits, and entry to tourists, in March to limit the spread of Covid-19.