What is Visa Quota in Dubai: A Complete Guide
In Dubai and the wider United Arab Emirates (UAE), a visa quota refers to the maximum number of residence visas a company can sponsor for its employees. This Quota is determined based on several factors, including the size of the company’s office space and its business activity.
Here are some key points to understand about visa quotas in Dubai:
- Office Space Requirement: The most common method of calculating the visa quota is by office space. Typically, companies operating from physical office spaces must have a certain amount of office space per sponsored employee. This requirement is usually around 9 square meters per person. So, if you want to sponsor ten employees, you need an office space of at least 90 square meters.
- Warehouse-Based Businesses: A different calculation applies to businesses that operate from warehouses rather than traditional office spaces. These businesses may need more space per sponsored employee, often around 15 square meters per person.
- Flexi-Desk and Flexi-Office: Some free zones offer flexible options like “Flexi-Desk” or “Flexi-Office.” In such cases, the number of visas you can apply for may be limited, and these visas are typically allocated to the company owner or key personnel.
- Free Zones vs. Mainland: The rules regarding visa quotas can vary between free zones and mainland Dubai. Each free zone can have specific rules and regulations regarding visa quotas.
- Visa Allocation: Companies must often allocate their available visa quotas to specific individuals, such as shareholders or key employees. This allocation is subject to approval and may need to be adjusted if the company’s needs change.
- Additional Quota Requests: If a company needs more visas than its initial Quota allows, it can apply for an increase in the visa quota. However, such requests are typically reviewed case-by-case and are subject to approval.
- Government Fees: Government fees are associated with obtaining and renewing employee residence visas. These fees can vary based on the type of business and the number of visas.
Businesses in Dubai need to understand their visa quota limitations and plan accordingly when hiring employees. Adherence to visa quota regulations can lead to visa application rejections and other complications. Therefore, consulting with relevant authorities or business setup experts is advisable to ensure compliance with visa quota requirements.
Check with the Free Zone Authority
Let’s explore the realm of free zones, where the first noteworthy feature we’ve previously discussed is their provision of Flexi facilities, particularly the Flexi-desk option. This isn’t a conventional full-time workspace but a chair and desk within a business center, accessible for 5 to 6 hours weekly. This option isn’t available on the mainland. Opting for a Flexi-desk office in a free zone requires a predefined visa quota.
This Quota varies from one free zone to another. In free zones like DMCC, UAQ FTZ, Fujairah Creative City, and Sharjah Media City, you can use a Flexi-desk, which offers a chair and desk in a shared business center for 5-6 hours per week. The number of resident visas you can get depends on the free zone, with options ranging from three visas in DMCC to six visas in others.
If you start with a Flexi-desk but need more visas later, you can upgrade your package or switch to a more significant physical office. Ensure you understand the visa quota of different packages before setting up in a free zone. Also, while many free zones allow upgrades, downgrades may not be permitted. So, clarify this with the free zone authority.
For local companies, flexi facilities aren’t available, and the office space size determines the visa quota.
Rent a physical office space.
Visa quotas in the UAE depend on your office space. You generally need about 9 square meters per person for an office and 15 square meters per person for a warehouse setup.
For free zone companies, visa allocation varies. Some free zones allow flexible distribution among shareholders and employees, while others have stricter rules.
Mainland companies follow a different process. You apply for a visa quota with the Ministry of Labor, detailing the expected employees and positions, incurring fees. Changing allocations later may involve additional costs, so careful planning is vital.
Understanding the Significance of MOHRE in Managing Visa Quotas in the UAE
MOHRE, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation is a crucial government department in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is pivotal in regulating and overseeing labor-related matters, including allocating employment visas and visa quotas. Here’s why MOHRE is essential for checking visa quotas in the UAE:
- Visa Quota Approval: Companies in the UAE must apply for approval of their visa quotas through MOHRE. This means that before a company can sponsor residence visas for its employees, it needs to secure a quota allocation from MOHRE.
- Regulatory Oversight: MOHRE ensures that companies adhere to labor regulations and visa allocation rules. This oversight is essential for maintaining transparency and fairness in the labor market.
- Monitoring Workforce: MOHRE keeps track of the number of visas issued to each company. It helps prevent companies from exceeding their allocated visa quotas, ensuring compliance with UAE labor laws.
- Online Services: MOHRE provides online services and platforms where companies can check their visa quotas, apply for new quotas, and monitor the status of their visa applications. This streamlines the visa allocation process and makes it more accessible for businesses.
- Employee Rights: MOHRE also plays a role in safeguarding the rights of employees in the UAE. Regulating visa quotas helps prevent labor exploitation and ensures that companies provide appropriate working conditions for their staff.
- Fee Payment: Companies must pay government fees for visa applications and renewals. MOHRE facilitates the payment of these fees, making it easier for companies to complete the necessary visa-related financial transactions.
- Resolution of Disputes: In case of disputes between employers and employees, MOHRE can mediate and help find solutions. This ensures that visa-related conflicts are addressed relatively.
- Transparent Processes: MOHRE’s online portal allows companies to check the number of visas they have used and how many are available in their allocated Quota. This transparency helps companies manage their workforce effectively.
Managing your visa quota efficiently is crucial for the growth of your business in Dubai. At BizDaddy, we specialize in helping companies navigate the complexities of UAE’s visa regulations. Whether you’re looking to expand your workforce or streamline your operations, our expert team is here to assist you every step of the way. Don’t let visa quotas hold your business back; partner with BizDaddy today and unlock the full potential of your Dubai venture. Contact us now to explore your visa quota options and embark on a successful business journey in the vibrant city of Dubai.