Question: I am eligible to get a UAE Golden Visa. My company, however, is refusing to foot any of the costs associated with getting it. Is that how it works? Aren’t recruitment costs a company's responsibility?

Response: Pursuant to your queries, it is assumed that you are employed by a mainland company based in the UAE. Therefore, the provisions of Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Employment Relations (the ‘Employment Law’) and those of Cabinet Resolution No 1 of 2022 Concerning the Executive Regulations of Federal Decree Law No. 33 of 2021 on the Regulation of Employment Relations (the ‘Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022) are applicable.

Based on the eligibility criteria as mentioned in UAE Cabinet Resolution No. 56 of 2018 on Regulating the Residence Permits for Investors, Entrepreneurs and Specialized Talents, Golden Visa holders are self-sponsored, whereas, generally, employees in the UAE are sponsored by their respective employers.

An employer may not be liable to bear the costs of obtaining UAE residency visa for its employees who are not under its sponsorship. Therefore, it is not mandatory for your employer to bear the costs to obtain your Golden Visa.

In the UAE, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (the ‘MOHRE’) may issue a work permit to a Golden Visa residency holder if his/her current or prospective employer applies for it. This is in accordance with Article 6 (1)(j) of the Cabinet Resolution No. 1 of 2022, which states: "Subject to the provisions of Article 6 of the Decree Law, the Golden Visa holder work permit is granted where an establishment registered in the Ministry requests to employ any employee within the UAE who holds Golden Visa."

An employer should bear the recruitment costs of an employee under its sponsorship. This is in accordance with Article 6(4) of the Employment Law, which states: “An Employer shall not charge the employee or collect from him recruitment and employment costs, either directly or indirectly." The recruitment costs may include costs towards obtaining work permit, residency visa, medical fitness, health insurance and a UAE Emirates ID.


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