February 21, 2020

United Arab Emirates: Work permit renewal and job title amendments

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MOHRE) provides a list of occupations for foreign nationals in order to encourage the employment of skilled labour and give transparency to the local labour market. This list is frequently updated and with immediate effect, new rules have been implemented in relation to work permit renewals and job title amendments completed within mainland United Arab Emirates (UAE).

What has changed?

The MOHRE has stipulated that at the time of renewing an employment permit, individuals must ensure that their job title matches one on the new list of occupations for foreign nationals. If their current job title is no longer available, it will need to be amended to the nearest title available in the system. If the new job title requires a legalised degree certificate, this will also need to be provided.

Please note that if the current job title exists on the new list of occupations and no amendment is required, a legalised degree certificate is now required and must be provided whereas previously it wasn’t.

Further to this, if there is any difference to the job title on the work permit and that of the visa sticker in their passport, the foreign national will need to make sure this is amended in the immigration system.

Who is affected?

All foreign employees in the UAE who need to either renew their work permits or amend their job title in relation to their existing documents and the new occupation list.

What to expect / impact?

Extra care must be taken to ensure foreign employee’s job titles and authentication of their educational certificates meet the requirements of the MOHRE.

What you need to do

This is a new requirement and we are monitoring its implementation and development. For further information, please contact the Sterling Lexicon immigration team.


Leanne Cottrell

Leanne Cottrell

As Head of Immigration with Sterling Lexicon, Leanne leads a team of specialists who are responsible for ensuring the entire immigration process is smooth and stress-free for clients, assignees and their accompanying family members. She brings over fifteen years of experience in strategic immigration management, planning and consultation to her role, and has cultivated invaluable knowledge and experience in processing countless global migration applications. As a trusted partner, she consults with clients on everything from policy considerations and cost or efficiency improvements, to the impact of opening offices in new locations. Leanne is a frequent presenter and author on global immigration topics and trends, and currently serves as a member of the Worldwide ERC (WERC) Immigration Advisory Council.

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