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Transfer of employment residence visa is considered to be the preferred option when procuring a residence visa with a new employer. Residence visa transfer can be completed with least disruption to dependents visas and with shorter processing timelines.  The transfer of UAE employment residence visa to a new employer is possible upon meeting certain eligibility criteria and regulatory requirements.


Possible residence visa transfer options available in UAE are:

A. Transfer between companies located within the same free zone

B. Transfer from a company in one free zone to a company in another free zone

C. Transfer between government entities

D. Transfer from a government entity to semi-government entity or vice versa.


1. What are the basic steps involved in the UAE residence visa transfer?

A. The release sign-in:

The release sign-in is the application filed by the prospective employer to have the residence permit transferred on to their sponsorship. A vital requirement for the transfer is to have the consent by way of a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the previous employer.


B. The release sign-out:

The previous employer or in other words the sponsor of current visa has to file the application for the release of the employee at the respective free zone authority government office so that the employee’s records can be cleared out/ released from their system. The transfer form must be signed by the Government Entity/Free Zone authority.


C. Medical examination:

Medical fit certificate is mandatory for the transfer of residence visa. Once the transfer form is received the employee can attend the medical and complete Emirates ID registration. It will take around 7-10 working days for the issuance of emirates ID from the date of the transfer.


D. Health insurance enrolment and transfer of Residence Visa:

One of the prerequisites for getting the residence visa stamped is to ensure the employee is enrolled in health insurance policy from any of the licensed health insurance provider. The fully executed release form is submitted to the authorities to have the residence permit transferred and endorsed on the passport through General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA).


2. Is attested university certificate required for the transfer of residence visa?

Attested university certificate may be required depending on the job position that is being offered within the company. Any residence visa application for professional or managerial job titles should be accompanied with the attested university certificate. The minimum requirement is a bachelor’s degree and should be certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in UAE.


3. Are the dependent visas affected during employee’s residence visa transfer process?

The residence visas of any dependents sponsored by the employee will continue to be legal during the transfer process, provided their residence permits do not expire during this period. Neither do they need to change or transfer their visa because of this transferring process. Dependents can be inside or outside UAE during the transfer.


4. What would be the validity of the transferred residence visa?

 The employment residence visa would generally be issued for 3 years and may be renewed in 3-year increments. Dependents will continue to maintain their previous residence visa which need to be renewed prior to the expiry date mentioned on the visa.


5. When is transfer of visa not permitted?

§  As of now, transfer is permitted to companies within the same emirate. Therefore, inter-emirate transfer is not available at this stage

§  When both current and prospective employers are not free zone or government or semi-government companies.


§  In case one of the companies is an onshore company, transfer application cannot be filed

§  The current employer is not willing to give the consent and sign the NOC for the transfer


6. What is the timeline for the transfer of employment residence visa?

All transfer applications are subject to security screening. Certain applications may be selected for extensive screening which will result in longer processing time. Immigration authorities may, subject to their discretion, ask for additional documentation when necessary. Generally, the end to end transfer could be completed in 2-3 weeks. The employee is required to be present in the country during the transfer process.


How can BM Strategies assist?

Given the dynamic nature of the immigration environment, we at BM Strategies guide our clients on the best and most efficient options in developing, implementing, and managing compliant UAE immigration programs. Please reach out to us for more information on


Note: The information provided here are only for the purpose of providing an overview of the UAE immigration processes. The immigration regulations are subject to change from time to time and from one jurisdiction to another. Therefore, the information provided hereby should not be considered an advice from BM Strategies.




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Posted on 05-Jun-2020.

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