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What is the process to get Work Permit in the GCC

Dr. Tausif Malik

What is the process to get Work Permit in the GCC. Securing a work permit in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries—comprising the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia—is a crucial step for expatriates seeking employment. Each country has its own set of requirements and procedures. This guide provides a clear overview of the work permit process in these nations.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Initial Approval and Entry Permit: To begin, the employer must obtain initial approval from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE). Following this, an entry permit, also known as a pink visa, is issued, allowing the employee to enter the UAE.

Medical Examination and Emirates ID: Upon arrival, the employee undergoes a medical examination. Simultaneously, they must apply for an Emirates ID, which is necessary for the residency visa application.

Residency Visa and Labour Card: The final steps involve applying for a residency visa through the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) and obtaining a labor card from MOHRE. The entire process typically takes two to three weeks.


Work Visa Approval: The employer in Kuwait must secure a work visa from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MOSAL). This involves submitting a work permit application and obtaining approval.

Medical Tests and Security Clearance: The employee must pass medical tests and obtain a police clearance certificate from their home country.

Residency Permit: After arriving in Kuwait, the employee undergoes further medical examinations and obtains a residency permit. The process concludes with the issuance of a Civil ID card.


Employment Contract and Labor Clearance: In Oman, the employer must first obtain labor clearance from the Ministry of Manpower. This step ensures that hiring an expatriate is necessary for the job position.

Visa and Medical Examination: The employee receives an employment visa, allowing them to enter Oman. Upon arrival, they must complete a medical examination and fingerprinting.

Residency Card: The final step is to apply for a residency card, which formalizes the work permit. The process is typically completed within one to two months.


Labor Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) Approval: Employers in Bahrain must get approval from the LMRA. This involves ensuring that hiring a foreign worker is justified.

Work Visa and Entry Permit: Once approved, the employee receives a work visa and entry permit. Medical tests are conducted both before and after arrival.

CPR Card: Upon passing the medical tests, the employee receives a Central Population Registration (CPR) card, which serves as an identification card.


Work Visa Application: The employer applies for a work visa on behalf of the employee through the Ministry of Interior. The process includes obtaining a visa reference number.

Medical Check and Fingerprinting: After entering Qatar, the employee undergoes a medical check and fingerprinting at designated health centers.

Residence Permit: Finally, the employee applies for a residence permit, which allows them to work legally in Qatar. This permit must be renewed annually.

Saudi Arabia

Work Visa Authorization: Employers must secure authorization from the Ministry of Labor and Social Development (MLSD) and the Ministry of Interior to hire foreign workers. This involves obtaining a visa authorization number.

Medical Examination and Visa Stamping: The employee undergoes a medical examination in their home country. Upon receiving a clean bill of health, the work visa is stamped in their passport.

Iqama (Residence Permit): After arriving in Saudi Arabia, the employee must apply for an Iqama, which is the residence permit. This process involves further medical tests and can take several weeks to complete.

Securing a work permit in the GCC involves several steps, including employer approvals, medical examinations, and residency applications. Each country has specific requirements, but the general process involves obtaining initial approvals, completing medical tests, and finalizing residency permits. Understanding these procedures helps ensure a smooth transition for expatriates looking to work in these vibrant and diverse regions.

About the Author

Dr. Tausif Malik is an Indian American social entrepreneur, publisher, and academician, renowned for his innovative ventures. He founded and publishes The Desi BuzzGCC Startup News, Startup Berita, and Halal Biz News, amplifying entrepreneurship globally. Dr. Malik also spearheads AIMBSNHalal Angels Network, and Startup Villages, fostering startup ecosystems. His groundbreaking initiative,, offers affordable edtech solutions, providing Indian university programs starting at $50 per month and professional IT courses priced at $250-$350. Through his diverse endeavors, Dr. Malik empowers individuals with access to education and opportunities.

Dr. Tausif Malik
Dr. Tausif Malik, a serial entrepreneur, academician, publisher, and editor, founder behind The Desi Buzz, GCCStartup.News, and Notably, he is the driving force behind, the world's first Affordable Education Platform (Edtech). is dedicated to fostering accessible University degrees (Undergraduate & Graduate/Masters) with starting fees as low as $60 per month, collaborating with accredited Indian Universities. Dr. Tausif Malik is a firm advocate of empowerment through education and fostering development through entrepreneurship.
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