Employment requires a lot of paperwork, set forth by the UAE Labor Law. The UAE labor card is one essential component to get sorted. In this comprehensive guide, let’s look at the labor card and its moving parts. The guide will cover everything from labor card benefits to UAE employment regulations. You will learn how to apply for the card and where to view information on it and your work permit in UAE. 

What Is the UAE Labor Card?

Employees working in UAE need to have a UAE labor card. The card is issued by the relevant free zone you work in or the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE). The labor card acts as a form of identification, and workers should always have it with them.

The card shows the following information:

  • The employee’s name
  • The employee’s occupation
  • The name of the employer
  • The nationality of the employee
  • When the card expires
  • The employee’s personal identification number
  • The employee’s work permit number
  • The employee’s labor card number

The card is vital information between the worker and the employer. As we’ll see, it can help with employee benefits and setting up the payroll.

Who Is Eligible?

Anyone who works in the UAE needs a labor card, regardless of the work they do. Employees in the private and public sectors must have a card and an appropriate work permit in UAE. Both local and foreign workers employed in the country need it. 

The set criteria for eligible employees are:

  • At least 18 years of age and not older than 60 years.
  • The person must have the necessary academic qualification for the role.
  • The person must pass a medical examination. 
  • The person must obtain a certificate from their home nation.

Employers need to ensure that:

  • They have their records in order and don’t possess expired labor cards.
  • The employee’s salary is in line with the work that they do.
  • The company adheres to the MoHRE procedures.

Employers must know that it is their responsibility to provide the employee with the UAE labor card. They must do so within 60 days of the person’s arrival in the country. Failure to do so may result in fines. 

The Application Process and Required Documents

You need a work permit in UAE if you want to come and launch a career in the country. The work permit is the employer’s responsibility. You can obtain the labor card while you get the work permit. 

Foreign workers also require a residency visa permitting them to live and work in the country. The residency visa will allow the employee to get a work permit. You can find more about getting a residency visa here.

The application process for the work permit and the labor card is as follows:

  1. Get the visa quota approval from MoHRE. If the company is in the free zones, permission must be obtained before the employee enters the UAE. 
  2. Have a signed contract letter in both English and Arabic. 
  3. The ministry will issue the employee an entry visa, a ‘pink visa.’ This will allow the employee to enter the country. 
  4. The employee must go through medical screening to receive the relevant documentation. They must also provide other documents and fill in the official application. They also need to visit the Emirates ID service center. 
  5. Once the permit is given, the employee’s passport, the Emirates ID collection, and the work permit can be stamped officially. 

When applying for a labor card, you must provide the authorities with certain documents.

Here is a checklist of the documents you need:

  • A photograph (of the employee)
  • A photocopy of the company’s valid trade license
  • A photocopy of the employee’s passport and their entry visa
  • A valid health certificate
  • Three copies of the employment contract
  • Academic credentials depending on the job (for example, a copy of a university certificate for a doctor, engineer, or lawyer)

How to Check UAE Labor Card Online

If you want to check your UAE labor card number, you can do so quickly. There are two ways you can find the UAE labor card number. 

  • Use the official MoHRE app, available on Android and iOS stores. You need to log in using your UAE pass. Once signed in, click on your profile. You will see details about your employment, including information about the labor card. The app also shows a digital copy of your labor card. 
  • Visit a Tas’heel service center. The centers are located across the UAE. The centers can provide details of your employment, including your labor card number or contract of employment. 

How to Download Your UAE Labor Card

The UAE authorities stopped handing out physical copies of the labor cards. If you want to keep a physical copy, you need to download and print it. The steps to do so are straightforward. A physical copy can be a good idea, although the app’s digital copy is also convenient. 

To download and print the UAE labor card, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the MoHRE website
  2. Click the ‘Services’ at the top of the site.
  3. From the menu, select ‘New Enquiry Services.’ 
  4. Choose the “Choose A Service’ option and then select the ‘Print Electronic Work Permit.’ 
  5. You must then enter your labor card number on the ‘Work Permit No’ tab and click search.
  6. Select the ‘Print’ option at the top right corner of the page. 
  7. Download the UAE labor card and print it. 

UAE Labor Card Fees, Expiry, and Fines

The cost of issuing and renewing your work permit depends on the company you work for. The fees currently range between AED 250 and AED 3,450. The work permit fees are available here.

The UAE labor card is valid for two years. Government employees are an exception; their cards are valid for three years. 

You can renew it for the same duration if the employee and employer agree. Please remember to continue the card within 50 days after it expires!

If the employer doesn’t apply for a new labor card within 60 days of entry to AUE, they could be fined AED 500. Working without a permit can result in further fines. 

People can view any fines on their labor card through the MoHRE website. You can follow a similar process to find details about your card for printing the card. Instead of choosing to print the card, click the ‘Fine Calculator’ option during ‘Choose A Service.’ Once you enter your card number, you can view your UAE labor card fines. 

Read More: How the Ministry of Labour (MOL) can inspect your company

Modification and Renewal of Existing Labor Card

As mentioned, you need to renew your labor card within 50 days from its expiry date. You can renew it at the Tas’heel center.

You can view the application status on the official government website. You only need to enter the IN number on the application receipt. You’ll receive the new card within ten days once the application is processed and renewal is granted. 

You can also modify the labor card at the Tash’heel center. The modification typically takes only a few days. You must provide valid documents and information on the reasons for the change. Please note that you may need a letter of approval from the relevant government agencies if you modify the labor card’s job for medical or academic employees. 

Recent Updates to UAE Employment Regulations in 2023

Companies should ensure they comply with the employment and HR regulations. Ensuring the labor card issues are in order is essential. 

But it’s also vital to remember that the UAE labor law occasionally changes. The start of 2023 witnessed some changes that are good to be aware of. 

The essential recent UAE employment regulation changes are as follows:

  • All current employees have to be on fixed-term contracts.
  • Terminating employment during probation requires a 14 days notice, and if the employee joins another UAE company, at least 30 days. 
  • Fixed-term contracts may be terminated at any time for a ‘legitimate reason.’ 

There are also some tweaks to equal pay, the work hours in the UAE, and flexible work arrangements. Ensuring any HR and payroll systems you use comply with the most relevant changes is essential. 

Read More: Types of employment contracts in the UAE

Read More: What the law says about unfair dismissals & termination in UAE

Labor Card Benefits: Accessing Employee Benefits

The labor card is an essential part of working in the UAE. The card is vital for accessing work-related benefits. Employees need to input information from the card to payroll systems, which can also be used to deal with health insurance applications. 

With the correct information in the system, dealing with things like accurate work hours, sick day payments, and annual leaves will be easier. Setting up employee benefits systems without the labor card is impossible. It is vital to sort out any labor card-related issues as soon as they arise. 

The labor card ensures you adhere to the key UAE employment regulations. These currently include:

  • Working hours, with a maximum of 48 hours per week and 8 hours daily. 
  • Overtime is capped at two hours for most industries.
  • Work hours and overtime need to be compensated correctly.

Employers also need to ensure fair and safe working conditions. For example, employers must provide adequate safety equipment, and employees shouldn’t be discriminated against based on religion, sex, or disability. 


The UAE labor card system is a lot of paperwork at first glance. However, the mandatory part won’t be challenging to deal with once you know the ins and outs of it. Applying for the card falls on the employer, but employees can help by sorting out all the necessary paperwork in advance. Once the paperwork is in order, the labor card will help set up payroll to guarantee the employee is paid correctly and receives all the necessary benefits. 

Want to Experience the Future of Payroll?

FAQs on UAE Labor Card

How can I get a Labor Card in UAE?

Employers need to apply for a labor card. They can do so on the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) website. You must provide relevant documentation to the authorities to ensure the person is a legitimate worker.

How can I get my UAE labor card number?

You can check your labor card number in two different ways. Use the MoHRE app by signing in with your UAE pass. You can view your labor card information and even use the digital card. Alternatively, you can visit a Tas’heel service center and request your labor card information.

Can I work without a labor card in the UAE?

No. The employer and the employee face severe penalties if they work without a residence visa, a work permit, and a labor card. You need to sort out some of the licenses before entering the country and should have your work permit and labor card before you begin work. 

Is a labor card and Emirates ID the same?

The labor card has now been integrated with the Emirates ID. The ID is considered an official ID document for all purposes. Therefore, you do not need to carry labor cards if your contract is issued through the Ministry of Labor. However, you still need to apply for the labor card as usual. 

What is the fine for working without a labor card in the UAE?

Employees caught working illegally in the UAE could see the employer face penalties of up to AED 50,000 per worker. If the worker was previously caught working illegally, the penalty would increase to AED 100,000 for the second offense.

Brian Habibi