visa quota requirements and criteria

What is visa quota, and how to check the Quota in UAE?

Visa Quota requirements and Criteria and Process to Increase Quota

What is visa quota, and how to check the Quota in UAE?

Visa quota requirements and criteria

The visa quota or the number of allowed resident visas firstly depends on the size of your office space. Generally, visa quota is calculated based on the number of square meters assigned to each person sponsored by the company. The essential requirement for companies that use physical office space is approximately 9 square meters per person. However, you may rent a warehouse instead of a physical office. What’s then? In this case scenario, a different visa quota calculation principle shall apply. If your business does its functions by renting a warehouse, a larger space per person would be required, which might be around 15 square meters per person. Therefore, if you want to have ten people working in your office, then the 

Space should be at least 90 square meters. However, if you need to recruit ten people to work in a warehouse, the space should comprise approximately 150 square meters.

Now that you know the visa quota and require a specific size of working space to employ more people, it is the right time to look at different types of companies in the UAE and learn how their visa quotas are calculated. As we discussed earlier, there are local companies, companies in free zones, and offshore companies. Since offshore companies do not have any physical presence in the UAE, they also do not allow you to apply for resident visas. So let’s exclude them, and we will focus our discussion on free zone and mainland companies only, as the rules regarding visa quota there vary.

 Flexi-desk in Free Zone

Let’s start with a free zone, then. Let’s try. Do you remember the second chapter of the course? We discussed the first feature of free zones, which is they allow to avail from a Flexi-facility or a Flexi-desk, which is not a full-time working space, but rather a chair and a desk in a business center for use up to 5 to 6 hours per week. Such an option does not exist on the mainland. So, if you choose the Flexi-desk office option for your business, it already comes with a specific visa quota. This specific visa quota varies from one free zone to another. To give an idea, the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) allows up to three visas for the Flexi-desk option. Umm Al Quwain Free Trade Zone (UAQ FTZ) can provide from zero to two or three visas, depending on the package you choose. And Fujairah Creative City or Sharjah Media City can 

Even support you with a six-visa quota. Hence, the number of resident visas you could apply for in a free zone, having rented a Flexi-desk, would depend on your choice of a free zone.

Now let’s pretend that you rented a Flexi-desk in Fujairah Creative City, applied for your resident visa, and hired two assistants for whom the remaining visa quota was used. And then suddenly, you find out you need to expand and require additional visas. In this case, you have two options, how to solve the matter. One would be to apply for a higher number of visas, as Fujairah Creative City offers a company package with six resident visas and no need for physical office space. The other would be to move to a physical office space, which would be large enough to accommodate all employees (approximately 54 sq.m.). As 

Such as planning your company formation process and paying attention to the visa quota assigned to each package. Free zones offer, for example, packages with no visa quota at a minimum cost. With one visa, then 2, then three, and so up to 6 with flexi-desk or flexi-office, the number of visas for each package and the maximum with flexi-desk rent is always determined by each free zone authority individually. And this is where another critical thing you need to remember. Although all free zone authorities allow for the upgrade of registration packages, some of them do not accept downgrades. Therefore, remember to ask this when placing your query with a free zone authority.

Now let’s go back to a local company. As we mentioned before, in this case, you can not avail of Flexi-facilities, and you need to 

Rent a physical office space

Rent a physical office space no matter what. As such, the visa quota is always calculated based on the size of the rented commercial property. But what if half of your office are salespeople, which is often the case in real estate or event management? And they rarely stay in the office. And it would help if you significantly had additional administrative staff. Still, extra office space is optional because you have it. What to do, then? In this case, you will need to apply for a visa quota increase. To complete the process successfully, you must provide a sufficient reason for your request, as we did in the example with salespeople. It is also essential to know and remember that such applications are reviewed case-by-case and would be subject to approval.

We have just reviewed the visa quotas and how they are Calculated. Another important thing most people need to be aware of is the visa allocation mechanism. This is relatively applicable to free zones where you rent a Flexi-desk or Flexi—office. What do we mean?

Suppose a company opts for a company registration package with Flexi-desk rent and a quota of 2 visas in some free zones. In that case, those two visas must belong to either shareholder or a shareholder and a manager. To further clarify, let us take an example. Say you are the owner of a company where you are also a director and a manager. So all three positions are taken by you. You know you have two visa quotas and used only one, so you hired an assistant. But at the moment you tried to apply, you learned that you would not be able to submit your request unless you either appoint the 

Employee as a manager or second shareholder, or you rent physical office space of the appropriate size. Another example would be when you work at a company in the UAE and have a resident visa from the company. Then you register your company, and you do not use any visa quota at all. When you need an assistant, you learn you cannot hire them since two visas can be distributed between the shareholder and the manager. Since you are the shareholder and the manager in a company and you have your resident visa, you would only be able to use the two quotas if you rent an office space or appoint a future assistant, at least as a manager. So what do you take from this example? Two things: 1) ask how the visa quota is allocated in the free zone you are interested in. Many free zones are very flexible in this regard and 

You can either use Quota for yourself and employees or employees only. Still, there are cases where there is no flexibility at all; you shall better know it earlier than later.

If you look at local companies now, the visa quota allocation process works differently for them. As soon as your mainland company is formed, you must apply for your visa quota with the Ministry of Labor. You submit a list containing detailed information about the future number of employees, their positions, and their gender. Request for visa quota allocation is associated with a certain fee. What you should know here is that if in the future you want to add new positions, or instead of male workers, you want to recruit women, you will need to cancel first the previous Quota and apply for the new one, incurring relevant fees. 

Again. So think carefully when applying and plan everything accordingly, as this will help you to minimize your business expenses in the future.

We tried our best to provide you with the wide-ranging aspects of visa quota and allocation. We hope you enjoyed the topic and invite you further to explore the resident visa topic in the coming chapter.


Check the e-quota status?

1- go to MOHRE

2. Select E quota status by the number

3. Enter your Company number

How to apply for the MOHRE quota application?

To apply the Quota, you’d require a copy of your trade license and translated project contracts showing your need for the required amount. Taqyeem will also inspect your office, a MOHRE department, to evaluate your office if it fulfills your quota requirement.

How to modify the Quota in more UAE?

You can apply for a special visa quota from MOHRE a DMCC member company can request an increase in its visa quota beyond its standard eligibility by submitting an online service request, ‘Apply for Exceptional Visa Quota.’ The approval of the request is subject to DMCC management, which is based on DMCC Free Zone policies.

How to apply for Quota in more

Watch the video and fill out the form.

Watch video 

Documents required

Documents required to apply for visa quota approval from the ministry of labor

For 50 employees and under companies, you have all the requested documents, 

Trade License, accommodation Ejari, and Contract copies are all translated… shouldn’t take long; always have the MOHRE app and check the transaction yourself.

How to check the company quota in UAE?

If the company is over 50, you get more Quota, and the same procedure applies. Still, you don’t have to pay for the quotas in advance, the number of quotas shows on your company’s account, but you pay as you go with each offer letter.

If you have delays for whatever reason, don’t just sit and wait; grab your application paperwork, head to MOHRE, and follow up in person.

How to check company quota in Dubai

Visa Quota Approval

Free zone companies have a quota restriction on work visas, generally limited to one foreign worker for every 12.5 square meters of office space. In addition, a quota for companies with more than 100 employees is imposed for some positions.


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