The application process for visas in Dubai is quite strict and controlled. If your application for a visa is denied, appeals are very difficult, if not impossible.
Most of the companies that hire foreigners have “fixers”. These people are responsible for assisting you throughout the entire visa application. Whenever your presence is needed in any department in Dubai, your “fixer” should always be with you. Expect the visa application process to take 1-3 months.
Nationals of the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) may enter Dubai without visas. Some countries’ citizens can obtain a visa upon arriving in the airport, in Dubai. These visas are called Visit Visas and are good for 30 days and are non-renewable. UK nationals are allowed to visit Dubai for 60 days and these visas can be renewed for another 30 days. Expats working in Dubai cannot act as sponsors to their family members wishing to visit Dubai.
A foreign teacher needs to obtain a residence visa and a labour card to legally teach in Dubai. Jobs of any kind are mostly offered to men. “Fixers” are biased against hiring women since this will cost too much time and reduce the possibility of them finding a position.
Foreign teachers are also required to go through an intensive medical examination as one of the requirements in applying for a residence card. Once approved, you will then be issued a labour card that you need to bring with you wherever you go in the country since this will serve as your identification card. The residence visa is good for a period of 3 years and is renewable.
Foreign teachers appying for a residence visa should stay within the country in their first six month’s stay. Always remember to take your national identity card, residence visa and labour cards along with you because there are frequent checkpoints.
TEFL English teaching job listings in Dubai
A general overview of what to expect teaching English in Dubai
Detailed living costs for teaching English in Dubai
Dubai (Official Website)
GulfNews.com (News site)
Dubai News (News site)
Dubai Informer (News site)
Dubai Classifieds (Jobs)
Khaleej Times (News site with classified listings)