The United Arab Emirates’ Cabinet has approved a law that will require foreign nationals seeking employment in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to submit a legalised criminal clearance certificate with their visa application. It is anticipated that the new regulation will come into force in February.

Certificate details

According to various resources, the criminal clearance certificate must be procured in the applicant’s home country or all countries of foreign national’s residence in the past five years and must be attested by the UAE consular post in the country of issue or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in the UAE.


It is expected that foreign nationals travelling under UAE visitor visas, including mission work permits, as well as dependent family members will be exempt from this requirement. Furthermore, those born and raised in the UAE will also be exempt as long as they have not lived in a third country before applying for the UAE visa.

What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

Foreign nationals and their employers must account for the additional time and cost to secure and legalise their criminal clearance certificate(s). Individuals planning to submit their UAE visa applications in February should start gathering their clearances as soon as possible.