UAE Allows Students to Get Work Permits, Offers 1-Year Visa Extension after Graduation

In a bid to become more globally competitive and to eventually become a global education hotspot, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has made visa reforms to allow students to get work permits so they could find part-time jobs to support themselves while they study.

Greenfield Community School (GCS) representative Michael Worth told Khaleej Times that enrollment has significantly increased for UAE schools in recent years.

The number of excellent universities and range of courses has certainly added to this trend, and I think parents staying and working in the UAE longer have also been a significant factor. While many companies have tended to bring in highly skilled expat employees from overseas, there is an increasing trend where companies are hiring locally schooled and trained personnel,” Worth explained.

Aside from the visa reforms, a number of universities have also partnered with local companies for paid internship options for the students after the completion of their studies.

The new programs also aim to entice international students to choose UAE as the place to study.

For our students already studying here, the visa reform opens the door to many more opportunities and options post-graduation, without the need to rush into making major decisions. In addition, this reform will help drive a greater sense of security for families who are considering to move to the UAE, showing a long-term path of opportunity for children,” shared Gems Education Vice President career and future employment architect Christophe Savard.

With the new visa scheme that gives students a chance to work in part-time jobs, students are given the chance to be a step closer to reaching their dreams. They are also provided the chance to become physically and mentally prepared for their future careers.

Aside from offering work permits to students, the UAE also dangles another carrot on a stick: a 1-year visa extension after graduation, renewable for another year.

Thus, graduates have ample time (2 years) to find a job and upgrade that student visa to a work visa.

And if students want to take a gap year after high school, the 1-year visa extension is quite useful as this allows them to get an internship experience in the local companies. Right now, it’s a win-win situation.