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Hiring a maid in Dubai – Visa steps, rules and costs

For people needing help around the house, sponsoring maid services in Dubai is a very practical step to take.

Recent years, the demand for maids or commercial cleaning services is steadily on the rise all over the UAE and in the GCC region as well. Working expats with children and even busy locals hire housemaid house cleaning services in Dubai to make their life a little bit more relaxed and also to try and reduce the burden of daily set of complex chores. Now, for those planning on sponsoring a part time maid or intending to go for professional residential cleaning services, then there are certain procedures and rules which need to be adhered to. There are also some limitations on who can sponsor and be responsible for a maid. You can find more information on popular sites such as and read everything about the visa process, booking a maid and how to establish a proper relation.

Maid Visa Preconditions

  1. Only a person with decent financial income can act as a sponsor to a maid in Dubai – regardless if the person is a man or the woman of the family.
  2. The sponsor should be living in an at least a two-bed apartment.
  3. Maids sponsored can only come from India, Philippines, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Ethiopia.
  4. Valid UAE residence visa and at least 30-day stay is obligatory for the sponsor
  5. Bachelors are not eligible to hire a maid.

The application process for a foreign domestic worker’s visa is a quite straightforward and simple if you do your homework and prepare in advance regardless of the building cleaning service you want to get, being deep cleaning services company or a house cleaning maid. There are some tricks of handling the paperwork by yourself, but you can also use professional agency services just to be sure that formalities are well catered for. Before you the start, make sure that you and your family qualify to be a sponsor - you must be a UAE resident, considered as the head of the family, and your registered income must be over Dh 6,000 a month (or Dh 5,000 when taking the maid’s accommodation into account).

Before the maid arrives

When you and your new maid reach an agreement, you can initiate the application process the maid’s employment permit so that he or she can legally enter the UAE. Submissions of documents and process initiation should be made at an office of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), which belongs under the UAE’s Ministry of Interior scope of work. Only in Dubai there are 38 GDRFA branches, so chances are high there’s one near your home. Upon applying, you will need to deposit Dh2,000 (refundable amount) and submit the following documents:

  • Sponsor’s employment contract (as a proof of adequate income) - Salary certificate of sponsor in Arabic (for employees in the public sector or the government) OR, labour contract (for employees in private companies).
  • Lease or title deed (to testify that your home has at least two bedrooms). This has to be Ejari-attested – a rather straightforward process that can be completed online and approved the same day.
  • A typed application form for the maid’s entry permit, which can be easily obtained from an authorised typing office. The form itself costs Dh110, though typists charge additional administrative fees for their services (these vary from typist to typist). For urgent applications, costs cover additional Dh100. You also need to invest extra Dh500 if your prospective employee is already in the UAE.
  • Copy of sponsor’s passport and a copy of the spouse’s one (attested marriage certificate is also needed if the spouse is not sponsored by the head of family)
  • A copy of the maid’s passport
  • At least three passport photos of the maid
  • A non-relationship agreement from the embassy if the maid comes from the same country as the sponsor

After these documents and the request has been processed and if your application is successful, you will receive your maid’s employment entry permit by courier. The next step would be to send the entry permit to your maid so she can enter the country. You can send the original or a copy (in this case, the original must be waiting for your maid’s arrival at the airport –Dnata visa desk or the Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department’s counter).

After the maid’s arrival to Dubai

In not more than 30 days of your new employee’s arrival in Dubai, you must apply for their residence visa, Emirates ID, and medical fitness screening.

The person can be registered for a medical appointment either through an authorised typing office or online. The medical fitness test, in which maids are screened for pregnancy and illnesses such as HIV, Hepatitis B and Syphilis, can be performed at multiple facilities all over Dubai. The procedure also covers a Hepatitis B vaccination (administered in three separate doses). The vaccination and screening amount up to Dh325 and more – additional fees apply if you require the results sooner than the regular processing time which is 5-7 days.

Most of the appointments are at the medical fitness centre in Muhaisnah or Sonapur as it is known on the streets, although there are several others all over town. Over there you can visit the Emirates ID office immediately next to it. The maid will need to have their fingerprints and photo taken when applying for the Emirates ID. This amounts to Dh170. IDs can usually be picked up after about two weeks. People usually will advise you to keep the stamped paper form since you will need it for the maid’s residency visa application.

More than half way through the process, now you must visit an authorised typing centre to obtain a residence visa application form. Upon doing so, the sponsor is required to pay the annual residence visa fee of Dh5,200.

Then, you as a sponsor and your maid should apply for the residence visa together at a GDRFA office, where you should file the following documents:

  • Residence visa application form
  • Medical fitness report (in some cases, this report is submitted directly to the GDRFA – you will be informed by SMS if in this case)
  • Stamped Emirates ID application form
  • Maid’s stamped entry permit, adjoint with original passport and an associated photo
  • A copy of your own passport
  • Security deposit receipt
  • Your employment contract with your maid

The officer should be informed of the agreed upon salary and this amount shall be included in the standard contract that must be signed by you as a sponsor, your maid, and the officer. Once this is done, a one-year residence visa will be stamped into your maid’s passport and they will be issued with a domestic worker ID card.

Visa Rejection

While it is mainly a rather simple and regular process, there are some cases when the visa may be rejected.

Below are the most common reasons: 1. If the maid held a residence visa previously and left the country without cancelling the UAE visa. To get this cleared, the PRO will need to head to the immigration department and clear the previous residency visa. 2. Hand written passports inevitably get rejected by the UAE Immigration. 3. Visa applicants charged with previous criminal offence, fraud or misconduct committed in the UAE. 4. Maid previously applied for tourist visa but did not enter the UAE. 5. Applicants who applied for employment visa via a company but did not enter the UAE. 6. Visa application typos in name, passport number, and profession code face delays in getting approval, or result in rejection of the passport. 7. Unclear or blurred passport or photo copies in the online UAE immigration system, might get delayed or rejected.

Thousands and even millions of professionals come to Dubai and the UAE from every corner of the world every year. Both as a tourist or as immigrants willing to settle in the country as an expat. Hence the number of visa applications received by the Emirati institutions every year is phenomenal.

Renewal of maid's visa in Dubai

Done annually online, or through an authorized typist with an online medical request form issued (free, though some typists charge Dh20) and application for renewal (regular Dh5080 + typing charges or urgent Dh5180+typing charges). The process requires the maid to go for a medical fitness test. If you show proof of Hepatitis B vaccination done (yellow certificate showing all three injections done), then as the vaccination is valid for 10 years - the fee is waived.

Cancellation of maid's visa in Dubai

Cancellation can be either done at the airport or in advance through GDRFA. If you wish to do it in advance, you need to get the residence cancellation form typed (Dh70+typing fees) and then submitted to GDRFA Residency Section in addition to the maid's passport and labour card. They shall issue two cancellation receipts. One is for the maid to submit to Immigration when leaving at the airport while the other one is for you as a sponsor to collect your deposit from GDRFA.

Tadbeer introduction as an alternative

Tadbeer centres have been recently formally established to make sure that people only use legitimate channels to hire help and don’t mistreat domestic workers while enforcing rights properly through these channels under the sponsorship of the ministry. It is also envisaged to also ensure that families or sponsors don’t get too caught up in paperwork or legal issues. These are the points of focus of these centres: • Simplifying interviews between maids and employers • Helping with issuing visas, Emirates IDs, tickets and simplifying transfer of sponsorship • Providing medical examinations • Obtaining health insurance for maids • Offering professional training for maids • Organizing orientation sessions for a more efficient cultural immersion in the UAE • Serve as a backbone for domestic worker’s access to support and advise • Offering transportation from airport to the homes of their employers

In any case, you can always count on the popular online booking sites such as to book a maid in Dubai or only need advice and guidelines on finding the best services out there in the UAE.

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