Message to U.S. Citizens: New Requirement for UAE Employment-based Residency Permits

American Citizen Services would like to inform all U.S. citizens residing in the UAE of recent changes to the UAE residency permit application process. Applicants for employment-based UAE residency permits are now required to provide “Certificates of Good Conduct.” This policy went into effect on February 4, 2018. UAE officials have confirmed the following details:

  • The certificate requirement applies to all new employment-based residency permit applications. It does not apply to renewals of existing permits.
  • The certificate is only required for the principal residency permit applicant. Certificates are not required for spouses and children.
  • A certificate will be required from every country in which the applicant has resided during the previous five years. For more information on how to obtain certificates from other countries, please visit the Department of State’s webpage on Reciprocity and Civil Documents.
  • The certificate must be issued within three months of the application for the residency permit.
  • The certificate must be authenticated by the UAE embassy in the country that issued the certificate and subsequently authenticated by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs. You can find more information on the authentication process on our website.
  • Students are exempted from the certificate requirement.

The U.S. equivalent of a Certificate of Good Conduct is an FBI Identity History Summary Check. Applicants must apply for an Identity History Summary Check directly through the FBI. For more information on how to initiate an Identity History Summary Check, please visit the following website:

The FBI will require fingerprints for this purpose and the Consulate does not provide this service. The Dubai Police will generally take fingerprints at their headquarters. You may reach the Dubai Police Headquarters’ fingerprint division at +971 04 609 6841 or +971 04 609 6843, and more information is available on the Dubai Police website. For more information on the FBI’s requirements for fingerprint card submissions, including the option to print out the FBI’s standard FD-258 cards, please see the FBI’s Fingerprints and Biometrics website.

Applicants should request a certified copy of their Identity History Summary Check from the FBI so that it can be authenticated by the Department of State’s Office of Authentications and the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC. More information about authenticating U.S. documents for use in the UAE, including contact information of companies that will perform this service, can be found here.

For further information regarding UAE residency permit requirements, please contact the Dubai General Directorate for Residency and Foreigners Affairs directly.