UAE Residence Visa – How to Get UAE Residency Visa?
Around 85% of the UAE’s population comprises foreign investors and residents. The UAE government is keen to offer UAE Residence Visas to immigrants and skilled professionals from around the globe. Unlike the rest of the neighboring Gulf countries, the UAE’s comparatively secular social setup and booming economy are the main reasons behind this growing trend.
The UAE is home to people from different Asian, African, and Western countries with various skills and professions. It is safe to claim that the entire country is based on a gigantic foreign community belonging to various nationalities worldwide.
Foreign nationals who intend to live and work in the UAE for a lengthy period of time must get a UAE Residence Visa.
If you’re looking for ways to find and apply for the right UAE Resident visa category and become a resident of the world’s most modern and secure country, you have landed at the right place. Let’s explore different types of UAE resident visa categories and the process of applying for a UAE Residence Visa to gain access to this land of opportunities.
What Is a UAE Residence Visa?
A UAE Residence Visa is your gateway to land and start living in the UAE as an overseas individual. There are multiple instances of UAE Residence Visas with a validity of up to 10 years that, too, can be renewed multiple times. Numerous foreign families have been residing in the Emirates for many generations, renewing their visas regularly.
Families can be sponsored for Residence Visas by employers and employees with valid UAE residency visas. Unlike before, employees who make a minimum salary of AED 4,000 or AED 3,000 plus housing can sponsor their families regardless of their job titles.
It is important to note that the UAE government doesn’t offer permanent residence to non-UAE citizens. Still, you can leverage the same perks as UAE nationals while staying in the Emirates until your UAE Residence Visa is valid. You can further prolong your stay by applying for a hassle-free visa renewal.
Benefits of UAE Residence Visa
By securing your place in the UAE as a legitimate foreign citizen, you are allowed to
- Open your corporate bank account in UAE
- Set up your business in UAE
- Leverage a range of financial services
- Apply for a UAE driving license
- Get public health services and health insurance just like local citizens
- Register your children in high-end public and private academic institutes
- Work and invest in booming UAE’s economy
- Get visa-free access to a range of destinations around the world
Types of UAE Residence Visas?
You can enter and stay in the UAE by getting different UAE resident visas based on your purpose of stay. The UAE Residence Visa categories include
1. UAE Work Visa
This is one of the most frequently applied UAE residency visa types for foreign nationals who have confirmed employment from a company based in the UAE. The UAE work visa or work permit entitles individuals from different professions to legitimate stay and employment in the UAE.
2. UAE Family Visa
There is no better access to a quality lifestyle than living in the UAE with your family. Suppose you already have a UAE Residency visa of any type. In that case, you are eligible to apply for a UAE Family visa to sponsor your immediate family members, including parents, spouses, and children.
3. UAE Investor Visa
This Residence Visa in UAE is another hot-seat visa category offered to overseas investors who want to set up their businesses in the UAE. After recent amendments in the UAE’s corporate law, foreign investors are now eligible to set up their businesses in the UAE with 100% foreign ownership without any local sponsor or shareholder. With quick approval, you can stay in the UAE and run your business with 50 years of investor visa validity.
Learn more about UAE Investor Visa, in our detailed guide.
4. UAE Golden Visa
The UAE offers 5-years and 10-year Golden Visa for investment categories of AED 5M and AED 10M, respectively. This is another investor-based visa for individuals keen to secure their residence in the UAE without setting up their business.
5. UAE Freelancer Visa / Permit
For ex-pats and digital nomads who work remotely, the Freelancer Visa allows such individuals to stay in the UAE. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are the top destinations for nomads who want to work in the hassle-free environment of the UAE with access to fast internet and a range of recreational activities.
To know more about UAE Freelance Visa in detail, read our dedicated blog on UAE Freelance Visa.
6. UAE Student Visa
Students who secure admission to the UAE’s academic institutions are granted UAE student visas to continue their stay and studies in the Emirates. Initially, the student visa validity is 1 year which can be renewed for further studies. Students with exceptional academic records can get visas for up to 5 years.
7. UAE Retirement Visa
No one wants to leave the UAE’s lifestyle after getting used to it. For Individuals who worked in the UAE and retired after reaching the age of 55 years, a UAE retirement visa is a remarkable opportunity to prolong their stay in the Emirates.
How to Get UAE Residence Visa?
Step 1 – Apply for the Entry Permit
Your journey to crack a UAE Residency visa starts with applying for your entry permit, irrespective of whether you want an investor visa or an employment visa. Some of the specific conditions at this stage are as under
- For some specialized professions like healthcare and education, additional documentation is required. Consult your employer or sponsor in the UAE before applying for the entry permit with the correct documents and eliminate any likelihood of rejection.
- Suppose your employer demands specific educational background, such as a Postgraduate degree. In that case, you need to provide legitimate proof of your education documents from the relevant authorities or board in your country.
- Provide a copy of your passport with at least 6 months of validity.
- Color photograph with a white background.
Step 2 – Apply for Residence Permit
Once you land in the UAE and get clearance from the immigration department, the next step is to apply for your residence permit. The process includes the following prerequisites:
- A medical examination is a mandatory requirement in the employment process. (The process repeats every time you apply for your UAE Residence Visa renewal)
- For foreign employees, applying for a Labour Card and Emirates ID are the two primary requirements to secure their stay and employment in the UAE. Your Emirates ID further helps you in:
- Applying for a UAE Driving license
- Opening a bank account in UAE
- Getting your PO Box number (To prove your residency), etc.
Step 3 (Optional) – Applying for Family Residence
The process of a UAE family residency visa depends on various aspects. Some general requirements and obligations include:
- After completing the visa process, a male sponsor can invite their spouse, children, or parents. But the immigration authorities limit their minimum salary to at least 4,000 AED (without accommodation) or AED 3,000 (with sponsored accommodation).
- You have 60 days window to complete the entire process of your family visa application in the UAE from the date your family members enter the UAE.
- For women sponsors, the criteria to apply for a family visa in the UAE is a bit complex. The process varies from state to state. For instance, in Dubai, women must secure special permission from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs-Dubai (GFDRA). The monthly salary benchmark of at least AED 10,000 is also mandatory.
Note: Single mothers are exempted from this additional step for sponsoring their children.
How to Apply for UAE Residence Visa?
You can apply for Residence Visa via different online portals that also offer UAE Residence Visa Status Checks to let you check the current status of your application. These online platforms include:
- The eChannels portal
- The website of GDRFA (For Dubai)
- ICP App (Download it from Google Play Store)
- Dubai Now (Download it from Google Play Store)
Cost of Getting a Residence Visa in UAE?
The UAE Residence visa cost in Dubai is based on 3 factors:
- Applicant’s current location (in or outside of the UAE)
- Insurance (included or excluded)
- Visa Duration (2 or 3 Years)
Based on these factors, the table below shows the UAE Residence visa costs for the year 2022:
|Visa Category||Currently Based in||Insurance||Visa Fee|
|2 years UAE Residence visa||UAE||No||AED 3500|
|2 years UAE residence visa||UAE||Yes||AED 5272|
|2 years UAE family visa||Outside UAE||No||AED 2200|
|2 years UAE family visa||Outside UAE||Yes||AED 3972|
|3 years UAE Residence visa||UAE||No||AED 3700|
|3 years UAE Residence visa||UAE||Yes||AED 5472|
|3 years UAE Residence visa||Outside UAE||No||AED 2400|
How to Renew Your Residency Visa?
You can apply for UAE residency visa renewal online via the GDRFA portal. To free from any hassle, it is recommended to renew your visa before 30 days of the expiry date.
You can renew your Residence Visa multiple times. The process of UAE Residence Visa renewal involves the following steps.
- Step 1 – Appy for the renewal of your Emirates ID
- Step 2 – Retake the medical examination test
- Step 3 – Apply for the renewal of your UAE Residence permit
- Step 4 – Collect your renewed passport (with visa sticker) and Emirates ID from the relevant post office branch
FAQs About UAE Residence Visa
Who can apply for UAE Residence Visa?
To apply for a UAE Residence Visa, the applicants must be at least 18 years old and pass a medical examination to prove their medical fitness. Another primary requirement to secure a UAE Residence Visa is to pass a background check and get your Emirates ID.
Who is eligible for a UAE Residence Visa?
The following overseas individuals are eligible to apply for a UAE Residence Visa:
- Individuals having confirmed employment from a company based in the UAE – For a work visa, the company sponsoring your Residence Visa handles all the involved processes.
- Individuals with confirmed employment by the government sector – In the case of government employment, the governmental body that offers you a job handles your entire visa application process.
- Foreign Investors – You must apply for UAE Residence under your trade name and license.
- Property Investors – You can apply for an Investor visa by investing in immovable property in UAE.
- Students sponsored by their Universities
- Individuals recently retired from any public or private organization in the UAE.
Entities who can sponsor others (family members or employees) for their UAE Residence Visa include
- Male applicants employed in the UAE (with AED 4000 monthly income)
- Female applicants employed in the UAE (with AED 10,000 monthly income)
- Foreign Investor or Entrepreneurs having a valid trade license and registered company in the UAE Free Zone or Mainland jurisdictions
- Investors who own immovable property in the UAE.
Note: UAE Residence Visa is granted to foreigners already staying or working in the UAE after getting an entry or work permit. People having short-term and long-term visit visas are also eligible to apply after entering the UAE.
Tax-free salary, ease-of-doing-business, 0% personal and corporate tax, incredible lifestyle, security of life and property, etc., are some of the remarkable perks of the UAE that attract tourists, investors, and professionals around the globe.
The continuously escalating UAE economy and its significant contribution to the global GDP make the UAE one of the top business destinations around the globe.
For everyone looking for exceptional growth opportunities, UAE can fuel their progress. If you want to leverage the perks of UAE’s lifestyle and gain access to the exceptional living standard in the heart of the Gulf, a UAE Residence Visa is your gateway to your dreams.