If you are the Emirati child of a UAE national, otherwise known as a Permanent Resident (PR), but you were born abroad and managed to attend school here in the UAE and graduated with at least an upper-second class honours degree in any discipline, then you can work in UAE under the „Public Service Sector‟ employment quota.
We offer a list of visa for UAE for permanent residents. There is also a post about how to apply for a visa in Abu Dhabi and fireworks show in Dubai. The UAE is becoming the place where everyone wants to settle down and start a new life and due to this reason the demand of residential visa laws in Dubai keeps increasing. We will base our discussion today on – UAE Visa For Permanent Resident. But, other resources which you can find on our website include some frequently asked questions such as: permanent visa for dubai price and uae residence visa benefits
UAE Visa For Permanent Resident
The United Arab Emirates has seen a large influx of residents who are now residents of the united arab emirates (uae). Along with that, there has been a purposeful plan by the United Arab Emirates Government to accept and strategically open the nation to foreign professionals looking for a better quality of life and to fill those lucrative positions in their thriving economy.
UAE visa for permanent residents allows an individual to check in and out of the country from any of the international airports within UAE, as well as be present in any part of the country. On acquiring a permanent residency visa with the UAE, you will have to have appropriate bank account and some form of financial savings to prove that you can support yourself during your stay. Those with lower income and assets might be eligible for financial assistance through government schemes. However, it is important that you also consider what dependent family members need while they are in UAE.
If you are a non-UAE national, who has been granted the status of permanent resident i.e. the green card holders, then you can apply for UAE visa after you get a job offer in UAE specially if an employer assists you with this process.
UAE Residence Visa – UAE Residence Permit
Over the past years, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has increasingly emerged as one of the most popular jurisdictions worldwide for residency between high net worth individuals (HNWIs), and even becoming a preferred alternative to traditional jurisdictions such as the UK, Switzerland, Monaco and Singapore.
With no taxes applied on individuals on income tax, property and capital gains taxes, or net worth taxes, straightforward administrative requirements and low processing costs, coupled with political stability, excellent accessibility and sunny weather all round, the UAE is indeed a very attractive proposal as a residency jurisdiction.
For those who do not come on an employment contract, there are two other ways for obtaining the UAE residence permit: either through investment in real estate (property residence visa), or through the registration of a company.
The first option to obtain residency is by purchasing and owning a property. To fit the requirements of the residency visa, the property must be worth at least 1 million dirhams, which amounts to approximately US$272.000. The visa is normally issued for 2 years and does not grant the right to work in UAE.
The second option to become a resident of UAE is by registration of a Free Zone company.This option allows the shareholders and employees of the company to apply for residency status.
Residency in UAE by registration of a company is the most popular route of the two, as there is no investment requirement, the visa is issued for a longer period of time (3 years), and gives the opportunity to conduct business in the UAE while enjoying all the tax benefits.
How to Get Permanent Residency in the UAE
The United Arab Emirates is one of the most attractive countries in the world for establishing businesses and residency. What makes living in the UAE so compelling? Among its primary benefits is its tax-free status, high quality of life, excellent opportunities for business development on both the Mainland and the dozens of Free Zones, and of course, economic and political stability.
Is the UAE residence visa permanent?
Before we go into permanent residency in the UAE, we must quickly recap standard residency options. In contrast to a tourist visa, the classes of standard residence visas allow you to hold two-year residency permits that you can renew an unlimited number of times.
You can obtain a visa for immediate family members and children under 18 as well. A condition of maintaining a valid resident visa is that you must enter the UAE at least once every six months, and should you fail to do so; you can risk having your visa status revoked.
You may obtain a standard resident visa in the UAE under the following circumstances:
- Purchasing real estate: If you buy a residential property in Dubai or any other Emirate worth at least one million Dirhams, you can obtain a UAE residence visa valid for two years.
- Entering an employment contract: If you are planning on gaining official employment in the UAE from a UAE-based company or the Emirati government, you will need a work visa. Your employer must perform all the formalities of the visa sponsoring process and will take you an average of two-three weeks to receive your initial work entry permit that has a two-month validity. Then, you would convert the entry permit into a residence visa valid for either two or three years depending on the issuing zone.
- Incorporating your own company in the UAE: This route is the most efficient and convenient way of acquiring a residence visa in the UAE as an investor or shareholder. The process only takes a few weeks, and the costs are relatively low. The business structure can be purely formal, as long as it meets the necessary Economic Substance Regulations. Visas for investors or shareholders are valid for three years.
- Studying in the UAE: You can gain a student visa for pursuing a course of study in the Emirates.
- As a family member of a UAE resident or national: You can also gain residency in the UAE through this pathway.
In all these cases, you must renew each visa after a certain period and can get revoked. But, what if you did not want to go through the hassle of having your visa tied to your employer, or desire more longer-term ties in the Emirates?
How to get permanent residence in the UAE
The UAE implemented a new system for long-term visas in 2019 for people to live in the country without a local sponsor and the ability to have full foreign ownership in a company on the Mainland. The whole foreign ownership bit is crucial because most Mainland companies require an Emirati national to own a minimum 51% stake in an entity. There are eligibility categories for these visas, and there are five-year and ten-year long-term visa options.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because these visas got introduced under the moniker “Golden Visa” at the time. So, what are the categories for these golden visas? Here’s a closer look.
UAE ten-year permanent residence rules
If you would like to apply for a ten-year residency visa to the UAE, you must meet one of two sets of criteria:
If you wish to qualify as an investor, you must put in at least 10 million AED (around £2,047,915.25), while ensuring you have solvency of at least that amount, not investing the funds in the form of a loan and retaining that investment for at least three years.
People with Specialised Talents
The other available option is to qualify as someone with specialised talent. They can include inventors that have patents that bring value to the Emirati economy with the appropriate stamp with the Ministry of Economy. They can also be creatives in culture and the arts, scientists and doctors hailing from top research institutions as long as they have corroborating accolades from influential journals or recognised accreditations from government ministries and specialists. These individuals must have an employment contract in the UAE in an industry that has a priority on the national agenda.
UAE five-year permanent residence rules
If you don’t meet the classes stated for the ten-year long-term visa, don’t fret. There are five-year options available for you. Who can enjoy the benefits of five-year permanent residence in the UAE? They are:
If you invest in a property in the UAE worth at least 5 million AED (£1,024,040.25), you can acquire a five-year visa. You must meet the following terms for the visa:
- You must hold onto the property for at least three years.
- You must not purchase the property in the form of a loan.
If you have a project with approval from a UAE-based business incubator or an already-existing idea with at least 500,000 AED (£102,385.65) in capital. The long-term visa for entrepreneurs includes:
- Three executives
- A partner
- Spouse and children
Entrepreneurs can also apply for a six-month multiple-entry visa that you can renew for another six months.
You can qualify as an outstanding student at either the secondary or university levels if you meet these criteria:
- If you are a secondary student at either a state or private secondary school with an average of at least 95
- If you are a university student either in the UAE or abroad with a cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.75 (on the 4.0 scale) upon graduation.
The visas for outstanding students include their family members.
UAE Residence Visa
Types of Residence visas for the UAE, requirements, fees and other guidelines nad FAQs
Foreigners who want to live and work in the United Arab Emirates long-term need a UAE Residence Visa. A residence visa for the UAE offers the holder a lot of benefits, including:
- You can open a bank account
- You can get a bank loan (personal or car loan)
- You have visa-free access to several countries
- Your children can attend government or private schools
- You can get a driver’s license
- You have access to government health services and health insurance
However, to be able to get a Residence Visa for the UAE, you must meet certain eligibility criteria, such as finding a job or investing in one of the emirates.
Who is eligible for a UAE Residence Visa?
To qualify for a UAE Residence Visa, you have to fall under one of the following categories:
- You will work in the UAE, under a governmental office or in a private company.
- You will study in a UAE educational institution
- You are the dependent of a UAE citizen or foreign resident (child, parent, maid, or a close relative)
- You have made an investment in the UAE
- You have purchased property in the UAE
- You will retire in the UAE
Types of UAE Residence Visas
The types of UAE Residence Visas are divided depending on the purpose of your travel. As such, there is the:
- UAE Work Visa, which is issued to foreigners who have found employment in the UAE and obtained a Work Permit.
- UAE Student Visa, which is issued for foreign nationals who have been accepted into a UAE educational institution
- UAE Family Visa, which is issued to the close family members of UAE citizens or foreign residents
- UAE Investment Visa (long-term residence), which is issued to foreign nationals who make a substantial investment in the UAE. This type of visa is issued for a longer duration than other types of residence visas (up to ten years)
- UAE Retirement Visa, which is issued to elderly foreigners who want to retire in the UAE and have the necessary financial means to do so.
- Work Remotely from Dubai program, which is issued to foreing freelancers who want to work in Dubai remotely.
What are the requirements for a UAE Residence Visa?
When applying for a UAE Residence Visa, you must have several supporting documents, such as:
- The UAE Visa Application Form, obtained online or through the relevant typing center
- Your original passport
- Two passport-size pictures, in line with UAE visa photo requirements
- Your entry visa
- Proof of your sponsor’s legal residency / UAE citizenship
- Proof you have passed a medical fitness test*
- Proof of UAE health insurance plan
- For family visas, include proof of family ties, such as birth/marriage certificates
- For a work visa, your sponsor must include the work contract and copies of the company’s valid trade licence and valid firm card
- Any additional documents related to your purpose of travel. For more, see:
- UAE Work Visa
- UAE Family Visa
- UAE Student Visa
- UAE Investment Visa
- UAE Retirement Visa
*All foreign nationals who want to live in the UAE on a Residence Visa have to pass a medical exam proving their fitness.
UAE Residence Visa application
You have to apply for a Residence Visa once you’re already in the UAE, meaning you have to enter with an entry permit first. Additionally, just as with the entry permit, in most cases, you cannot apply for your own residence visa: you need a sponsor to apply on your behalf, such as your employer, spouse, etc.
Who can apply for my UAE Residence Visa?
You can only apply for a Residence Visa through a sponsor. However, in certain cases, you may be your own sponsor.
- For a UAE Work Visa, your employer is your sponsor
- For a UAE Student Visa, your school is your sponsor
- For a UAE Family Visa, your family member is your sponsor
- If you are an investor or buy property in the UAE, you can apply yourself and your company/property serves as sponsorship
How to apply for a UAE Residence Visa?
First, your sponsor has to get an Entry Permit for you at one of the following:
- The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship
- The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – GDRFA either online (see the websites below) or in-person. If your host applies in-person they must do so through one of the licensed typing centres of the GDRFA in each Emirate or through one of the Amer centres in Dubai.
- GDRFA Dubai mobile apps for Apple and Android
Once you are in the country, your sponsor has to apply for your Residence Visa at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) of the relevant emirate in which you will live.
At the time of application, they will also pay a UAE Residence Visa fee, depending on the validity of your visa.
Once your application is approved, the GDRFA will affix a Residence Visa on your passport, and you will receive an Emirates ID, valid for the same duration as the visa.
The websites of the GDRFA in each emirate:
- Abu Dhabi
- Dubai (see also Amer, a website which Dubai citizens and residents can use to apply for family reunion and visitors can use to extend their Visa On Arrival)
- Ras Al Khaimah
UAE Residence Visa fees
The fees for a UAE Residence Visa change depending on what duration your visa is issued for. For one year, the UAE Residence Visa fee is AED100.
Additionally, you will also have to pay a processing fee which also changes depending on where you apply, which can range from AED70 if applying in person or AED40 if applying online.
Please keep in mind that the visa fees are subject to change and that you will have to pay additional fees for medical exams and health insurance as well.
The difference between the UAE Entry Permit and Residence Visa
The difference between the Entry Permit and Residence Visa for the UAE is just as the name suggests:
The Entry Permit allows the holder to enter the UAE and it is valid for only a certain amount of time (usually up to three months). Entry permits are issued based on the purpose of your travel. For example, an entry permit for tourism purposes is a UAE Tourist Visa.
Your sponsor has to apply for your entry permit before you enter the UAE. Once you are in the country on an entry permit, your sponsor can then apply for your residence visa.
Additionally, some nationalities don’t even need an entry permit or can get one on arrival. Basically, if you are exempt from a UAE Tourist Visa, you don’t need to get an entry permit because the two are more or less the same thing.
See how to apply for a UAE Entry Permit (UAE Visa) and who is exempt.
The Residence Visa allows the holder to reside in the UAE long-term. After you enter the country, your sponsor has to apply for your residence visa from the relevant visa-issuing authorities as described above.
How long can I stay with a UAE Residence Visa?
The duration of UAE Residence Visas depends on the purpose of your travel: they are issued for 1, 2 or 3 years and can be renewed.
However, Investment Visas or Retirement Visas are also issued for 5-10 years and are renewable.
Getting a UAE Residence Visa renewal before expiry
Your sponsor has to renew your Residence Visa within the 30 days before it is set to expire.
However, your sponsor may also renew your visa after it expires if it is within the UAE residence visa expiry grace period.
The UAE residence visa renewal procedure is similar to when you first obtained your visa: your sponsor has to apply at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in the relevant emirate.
What’s the UAE Residence Visa expiry grace period?
The UAE authorities offer expatriates a 30-day grace period starting from the time their visa expires. This means that even if your visa has expired, you can stay for an additional 30 days, but if you do not have a visa renewal by then, you must leave the country and re-enter using an entry permit.
If you overstay, you will be fined for each day you have overstayed.
UAE Residence Visa overstay fee
The fees for overstaying your UAE Residence Visa are as follows:
- For the first 6 months (180 days) – AED 25 per day
- For the second 6 months (180 days) – AED 50 per day
- For every day after 1 year has passed – AED 100 per day
UAE Visa renewal for divorced women and widows
As of October 2018, the UAE government has issued a new immigration rule, allowing the widows and divorced women of UAE residents to remain in the country without a sponsor for a year, starting from the passing of their husbands or their divorce. The new rule also includes the children of said women, if any.
To qualify, the women and/or children must have been under the husband’s visa at the time of his death or the divorce and their visas must be valid at the time of application. They can apply at the GDRFA by submitting the following:
- Proof of death or divorce (as applicable)
- Proof of accommodation
- Proof the woman is able to financially support herself
- The Emirates ID Card
- Medical fitness certificates
This type of visa can only be extended once.
What Happens If I Leave The UAE For More Than 6 Months? (UAE Re-entry Rules)
If you are living in the UAE under a residence permit and you leave the country for more than 6 months, your permit becomes invalid, and you cannot re-enter the country without applying for a permit once again. In this case, your sponsor can apply once more on your behalf to obtain a residence permit.
The following categories are exempt from the six-month residence rule:
- Golden visa holders and their family members (10-year visa holders).
- Government employees living abroad for medical reasons or for assignments.
- Investors with residence permits under approved classification.
- The wife of an Emirati citizen sponsored by her husband.
- People sponsored by UAE embassies or consulates.
- International students enrolled abroad (if they’re living in Dubai).
- Domestic employees accompanying their employers overseas.
How can I get a Dubai Residence Visa?
Dubai is one of the seven emirates that make up the country of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). As such, the process for getting a Dubai Residence Visa is the same as for any other emirate in the UAE (as explained above).
You must have a sponsor in Dubai (or invest/buy property there). Then, your sponsor has to apply for your entry permit and residence visa at one of the licensed typing centers of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai or an Amer center.