How to obtain a Residence visa in UAE


In United Arab Emirates one who is not Emirati requires a Visa to reside in the UAE. There are different ways and types of obtaining Residence visa in UAE. However, the process should be done by one of the following methods which involves various Government authorities.

Employee Visa

The most common Residence visa in UAE is the Employee Visa which is sponsored by the Employer. The employee shall be on the sponsorship of the employer and the company. A Labour contract is signed between the Company and the Employee, following which the employee is granted the residence visa in UAE on submission of all documents/certificates required by Immigration Authority. The employee shall be in employment with the employer and oblige to provide his services to employer. The duration of the visa depends on the type of the company, For Freezone companies in UAE the visa validity is 3 years and for Mainland Company the visa duration is 2 years.

Investor Visa

Another way to obtain a Residence visa is when an individual is an investor in a business or setting up a company in UAE, in either Freezone or Mainland. The company can set up as a mainland company whereby the Local Emirati holds 51% of the shareholding and 49% is held by the individual; or in a Freezone where 100% Ownership is granted to the Foreign Individual. By setting up a company an individual can obtain Shareholder visa or Investor visa.

The other option to get residence visa through investment is to buy a property in UAE. However, there are designated freehold areas where expats are permitted to buy property in UAE. By buying a property an individual can obtain an investor visa.

Dependent Visa

Dependent visa refers to Spouse, Parents and Children of the one who has a residence visa in UAE. A person who has a valid residence visa in UAE can sponsor wife/husband and children in UAE provided certain conditions by the Immigration Department are met.

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