Applying for a UAE residence visa: All you need to know
The UAE is a melting pot of various nationalities living together. Around 88% of the entire population of the country consists of foreign expatriates living in the country mainly under a residency visa.
A residency permit is a visa type granted by the UAE government to foreign expats to work and invest in businesses in the country.
Having a residence visa in Dubai or anywhere in the UAE has its advantages, including opening a bank account, sponsoring your dependents to the UAE, applying for provisions such as the Golden Visa and much more.
This article aims to be a brief guide on the eligibility criteria, application process and the benefits of a residence visa.
What are the types of residency visas available in the UAE?
The common types of UAE residency visas have been listed as follows:
- Employment visa
- Golden visa
- Property Investor visa
- Retirement visa
- Company Investor visa
- Family visa
- Domestic workers visa
- Student visa
Who can live or reside in the UAE?
Foreigners can live as residents in the UAE if they come under the following categories:
- If they are employed by a company in the UAE:
If a foreign expat is employed by a company in the UAE, the company will apply and sponsor their residence visa for the contract period.
- If they are employed by the government sector:
In this case, the government entity that has employed the expat will apply for and sponsor their visa for the contract period.
- Investors in the UAE:
Foreign expats looking to invest in a Business in the Dubai Mainland will have to apply for their own visa under the sponsorship of the company’s registered name. For more details, check out this article.
- Property investors in the UAE:
Expats looking to invest in properties worth AED 1 million and above can be eligible for 3 and 5-year visas. For more details, check out this article.
Dependents—including children, parents, spouses, maids and close relatives—can be sponsored by employees or investors residing in the UAE.
- University students:
Students being sponsored by their universities can also reside in the UAE.
- Retired residents:
The UAE government also offers a Retirement Visa for individuals looking to retire in the country. For more details, check out this article.
However, it is important to note that the stamping of a residence visa is done only when the expatriate has entered the UAE through an entry permit, short or long-term tourist or a visit visa.
What are the essential requirements when applying for a residence visa in the UAE?
A residence visa for foreign expat employees or investors requires applicants to be aged 18 and above. Moreover, they will have to undergo a medical test to prove that they are medically fit. They will also have to pass a security check and apply for an Emirates ID (EID) card from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship.
What is the validity duration for a residence visa?
The validity duration of a residency visa would depend on its type and the sponsor. It could range from 1 to up to 10 years and could be of employment or long-term residency types.
What are the benefits of having a UAE resident visa?
Some of the popular benefits of having a UAE residence visa include the following:
- Opening a bank account
- Accessing financial facilities
- Applying for a driver’s licence
- Accessing health services and medical insurance
- Registering one’s children in government or private schools
- Working and investing
- Visa-free travel to certain destinations; however, you will need to check with foreign embassies in the UAE
How can I apply for a UAE residence visa?
If you are employed in the UAE, the responsibility of applying for the UAE residence visa rests with your employers. However, if you are applying for a residency visa, you can apply either online or offline for your visa.
- eChannels portal:
The eChannels portal allows individuals and companies registered in the UAE to apply for a new visa or a renewal.
- General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs website:
You can also apply online for a visa through the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs website or through Amer.ae. Visitors can also apply for an extension of visas within the country.
- Mobile apps:
The UAE government also offers mobile applications such as the ICA UAE eChannels and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs apps.
- Typing centres
You can apply for a visa through offline typing centres through the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs of the respective emirate. Upon approval, you will receive a message and the original entry permit.
- Amer centres
All entry permit and visa transactions can also be carried out through its Amer centres.
What are the common documents you would require to apply for a UAE residence visa?
Some of the common documents you would require to apply for a UAE residence visa:
- UAE visa application form
- Original passport
- Passport size photos in accordance with UAE photo requirements
- Entry visa copy
- Sponsor’s legal residency or UAE citizenship
- Work contract and the company’s valid trade licence and firm card
Applying for a residence visa would help you avail of multiple benefits including a high-quality lifestyle. Contact us for more details!