Benefits of a UAE residence visa
Below are benefits of a UAE residence visa:
- Open a bank account
- Access financial facilities
- Apply for a driver’s license
- Access government health services and health insurance
- Register children in schools – private and government
- Work and invest
- Travel visa-free to specific destinations (verify with foreign embassies in the UAE)
Who can live or reside in the UAE?
Foreigners can live as residents in the UAE if they are:
Employed by a company or the government sector in the UAE. The company or government entity applies and sponsors the residence visa while in the UAE. The formality process for the initial work entry permit can take up to 3 weeks to become valid. The work entry permit is then converted into a residence visa valid for two (2) or three (3) years depending on the issuing zone.
The investor themselves processes and applies for the visa under the sponsorship of the company’s registered name. This is the most cost efficient and convenient way, and it only takes a few weeks. The business structure must meet the necessary Economic Substance Regulations. Visas for investors or shareholders are valid for three (3) years.
The property owner’s residence visa is sponsored under the property owned. To obtain a 2-year UAE residence visa, the residential property purchased must be worth at least one million Dirhams.
Dependents who are Sponsored by:
1. A person employed in the UAE.
2. An investor/business owner in the UAE.
3. A property owner in the UAE.
Dependents who are a Family Member
Dependents who are a family member of a UAE resident or national include children, parents, maids and close relatives, too.
The university applies and sponsors the student’s visa under the educational institution’s name.
Special conditions apply.
Residence visa without a local sponsor
In 2019, the UAE implemented a new process for long-term visas for people to reside in the country without a local sponsor and be given the ability to have full foreign ownership in the company on the Mainland. The foreign ownership portion is critical because most Mainland companies required an Emirati national to own a minimum of 51% stake in an entity
Eligibility categories exist for these visas. There are also five-year and ten-year long-term visa options known as the Golden Visa at that time.
Eligibility for a UAE ten-year residence visa
For a ten-year UAE residence visa, the individual must meet one of the following criteria:
- 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.
- To qualify as a person with a specialized talent such as inventors with patents that bring value to the Emirati economy with the appropriate Ministry of Economy stamp; or creators in culture, arts, scientists and doctors from top research institutions with recognized accreditations from government ministries and specialists. These individuals must have an employment contract in the UAE in an industry that is a priority on the national agenda.
Eligibility for a UAE five-year residence visa
Don’t worry if the ten-year long-term visa options aren’t for you. The following are five-year visa options:
To qualify as a property investor, the individual must invest in a property in the UAE worth at least 5 million AED (£1,024,040.25). The individual 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.
To qualify as an entrepreneur, the individual must have a project with approval from a UAE-based business incubator or an 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 can be renewed for another six months.
To qualify as an outstanding student at either the secondary or university levels, the individual must meet the following criteria:
- Student at either a state or private secondary school with an average of at least 95
- Student either in the UAE or abroad with a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.75 (on the 4.0 scale) upon graduation.
- The visas for outstanding students include their family members.
Applicant conditions for obtaining a residence visa
- Must be 18 years of age and above
- Must undergo a medical test to prove they are medically fit
- Must pass a security check
- Apply for an Emirates ID card from Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship
Validity Of A Residence Visa
The length of stay on a residence visa varies according to the visa type and the sponsor. The validity ranges from one, two or three years or up to five or ten years without a sponsor.