A residence visa in UAE is a document allowing an individual to live and work in the country for a specified period. The visa is typically granted to foreign nationals who have been offered a job in the UAE, or to those who wish to start a business or invest in the country. Residence visas are typically valid for three years and can be renewed. 


Eligibility for a UAE residence visa typically depends on the individual’s employment or business status, as well as their financial situation. Some of the common categories of individuals who may be eligible for a residence visa include.

  • Foreign nationals who have been offered a job in the UAE and have a valid work permit
  • Spouses and dependent children of individuals who hold a valid UAE residence visa
  • Business owners and investors who wish to start a company or invest in the UAE
  • Retirees who have a sufficient income to support themselves while living in the UAE


Once the applicant is in the UAE, he must apply for a residence visa, thus must first enter with an entry permit. Additionally, just like with the entry permit, the applicant often cannot apply for his own residence visa. Instead, he must have a sponsor, such as an employer, spouse, or other relative, do so.

What are the requirements for a UAE Residence Visa?

The UAE Visa Application Form can be acquired either online or at the appropriate typing centre. Some of the documents required are listed below. 

  • Original passport
  • In accordance with the UAE visa photo criteria, two passport-size photos.
  • Entry permit UAE
  • Evidence of the sponsor’s citizenship or lawful residency in UAE
  • Evidence of passing  the medical fitness test
  • Evidence of UAE health insurance
  • Include documentation of family links for family visas, such as birth and marriage certificates.
  • The applicant must submit the work contract, copies of the business’s current trade licence, and its current firm card when applying for a work visa.



An investor visa with certain standards that must be met by the applicant is the 10-year Golden Visa in the UAE. Because the applicant must have public investments of a specified amount in the UAE, it is regarded as a resident visa by investment.


One of the following requirements must be fulfilled

  • A minimum of AED 10 million investment in the United Arab Emirates
  • owning a business in the UAE with a minimum capital of AED 10 million
  • Investing in a UAE firm with a minimum share value of AED 10 million
  • Investing at least AED 10 million in each of the aforementioned industries indicated in the points above, with at least 60% of the total investments going into non-real estate industries.


  • The invested funds shouldn’t be loaned to the investor.
  • The money must be kept in the account for three years.
  • The investor should own financial resources worth AED 10 million.
  • Business partners may participate in the venture if the investor so wishes, providing they each contribute AED 10 million.

This visa is valid for 10 years and will be renewed automatically.


Applicants can obtain UAE citizenship for expats by investing in the UAE if they purchase real estate in Dubai or the UAE.


The investor only needs to purchase a property in the UAE that satisfies the following criteria:

The property’s gross worth must be at least AED 5 million.

The amount spent for investment shouldn’t be a loan.

The aforementioned property must be kept for a minimum of three years.

This visa is valid for 5 years with automatic renewal.


Those who are UAE citizens and are older than 55 years can apply for a UAE retirement visa.


For someone who wants to retire in the UAE, there are a few visa rules and regulations that must be followed. One of the following conditions must be met.

  • The applicant must be a shareholder in real estate valued at least AED 2 million (in this case it is considered a type of investment visa)
  • The candidate must have savings totaling at least AED 1 million.
  • The candidate must maintain a monthly income of at least AED 20,000.
  • The applicant’s funds in the UAE, which total AED 2 M, can be combined with buying a house.

The UAE retirement visa is valid for 5 years and can be renewed.


The employment visa allows foreign nationals to work and live in the UAE with the sponsorship of their employer. The employer is responsible for processing and obtaining the employment visa for the foreign national.

Once the visa has been obtained, the foreign national must obtain a residency stamp in their passport, which will allow them to enter the UAE. After their arrival, they must also obtain a labor card, which proves their legal right to work in the UAE.

It’s important to note that the employment visa is typically valid for two years and is tied to the sponsor’s visa. If the foreign national changes employers, they will need to apply for a new employment visa with their new sponsor.

Additionally, it’s also important for the foreign national to abide by the laws and regulations of the UAE, including rules related to work and residency, to avoid any legal consequences.

The UAE Employment Visa is valid for two years when working for a mainland company.

The UAE Employment Visa is valid for three years with a free zone business or governmental organization.


The UAE Company Investor Visa, also known as the Residence Visa for Investors, is designed for foreign nationals who own a business in the UAE or have invested in a company in the country. This visa allows them to live and work in the UAE for the duration of its validity.

Refer to UAE company registration to learn about establishing a new company in UAE.

To obtain this type of visa, the foreign national must provide proof of investment or ownership in a UAE-based company, and they must also have a sponsor, who could be their business partner or the UAE-based company itself.

The visa is valid for three years and can be renewed subject to certain conditions and requirements being met. It’s important to note that the investor visa is tied to the specific company in which the foreign national has invested or owns, and they will not be able to change sponsors or transfer the visa to a different company without obtaining a new investor visa.

It’s crucial for foreign nationals with an investor visa to comply with the laws and regulations of the UAE, including those related to business operations, residency, and work, to ensure that their visa remains valid and to avoid any legal consequences.


An expat may sponsor members of their immediate family if they have obtained any sort of residency visa within the UAE. The person will be allowed to sponsor their spouse, kids, and parents in this situation.


UAE family visa requirements listed below. 

  • Investors who want to sponsor their family must pay AED 3,000 per family member as a refundable fee.
  • Employees must earn at least AED 4,000 per month in order to sponsor their families. As an alternative, it is AED 3,000 plus the rent each month.
  • The sponsor’s monthly income cannot be less than AED 20,000 while sponsoring parents. In this situation, both parents are sponsored; in the event that one is dead, a death certificate is necessary.

Depending on the type of visa their sponsor has, family visas have varying lengths. They may be granted for a period of one to three years or concurrently with the sponsor’s visa period. 

UAE residence visa renewal is case-specific. Additionally, family visas are tied to the sponsors’ visas. 

The dependents’ visas must be cancelled as well if the sponsor’s UAE resident permit is cancelled for any reason. A grace period of 30 days applies when the sponsor’s visa is cancelled before the UAE family residence visa can also be terminated. If they continue after that time, they will be fined.


This residency visa should be granted to domestic workers if expats intend to hire them.

They are financing a maid, housekeeper, cook, private driver, babysitter, etc. in this situation.


An expat must fulfill the following conditions in order to sponsor a domestic worker in the UAE.

  • The foreign national seeking sponsorship must make at least AED 25,000 annually.
  • The sponsoring party cannot be linked to the domestic worker
  • The sponsor must already be a resident of the UAE and reside there with their family.
  • The sponsor must have two personal cars registered in the UAE in their name if the domestic worker is a private driver.


Special talents working in the sciences and the culture in the Emirates may be eligible for this type of resident visa. All applicants must be employed full-time.


For expats with exceptional potential who wish to apply for a specialist resident visa in the UAE, the following criteria must be met:

  • The Mohammed Bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence or Emirates Scientist Council accreditation is required for scientists.
  • The Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development must accredit candidates who work in the arts and culture sector.
  • Investors must have a patent valuation that significantly boosts the UAE economy and have it approved by the Ministry of Economy.
  • Any extraordinary abilities must be registered as patents or published in prestigious international journals.
  • Executives who apply for this visa must be the owners of a well-known business that is regarded as a global leader.

Doctors and specialists must meet at least two of the criteria listed below:

  • The applicant’s Ph.D. must be from one of the top 500 universities in the world, and they must have at least 10 years of relevant job experience.
  • The candidate must have received a commendation or special award for their efforts in their profession.
  • They have made important contributions to extensive scientific research in their respective domains.
  • The candidate has published a scientific book or article on their subject in a well-known journal.
  • The candidate belongs to a prestigious group that focuses on their line of employment.
  • In the UAE, their speciality is specifically needed and prioritised as a profession.

The specialist visa’s duration is for 10 years and can be renewed if conditions are still met.


A student residency visa in the UAE allows students to apply to study at educational institutions there.

The student must apply for a visa renewal each year until their academic years are complete. The student visa is issued with a one-year validity period. Outstanding students may also apply for a 5-year student visa if they earned a 95% in their secondary education. University students should have a minimum GPA of 3.75.


If the applicant already works remotely and wants to reside in Dubai, he can take advantage of this right away. The government of Dubai provides a remote UAE Working Visa, allowing the applicant to remain in the emirate and take advantage of its exquisite quality of life.

A valid passport for 6 months at least and health insurance with UAE coverage validity is needed.

  • For employees

Proof of employment from the current employer with a contract of at least one-year validity;

Proof of minimum $5,000/month salary;

Payslip for the last month;

Bank statements for three consecutive months.

  • For business owners

Proof of ownership of the company for one year or more; 

            A paper that proves the applicant’s average monthly income is $5,000/month;

            Bank statements for three consecutive months.

This visa is valid for one year.


The Entry Permit for UAE residents is only valid for a limited period of time and allows the holder to enter the UAE (usually up to three months). Depending on the reason for the visit, entry permits may be granted. For instance, a UAE Tourist Visa is an entry permit for UAE status for tourism.

Before the applicant enters the UAE, the sponsor must submit an application for the entry permit. The sponsor can then apply for the applicant’s resident visa once he has arrived in the country with an entry permit.

Additionally, some countries can obtain entry permission upon arrival or don’t even require one. Since the two are essentially the same, if the applicant is exempt from a UAE tourist visa, he doesn’t need to obtain entry permission.

Long-term residence in the UAE is permitted for those who hold a residence visa. The sponsor must submit an application for the applicant’s resident visa to the appropriate visa-issuing authorities when he arrives in the country.


  • Use e-gates at the airport to enter the nation without a passport check line (needs supplementary e-gate card);
  • Opening bank accounts for oneself in the UAE;
  • Requesting personal loans from banks in the UAE, including loans for cars;
  • Requesting a driving license for the UAE;
  • Purchasing a local mobile phone plan;
  • Access to local health insurance and public health services;
  • Enrolling children in both public and private schools;
  • Working in the UAE (requiring an additional working permit);
  • Possessing the capacity to sponsor the foreign resident’s family;
  • Visa-free access to a particular location;
  • No personal income taxes of any type;
  • Complete remittance of capital and profits;
  • No sharing of fiscal and financial information with any other nation;
  • There is no need to bring the passport and UAE visa because the Emirates ID acts as an official person identifying card within the UAE;
  • Utilizing the Emirates ID Card for a variety of transactions (gas at gas stations owned by specific corporations, insurance, healthcare, and more);
  • The holder of an Emirates ID is not required to live in the Emirate that granted the ID; instead, they are free to do so in any Emirate within the UAE.


If the applicant is applying for a visa as a business owner, the procedure would be as follows:

  • Registering a business
  • Obtaining an establishment card (a business-related immigration document that enables the applicant to begin visa applications)
  • Getting a permit to enter (a prerequisite of a resident visa, which is done at its initial stage)
  • Applying for an Emirates ID and undergoing medical evaluations
  • Putting a visa stamp on the passport

Typically, the applicant is permitted to remain in his native country throughout the issuance of the establishment card and entrance visa for the company (provided that the applicant has visited UAE at least once in the past).

At the time of the medical examination, the application for an Emirates ID, and the stamping of the visa, the applicant must be present in person. The applicant will be unable to leave the UAE until the immigration office has finished stamping the passport, which will be transported there.

It takes five working days to process a visa, including the medical and ID checks.


Our team of professionals will provide guidance on the requirements for the residence visa and review and verify all the required documents. We will provide updates on the residence visa UAE status of the application and assist with the visa collection. 

Reach out to us at Relin Consultants – Leading Global Business Set Up Partners to know about our services.


How long can I stay with a UAE Residence Visa?

The length of time that an individual can stay in the UAE with a residence visa varies depending on the type of visa and the sponsoring company. Generally, UAE residence visa validity is a period of 2-3 years and is renewable. Some types of residence visas, such as those for investors or entrepreneurs, may have longer validity periods.

How can I get a UAE residence visa?

There are several ways to obtain a UAE residence visa, including:

  • Employment: Many individuals obtain a residence visa through employment. This involves being sponsored by a company based in the UAE, which will act as the sponsor and provide the necessary documentation and support throughout the visa application process.
  • Investment: Investors or entrepreneurs can also obtain a residence visa by investing in a company or property in the UAE.
  • Family sponsorship: UAE citizens or residents can sponsor family members for a residence visa.
  • Retirement: Individuals who are over the age of 55 and have a monthly income of at least AED 20,000 or have savings of at least AED 1 million can apply for a retirement residence visa.
  • Education: International students can obtain a residence visa if they are enrolled in an accredited university in the UAE.

How long does a UAE residence visa take?

The processing time for a UAE residence visa can vary depending on the type of visa and the sponsoring company. However, in general, the process can take anywhere from two to four weeks, although it can take longer in some cases.

The processing time can be affected by various factors, such as the completeness of the application, the number of applications being processed at the same time, and the time it takes for the required documents to be verified.

Once the visa is issued, the holder will have 30 days to enter the UAE, and within this time, the holder should also apply for the Emirates ID card which usually takes around 7 days to be issued.

What’s the UAE Residence Visa expiry grace period?

The UAE Residence Visa expiry rules state that a grace period is the period of time that an individual has after the visa has expired to renew or leave the country without incurring any penalties. This period can vary depending on the type of visa and the sponsoring company.

For most types of residence visas, the grace period is typically 30 days from the expiration date. During this time, the holder can renew their visa without facing any fines or penalties.

What is the UAE Residence Visa overstay fee?

The UAE Residence Visa overstay fee is a penalty imposed on individuals who remain in the country after their visa has expired. The fee is charged per day of overstay, and the amount can vary depending on the length of time overstayed.

According to the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA), the overstay fee for residence visa holders is AED 25 for the first day and AED 50 for each subsequent day.

What Happens if I leave the UAE for more than 6 Months? (UAE Re-entry Rules)

If you leave the UAE for more than six months while holding a valid UAE residence permit, your visa may be canceled by the immigration authorities. This is because the UAE immigration laws state that a residence visa holder who stays outside the country for more than six months without prior approval from the immigration authorities will be considered to have abandoned their residency status.

It’s worth noting that once a residence visa has been canceled, the holder will not be able to return to the UAE using the same visa. In order to return to the UAE, the holder will need to apply for a new residence visa UAE or enter the country on a visit visa.

If you plan to leave the UAE for more than 6 months and want to keep the residence visa valid, you can apply for an Exit permit. This is a document that allows the holder to leave the UAE temporarily while keeping the residence visa valid. 


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