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How to get a Free Zone Visa

03 January, 2019 By Dhruti Thakkar

The UAE Free Zones have always been an ideal place for starting and growing a business. Most investors find it economically stable with steady growth, tax-free regime, large markets, investor-friendly that are too attractive to pass. Moreover, setting up a business in any Free Zone is the easiest in comparison with anywhere else in the Middle East. As you are aware, UAE has various jurisdiction like Mainland, Free Zone and Offshore, and the most beneficial out of all is Free Zone. One of the key reason is that investors find Free Zone more feasible since it is 100% ownership.

Investors who have registered their company in Free Zone are eligible to apply for residency visa in UAE sponsored by Free Zone company. They can either apply for Investor visa or Employee visa.  This visa is issued by General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs  (GDRFA). As the Free Zone visa does not deal with Ministry of Labor, the visas are issued directly by Immigration (GDRFA). This makes the process much more straight-forward. To obtain UAE Free Zone residency visa, you need to follow the below steps:


Step 1: Your company should get registered with e-channel services

E-channel system was introduced by the UAE government to streamline the visa process by carrying the full process online. To apply for an e-channel account, you should take assistance from an agent and submit the application by paying necessary fees.


Step 2: Apply for Employee visa

Once your e- channel is successfully registered, the next step is to apply for the visa. After successful application and payment, an Entry Permit visa is issued. This is temporary in nature and comes with the validity of 60 days.


Step 3: Change in status

This process is an important process for Free Zone visa. It can be done in three different ways:

  • In-country
  • Out of country
  • Border run

Mostly in-country status change is preferred by entrepreneurs as they do not need to leave the country. Out-of-country is not available to all nationality, so it is advisable to check with Free Zone before leaving the country. Similarly, border run is advised by the immigration.

In case if the visa gets expired, the applicant can have it renewed by exiting and re-entering the country.

Once the process of change in status is complete, the applicant’s passport is simply submitted to Free Zone or Immigration (whichever is applicable).


Step 4: Medical Test

According to the UAE regulation, a medical test is compulsory. This test consists of blood test, infectious diseases test and chest X-ray. The report of the same can be obtained as per the selected timeline package.


Step 5: Registration for an Emirates ID

After the medical test, the next step is to apply for Emirates ID. This is an application for a national identity card which need to be issued and carried by all residents. To apply for the same, you need to visit an authorized typing center to make the application and further get the biomatrix done.


Step 6: Residency visa stamping

The final step to obtain the visa is by forwarding the passport to immigration for residency visa stamping. This step is taken care by the Free Zone or the sponsoring company.


If you are looking for a Free Zone visa in UAE and have very less or no idea about it, you can always take an advice from an expert who is well versed with the full process. We at N. R. Doshi and Partners can take care of all the details from filling the application to providing you your residency visa stamped passport. If you are looking for a friendly advice, contact us today at incorporate@nrdoshi.ae . we will be happy to help you.

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