Seeking for residency permit in UAE?

29 April, 2018 By Anisha Shah

The United Arab Emirates is one of the most attractive countries in the world in terms of the operation of business and residence. The attractive advantages of the country include tax free status, high standards of living, excellent opportunities for business development, economic and political stability.

As we can see that UAE is full of opportunities and offers residency visa for the people who want to grab those opportunities. This residency visa provides temporary residence to its holder. The temporary residence lasts for a maximum period of two to three years and one can sustain it by timely renewal. Thus, it is a good option for foreign nationals seeking opportunities for a better growth and development of oneself. The visa gives its holder authorization to live and work, provided the individual abides by country’s laws during the entire length of stay. It is relatively easy to obtain such visa within a short period of time if the requirements are duly followed.

In order to obtain a Dubai residence or work permit, one must have a sponsor who is subject to certain criteria.

How to get Residency Visa in UAE?

The residence permit allows foreign citizen a right to permanent residence. Both the work and the residence permit are issued together with a proof of identity card which is used by the territory of the country instead of the passport.

There are different ways to acquire a Residency Visa in UAE.

  • Owning Property in Dubai worth more than 1 Million
  • Becoming Company Owner
  • Entering Employment Contact
The first option of the residency in the United Arab Emirates

As this visa is for investing in properties, it is sponsored by the Dubai Land Department and is renewable in the duration of every two-year. By obtaining this visa, investors are eligible to acquire Emirates ID, sponsor family and can also apply for UAE driving license.

Minimum investment threshold

To be qualified for the residence permit, an investor must have ownership of properties that values either equal to or more than Dh1 million. For this visa, Mortgages are acceptable, but in the case of a mortgage, minimum 50 percent of its original price must be paid off or the value of Dh1 million must be paid off if the property’s value is more than Dh2 million.

Acceptable Properties:
  • Apartment
  • Services Apartment
  • Villa/Townhouse
Not Acceptable Properties:
  • Office
  • Hotel Room/Hotel Apartment
  • Ware House
  • Any other commercial property

The advantages of this option – no requirement to incorporate a company.

The disadvantages –It involves relatively high worth of investment into real estate and the visa is valid for only 2 years. Moreover, it does not authorize the visa holder to work in UAE.

The second option to become a resident of UAE

Through a way of registering your own company, (can be either in one of the Free Trade Zones or Mainland) respective authority may grant the rights to apply documentation for residency as a company’s shareholder. Not only does such established company provides shareholders with residency, it also provides the right to sponsor employees. The fact of the matter is although you are not obliged to perform a business activity through that company to get residency status, but you can also strategically use it for business benefits such as taking an advantage of the taxation law and tax treaties and many more.

The advantages –No requirement to own property. The residency visa of this type is issued for a maximum period – 3 years. Additionally, this visa gives an opportunity of performing business on the territory of UAE.

The disadvantage of that solution – The expense of company registration and annual maintenance.

And the last option to become a resident of UAE

Any foreign expat, who is willing to work in UAE can obtain the residency visa under their employer’s sponsorship. The hiring company is obligatory to take responsibility for the visa process and applying to the relevant departments on behalf of the employee.

However, in order for any employee to sponsor their spouse and children, their salary should be ranging between Dh3,000 to Dh4,000 plus accommodation. In case of parents, it should be Dh20,000.

How to keep the visa active?

To keep your residency visa active, one should stay in UAE. For option second and third, in case if you are outside UAE for 179 days, assume that duration to be safe. On the 180th day, your visa gets expired. In the same way, the investor visa (first option) has benefits till 360 days. Expiry does not mean you cannot re-enter UAE, it means you need to apply for the cancellation process and reapply for the residency visa. Cancellation of your residence visa is a necessary process which needs to be done even if you have missed out an annual renewal. Otherwise a new visa, whether residence or visit, cannot be issued. Ideally, the sponsoring authority takes care of it. If not, then go to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) or where the visa was issued, with your passport, and present it for cancellation with the applicable fine per month.

I hope the above information was helpful. In case if you require any further clarification, Feel free to contact me on

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