A guide to residency visas in the UAE

 
  • A guide to residency visas in the UAE



    People from across the globe have made the UAE their home. The expats have played a key role in shaping this country. If you want to be part of this beautiful landscape, then look no further. Given below is a list of various types of residency visas that you can avail to become a resident of the UAE:

    • 10-year golden visa or long-term investor visa
    • 5-year golden visa or property investor visa
    • Retirement visa
    • Employment visa
    • Company investor visa
    • Family visa
    • Specialist resident visa
    • Student visa
    • Taskeen Programme

     
    What is a 10-year golden visa or long-term investor visa?
    It is a type of investor visa wherein you must have made a certain amount of investment to be eligible for it. The validity of this type of visa is 10 years which gets renewed automatically. You should fulfil one of the requirements given below to be eligible for a 10-year golden visa:

    • You should have invested at least AED 10 million in the UAE
    • If you are the owner of a company, then your capital investment should not be less than AED 10 million
    • In case you own a company in partnership with another person, then your own share in the company should not be less than AED 10 million
    • Taking all the above points together, your minimum investment should not be less than AED 10 million, with not more than 40% in the real estate sector

    Ø  Here are certain things you should keep in mind

    • The money you invest should not be in the form of a bank loan
    • You should stay invested for at least 3 years
    • Your financial assets should not be less than AED 10 million
    • In case you want to rope in business partners, each of the partners must invest a minimum of AED 10 million

    What is a 5-year golden visa or property investor visa?
    You can apply for this type of visa by buying a property in the UAE. The validity of the visa is 5 years which gets renewed automatically. You will need to fulfil certain criteria to be eligible for a 5-year property investor visa:

    • The property’s gross value should not be less than AED 5 million
    • The amount you invest should not be in the form of a bank loan
    • You should have retained the property for at least 3 years

     
    Ø Documents required

    • A copy of the passport
    • A copy of your last visa
    • Your photograph (against a white background)
    • The property’s title deed
    • A certificate of good conduct
    • Bank statement
    • DHA-approved health insurance policy
    • Utility bill

     
    What is a retirement visa?
    Expats above the age of 55 years and hoping to spend the rest of their lives in the UAE can apply for this type of visa. The validity of the visa is 5 years and it is renewable. You will need to fulfil one of the following conditions to be eligible for a retirement visa:

    • You should have invested in a property that is worth at least AED 2 million. In this case, it will be treated as a type of investment visa
    • You must have minimum savings of AED 1 million
    • You should have a monthly income of at least AED 20,000
    • Your property investment and savings are taken together should amount to at least AED 2 million

     
    Documents required:

    • A copy of the passport (applicants as well as their dependents if any)
    • A copy of the marriage certificate (in case the spouse is also an applicant)
    • Current UAE residency visa
    • Emirates ID

    Ø  Additional documents required on a case-to-case basis:

    • A copy of the title deed to be eligible for visa under the property investment scheme
    • A copy of the retirement letter and proof of savings in the UAE if you want to apply under the savings scheme
    • A copy of the retirement letter, monthly income certificate and six months’ bank statement under the fixed income scheme
    • A copy of the title deed and proof of savings for visa under the property investment and savings scheme

    What is an employment visa?
    This is perhaps the most common type of residency visa wherein a foreign national, who is employed by a company in the UAE, can legally live and work in the country. The employer acts as a sponsor for a foreign national to obtain the visa. The employer can be a private or a government entity and located in the mainland or in the free zone. Separate documents are required for companies located in the mainland and the free zone.
    The following documents are needed in case a company is situated in the mainland:
    Ø  For a company

    • Trade licence
    • Company immigration card
    • Labour card

    Ø  For an employee

    • A copy of the passport
    • Employee’s photograph (against a white background)
    • Copies of education certificates
    • Previous residency visa (if applicable)
    • Previous Emirates ID (if applicable)
    • Tourist visa (if applicable)
    • DHA-approved health insurance

    The following documents are needed in case a company is located in the free zone or is a government entity:
    Ø  For a company

    • Online visa application
    • Trade licence
    • Company’s immigration card
    • A copy of the office lease agreement

    Ø  For an employee

    • A copy of the passport
    • Employee’s photograph (against a white background)
    • Copy of the offer letter or appointment letter
    • Copies of education certificates
    • Previous residency visa (if applicable)
    • Previous Emirates ID (if applicable)
    • Tourist visa (if applicable)
    • DHA-approved health insurance

     
    Ø  Visa validity

    • For a mainland company, the visa validity is of 2 years while for one in the free zone or a government entity, the validity is of 3 years. Both types of visas are renewable

    What is a company investor visa?
    This type of resident visa is for those expats who own companies in the UAE or hold shares in one. It is also beneficial for foreigners looking to set up their own businesses in the country. The investor visa gives you the legality to live and work in the UAE during the validity of the visa. The validity of this type of visa is 3 years, subject to renewal.


    The following documents are needed in case a company is situated on the mainland:
    Ø  For a company

    • Trade licence
    • Immigration establishment card
    • Memorandum of Association (LLC)
    • Local service agreement

    ·  Partnership contract (if available)
    ·  Partners list (LLC)
     
    Ø  For an investor

    • A copy of the passport
    • A photograph (against a white background)
    • Bank statement (if applicable)
    • Previous visa (if applicable)
    • Previous Emirates ID (if applicable)

    The following documents are needed in case a company is located in the free zone or is a government entity:
    Ø  For a company

    • Trade licence
    • Share certificate
    • Immigration card
    • Memorandum of Association
    • Certificate of Incorporation

     
    Ø  For an investor

    • A copy of the passport
    • A photograph (against a white background)
    • Bank statement (if applicable)
    • Previous visa (if applicable)
    • Previous Emirates ID (if applicable)

     
    What is a family visa?
    If you manage to get a residency visa in the UAE, then you can sponsor your spouse, children and parents to come and live in the country. In such a case one must apply for a family visa.
     
    There are certain guidelines that need to be followed for a family visa:

    • Those looking to sponsor their family members must pay a refundable fee of AED 3,000 for each family member
    • If an employee wants to sponsor a family member, the person’s salary must be at least AED 4,000. Alternatively, the salary can be AED 3,000 plus monthly rent
    • In case a person is sponsoring both parents, the person’s monthly income should be at least AED 20,000. In the event one of the parents is dead, his/her death certificate is required

     
    The following documents are required by the sponsor and dependants for a family visa:
    Ø  For a sponsor

    • A copy of the passport
    • A copy of the UAE residency visa
    • Original Emirates ID
    • A copy of the labour card and contract from the Ministry of Labour
    • Salary certificate in Arabic in case the sponsor is employed by a company located in the free zone or by a government entity


    What is a specialist resident visa?
    This type of residency visa is granted to talented individuals working in the fields of science and knowledge and are currently employed in the UAE. The validity of the visa under this category is 10 years and is subject to renewal if conditions are met.
     
    Following are the requirements for those looking to apply for a specialist resident visa:

    • In case of a scientist, the person must be accredited by the Emirates Scientist Council or is a winner of the Mohammed bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence
    • For an individual working in the field of art and culture, he/she must be accredited by the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development
    • For an individual holding a patent, it should add value to the UAE’s economy and must be approved by the Ministry of Economy
    • An exceptionally talented individual should have patents in his/her name or have his/her articles published in globally recognized journals
    • Besides, an individual who owns a globally reputed company can apply for a specialist resident visa

     
    Ø  In case of doctors and specialists, they should be able to meet at least two of the conditions given below:

    • The individual’s PhD must be from a university that is on the list of 500 best universities in the world and must have at least 10 years of work experience
    • The individual’s work must have been recognised by a special award or a certificate of appreciation
    • The individual must have made significant contribution in large-scale scientific research in his/her respective field
    • The individual must have published an article or written a scientific book that has been published by a well-known publication
    • The applicant must be a member of a reputed organization that specializes in his/her field of work
    • The individual’s skill and talent is considered a priority profession in the UAE

     
    What is a student visa?
    Students keen to study in world-class educational institutes in the UAE can apply for this type of residency visa.
     
    Following are the documents required to apply for a student visa:

    • A copy of the passport with a validity of at least 6 months
    • A passport-size photo (against a white background)
    • Receipt of visa and tuition fees
    • A copy of the current visa (if applicable)
    • A copy of the admission letter from the university

     
    Ø  Visa validity

    • The validity of a student visa is 1 year. Students can apply for renewal annually till their education is over
    • Besides, an outstanding student can apply for a 5-year student visa provided he/she has 95% grade in secondary school. For a university student, he/she must have at least 3.75 GPA

    What is Taskeen Programme?

    The Taskeen Scheme is an investment program used in the UAE to purchase residential property. This service allows a real estate investor who owns a property worth AED 750,000 or more at the time of acquisition to apply for a three-year renewable resident visa, as well as sponsoring his or her spouse and children.

    Terms of Service 
    Investor 
    1. The minimum property value is AED 750,000 
    2. If it is a mortgage, 50% of the property value or at least AED 750,000 must be paid to the bank. The visa application requires a NOC letter in Arabic of and a mortgage bank statement. 
    3. A man and a woman can share a property with a value of 750,000 dirhams or more. (Requires notarized marriage certificate). If submitting an application on behalf of an investor.
    4. POA is required. 

    Family Visa 
    1. Noc letter from the father, attested by the notary public (in case the mother is the sponsor).
    2. Daughter over 18 years old (Unmarried letter) .
    3. Must Bring National ID for ( IRAN – PAKISTAN – IRAQ – LIBYA – AFGHANISTAN )

    Parents Visa 1 Year
    1. National ID for ( IRAN – PAKISTAN – IRAQ – LIBYA – AFGHANISTAN )

    Note The only applicant allowed to get in the centre.
     

    UAE to grant citizenship by investment and special merit 

    The UAE passport, which is ranked as one of the best in the world for mobility, will be offered to select foreigners and professionals including “investors, doctors, specialists, inventors, scientists, talents, intellectuals, artists, and their families,” according to the announcement

    The UAE says it will grant citizenship to foreign residents for the first time, providing they add value to the Gulf state.

     Who Can Get the UAE Nationality?

    Expats who can apply for UAE citizenship can be categorized as follows:

    • Investors
    • Doctors
    • Specialists
    • Inventors
    • Scientists
    • Talents
    • Intellectuals
    • Artists.



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