Planning to move to the UAE permanently? You must because the country offers an unparalleled lifestyle, matchless security level, no income tax, buyers’ protection laws and impressive business and employment opportunities, coupled with a growing economy and political stability. Over the past few years, the United Arab Emirates has become one of the most attractive financial and business hubs and tourist destinations across the world. Besides that, there is almost no crime in the UAE. Owing to stellar benefits and opulent lifestyle, not just youth but high net worth individuals have been moving to this country.
Another interesting fact is that more than 80% of the total UAE population comprises expatriates, who belong to more than 200 different nationalities. If you are also planning to relocate to Dubai on a permanent basis, you must obtain one of the residence visas. The UAE has versatile visa policies that offer multi-year residencies, after which visa holders can sponsor their immediate family members.
What are the different types of Dubai residency visas?
If you are planning your future in the UAE, you must check different types of visas available for foreigners.
Work Visa / Employment Visa
The UAE work visa is issued to foreigners, who start working for a company in the UAE. In this scenario, the company applies on your behalf and sponsors the residence visa, while you are in the country. This type of residence visa remains valid for one or two years – depending on the employment contract.
After obtaining an employment-based visa, expats can sponsor their immediate family members, if they meet the criteria of minimum salary i.e. AED4,000 or AED3,000 plus commission.
Residence Visa for remote workers
The COVID-19 induced global pandemic has drastically changed the work dynamics. Most of the organizations have switched to remote (or work from home) settings, making things easier for their employees. This residence visa is particularly designed for remote workers, who would want to live in the UAE but still work for an organization back home. These remote workers can enjoy all that the UAE offers to its residents including top-notch amenities, access to basic facilities such as schools and healthcare centres and public services and that too, with zero income tax.
All that you need is:
- A passport with at least 6 months validity
- Proof of employment (in case of own business)
- Employment contract with at least one-year validity
- Previous month’s salary slip
- Bank statement for 3 consecutive months
- Average income / monthly salary of at least USD5,000
This visa is issued to foreigners, who have been accepted into a UAE educational institution, to pursue higher studies.
To be eligible to obtain the Dubai Student Visa, the applicant must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Pass the medical fitness centre
- Have a visa sponsor
The Dubai student visa is valid for one year and can only be renewed for the same duration upon providing proof of continuation of study from the respective institution.
For everyone, who aspired to live in Dubai, even after retirement – the UAE government has introduced a new retirement scheme “Retire in Dubai”, which allows people aged 55 and above to continue living in the emirate on a retirement visa. However, this visa is only issued to the residents who meet at least one of the following eligibility criteria.
- Purchase a property worth at least 2 million
- Have at least 20k of monthly income
- Have financial savings of AED1 million
The retirement visa is valid for 5 years and can be re-issued, if the applicant meets the eligibility criteria.
The UAE 10-year Golden Visa
The UAE Golden Visa, 10-year visa or long-term visa is a type of investor visa with particular requirements for long-term residency in the UAE that must be met by the applicants. However, not many people know that the golden visa is available for 5 years and 10 years categories. Who are eligible to apply for the UAE Golden Visa?
- Real estate investors
- PhD holders in the UAE
- Specialists in fields of science, medicine, sports, art
- Graduates with a 3.8+ GPA from the UAE-accredited universities
- Top graduates from the UAE’s high schools and their families
As it is previously mentioned, this residency visa can be obtained by investment and the applicant must have public investments of a certain amount in the UAE.
Requirements to obtain Golden Visa through real estate investment
To obtain Golden Residency Visa through real estate investment, the applicant must fulfil one of the following requirements:
- An investment that is worth no less than AED10 million
- Having a company within the UAE with a capital of at least AED10 million
- Partnering in a company in the UAE with a share worth a minimum of AED10 million
- The money should not be loaned that you are willing to invest
- You must retain the investment for 3 years
- The investor must have financial assets worth AED10 million
- The business partners can be together in the investment, provided they invest an amount of AED10 million each.
Note: The validity of this visa is for 10 years, with automatic renewal.
The UAE 5-year Golden Visa
You can get this Golden residency Visa by investing in a property in Dubai or anywhere in the UAE.
A few requirements to buy a property in the UAE that need to be fulfilled earlier are:
- The gross value of the property must be no less than AED5 million
- The amount should not be a loan in any form
- The property must be retained for at least 3 years
Note: The validity of this type of visa is 5 years, with automatic renewal.
Advantages of obtaining a residence visa
After being a resident in the UAE, you will be entitled to:
- Open a bank account
- Access top-notch facilities
- Apply for a driving license
- Access government healthcare services
- Register your children in schools
- Work in the UAE registered companies
- Invest in businesses and real estate
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Now let’s have a look at some of the most frequently asked questions about the UAE or Dubai visa.
Q: Do I need a Residence Visa or Entry Permit to enter the UAE?
The GCC citizens can enter the UAE without a visa. Citizens from a few countries can have a “visa-on-arrival” and be exempted from entry permits. In most cases, people travelling to the UAE do need a visa or an entry permit before entering the country.
How can I get permanent residence in Dubai?
The first and the most significant option to obtain residency in the UAE is through investing in the real estate sector. You can start with as low as AED1 million to invest in the UAE properties, after which the visa is normally issued for 2 years.
Q: Can I live in Dubai without a job?
Yes, you can – as Dubai has launched a new visa scheme that allows remote workers to live in the emirate while working remotely for a company back home. Moreover, the income will remain tax-free.
Q: Where can I apply for a Dubai Visa?
You can apply for Dubai visas through the official website of GDRFA or the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship smart services portal.