Visa Categories in UAE

With significant growth in recent years, the United Arab Emirates is one of the most appealing and dependable nations in the Arab world. The UAE’s current position as a key commercial and business center around the globe is the result of decades of hard work and devotion, as well as a willingness to adopt new technologies. The UAE has a majority expatriate population. One might easily say that the country was established by its expat population, which represents over 200 nations from throughout the world.

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    The UAE government has implemented a variety of visas in order to attract expats who would help to shape the country’s future and society. Let’s delve into the Visa categories in UAE, which are as follows:

    Business Visa

    A business visa allows foreign nationals to apply for a long-term visa for themselves and their families. Its goal is to establish business-friendly climates that will help the UAE’s economy thrive.

    Guidelines for Eligibility

    Individuals with entrepreneurial expertise from any nation are able to apply for a business visa. Anyone who has owned a business at some point in their lifetime and intends to do it again in the UAE qualifies as a qualified entrepreneur.

    To find business candidates, you’ll need to do the following

    • Be willing to back up your entrepreneurial skills
    • A majority stakeholder in a start-up or a top executive in one
    • be prepared to migrate to the United Arab Emirates and open a legitimate company in one of the seven emirates
    • Do you have a business concept or strategy that you’d want to see realized in the UAE?

    Applicants must also satisfy the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs, and Ports Security’s criteria, which include a background check and a health evaluation.

    You must get your nomination accepted by an incubator sponsored by the UAE government in order to apply for a business visa (currently, AREA2071 in Dubai and HUB71 in Abu Dhabi). You will be requested to apply for a visa through the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs, and Ports Security after your nomination has been accepted.

    If your nomination is approved, you will be sent a link to upload the necessary papers and finish your visa application.

    If your nomination is denied, you must reapply after 90 days.

    The advantages of a business visa

    Following the issuance of the visa, the applicant is permitted to:

    • To make the process of establishing a business easier, enter the nation for six months on a multiple-entry visa
    • Nominate up to three of his company’s senior employees for residence

    Remote Work Visa

    The UAE cabinet authorized new Remote Work Visa plan to allow employees from all over the globe to work remotely from the UAE, with the goal of attracting talents and skills from all over the world. The one-year visa permits foreigners to visit the UAE on their own initiative and work in accordance with the visa’s terms and limitations.

    The significant move, which is the country’s first of its type, allows entrepreneurs and professionals to develop in the UAE’s favorable investment business climate, with proximity to all required facilities. The Dubai remote working visa allows you to enter the UAE several times. In this Visa type, you are only allowed to stay outside the UAE for a maximum of six months. You will also need to reapply if you want to reside in the UAE for longer than a year.

    The conditions for applying for a remote working visa in Dubai are as follows:

    The following information is required of all candidates for the remote work programme:

    • A passport that is valid for at least six months
    • UAE health insurance.

    You’ll also need to provide proof of work, although the documentation you’ll require may vary depending on your position. If you work for a firm, you must present the following proof of employment for your visa:

    • A one-year job contract is required

    Documents demonstrating your ability to meet the financial requirement, which include:

    • A starting salary of at least $5,000 USD is required.
    • Your previous month’s pay slip
    • Bank statements from the previous three months

    Tourist Visa

    Tourist visas are available to people who do not qualify for a visa on arrival or visa-free entrance to the UAE. Individual travelers from all around the globe can apply for a tourist visa. Unless they are travelling with their parents, females under the age of 18 are not eligible to apply for this form of visa.

    Children under the age of 18 who are accompanied by adults can acquire a free visa for their stay from July 15 to September 15 each year, according to a Cabinet decision signed in July 2018.

    Licensed tour operators and hotels in the UAE can help you get a tourist visa if you buy your ticket via them and keep your hotel reservation with them. It’s critical to double-check the legitimacy of any travel agencies you’re working with, and to hold off on paying or submitting copies of your official papers until you’re certain the tour operator is legitimate.

    The duration of a tourist visa’s validity

    Tourist visas to the UAE can be provided for 30 days or 90 days, single entrance or multiple admissions, depending on your plans. The UAE has introduced a five-year visa that allows travellers to enter the nation several times on self-sponsorship and stay for 90 days on each visit, which may be extended for another 90 days.

    Getting a tourist visa renewed 

    All forms of visit and tourist visas can be renewed for another 30 days once they have been applied for and approved by the proper authority. This can be accomplished without leaving the country. Visitors and tourists can request for a second renewal before the first one expires for each renewal period. Over-stayers who do not renew their visas will be charged a fee for each day they overstay, starting 10 days after their visa expires.

    Retirement Visa for UAE Residents

    The UAE Cabinet adopted a measure in September 2018 that would grant retired residents over the age of 55 a 5-year long-term visa. If the qualifying conditions are satisfied, the visa may be renewed.

    A retiree must meet one of the following conditions to be qualified for a 5-year extendable retirement visa:

    • Invest in a 2 million AED worth property.
    • Having a minimum financial savings of AED 1 million
    • Having a monthly active income of at least AED 20,000

    The visa is valid for 5 years and can be renewed provided they fulfil the qualifying requirements.

    There are various ways to apply for a Dubai Retirement Visa, depending on where you live:

    • If you’re presently on a work permit in Dubai, you’ll need to go to the Dubai branch of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA).
    • If you are visiting Dubai from another country, you will need an entrance visa, because that’s when you may request for the Residence Retirement Visa.

    Visas for the UAE, including Dubai, are issued by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA).

    Documents required

    • A copy of the applicant’s passport and that of any dependents (spouse and children)
    • If you’re sponsoring your spouse, you’ll need a copy of marriage certificate
    • Current visa copy of applicant and dependents – If you are a UAE resident
    • Copy of Emirate’s IDs of applicant and dependents – If you are UAE resident

    The Investor Visa

    Foreign citizens who want to start their own business or participate in an existing firm in Dubai can apply for the Dubai Investor Visa, also known as the Dubai Partner Visa.

    For the period of the visa, the owner of a Dubai investor visa has the right to remain in the UAE and visit and go as they want. The bearer of a Dubai Investor Visa becomes a UAE tax resident and is not chargeable in their home country, but this is dependent to the individual’s home country’s restrictions.

    A Dubai Investor Visa holder is eligible to apply for an Emirates ID card, establish a bank account, get a UAE driver’s license, and a variety of other services.  The Dubai Investor Visa also allows the bearer to nominate their spouse, children, and parents for entry into the UAE.

    The Dubai Investor Visa can be obtained in one of four types:

    1. Investment in Residential Property

    Individuals who choose to invest in residential property worth AED 1 million or more, with a maximum of 50% of the property value under mortgage, are eligible. If each individual’s stake in a jointly held property is valued at least AED 1 million, they are qualified to apply.

    It must be a single residential property, not a business property. Furthermore, the visa is only available for freehold residential properties; off-plan houses are not eligible for this visa.

    The visa is valid for three to five years and can be renewed as long as the investor holds real estate in the nation.

    1. Investing in a Business 

    Individuals who choose to invest in or create a business in Dubai’s mainland or setting up a business in other free zones are eligible. This visa is available to investors who possess shares in a firm worth at least AED 72,000 or who are starting a business with a capital investment of the same amount. For international investors, establishing a business in one of Dubai’s free zones requires no local sponsors or partners, corporations are tax-free, and foreign nationals can own 100% of the company. The visa application procedure may vary based on a number of factors, including the company’s location in a free zone and the type of its operation.

    Golden Visa

    The UAE introduced a new system for long-term residency permits in 2019. Foreigners can now live, work, and study in the UAE without the requirement for a national sponsor, and they can own 100% of their businesses on the UAE’s mainland. These visas will be given for a period of 5 or 10 years and will be automatically renewed. Golden Visa system essentially grants long-term residency (5 to 10 years) to the following categories: investors, entrepreneurs, individuals with exceptional talents such as researchers, medical professionals, in scientific and knowledge fields, and exceptional students.

    Acquiring a 10-year visa

    In order to apply for a 10-year resident visa in the UAE, you must fall into one of the following categories.

    • Investors with a minimum investment of AED 10 million in public investments:-  investment might take a variety of forms, including:
      • A deposit of at least AED 10 million in a domestic investment fund
      • Forming a corporation in the UAE with a minimum capital of AED 10 million
      • Investing in an existing or new firm having a market capitalization of at least AED10 million.
      • Having a total investment of not less than AED 10 million in all areas specified, with the exception of real estate, which must account for at least 60% of the total investment.

      Applicants for the 10-year visa must have a minimum public investment of AED 10 million, which might be in the form of a business or an investment fund. However, at least 60% of the total investment must not be in real estate, the invested money cannot be borrowed, and investors must accept full ownership of assets if they exist.

      In addition, the investor must be able to hold the funds for at least three years. If each partner contributes a total of AED 10 million, this 10-year visa might be extended to include business partners.

    • Individuals who have specialised skills:- Doctors, researchers, scientists, investors, and artists are among those included under the specialised talents group. After certification from their respective departments and areas, these persons may be given a 10-year visa. Their spouses and children are also eligible for the visa.
    • Doctors:- In “honour of their efforts and sacrifices,” the UAE will award doctors, the first line of defence, a long-term residence.In their various fields of practice, doctors and specialists must satisfy at least two of the following requirements:
      • A doctorate from one of the world’s top 500 institutions.
      • A Ph.D. and ten years of professional experience in the applicant’s field are required.
      • An honorary award in the applicant’s field of endeavour.
      • Making a significant contribution to key scientific studies.
      • In prestigious publications, papers or scientific books have been published.
      • Participation in a field-related organisation.
      • Specialization in areas where the UAE places a high focus.
    • Coders:- Coders of all countries and genders can apply for the UAE Golden Visa through the UAE Government’s Department of Artificial Intelligence or the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, regardless of whether they are UAE citizens or non-residents.

    Acquiring 5-year visa

    • Investment in real estate:- The 5-year visa has many of the same conditions as the ordinary investor visa. The only difference is that the needed investment amount is AED 5 million.
    • Entrepreneurs:- Entrepreneurs can apply for a 5-year resident visa in the United Arab Emirates. Those who have a current project with a minimum capital of AED 500,000 or who have the permission of an approved business incubator in the nation are also eligible. Entrepreneurs are granted a six-month multi-entry visa that can be renewed for another six months. The spouse and children, a partner, and three executives are all included in the long-term visa.
    • Excellent Students:- In the UAE, exceptional high school and university students can apply for a 5-year resident visa. Students from top high schools in the country (a minimum grade of 95%) and students with a GPA of 3.75 or above after graduation from specific colleges. The family of excellent students is also eligible for a long-term visa. Through these measures, the UAE government has demonstrated its commitment to providing employees, expats, investors, entrepreneurs, and everyone else who want to make the UAE their home an extra reason to feel secure in their future professional and personal life.

    Employment Visa

    A Residence Visa is required for foreign nationals who wish to live in the UAE for an extended period of time. In addition, if you wish to work in the UAE, you must first get a work permission. So, you must first find a business ready to recruit you and begin the process of obtaining an employment visa and work permit in the UAE.

    To work in the UAE, both you and the organization that hires you must meet the following requirements:

    • You must be at least 18 years old to participate.
    • The firm that hires you must have a valid licence.
    • There must be no infractions in the company.
    • The work you conduct must be appropriate for the firm that hired you.

    Any foreigner above the age of 18 can work in the UAE as long as they fulfil the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation’s requirements (MoHRE). In the United Arab Emirates, there is no upper age limit for employment.

    Based on their academic qualifications foreign employees are categorised into three categories:

    • If you hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, you are in category 1.
    • If you hold a post-secondary diploma in any discipline, you fall into category 2.
    • If you have a high school diploma, you are in category 3.

    Documents Required for Employment Visa

    Several supporting papers are required when applying for an employment visa in the UAE, including:

    • A copy of your passport as well as your original passport
    • A passport-size photograph, as required by the UAE
    • Copies of your academic credentials
    • A medical certificate from a government-approved health institution in the United Arab Emirates.
    • Documents from the firm that hired you, such as the company’s commercial licence or business card

    Transit Visa

    The transit visa is a single-entry visa for those who will be in the UAE for more than 8 hours as part of their airport transit. It’s an e-visa, and you’ll need to apply for it before you arrive in the country.

    The UAE offers two types of transit visas: one that is free for 48 hours and another for 96 hours. Only UAE-based airlines can provide transit visas, which must be completed and granted before entering the UAE. You’ll need a transit visa if you’re not one of the nationalities eligible for visa on arrival or visa-free entrance to the UAE.

    48-hour transit visas are available

    Travelers passing through the UAE’s airports are provided with complimentary 48-hour transit visas. You must apply for the visa in advance through an airline located in the UAE. This is a one-time use visa that cannot be extended or renewed.

    To obtain a transit visa, you must have the following documents:

    • a passport  with a three-month minimum expiration
    • a self-portrait on a white backdrop
    • a reservation for a flight to a third location other than the one from which you are departing

    96-hour transit visas are available

    Travelers passing through the UAE’s airports are awarded 96-hour transit permits for a charge of AED 50. You must register for the visa in advance through an airline located in the UAE. This is a one-time use visa that cannot be extended or renewed.

    To obtain a transit visa, you must have the following documents:

    • a passport with a six-month minimum duration
    • a self-portrait on a white backdrop
    • a reservation for a flight to a third location other than the one from which you are departing

    Student Visa

    Expat students over the age of 18 who are residing in the UAE are granted a student visa. Outstanding students could be eligible for a five-year visa. A student visa is for students attending university or college in the UAE. The student must be 18 years old or older.

    Conditions for a student visa

    An authorized admission letter from the university where the candidate is studying is required in order to receive a freshman student’s visa. A proof of continued study is required for older students. There are also the following requirements:

    • Clearing a medical fitness examination
    • A visa sponsorship, which might be the university or a parent or family
    • Permission of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA)

    A student’s visa is granted for a term of one year, extendable for a comparable length upon presentation of official documentation of continued study from the appropriate higher educational establishment in the UAE to which the student has been enrolled.

    Residents can get a student visa in the UAE by endorsing their children or by enrolling in one of the UAE’s approved institutions or colleges. Visa applications are handled by visa officials in each emirate, which are administered by the appropriate General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs.

    Outstanding students may be granted a long-term visa

    The UAE government passed the resolution to award excellent students a 5-year visa.

    The following are the requirements for obtaining a 5-year visa:

    • Students at secondary schools, whether public or private, must graduate with a grade of at least 95%.
    • University students from both within and outside the nation must have a GPA of at least 3.75 to graduate.

    Dependent Visa

    With over 80% of its population being expats, the UAE is a migrant-friendly country. The UAE Dependent Visa permits spouses and children of such expats to join their family member who is working overseas in Dubai or any of the Emirates.

    The categories of dependent visas available in the UAE are as follows:

    • Husband provides financial support for his wife and children
    • Parents who sponsor their children
    • Family is being sponsored by the wife

    A UAE dependent Visa can be applied for by direct family members of anybody residing and working in Dubai.

    • A partner (husband or wife)
    • Daughters who have never married
    • Sons under the age of 18
    • Parents

    Documents Required for a Dependent Visa

    The following are some of the fundamental papers required for an application for dependent visa:

    • A well completed application form
    • Copies of the family members’ passports
    • Photographs of members of the family who are applying
    • Statement of clearance from medical exams
    • a document of the husband’s or wife’s contract of employment
    • An employer-issued wage certificate
    • A child’s birth certificate
    • Tenancy agreement that has been registered

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