Setup UAE business top image


UAE Residence visa

What is UAE residence visa?

UAE residence visa is a permit that allows foreign people to live in this country for a long period of time. The visa can be valid for 2-3 or even 10 years and maybe renewed as many times as a person needs. Many international families living in the Emirates for generations, just keeping on renewing their visas regularly.

UAE permanent residency does not exist as such. Being a UAE permanent resident simply means having a visa stamp in your passport and constantly living in this country.

How to get UAE residency?

There are a few ways to obtain UAE residency:

You can find more details about these ways here:

Opening a business is one of the fastest ways of getting a visa. Business setup in UAE free zones is one of the most preferred options due to 100% ownership, affordable fees, and transparent process.

Where to open the business?

In order to apply for a visa, you need to open a company under your name in one of the business registration authorities of the UAE.

There are over 40 of them and you can either search for a suitable registering body by yourself or get help from business setup consultants in Dubai.

Process of getting UAE residency

If you are getting the visa as the business owner, the process would be the following:

  1. Registration of a company
  2. Getting establishment card (it’s an immigrational document of your company which allows you to start visa applications)
  3. Obtaining entry permit (a prerequisite of a resident visa, which is done at its initial stage)
  4. Making Emirates ID application and doing medical tests
  5. Stamping the visa into your passport

Normally you can stay in your home country during the company incorporation, establishment card and entry visa-issuing (provided that you visited UAE at least once in the past).

Your personal presence is required at the stage of Medical check and Emirates ID application and visa stamping. Your passport will be taken to the immigration office for the stamping and you will not be able to leave UAE until the process is completed.

Overall, visa stamping including Medicals and ID takes 5 working days.

How much does it cost?

UAE resident visa cost differs depending on the place of your business registration. If you set up a company in one of the northern Emirates Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Sharjah or Ras Al Khaimah the fees would be the lowest. You can сheck the prices of UAE residence visa with company setup below:

Free zone nameActivitiesVisasCost starting, AED
RAKEZtrading, service1 visa included30,600
Ajman Media Citytrading, service1 visa included24,640
Umm Al Quwain FTZtrading, service1 visa included26,883

As for Dubai resident visa cost, it will be higher due to the increased prices of the business registration and other extra expenses. One of them is obligatory health insurance, which must be done prior to the visa stamping.

Here you can see the breakdowns of Dubai resident visa for business owners:

Free zone nameActivitiesVisasCost starting, AED
KIZADtrading, service1 visa included25,740
DTECtrading, service1 visa included36,157
Dubai Southtrading, service1 visa included45,358

What are the benefits?

UAE residency may be obtained for permanent living in the UAE or temporary regular visits, which is useful for those nationals who don’t get a tourist visa on arrival.

It is also helpful for corporate Dubai bank account opening because a resident visa holder is considered as a low-risk category by the compliance.

How to maintain the visa?

If you are a person keeping UAE permanent residency, you won’t have any issues with having your visa valid.

If you are a frequent traveler or do not live in UAE, you have to make sure that you enter UAE 1 time every 6 months in order to maintain the visa. In case you fail to do it, the visa will be canceled automatically and you will have to go through the process of getting a new one from the start.

How to renew the visa?

UAE residence visa renewal is simpler than getting a new visa, however, you will need to do a medical check and Emirates ID renewal.

You simply need to come to medical screening center 1-2 weeks before your visa expiration date and make necessary tests, after which apply for Emirates ID renewal.

Upon getting the medical report, send it to the immigration office together with the passport and the new visa will be stamped for another period.

Long term visas

A new initiative from the UAE government allows you to get a 5 or 10-year visa based on your investments in UAE. You should make either 5 mln AED or 10 mln AED investments in real estate, investment funds or business.

More details can be found here:

Long term visas also have a category of talented individuals or researchers, who already have an employment contract in UAE and can prove their input in the specific field of science, medicine or art.

Where can I live?

Regardless of the authority that issued your visa, you can maintain Dubai permanent residency or live in any other Emirate you prefer.

Any visa, whether it’s obtained from Dubai or another Emirate, makes you eligible for UAE permanent residency in any place. You can rent an apartment and settle your family anywhere.

However, such things as UAE driver’s license need to be applied for in the Emirate your visa belongs to. So if you opened a company in Fujairah free zone, you need to get your driver’s license in Fujairah road and traffic authority accordingly.

Dubai residency tends to be more expensive, but also much more fun! All the largest amusement parks, fashionable restaurants and malls are located here. The infrastructure in general is more advanced: you have a bigger choice of grocery stores, hospitals and clinics, schools and colleges.

Regardless of the Emirate you reside and the type of visa you have, UAE is a great country to live, work, study or run your own business.

Start emiratization today!


  • Permanent living in the UAE
  • TAX free country
  • Personal bank account in any UAE bank



    your contact details

    to arrange a consultation – personal or remote (by Skype or phone)

  • 30 mins

    in your hands