What is the best way to get UAE residence visa?

There are a few ways how you can become a holder of Dubai permanent residency visa:

  • Getting employed
  • Opening a business
  • Becoming a dependant of a visa holder
  • Buying property not less than 1 mln AED worth

The easiest way is definitely opening your own business. It will make you eligible for a 3 year resident visa.

Where to register the business for the visa purposes?

You can look at freezone business setup in UAE. It will definitely be cheaper and easier in smaller Emirates out of Dubai.
Most of them have quick processing, low fees and easy renewal procedures.

Your company can be registered as quick as 1 business day over there.

The process usually goes as follows:

  • Company registration
  • Immigration card processing
  • E-channel and visa application
  • Entry visa issuance
  • Change of status (in case you had a tourist visa when you opened the company)
  • Medical check and Emirates ID application
  • Visa stamping into the passport
  • Emirates ID issuing

Regardless of the EMirate where your visa is issued, you can maintain Dubai residency. However, things like dependant visas and driver’s ;icense will have to be issued in the same Emirate where your visa belongs to.

How long does it take?

Normally it takes about 1 month from the date of your company registration until the date of your entry visa approval.

It might be faster as well. Everything depends on the immigration authority. The most unpredictable part of the process is the speed of immigration card approval. It can be a 1 day or 2-3 weeks.

Once the immigration card is issued, your business setup consultants in Dubai can predict the time-frames of the entry visa and further procedures.

If you cancelled your previous Dubai residence visa, you will get a 30-days grace period. It is advisable to get the new visa within that period in order to avoid any penalties.

In case you didn't get the new visa, the penalty will be 15 AED per day.

How to maintain?

Your company will have to be renewed annually. The visa will be valid for 3 years.

If your visa designation is Investor or Partner, you need to come to UAE 1 time in every 12 months in order to keep the visa valid.

If you have another designation on the visa, you need to come 1 time in every 6 months.

What benefits do I get?

UAE residency is beneficial for many reasons. Here are the most common ones:

  1. Living in the UAE for long term
  2. Coming to UAE without tourist visas in case you can’t get a visa on arrival
  3. Opportunity to get a tax domicile certificate - a proof that you are a tax resident of the UAE
  4. Moving your family to the UAE
  5. Opening a personal bank account

Which free zones are the cheapest?

  • The following UAE free zones have the cheapest rates of packages with residency:
  • Umm Al Quwain Free Zone
  • Ajman Free Zone
  • Ajman Media City Free Zone
  • RAKEZ
  • IFZA

The lowest package starts from 10,000 AED (2,749 USD) and is available in Ajman free trade zone.

Can anyone apply?

Almost anybody can apply for a company formation in UAE. You should reach the age of 21 and the government will accept your application.

One free zone accepts younger applicants. This zone is called SHAMS and it’s located in Sharjah. Company owner can be as young as 19 years old there. Company employees can be 18 years old.

There are also certain nationalities which need to be more careful because they are considered “high risk” or sanctioned:

  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Syria
  • Libya
  • Yemen
  • Egypt
  • Lebanon

Citizens of those countries are advised to register their business in Dubai free zones, because Dubai has less restrictions on nationalities. Unfortunately, Dubai free zone setup will be more expensive in comparison to northern Emirates.

In conclusion, UAE residency is a big move and we recommend to contact business setup consultants in Dubai in order to get a qualified advice and best fees.

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