AD DED are now fully integrated with GDRFA

AD DED are now fully integrated with GDRFA

The requirement to show AED 150,000 for Investor Visa Approval has been removed

Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development - AD DED - are now fully integrated with the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs - GDRFA - (Immigration Department) - the requirement to show AED 150,000 for Investor Visa Approval has been removed.

When applying for a trade licence in Abu Dhabi it was previously a requirement for individual foreign investors to show that they had AED 150,000 in a personal UAE bank account or that the company had AED 150,000 in a UAE business account to allow the individuals to be approved for an Investor Visa to hold shares in an Abu Dhabi Company.

AD DED has now removed this requirements and integrated the investor approval stage within the Initial Approval and Company Trade Name Reservation process.

At the Trade Name reservation stage the individuals are also registered with GDRFA and Investor Visa Approval is obtained at this stage. It takes about 7-10 working days to obtain the investor visa approval subject to security clearance checks – there is a small additional fee of AED15 for this process.

Once Investor Visa Approval is obtained, the company than then progress to Notarise the incorporation documents (MOA or NSA), rent a suitable commercial space and then obtain the full DED Trade Licence.

This applies to LLC companies (where foreign individuals hold shares in the 49%), or Professional Licences (Sole Trade / Establishment Licences) where the foreign person is the 100% owner, with a National Service Agent (NSA).

The DED System is now also linked directly with the Ministry Of Human Resources & Emiratisation - MHRE (Ministry of Labour) - and the company will obtain its registered Labour number after obtaining the DED Trade Licence. This file number is used for all staffing matters such as the Wage Protection System (WPS) and applications for Labour Quotas. Both the MHRE and GDRFA numbers will now be shown on the DED licence along with the Chamber of Commerce number.

The integration of these systems will significantly speed up the company formation time lines and the removal of the requirement to show AED 150,000 in a UAE bank account has removed a complicated hurdle in the process, this step was often a ‘chicken and egg’ issue where the individual could not open a bank account without the visa, but needed the account to obtain the visa. The AED 150,000 deposit requirement for investor/partner visas was removed in Dubai some time ago so this also brings Abu Dhabi in line with Dubai DED in this respect and will certainly significantly improve the process in the Emirate.

James Swallow - PRO Partner GroupJames Swallow, Commercial Director at PRO Partner Group. For any further details on these changes and for assistance with Company, Branch or Professional Licence formation in Abu Dhabi and the Investor Visa Process please contact James or a member of the Team at PRO Partner Group Abu Dhabi on +971 (0)2 448 5120


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