What are the types of resident visa in the UAE

What are the types of resident visa in the UAE

What are the types of resident visa in United Arab Emirates (UAE)?

The United Arab Emirates is the home for expatriates from all over the world, UAE expats consist of over 200 nationalities.

A UAE resident visa must be secured whether a foreign national would like to invest, work or just live in the UAE.

Here are the different types of resident visa in the UAE:

  • UAE Resident Visa through Employment (UAE Employment Visa)
  • UAE Investor Visa or Partner Visa
  • UAE Investor Visa for Public Investments of at least AED 10 Million
  • UAE Resident Visa through Property Investment in the UAE
  • UAE Resident Visa through Family Sponsorship
  • UAE Resident Visa for Domestic Workers in UAE
  • UAE Retirement visa for UAE residents
  • UAE Specialist Resident Visa
  • UAE Resident Visa for Students

Below we provide details on the steps and requirements to obtain a UAE Visa for the various classes of Visa:

UAE Resident Visa through Employment (UAE Employment Visa)

If a foreign national obtains employment in the UAE, he or she must have a resident visa to legally work and live in UAE. The employer will be the sponsor of the visa. The employer can be a company from UAE mainland or from a Freezone jurisdictions or from a UAE government entity.

The first step is to process the employment visa. If the employee was hired abroad, then the employment visa will entitle him or her to enter UAE under this visa. Once the employee has entered the country, he or she needs to undertake a medical test and will complete the emirates identity card biometrics for the issuance of the resident visa and Emirate ID Card.

If the employee was hired inside the country, then the employee visa status can be changed via an in country application. The employee can then undertake the medical test and complete the emirates identity card biometrics for the issuance of the resident visa and Emirate ID Card.

The resident visa sponsored by a mainland or LLC company is valid for 2 years. Whilst a UAE resident visa sponsored by a freezone or government entity will be valid for 3 years. The resident visas by employment can be renewed after this period.

The required documents are:

From the Company

From the Employee

Employment through a Mainland or LLC Company

The Company must have an available quota to process the visa of the employee, the requirements are colour copies of:

  • Trade Licence
  • Company Immigration Card
  • Company Labour Card

This may trigger an office inspection to be conducted by a third-party company instructed by the Ministry of Labour

  • Passport
  • Personal Photo on white background
  • Educational Certificate**
  • Previous resident visa and emirates ID and its cancellation (if applicable)
  • Tourist visa or entry stamp from the passport (if applicable)
  • DHA approved health insurance.

Employment through a free zone or government Company

  • Online visa application duly filled in
  • Trade Licence
  • Company Immigration Card
  • Office Lease Agreement
  • Passport
  • Personal Photo on white background
  • Copy of the offer letter or appointment letter
  • Educational Certificate**
  • Previous resident visa and emirates ID and its cancellation (if applicable)
  • Tourist visa or entry stamp from the passport (if applicable)
  • DHA approved health insurance.

**The employee must supply a copy of their educational certificate if the selected job title requires it. The educational certificate must be attested from country of origin and further attested by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The certificate must be either in English or Arabic.

UAE Investor Visa or Partner Visa

A company investor visa is granted to the foreign nationals who owns a company, holds shares in an existing entity or expatriates who wish to establish their own business in UAE. The company investor visa is valid for 3 years and can be renewed. The holder of this type of visa can legally live and work in UAE and will have the capacity to sponsor the visa of his or her family.

The documents required are:

From the Company

From the Investor

Investor from Mainland or LLC Company

  • Trade Licence
  • Immigration Establishment Card
  • Memorandum of Association (for LLC)
  • Local Service Agreement (for Professional License)
  • Partnership Contract (if any)
  • Partners List for LLC
  • Passport
  • Personal Photo on white background
  • Bank Statement (if applicable)
  • Previous visa and emirates ID and its cancellation (if applicable)

Investor from a free zone Company

  • Trade Licence
  • Share Certificate
  • Immigration Card
  • Memorandum of Association
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Passport
  • Personal Photo on white background
  • Bank Statement (if applicable)
  • Previous visa and emirates ID and its cancellation (if applicable)

UAE Investor Visa for Public Investments of at least AED 10 Million

An expatriate investor can apply for a 10 year-resident visa in the UAE. The investment requirements are as follows:

  • A deposit of at least AED 10 million in an investment fund inside the country
  • Establishing a company in the UAE with a capital of not less than AED 10 million
  • Partnering in an existing or a new company with a share value of not less than AED 10 million
  • Having a total investment of not less than AED 10 million in all areas mentioned, on condition that the investment in the sectors other than real estate is not less than 60 % of the total investment.

Granting the visa is subject to the following condition:

  • The amount invested must not be loaned.
  • The investment should be retained for at least three years
  • There should be a financial solvency up to AED 10 million.

The visa can be extended to included business partners, provided that each partner contributes AED 10 million investments. The holder of this type of visa will have the capacity to sponsor the visas of their family members for 10 years as well.

UAE Resident Visa through Property Investment in the UAE

An expatriate investor can apply for a 5 year-resident visa in the UAE without a sponsor, provided that the following requirements are being met:

  • The investor must invest in a property of a gross value of not less than AED 5 million
  • The amount invested in the real estate must not be on a loan basis
  • The property must be retained for at least 3 years.

UAE Resident Visa through Family Sponsorship

A foreign national who has secured a UAE resident visa can sponsor the resident visa of their families. The requirements are:

  • For an investor who would like to sponsor his family, a refundable deposit of AED 3,000 for each family members is required.
  • Employees can sponsor their family regardless of their job title and the minimum salary requirement is AED 4,000 or AED 3,000 plus accommodation per month.
  • Employees can sponsor the visa of their parents. The minimum monthly salary requirement is AED 20,000. Both parents must be sponsored. If one parent is deceased, then the death certificate** will be required.

The documents required are:

From the Sponsor:

From the Family Members or Dependents

  1. Copy of Passport and UAE resident visa
  2. Original Emirates ID
  3. Copy of labour card and contract issued by the Ministry of Labour
  4. Arabic Salary Certificate issued by the registrar if the employee is employed by a free zone or government entities.
  5. Ejari/Tawtheeq (lease) Certificate or equivalent as proof of domicile
  6. Recent electricity bill
  7. 3 months bank statements (if applicable)
  1. Passport (valid at least 6 months)
  2. Passport sized photo in white background
  3. Copy of previous visa such as tourist visa or on arrival visa details or cancelled visa (if applicable).
  4. Marriage certificate for spouse** (for spouse)
  5. Birth Certificate** (for child)
  6. DHA approved health insurance


**The certificates must be legally translated into Arabic, attested from country of origin, and further attested by UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

UAE Resident Visa for Domestic Workers in UAE

The UAE national or an expatriate resident in UAE can recruit a domestic worker under their personal sponsorship.

The category of the domestic worker are - housemaid, babysitter, cook, private driver, housekeeper, and similar. The domestic worker must have a resident visa to legally work in UAE.

An expatriate resident has the capacity to sponsor the resident visa of a domestic worker if:

  • The sponsor earns a monthly salary which is not less than AED 25,000
  • The domestic worker is not related to the sponsor.
  • If the domestic worker is the same nationality of the sponsor, the sponsor must obtain from the consulate or embassy in the UAE that verifies there is no family relationship between the sponsor and the domestic worker.
  • The sponsor should be a resident in the UAE living with his or her family.
  • The sponsor must have at least 2 cars registered under his or her name, if he would like to recruit a personal driver.

UAE Retirement visa for UAE residents

The retired residents in the UAE over the age of 55 can apply for a retiree visa. The visa will be valid for 5 years and the visa may be renewed, provided that the retiree fulfills one of the following eligibility criteria:

  • Investment in a property worth AED 2 million
  • Have financial savings of no less that AED 1 million
  • Have an active income of no less than AED 20,000 per month

UAE Specialist Resident Visa

This includes specialist talents and researchers in the fields of science and knowledge such as doctors, specialists, scientists, inventors, as well as creative individuals in the field of culture and art. All categories are required to have a valid employment contract in a specialized field of priority in the UAE.

This type of visa can be granted to expatriates and the conditions are:

Persons with Specialized Talents:

Doctors and Specialists:

  1. Scientists must be accredited by Emirates Scientist Council or holders of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence.
  2. Creative individuals in culture and art must be accredited by the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development.
  3. Investors must obtain a patent of value, which adds to the UAE’s economy. Patents must be approved by the Ministry of Economy.
  4. Exceptional talents must be documented by patents or a scientific research publish in a world-class journal.
  5. Executives must be owners of a leading and internationally recognized company of holders of a high academic achievement and position.

The doctors and specialist must meet at least two of the following conditions:

  1. A PhD degree from one of the top 500 universities in the world.
  2. An award or certificates of appreciation in the field of the applicant’s work.
  3. Contribution to a major scientific research in the respective field of work.
  4. Published articles or scientific books in distinguished publications in the respective field of work.
  5. Membership in an organization related to the field.
  6. A Ph. D. Degree, in addition to 10-year professional experience in his field.
  7. Specialization in areas of priority to the UAE.

The specialist visa will be valid for 10 years and the holder of this visa will be able to sponsor the visas of his family in UAE.

UAE Resident Visa for Students

An expatriate who would like to study in UAE must obtain a resident visa to join a university. The student visa will be valid for 12 months and can be renewed annually until the duration of his or her program in the university.

The required documents are:

  • Passport copy (must be valid at least 6 months)
  • Photo with white background
  • Receipt for visa and tuition fees
  • Copy of the current visa (if already inside UAE)
  • Copy of offer of admission letter for new students

A 5-year resident visa can be granted to outstanding students with a grade of 95% in public and private secondary schools. As well as, the university students within and outside the country having a distinction GRA of at least 3.75 upon graduation.

How can PRO Partner Group help?

PRO Partner Group has an expert team of Operational and PRO specialists who are available to support you though the process to setting up your company or branch correctly in Dubai Abu Dhabi or the wider UAE and assisting you in obtain a visa for yourself, your family and your employees. If you need assistance on UAE Visa matters on any other related company set up, restructuring or local partner matters in the UAE and wider Gulf do get in touch with us on +971 (0)4 456 1761 for Dubai or +971 (0)2 448 5120 for Abu Dhabi, email us at info@ppg.ae or complete the contact form below and we will be delighted to assist you.

Get in touch with Richelle Pernia

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