• Basem

UAE residence visa. Benefits, procedure and time frame.

Updated: Feb 20

What is benefits to have UAE residence visa?

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

There are a few ways how you can get UAE resident visa:

  • Getting employed

  • Opening a business/ get a freelance license

  • Becoming a dependant of a visa holder

  • Buying property not less than 1 mln AED worth

The easiest way is opening your own business or get UAE freelance license. It will make you eligible for a 3 year resident visa.

Where to register the business for the visa purposes and how long doest it usually take?

You can look at freezone. Most of Free Zones have quick processing, low fees and easy renewal procedures.

The process usually goes as follows and takes about 1 month for whole process from A to Z:

  • Company registration - 2 working days

  • Immigration card processing - 1-2 weeks

  • E-channel and visa application - 1 day

  • Entry visa issuance - 1 week

  • Change of status - 1-2 working day

  • Medical check and Emirates ID application - 1 working day

  • Visa stamping into the passport - 5 working days (usually faster)

  • Emirates ID issuing - 1 week

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.

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 some nationalities are called "hight risk". Please contact us for information.

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


  • IFZA

The lowest package starts from 10,000 AED (2,749 USD).

Freelance packages start from 7,000 AED (1,917 USD)


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