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types of residence visa in UAE

Types of Residence Visas in UAE: Which One is Right for You?

The types of residence visa in UAE allow foreigners to establish themselves in the country according to their particular conditions. In this case, there is a wide variety of visas ranging from work visas to retirement visas. Each of them has its particular requirements and conditions to be able to aspire to obtain one.

In this article, we will show you what the characteristics of each of the visas offered by local authorities are. Likewise, we will answer some of the most common questions to clear up your doubts in this regard.

Tourist Visa: Exploring Short-term Stay Options

types of residence visa in UAE

Although it is not among the types of residence visa in UAE, it is possible to visit the country with a tourist visa. In this case, it is for those who are not eligible for a visa on arrival or visa-free entry into the country. Citizens of any country are eligible to obtain a tourist visa if they meet the other conditions.

For example, women under 18 years of age cannot apply for this type of visa, only if they are traveling with their parents. The UAE tourist visa, which is valid for 5 years, allows the holder to enter the country multiple times. Additionally, you will be able to stay in the country for 90 days, which you can renew for the same amount of time.

To apply for a tourist visa, people from any country must meet the following requirements:

  • A minimum balance of USD 4,000 (approximately AED 14,690) in the bank for the last 6 months.
  • Have valid medical insurance for the Emirates.
  • A plane ticket to the country and one out.
  • Proof of stay in the country, either in a private home or in a hotel.

Likewise, applicants must submit the documents that we will mention below:

  • Color photo
  • Passport copy
  • Valid health insurance
  • Proof of possessing the necessary financial qualification
  • Trip program
  • Journey continuation ticket

Employment Visa: Navigating Work Opportunities in the UAE

A residence visa in UAE that allows you to live and work in the country is a work visa. However, this visa requires that a company in the nation sponsors you offering you a signed contract. The company that must sponsor the applicant may be located on the mainland, in a free zone, or be government-owned.

The company is responsible for carrying out all the procedures and paying the fees for the work visa application. Below, you can see the documents that the company and the applicant must submit to the authorities:

  • Business license from the company that wants to hire the employee
  • Company Immigration Card
  • Business employment card
  • Employee passport
  • Color photo on a white background of the potential employee
  • Educational certificates
  • Previous residence visa if you have had one
  • Emirates ID if you had it
  • Valid health insurance

On the other hand, companies owned by the government or established in a Free Zone need the following additional documents:

  • Online application
  • Office lease agreement
  • Copy of the offer or appointment letter

This is one of the types of residence visa in UAE that has variable validity depending on the characteristics. The validity of the employment visa in a continental company is 2 years and in a free zone or government company it is 3 years. In both cases, the visa is renewable for the same period and the application must be made by the employer.

Investor Visa: Investing in the Future of the UAE

Another of the types of residence visa UAE is the one that can be obtained by those who wish to do business in the nation. In this case, the applicant must have a company in the UAE or own shares in a local business. Thus, the visa holder can live and work in the country legally for the duration of the visa.

The residence visa for investors, or investor visa, is valid for 3 years with the possibility of renewal. This visa requires the documentation that we will list below if the application is for a company on the continent:

  • Company Business License
  • Immigration Establishment Card
  • Memorandum of Association for Limited Liability Companies (LLC)
  • List of partners for an LLC
  • Local service agreements
  • Partnership contracts
  • Photo on a white background and passport of the investor
  • Bank statement
  • Residence visa and Emirates ID (in case of previous residence)

These requirements plus a certificate of incorporation are necessary for investments in Free Zones.

Family Residence Visa: Bringing Your Loved Ones Closer

This is one of the types of residence visa in UAE that an expatriate with a residence visa in the country can sponsor. However, this type of visa is only for immediate family members, which includes spouses, children, and parents. Additionally, applicants for this type of visa must meet the following requirements for sponsorship:

  • Investors must pay AED 3,000 for each family member they wish to sponsor.
  • Employees in the UAE must have a minimum salary of AED 4,000 or AED 300 plus monthly rent.
  • Parents must have a monthly income that should not be less than AED 20000. However, in case of the death of one of the parents, you must submit the death certificate.

Likewise, sponsors of the family visa must submit the following documents:

  • Copy of passport
  • Copy of residence visa
  • Original Emirates ID
  • Bank statement

On the other hand, dependents who aspire to obtain a family visa must submit the documents that we will mention below:

  • Passport with a minimum validity of 6 months
  • Photograph on a white background that must be the same size as the passport
  • Spouses must provide a marriage certificate
  • In the case of children, the sponsor must present the birth certificate

The validity of a family visa is commonly 2 years but can be for the same duration as the visa of the sponsor. Furthermore, among the types of visa in UAE, this depends on the visa of the sponsor. Therefore, if the sponsor cancels the visa; he/she must also cancel the family visa of his/her dependents.

Student Visa: Pursuing Education in the UAE

Foreign students may be granted a residence visa in UAE if they meet the requirements. In this way, they can enroll in one of the educational institutions in the country by legally residing. The documents include those common to the different types of visa, including the following:

  • Copy of passport with at least 6 months of validity
  • A photograph of the same size as the passport with a white background
  • Visa receipts
  • Tuition fees
  • Copy of admission letter from the relevant educational institution

Among the types of residence visa in UAE, this is one of the least valid, only 1 year. Nevertheless, students can request annual renewal for the duration of their studies. However, there are certain characteristics that a student can meet to receive a 5-year student visa, which are:

  • Have a grade of 95% if you are a high school student
  • Have a GPA (Grade Point Average ) of at least 3.75 for undergraduates

Retirement Visa: Enjoying Your Golden Years in the UAE

Another of the types of visa in UAE is the retirement visa for citizens who are over 55 years old. Conversely, you must meet one of the eligibility criteria to be able to request this document. The mandatory criteria that must be met to receive it are detailed below:

  • You must own a real estate investment in a property worth a minimum of AED 2 million.
  • Have at least AED 1 million on savings.
  • Have continuous income of a minimum value of AED 20000 per month.
  • Combine property ownership and savings worth at least AED 2 million.

On the other hand, as with other types of residence visa in UAE, applicants must submit the following documents:

  • Passport of the applicant
  • Marriage certificate for applicant couples
  • Current residence visa
  • Emirates ID

Likewise, it requires one of the following additional documents for particular cases:

  • Real estate investment
  • Copy of the property title
  • Proof of sufficient savings
  • Proof of retirement letter
  • Fixed income test
  • Proof of income letter
  • 6-month bank statement
  • Proof of savings letter

Of the types of residence visa UAE, this is one of the longest duration as it is valid for 5 years. Additionally, as with other visas, you can renew them for the same period as the original application.

Freelancer Visa: Embracing the Freedom of Freelancing in the UAE

Most free zones in the UAE offer freelance visas for citizens of various countries. Additionally, as with other types of UAE residency visa, you do not need a sponsor for one of these visas. Therefore, it allows you to live, including your family, and work in the country independently for between 1 and 5 years.

When applying for a self-employed visa in the UAE, you must submit the following documents:

  • Updated CV
  • Complete application form
  • Copy of the passport of the applicant
  • Photograph
  • Certified academic qualifications
  • 2 professional references with corresponding contact information
  • Those who have employment in the country must have a No Objection Certificate (NOC)

In addition to having these documents, applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Obtain a freelance permit from the MOHRE.
  • Have a specialist diploma or a bachelor’s degree.
  • Prove that you have had a minimum income of AED 360000 during the 2 years before applying. However, you can show your financial ability to support yourself during your stay in the UAE.

Comparison of Visa Types: Finding the Right Fit for You

Each of the types of residence visa in UAE are specific for people who meet the established criteria. Choosing the right type of visa for you depends on your conditions and needs for your stay in the country. For example, you would need a student visa if you only want to study in the country, as you cannot work using this visa.

Nevertheless, there are differences between a work visa and a freelance visa, as you need a contract with a company for the former. Therefore, if you want to work in a company in the UAE, you must obtain a work visa. In contrast, with a freelance visa, you can do work for various companies and will not need a sponsor.

Hence, understanding each of the types of residence visa UAE will help you understand which one is ideal for you.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) For Types of residence visa in UAE

types of residence visa in UAE

What is a residence visa, and why is it important in the UAE?

This is a document that allows expats to live in the United Arab Emirates legally. Residence visas can be valid for between 1 and 10 years depending on the type, which are renewable. In addition, residence visas in the country are important for the following reasons:

  • The country does not offer permanent residence, so you need a visa and renew it within the established period.
  • You can open a bank account
  • You can get a driver’s license
  • Have access to government health services
  • In some cases, you can work legally
  • Travel to certain countries without losing your residency

What are the eligibility criteria for obtaining a tourist visa in the UAE?

This is one of the types of visa in UAE for All nationalities for which you will need to comply with the following:

  • A bank balance of AED 14,690 (USD 4,000)
  • Have valid health insurance
  • UAE arrival and departure ticket
  • Proof of stay

Can I work in the country with a tourist visa?

The tourist visa does not allow holders to participate in activities outside of tourism, such as working in the country. People who work under a tourist visa will receive sanctions and legal responsibilities.

Is it possible to bring family members to the UAE on a family residence visa?

Foreigners with UAE residency visas can bring their family and spouse to the country on a family visa. However, applicants must meet a series of requirements imposed by the authorities regarding salary and accommodation. Likewise, people over 18 years of age who apply for a family visa must pass a medical examination consisting of several tests.

What are the benefits of an investor visa, and how can I qualify for one?

Just like the other types of residence visa in UAE, the investor visa gives the holder the following benefits:

  • It allows the holder to live in the country for three years.
  • Sponsor your close family members (spouse, children, and parents).
  • Facilities for traveling between GCC member countries.
  • You can live outside the UAE for 1 year without losing residency.
  • Eventually, you will be able to obtain a golden visa that allows you to reside for up to 10 renewable years.

One of the conditions to be able to obtain an investor visa is to be over 18 years of age. Though, you must establish a company in the country or you must prove that you have an investment in the country.

Can international students study in the UAE with a student visa?

The authorities allow international students to obtain a residence visa in UAE for this purpose. However, you must first be accepted into an educational institution to apply for a student visa. Additionally, you must meet specific qualification requirements for high school students and college students.

What are the requirements for obtaining a retirement visa in the UAE?

The first requirement to obtain a retirement visa in the UAE is to be over 55 years of age. Additionally, the applicant must have worked for at least 15 years in the country or outside of it. Likewise, you must meet certain financial conditions, such as savings, property, or continuous income.

How does the freelancer visa program work in the UAE, and who is eligible?

The authorities make it easier for independent workers to obtain a self-sponsored visa to work. However, they can only work in permitted activities, which include jobs in media, education, design, and more. As with the other types of residence visa in UAE, they must meet certain conditions which are:

  • They must a permit to work from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MOHRE)
  • Have a bachelor’s degree or specialization diploma
  • Have an annual income for the previous two years of AED 360,000 thanks to your work. You can also show financial solvency to support yourself throughout your stay in the UAE.

If you have any questions regarding visa types in the UAE or how to set up a company, please contact us.

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