If you’re looking to start or expand your business in the United Arab Emirates, you will need to obtain a Business Visa. This article provides a complete guide on how to go about getting your Business Visa in the UAE.
We’ll cover all the steps involved, from gathering the required documents to submitting your visa application. So whether you’re a business owner, or an entrepreneur looking to set up in Abu Dhabi, Dubai or anywhere in the UAE, read on for all the information you need!
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The Business Visa for the UAE, Dubai and Abu Dhabi is a permit that allows foreign nationals to enter and stay in the country to conduct business activities.
Also known as a Dubai Business Visa, this permit is associated with the Golden Visa initiative. It allows applicants to get a long-term visa for themselves and their families in the United Arab Emirates.
If you have your sights set on business growth in the Emirates, getting a Business Visa should be an essential part of your business operations.
There are many clear advantages to obtaining a Business Visa in the UAE, such as:
- Access to a large and growing market
- Attractive tax incentives
- Networking opportunities in a pro-business environment
- Easier travel between the UAE and other countries
- Longer-term residency opportunities
In recent years, the UAE government has acknowledged how attractive this region is to expatriates wanting to start a business. Consequently, the advent of the UAE Business Visa has led to more foreign investments and economic growth.
Furthermore, the promise of permanent residency in Dubai or anywhere in the UAE provides security and stability for business owners looking to establish themselves here long-term.
The ICA (Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship) requires that visa applicants follow specific guidelines.
To be eligible for a Business Visa in Dubai, you must:
- Be over 18 years of age
- Have a valid passport from your country of residence with at least 6 month’s validity
- Provide a copy of your confirmed airline ticket/return ticket or itinerary, showing departure plans within 30 days of the visa expiration date
- Show proof of investments and funds to support your stay in Dubai (ie. bank statements)
- Offer proof of accommodation while staying in Dubai or anywhere in the UAE
- Provide a letter from their employer, stating the intention of your visit to Dubai (ie. upskilling, work conferences, etc.)
- Produce a copy of your professional qualifications or educational certificates
- Provide a copy of your business registration certificate and company’s trade license, if applicable
If you meet all of these requirements, you can then proceed with the application for your Business Visa in the UAE.
There are, in fact, a range of Business Visas that cover varying time durations.
Some Business Visas in Dubai are single-entry while others allow multi-entry use. A single-entry Visa allows just one entry and exit into the country per Visa holder. Whereas, a multiple entry Visa allows you to enter and exit the UAE multiple times during the validity of the Visa.
UAE Business Visas can be as short as 14 days or have a 60 or 90-day validity.
Here are two common options many Visa holders choose:
- 1-month visa: If you are a successful applicant and currently reside in the UAE, you can obtain a one-month Business Visa in the UAE. However, this visa is temporary and must be converted into a residency permit before its expiry.
- 6-month visa: If you don’t reside in the UAE, you may get a Business Visa that is valid for 6 months. This is a multiple-entry visa that gives the applicant a good opportunity to enter the country, establish themselves, their families and look for further job opportunities. This visa is especially ideal for those who wish to live permanently in the country.
Remember, if you want to stay in the country longer than six months, you’ll need to convert your visa into a residency permit before it expires.
Before submitting your paperwork, be sure you know how long your Dubai Business Visa will last.
Obtaining your Business Visa isn’t that complicated. First, you’ll need to gather a few documents together. Then, you’ll fill out the application form and submit everything. Here’s a breakdown of what’s involved with getting your Business Visa in the UAE.
The first step in applying for a Business Visa is to gather the required documents, which include:
- A completed Business Visa application form
- Copy of your passport, which must be valid for at least six months from the date of your intended travel
- Two recent passport photographs with a white background
- An invitation letter from your sponsor in the UAE
- An employer letter declaring your salary and job description
- If you are already living in the UAE, a copy of your residence permit
There’s only a few steps to getting your Business Visa in Dubai. However, it can be a time-consuming and daunting process for some. This is especially true if you’re new to UAE Visa rules.
Therefore, it can be a great idea to save time and effort by engaging a business setup specialist, like the consultants at Virtuzone. Here, you’ll be assisted in completing the application as quickly and efficiently as possible.
That said, here’s the steps to get your Dubai Business Visa application submitted:
- Complete the Visa application form either online or at your nearest UAE Embassy or Consulate.
When filling out the form, you will need to provide information about your personal details, travel plans and the purpose of your visit to the UAE. Once you have completed the form, you can submit it along with all the required documents.
- Pay the required fee for your Business Visa.
If your UAE Business Visa application is approved, you will need to pay the related fee. You can do this either using a payment voucher or at the UAE Embassy or Consulate. The fees vary depending on the type of visa you are applying for and the length of validity.
- Obtain your UAE Business Visa
After your payment has been made, your application will be processed and a decision will be made within 14 days.
The UAE Business Visa in Dubai costs around AED 3000 for a single-entry Visa, and AED 5000 for a multiple-entry Visa. The Business Visa in Abu Dhabi costs AED 3500 for a single-entry Visa and AED 7000 for a multiple-entry Visa.
Here are some frequently asked questions in relation to obtaining a Business Visa in the UAE.
This will depend entirely on the nature of your stay and business activities in the UAE. For instance, if you want to enter the country for just a handful of days in Dubai or the UAE, a shorter 14-day single-entry permit could be a good option.
However, if your work requirements include lots of travel to and from the UAE in a relatively small amount of time, a 14-day or 30-day multiple-entry Visa may be better suited to your needs.
Yes, you can apply for a Business Visa in any of the seven Emirates, including Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al-Quwain, Fujairah and Ras Al-Khaimah. The Business Visa application process is the same across all Emirates.
Yes, your Dubai Business Visa can be converted into a residency permit. Whether you have a 1-month or 6-month Business Visa, both can be used for your UAE residency. The process is relatively straightforward and can be done through the Abu Dhabi or Dubai Immigration Department.
For this, you’ll need to submit a few documents, including:
- Your Business Visa
- Copy of your passport
- Identifying documents such as an Emirates ID
The residency permit will allow you to stay in the UAE much longer and has a validity of three years.
Yes, Business Visa holders can sponsor their dependents. To do so, you must abide by the rules set out by the ICA for sponsoring families in the UAE.
Then, you must provide proof of relationship (marriage or birth certificate) in order to submit an application form to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA).
Your dependents could be:
- A spouse (husband or wife)
- Children under the age of 18
- Parents over the age of 60 years old (who financially depend on you as a sponsor)
- Unmarried brothers and sisters under the age of 18 years old (provided they are financially dependent on you as their sponsor)
The Business Visa application process can take a few weeks, however, it usually takes around 5-10 working days. Much will depend on the type of Visa you’re applying for and your nationality. For example, citizens of GCC countries can expect a shorter processing time than those applying from other countries.
Once your application has been submitted, you will be required to pay the related fees. After your payment has been made, your Business Visa application will be processed and your application will either be approved or denied within 14 days. You can check the status of your application online or by contacting the UAE Embassy or Consulate.
Some documents, such as your passport and Emirates ID, must be original copies. If you’re missing any required documents or your application is incomplete, it will be sent back to you and the process will start again. So, it’s crucial to have everything in order for a smooth application process.
Yes, you can submit your Business Visa application online. If you’re applying for a 1-month visa, you’ll need to go in person to an immigration office in Abu Dhabi or Dubai.
If you’re applying for a 6-month visa, you can apply either in person or through an authorised travel agency.
However, you will still need to go to the Visa application centre to submit your biometric information.
If your Business Visa application is declined, you can apply again 90 days later. Make sure you meet all the requirements so you have a greater chance of getting your Visa approved.
Obtaining a Business Visa is a step toward permanent residency for many aspiring entrepreneurs in the UAE.
The process of obtaining a Business Visa in the UAE may seem complex, but the team of experts at Virtuzone can help make the process seamless. We will work with you to ensure that all the necessary documentation is in order and that your application is submitted correctly.
Our Company Formation Specialists are ready to answer your questions and can provide expert advice on the best way to set up your business in the UAE.