Your complete guide to
GETTING A UAE RESIDENCE VISA
We will help you get the UAE residence visas you need for your employees and dependents through a fast, stress-free and proven process.
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The United Arab Emirates is the jewel of the Middle East and a hotspot for anyone wanting to invest or start a new business. The rich economy and gorgeous capital city, Abu Dabi, make for an incredible place for people to live and work.
If you’re one of the many people interested in moving to the UAE, you’ll first need to obtain a UAE residence visa. Doing so will allow you to invest in this beautiful country and truly call it home.
To help you navigate the process, we’ve put together a guide on how to obtain this type of Visa. Keep reading to learn everything to know about this type of Visa.
What is a UAE Residence Visa?
A UAE residence visa is a document that allows foreigners to live in the United Arab Emirates for extended periods of time. Residence visas are typically valid for between 2 and 3 years, but they can be extended up to 10 years through renewals.
In fact, many UAE expatriates continuously renew their visas so that they and their families can stay in this country.
The reason why getting a UAE residence visa is so important is that the UAE does not offer permanent residency. Instead, foreigners are simply allowed to constantly renew their visas so that they can continue living in the country.
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How Can I Become a UAE Resident?
There are a few different ways that someone can become a resident of the UAE. These include:
- Obtaining a job in the UAE
- Opening a business in the UAE
- Getting a freelance permit for the UAE
- Enrolling in a university or college
- Be a dependent of a resident
- Obtain a UAE Golden visa
- Own property worth more than 1 million AED
While there are many different ways of obtaining UAE residence, some are faster than others. Currently, opening your own business in the UAE is the fastest way to get a visa.
To open your own business, all you need to do is use your legal name to open a company under the UAE’s business registration authorities.
With more than 40 of these groups in the UAE, it’s easy to register your business. Plus, doing so involves transparent and affordable fees, making it an extra convenient way to get UAE residency.
Where Can I Live With a UAE Residence Visa?
One of the first questions people have about getting a UAE residence visa is where they’re able to live under their new visa. The good news is that they can live in any Emirate they like!
Whether you obtain a UAE visa in Dubai or a different Emirate, you’re allowed to rent an apartment and settle down in any location you like. There are no restrictions on where in the UAE you’re allowed to live.
What’s important to note is that you can only get a driver’s license in the Emirate where your visa was issued. That means if you opened a business in Dubai, you’ll need to acquire a Dubai driver’s license.
Speaking of Dubai, many people choose to settle in this Emirate because of the amazing entertainment and infrastructure there. However, if you want to live in Dubai you should note that residency is a little more expensive in this area.
The Process of Getting a Residence Visa in UAE
Getting a UAE residence visa is very simple. If you’re planning to get a visa by establishing a mainland company you’ll need to follow this process:
- Register your company
- Get an establishment card
- Receive your entry permit
- Apply for an Emirates ID
- Take your required medical tests
- Stamp your passport with your UAE visa
One of the great things about getting a UAE visa is that you can get the process completed from your home country. The only parts of the process that you’ll need to complete in the UAE are the medical exams and the passport stamping.
It’s important to note that these two processes typically take about five business days. You won’t be able to leave the country until the process is complete, so make sure to plan accordingly.
How Much Does It Cost to Become a UAE Resident?
Becoming a UAE resident will cost different amounts of money depending on what type of visa you have and where your business is registered.
For example, the lowest visa fees apply to the northern Emirates of Umm Al Quwain, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, and Ajman.
If you want to start a business in Dubai you’ll need to pay slightly higher fees. This is due to higher business registration costs as well as mandatory health insurance coverage.
What are the Benefits of Getting a UAE Residence Visa?
There are many benefits to becoming one of the 8.84 million ex-pats living in the UAE.
For one, you’re able to easily visit this country without having to worry about constantly applying for tourist visas. This is especially true for countries that are not immediately eligible for tourist visas in the UAE.
Additionally, it makes it easy for you to acquire a bank account in Dubai. This can be a game-changer for investors and corporations looking to expand operations to the UAE.
How Do I Maintain My UAE Residence Visa?
Once you have your residence visa, you’ll need to keep your visa valid. Luckily, this is pretty easy.
All you need to do is make sure that you enter the UAE once every six months. If you don’t fulfil this requirement, you’ll be required to reapply for a visa.
How Do I Renew a UAE Residence Visa?
Once your visa expires, you’ll need to renew it in order to legally remain in the UAE. This process is much simpler than getting your original visa.
To renew your visa, you’ll need to get a medical checkup at a screening centre roughly 1-2 weeks prior to the date your visa expires. At the appointment, you’ll be required to take several tests.
Once you have your medical results, send the report to the immigration office along with your passport. The immigration office will stamp your passport and you’ll be able to stay in the UAE for another period!
How Can I Get a Long-Term Residence Visa in the UAE?
So, you’ve got your residence visa and you want to stay even longer in the UAE. Good move!
Thanks to a new initiative from the government of the UAE, you’re now able to apply for either a 5-year or 10-year visa. To get a longer-term residence visa, you’ll need to fall into one of two categories:
- A high-value investor
- Talented researchers or professionals
A high-value investor is considered someone who invests between 5 and 10 million AED in real estate, business, or investment funds. A talented professional is considered someone who can prove their value in the fields of art, medicine, or science.
If you fall into one of the new categories, you can apply for your UAE visa. That will allow you to stay in the country for a longer period of time before you need to renew your visa.
What if I Want to Cancel My UAE Residence Visa?
While most people who move to the UAE choose to live there permanently, there are reasons why you might want to cancel your visa. Cancelling your visa is a fairly straightforward process.
Typically, to initiate the visa cancellation process, your visa sponsor will need to apply for cancellation. Your sponsor could be:
- Your business
- Your employer
- Your parent
- Your spouse
- A government authority
Each person who cancels a visa will need to fill out certain paperwork. Depending on who sponsored your visa, you may or may not be eligible for health and salary benefits.
It’s also important to note that there are a few rules that apply to cancelling a UAE visa. These will vary based on whether you are cancelling the visa while inside the UAE or while in a different country.
Cancelling a Visa in the UAE
Cancelling a visa in the UAE is the easiest way to remove your residency status. To cancel your visa while staying in the UAE, all you need to do is send your passport to the issuing authority.
From there, you’ll need to wait until the visa is cancelled. This typically takes several days to a few weeks.
Cancelling a Visa Outside the UAE
If you want to cancel your UAE visa while residing outside the UAE, the process works a little bit differently.
For starters, you’ll need to make sure that you have been living outside the UAE for more than six months. After you have met this requirement, you will not be required to send your passport to the UAE in order to cancel the visa.
If you choose to cancel your visa and have been living outside the UAE for fewer than six months, you’ll need to send your passport to the UAE. You can also hire a company to help you navigate the process.
How Do I Cancel a UAE Residence Visa?
Once you’ve determined how to cancel your visa, you’re ready to start the process. Remember that the visa must be cancelled by the issuing authority.
There are a few different authorities that issue visas. These authorities include:
- Free Zones
- GDRFAD for Dubai Mainland Visas
Once you’ve determined the correct authority for cancelling your visa, you have three different options for how to go about the process. These methods include:
- Using the ICA or GDRFAD online services
- Visiting an approved typing centre
- Using the GDRFAD or ICA mobile app
Remember, you can only use these methods to cancel a Mainland visa. Free zone visas must be cancelled by visiting the issuing authority rather than the government’s special services.
Here’s how to navigate cancelling a visa in each of these different ways.
Cancelling a UAE Visa Through GDRFAD Online Services
To get started, you’ll need to visit the GDRFAD online portal. From there, click on “Cancellation of residency visa.”
The portal will take you to a new page. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select “Start service.”
This will open an individual login page. You’ll be prompted to provide your personal details and documentation.
Complete the form by carefully reading the instructions. At the end of the process, you’ll either receive a phone call or an email verifying the completion of your application.
Cancelling Your UAE Residence Visa Using a Typing Centre
If you’d prefer to cancel your UAE residence visa by visiting a typing centre, you can do so by gathering all the necessary documents.
From there, head to the nearest approved typing centre. At the centre, the agents will provide you with and assist you in filling out the required forms.
You will need to hand over any requested documents to the agents. At that point, the centre will take care of the rest of the process and you are able to move forward with your visa cancellation.
Cancelling a UAE Visa Via the ICA or GDRFAD Mobile App
One of the easiest ways to cancel a UAE visa is using the GDRFAD or ICA mobile application. To cancel your visa this way, you’ll start by downloading the app from the App Store or Google Play.
Next, open the application. You’ll be prompted to log in using your personal information and documentation.
Once you’ve successfully logged into the app, navigate to the service categories. Select “Cancellation of residence visa.” If you can’t find it, use the search bar at the bottom of the app’s home screen to find it.
From here, simply follow the directions until you complete the process. You’ll be notified by phone or email once the application has been successfully submitted.
What Documents Do I Need to Cancel a UAE Residence Visa?
If you do decide you want to cancel your UAE residence visa, you’ll need a few documents:
- A signed copy of your cancellation paper
- Your labour card and Emirates ID
- Your original passport
- A clearance document from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation
As long as you have these documents ready, it will be easy to cancel your UAE visa.
Get Your UAE Residence Visa Today
Getting a UAE residence visa is a great move if you’re looking to call this beautiful country home. And, by following the steps outlined in this guide, it’s fairly straightforward for you to get your visa!
Are you ready to get set up with a residency visa and become a UAE resident?? Get in touch with our team and we’ll help make your dreams a reality!