The UAE government issues several types of visas and entry permits depending on the purpose of your visit. Visas differ in terms of validity and eligibility criteria. Below is information about the UAE's Resident (Golden) Visa, Business Visa, Tourist Visa, Transit Visa, Student Visa, Remote Work Visa, and Patient Entry Permit.
RESIDENT (GOLDEN) VISA UAE
Obtaining UAE citizenship in practice is very difficult, but there are very decent options for long-term stay in the country: the Golden UAE Visa and resident visas are valid for 2, 3, 5, 10 years.
How to Obtain a Resident Visa in the UAE?
For a 5-year resident visa, the following individuals can apply:
➦ Real estate investors in the UAE who meet the following conditions:
- investment in real estate with a total value of no less than 5 million UAE dirhams (about $1,360,000);
- the invested amount in real estate must not be financed through a loan;
- the property must be owned for at least 3 years.
➦ Businessmen and entrepreneurs, under the following conditions:
having an active business project with a minimum capital of 500,000 UAE dirhams (about $136,000), or approval from an accredited business incubator in the UAE.
An entrepreneur can obtain a multiple-entry business visa for six months, with the possibility of subsequent extension for another six months. The long-term UAE visa is also granted to family members of the businessman (spouse, children), business partners, and company employees.
➦ Outstanding students and school graduates meeting the following criteria:
school graduates with a high school diploma (public or private) scoring at least 95%;
university students with a higher education diploma and a GPA of at least 3.75.
The visa for outstanding students also extends to their family members.
A 10-year resident visa can be obtained by:
State investment investors
Investments must amount to at least 10 million UAE dirhams (over $2,700,000).
Investors in this case are those who fulfil one of the following points:
- depositing at least 10 million dirhams into an investment fund within the country;
- establishing a company in the UAE with a capital of at least 10 million UAE dirhams;
- partnership in an existing or new company with a participation share of at least 10 million UAE dirhams;
- investments of at least 10 million UAE dirhams across all mentioned sectors, provided that investments in sectors other than real estate constitute at least 60% of the total investment volume.
Additionally, the investor must adhere to the following conditions:
- the invested amount must not be financed through a loan;
- investments must be retained for at least 3 years;
- financial solvency of up to 10 million UAE dirhams must be ensured.
The visa can be extended to include business partners, provided each partner contributes 10 million UAE dirhams.
Such a long-term resident visa can include a spouse and children, as well as one executive director and one advisor.
To obtain a long-term resident visa, an overseas investor initially needs to apply for a multiple-entry six-month entry permit, and then proceed with the process of obtaining the long-term resident visa.
Talented specialists encompass researchers in the field of science, medical professionals, specialists, scientists, inventors, as well as creative personalities in the field of culture and art. Visa benefits extend to family members (spouse, husband, and children).
To be eligible for a resident visa, the specialist must have a valid employment contract in a priority specialized field for the UAE and meet the following requirements:
- scientists must be accredited by the UAE Council of Scientists or holders of the Mohammed bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Achievement;
- creative individuals in the field of culture and art must be accredited by the Ministry of Culture and Youth of the UAE;
- inventors must hold a patent that contributes to the growth of the UAE economy. Patents must be approved by the Ministry of Economy.
- Exceptional talents must be documented with patents or scientific research published in world-class journals;
- managers must own a leading and internationally recognized company or possess high academic achievements;
- doctorate holders and specialists must meet at least two of the following conditions:
- hold a doctorate degree from one of the top 500 universities in the world;
- hold awards and accolades in the field of the applicant's work;
- contribute to major scientific research in the relevant field;
- be authors of publications in well-known print media or scientific books in the relevant field;
- be members of an organization in the relevant field;
- hold a candidate of science degree in addition to a 10-year professional experience in the relevant field;
- have expertise in fields prioritized by the UAE.
BUSINESS VISA UAE
"A business visa is part of the Golden Visa system, under which foreigners can obtain a long-term visa for themselves and their dependents. A 'qualified entrepreneur,' in this context, is anyone who, at some point in their career, has opened their own business and wishes to do so again in the UAE."
Who can obtain a long-term business visa in the UAE?
To obtain permission for a business visa in the UAE, you must:
- be able to demonstrate your entrepreneurial experience;
- be a majority shareholder of a startup or a member of its senior management;
- be prepared to move to the UAE and legally establish a business in one of the seven emirates;
- have a business idea or business plan that you want to implement in the UAE.
In addition, visa candidates must successfully pass a background check, health assessment, and, if necessary, other procedures as required by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship. The right to obtain a business visa does not guarantee that the applicant will receive the visa. Specialized committees review the application and accompanying documents and then provide approval. After approval, the applicant will need to fulfill the requirements of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship to receive the visa.
What is the likelihood of obtaining a business visa in the UAE?
Most often, businesspeople who handle document preparation themselves are denied a business visa. Successfully obtaining a visa requires correct compiling and filling out all necessary documents and forms in compliance with UAE legislation. In most cases, it's nearly impossible to collect and complete the required documents without the assistance of a lawyer or visa processing specialist. If you process a business visa through a specialized agency, the probability of a positive response for visa issuance is 99%.
Benefits of obtaining a business visa in the UAE
- you can enter the UAE for up to six months to personally organize business operations and then extend the visa;
- nominate 1-3 employees of your company for residency in the UAE;
- you can sponsor the residency of family members (according to the requirements of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship).
REMOTE WORK AND FREELANCER VISA IN UAE
To attract talent and expertise from around the world, the UAE's Council of Ministers approved a new virtual work program for obtaining remote work visas in the UAE. The annual remote worker visa allows foreigners to enter the UAE under self-sponsorship conditions and work under specific terms.
The freelancer visa enables entrepreneurs and talents to introduce innovations in a safe and attractive business environment in the UAE, with access to all necessary services on UAE territory, including world-class utilities and telecommunications services.
"Within the framework of the virtual work program, you can move to Dubai from another country and continue working remotely in the organization where you are already employed."
The virtual work program is designed for people who live and work outside the UAE, startups, and entrepreneurs who meet the selection criteria. If your application for residence in Dubai is approved by UAE authorities, you can also bring your family.
The program is valid for one year, with the possibility of extension upon reapplication.
To apply for the program and obtain a visa, you need to have a passport valid for at least six months and valid medical insurance covering your stay in the UAE.
If you are an employee, you need to:
- provide proof of employment with a contract valid for one year from your current employer;
- your monthly salary must be a minimum of $5,000 USD;
- provide a salary statement for the last month and bank statements for the previous three months.
The program's cost is only $287. Additionally, you need to pay an insurance fee for UAE medical insurance and processing fees. Note that the processing fee payment does not guarantee application approval.
TRANSIT VISA IN UAE
The UAE issues two types of transit visas:
- for 48 hours (free);
- for 96 hours (50 UAE dirhams).
Transit visas are sponsored only by UAE-based airlines and must be processed and approved before entering the UAE. Both types of transit visas are non-extendable.
TOURIST VISA IN UAE
Depending on your plans for visiting the country, tourist visas in the UAE can be issued for 30 or 90 days for single or multiple entries. Tourist visas can be extended for 30 days twice, without needing to leave the country.
"For citizens of the Russian Federation, it is not necessary to obtain a visa in advance to enter the UAE. You will be granted a visa at the immigration control counter. The Russian Federation is included in the list of countries receiving a multiple-entry visa valid for 6 months from the date of issue and allowing you to stay in the country for 90 days."
STUDENT VISA IN UAE
A student visa is issued to foreign students over 18 years of age residing in the UAE. Students demonstrating outstanding academic achievements can obtain a long-term visa valid for 5 years (resident's golden visa).
The conditions for obtaining a 5-year visa were described at the beginning of the article, and we repeat them here:
- school graduates must complete high school, either public or private, with a grade of at least 95%;
- university students must obtain higher education with a GPA of at least 3.75.
The benefits of the visa for outstanding students also extend to their family members.
ENTRY PERMIT FOR PATIENTS AND THEIR COMPANIONS IN THE UAE
Foreign patients can enter the UAE for medical treatment under the sponsorship of a medical institution where they will receive treatment. The entry permit for the patient's companion can be extended only once, provided that the certified medical report states that the patient needs to continue treatment and that their companion is required in the UAE.
The entry permit for medical treatment under the sponsorship of medical institutions (both public and private) for foreigners seeking to enter the UAE for medical treatment is issued by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs in Dubai. There are two types of permits:
Single-entry: allows entry into the UAE for 60 days from the date of issuance and a stay of 90 days from the date of entry; the permit is intended for single entry only, but with the possibility of extension;
Multiple-entry: allows entry into the UAE for 60 days from the date of issuance and a stay of 90 days from the date of entry; intended for multiple entries only, with the possibility of extension.
Required documents for obtaining an entry permit to the UAE for medical treatment:
- Copy of the patient's passport;
- Letter from the hospital explaining the reasons for the visit;
- Patient's health insurance;
- Proof of financial support.
- The sponsor must be hospital licensed and registered in the UAE.