TYPES OF VISAS IN UAE: A DETAILED GUIDE
You can apply for one of several types of UAE visas or entry permits, depending on your purpose for visiting. UAE visas differ in terms of duration and requirements for obtaining them. On this page, you will find information about UAE resident (golden) visas, UAE business visas, UAE tourist visas, transit visas, student visas, remote work visas, and patient permits.
UAE RESIDENCE (GOLDEN) VISA
It is very difficult to get UAE citizenship in practice, but there are very decent options for a long-term stay in the country: the UAE golden visa and resident visas for 2, 3, 5, 10 years.
How to get a resident visa in the UAE?
The following investors can apply for a 5 year resident visa:
➦ Real estate investors in the UAE, if the following conditions are met:
An investment in real estate with a total value of at least 5 million UAE dirhams (about $1,360,000);
The amount invested in real estate must not be taken on credit;
The property must be owned for at least 3 years.
➦ Businessmen and entrepreneurs, if the following conditions are met:
Having a functioning business project with a minimum capital of 500,000 UAE dirhams (about $136,000), or the approval of an accredited business incubator in the Arab Emirates.
An entrepreneur can get a multi-entry business visa for six months with the possibility of a permanent extension for another six months. Long-term UAE visas is also issued to the family members of the businessman (spouse, children), business partners and employees of the company.
➦ Outstanding students and high school students who meet the following criteria:
Graduates of high school (public or private) with a minimum grade point average of 95%;
High school graduates with a grade point average of at least 3.75.
Families of outstanding students can also apply for this visa.
The UAE offers 10 year residency visas to:
Investments must be worth at least 10 million UAE dirhams (more than $2,700,000).
According to this definition, an investor is anyone who meets one of the following criteria:
- A deposit of at least ten million AED into a local investment fund;
- Establishment of a company in the UAE with a capital of at least 10 million UAE dirhams;
- Partnership in an existing or new company with shares worth at least AED 10 million;
- Investment of at least UAE Dirham 10 million in all the mentioned areas, provided that investments in sectors other than real estate constitute at least 60% of the total investment.
The investor must also comply with the following conditions:
- The amount invested must not be taken on credit;
- Investments must be maintained for at least 3 years;
- Solvency of up to 10 million UAE dirhams is required.
The visa can be extended to your partners if each 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.
A potential investor must first obtain a multi-entry permit for six months prior to applying for a long-term resident visa.
A talented professional is a researcher in the field of science (doctors, specialists, scientists, inventors) as well as an artist or designer of culture or art. The visa benefit extends to the spouse, children, and parents of the applicant.
Applicants for a residency visa must have a valid employment contract within the UAE's priority specialized fields and meet the following requirements:
- Accredited scientists must be members of the Emirates Council of Scientists or recipients of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Achievement;
- Culture and the arts professionals must be accredited by the Ministry of Culture and Youth of the UAE;
- Inventors must hold patents that contribute to the growth of the UAE economy. Patents need to be approved by the Ministry of Economy;
- Exceptional talent must be documented with patents or scientific research published in reputed journals;
- The executives must either be the owners of a leading international company, or must have a high academic standing.
Specialists and PhDs must satisfy at least two of these requirements:
- The candidate shall hold a Ph.D. from a university among the top 500 in the world;
- Be the recipient of awards and honors in the job applicant's field;
- Contribute to major research projects in a relevant field;
- Be published in a well-known press or published in a scholarly book that pertains to the field of study;
- Participate in an organization that is relevant to your field of work;
- The candidate should also have 10 years of professional experience in a relevant field and possess a Ph.D;
- Specialize in areas of priority for the UAE.
Business visas for the UAE
Business visas are part of the Golden Visa system, which allows foreigners to obtain long-term visas for themselves and their dependents. An entrepreneur who has once started their own business and wishes to do so again in the UAE is considered a “qualifying entrepreneur.”
Who can get a long-term business visa for the UAE?
To be approved for a business visa to the UAE, you must:
- Ensure you can substantiate your entrepreneurial experience;
- Hold the majority share in a startup or be a member of its management team;
- Be willing to relocate to the UAE and legally open a business there;
- Have an idea or plan for a business in the UAE.
Applicants for visas must also successfully pass a background check, health assessment, and, if necessary, other procedures as required by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship. If an applicant meets the requirements for a business visa, that does not mean he or she will be granted one. A special committee reviews the application and accompanying documents and grants approval. A visa will be issued after the applicant has been approved by the Federal Identity and Citizenship Authority.
What are the chances of getting a business visa to the UAE?
Most of the time, business visa applicants who do the paperwork on their own are denied a business visa. It is critical that all the required documents and forms, in accordance with UAE legislation, are collected and filled out correctly to successfully obtain a visa. In most cases, collecting and filling out the necessary paperwork is almost impossible without the help of a lawyer and visa specialist. An application for a business visa through a specialized agency has a 99% chance of being approved.
Advantages of obtaining a business visa in the UAE
- If you need time to organize the business, you can stay in the UAE for up to six months; then you can extend your visa;
- Your company can offer residence permits in the UAE to 1-3 employees;
- Sponsoring family members for a residency permit is possible (as required by the Federal Office of Individuals and Citizenship).
VISA FOR REMOTE WORK AND FREELANCERS IN THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
To attract talents and experience from around the world, the UAE Council of Ministers has approved a comprehensive virtual work program scheme for remote worker visas. Foreigners can enter the UAE on a self-sponsored basis and work under certain conditions with the annual remote worker visa.
Freelancers and talented individuals can innovate in the UAE's safe and attractive business environment, use world-class utilities and access world-class telecommunications services by applying for the freelancer visa.
❝ As part of the Virtual Work Program, you can relocate to Dubai from another country and continue to work remotely for an organization you already work for. ❞
Individuals living and working outside the UAE who meet the eligibility criteria are eligible for the Virtual Work Program. If the UAE authorities approve your application to live in Dubai, you can also bring your family with you.
The program is valid for one year and can be renewed upon reapplication.
An applicant must have a valid passport and health insurance covering their stay in the UAE in order to apply for the program and obtain a visa.
If you are an employee of a company, you will need to:
- Provide proof of employment with a one-year contract from your current employer;
- Your salary must be a minimum of $5,000 per month;
- Provide your last month's payroll and bank statements for the previous three months.
The program costs only $287. Additional fees include UAE health insurance premiums and processing fees. Please note that payment of the processing fee does not ensure approval of the application.
UAE TRANSIT VISA
he UAE issues two types of transit visas:
- For 48 hours (free);
- For 96 hours (50 UAE dirhams).
Visas for transit are only issued by UAE-based airlines and must be processed and approved before entering the UAE. These types of transit visas are nonrenewable.
UAE TOURIST VISA
Depending on your plans, a UAE tourist visa can be issued for single or multiple entries for 30 days or 90 days. It is possible to extend tourist visas for 30 days twice without leaving the country.
❝ Russian citizens do not need to obtain a visa in advance of their trip to the UAE. They will get one at the immigration desk. The Russian Federation is included in the list of countries who receive a visa with multiple entries, valid for six months following issue and allowing 90 days of stay. ❞
STUDENT VISA IN UAE
Student visas are issued to foreign nationals over the age of 18 studying in the United Arab Emirates. Outstanding academic achievements may qualify for a long-term visa for 5 years (gold residency visa).
The conditions for obtaining a 5-year visa, as we explained at the beginning of this article, are as follows:
- Students should graduate from high school, whether public or private, with a grade point average of at least 95%;
- All university students must have a grade point average of at least 3.75;
- The outstanding student visa also applies to their family members.
PATIENT AND HIS/HER COMPANION ENTRY PERMITS
Foreign patients may enter the UAE for treatment under the sponsorship of the medical institution where they will be treated. The entry permit of a companion patient may be renewed only once, if an official medical report indicates that the companion is needed in the UAE to help the patient continue with his treatment.
Foreigners wishing to enter the UAE for medical treatment in Dubai may apply for (public and private) medical sponsored entry permits through the General Authority for Residents and Alien Affairs. There are two categories of permits:
- Single entry: the right to enter the UAE for 60 days from the date of issue and stay for 90 days from the date of entry; the permit is for single entry only, but renewable;
- Multiple entry: entitles the holder to enter the UAE within 60 days from the date of issue and stay for 90 days from the date of entry; the permit is for multiple entry only, with the possibility of extension.
To be admitted to the UAE for treatment, you will need to present the following documents:
- A copy of the patient's passport;
- Letter from the hospital explaining the reason for the visit;
- Health insurance for the patient;
- Proof of financial support;
- The sponsor must be a hospital that is licensed and registered in the UAE.