Dubai and Abu Dhabi Visa Application: What You Need to Know

The UAE employs a comprehensive visa system that facilitates living, working, and visiting for foreign citizens. In recent years, the government has expanded visa options to make it more convenient for individuals to visit and settle in the country for extended periods.

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Visa Options in the UAE: Navigating Entry, Residency, and Sponsorship

Most foreigners residing or working in the UAE possess a two or three-year visa, which has now been replaced with the Emirates ID, a digital identification card. Notably, employers are responsible for the costs associated with obtaining a standard visa and must provide basic health insurance coverage worth at least Dh150,000 ($40,838).

Visa Categories to Make UAE Your Home: A Range of Options

As part of its commitment to encouraging long-term residency in the UAE, the government has introduced various visa categories. These encompass visas with validity periods of up to ten years, including a unique visa for individuals who can work remotely but desire to reside in the Emirates. Each visa category has specific requirements and associated costs, ensuring that individuals can find the most suitable option for their needs. Notable visa types include the 10-year golden visas, which cater to property investors, entrepreneurs, talented professionals, healthcare practitioners, and outstanding individuals, among others.

10-Year Golden Visas: Opportunities for Investors and Entrepreneurs

The UAE offers individuals the opportunity to apply for 10-year residency permits across several categories. Property investors can obtain a golden visa by purchasing a property worth at least Dh2 million either upfront or through a bank. Entrepreneurs running small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) generating annual revenue of at least Dh1 million can also qualify for a golden visa, as can businesspeople who have sold projects for a minimum of Dh7 million. The application process, which involves obtaining a recommendation letter, nomination, and approval, can be completed through the ICA or GDFRA platforms.

Green Visas: Empowering Skilled Professionals and Self-Employed Individuals

The UAE's green visas are designed for skilled professionals and self-employed individuals, providing a five-year residency option. Skilled professionals must hold a valid employment contract classified within the first, second, or third occupational level as per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. Additionally, a bachelor's degree or equivalent qualification is required, along with a minimum monthly salary of Dh15,000 ($4,084). Self-employed individuals and freelancers can also secure a five-year residency by obtaining a freelance or self-employment permit from the Ministry. The visa requires a bachelor's degree or specialized diploma and proof of financial solvency.

Visas for Remote Workers and Family Sponsorship

In March 2021, the UAE introduced a residence permit for remote workers, allowing individuals to enter the country under self-sponsorship. This one-year visa can be renewed and requires proof of employment with a minimum one-year contract validity, a monthly salary of at least $5,000, and health insurance coverage in the UAE. For business owners, proof of ownership for one year or more and an average monthly income of $5,000 are necessary. Individuals with valid residency permits can sponsor their families in the UAE, with specific salary requirements and documentations needed for family sponsorship.

Sponsorship and Family Visa: Bringing Loved Ones to the UAE

Residents in the UAE, both those employed and self-employed, have the option to sponsor their families. Husbands can sponsor their immediate family members, such as wives and children, provided they meet the minimum salary requirements of Dh4,000 or Dh3,000 plus accommodation. The sponsorship process involves obtaining an entry permit for family members and subsequently acquiring residence visas within 60 days. Required documents for sponsorship include copies of the sponsor's passport, visa page, Emirates ID, valid labor contract, Ejari contract or title deed, utility bills, family members' passport photos, attested marriage and birth certificates, and the sponsor's International Bank Account Number (IBAN).

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