Residence Permit in UAE: Rules, Requirements, and Renewal Tips

Are you relocating to the UAE and need to know how to secure a residence permit in UAE? Our comprehensive guide demystifies the requirements, different types, and the application process for a UAE residence permit. With succinct steps and essential tips, you’ll be prepared to navigate the system with ease. Delve into our guide to turn the complex task of obtaining your residence permit in UAE into a manageable process.

Key Takeaways

  • The UAE residence permit is essential for foreign nationals wanting to live, work, or study in the UAE for an extended period, with various types available for employment, education, family reunification, investment, and retirement.
  • There are specific eligibility criteria for different types of residence permits, which include academic qualifications for employment visas and financial stability for investor visas, with options like Golden Visa offering extended benefits such as a 10-year residency.
  • To maintain a UAE residence permit, residents must not leave the country for more than six months, unless they hold a Golden Visa or are accompanying their employer abroad, and they must renew their residency alongside their Emirates ID prior to expiration.

Understanding the UAE Residence Permit

UAE Residence Permit

Also referred to as a UAE residence visa, a Dubai residence visa or UAE residence permit allows you to stay in the United Arab Emirates for the long term. This permit allows foreign nationals to live, work, and access various services in the UAE, making it a critical document for anyone looking to reside in the country for an extended period.

However, it should not be confused with the UAE Entry Permit. While the Entry Permit allows temporary entry into the UAE, the Residency Visa, also known as Residence Visa, grants you more prolonged residence, thereby opening doors to a plethora of opportunities in the country.

Types of UAE Residence Permits

The UAE stands as a premier global business hub, offering Residence by Investment Programs designed to grant long-term residency to foreign investors, entrepreneurs, and individuals with exceptional skills, such as specialists and researchers, who contribute significantly to the nation’s growth and development.

Moreover, students enrolled in UAE educational institutions have the opportunity to apply for a UAE student visa, in the form of a student residence permit, facilitating their pursuit of education in the UAE without encountering immigration hurdles. Likewise, retirement, family members of UAE citizens or residents, can apply for specialized UAE residence visas tailored to their individual circumstances.

Types of UAE Residence

Eligibility Criteria for UAE Residence Permit

There are no explicit nationality-based eligibility criteria, which means that your nationality does not restrict you from obtaining a UAE Residence Visa. Nevertheless, certain visas like investor and retirement visas require proof of financial stability or significant financial investment.

Investment Options

UAE Residency Program through Investments offers various routes:

  • UAE Golden Visa Through Employment Sponsorship
  • UAE Golden Visa Through Real Estate Investment
  • UAE Investor Visa through Company Formation

Golden Visa Through Employment Type

UAE Golden Visa Through Employment Type

The UAE’s 10-Year Golden Visa program extends to individuals employed in the country, offering a pathway to long-term residency for skilled professionals and workers contributing to the UAE’s economy. To qualify for the UAE 10-Year Golden Visa through employment, individuals must secure a job in the UAE and obtain a Work Permit from the relevant authorities. This visa category is tailored for individuals who have been offered employment by UAE-based companies and wish to establish a long-term presence in the country.

Eligibility criteria for the standard work visa in the UAE typically include academic qualifications corresponding to the job role. Skilled positions often require a degree certificate, while unskilled roles may necessitate a high school diploma or its equivalent. Additionally, applicants must fall within the age bracket of 18 to 60 years old to be eligible for the standard work visa.

The 10-Year Golden Visa through employment offers a transformative opportunity for professionals to build their careers and contribute to the growth and development of the UAE’s diverse workforce. With a focus on talent retention and economic sustainability, this visa program underscores the UAE’s commitment to fostering innovation and attracting top-tier talent from around the globe.

Golden Visa Through Real Estate Route

The UAE’s Golden Residence visa program offers various categories of beneficiaries, catering to different investor profiles. Real estate investors, in particular, have the opportunity to secure a 10-year renewable residence visa by making substantial investments in the UAE property market. These investments can take several forms:

  • Direct Property Purchase: Investors can acquire a property valued at a minimum of AED 2 million (approximately USD 600,000). This investment entitles them to apply for Golden Residence visa, providing them with long-term residency in the UAE.
  • Property Purchase with Bank Loan: Alternatively, investors can finance their property acquisition through a loan from specific local banks while meeting the AED 2 million minimum investment threshold. This option offers flexibility for investors who prefer leveraging their capital.
  • Off-Plan Property Investment: Investors can also invest in one or more off-plan properties from approved local real estate companies, with each property valued at a minimum of AED 2 million (approximately USD 600,000). This option allows investors to capitalize on pre-construction opportunities while qualifying for Golden Residence visa.
UAE Golden Visa Through Real Estate Route

These investment-based residence permits provide investors with a pathway to long-term residency in the UAE, offering stability and numerous opportunities for business and personal growth in one of the world’s most dynamic economies.

Investor Visa through Company Formation

UAE investor visa

The UAE Investor Visa through Company Formation offers a pathway for foreign investors to secure long-term residency in the UAE by establishing a company within its borders. This initiative aims to attract foreign investment and stimulate economic growth by providing investors with the opportunity to establish and operate businesses in the UAE. Investors opting for this visa route have the flexibility to choose from various company formation options, including setting up a mainland company, free zone company, or offshore company, each offering distinct benefits and regulatory frameworks tailored to different business needs and objectives.

To qualify for the UAE Investor Visa through Company Formation, investors typically need to meet certain eligibility criteria, which may include:

  • Minimum Capital Requirement: Depending on the type of company and the jurisdiction in which it is established, investors may be required to invest a minimum amount of capital to initiate the company formation process.
  • Business Plan: Investors are often required to submit a detailed business plan outlining their proposed activities, objectives, and financial projections for the company.
  • Compliance with Regulatory Requirements: Investors must ensure compliance with all relevant regulatory requirements and laws governing company formation in the UAE, including licensing, permits, and other legal obligations.
  • Investment Sector: The type of business activities and sectors in which investors choose to operate may impact their eligibility for the investor visa, as certain industries may be subject to additional regulations or restrictions.

Upon successful establishment of the company and fulfillment of the visa requirements, investors and their eligible family members can obtain long-term residency permits in the UAE, providing them with the freedom to live, work, and conduct business activities in the country. This visa option not only facilitates access to the UAE market but also offers investors the opportunity to benefit from the country’s strategic location, business-friendly environment, and tax advantages.

Furthermore, investors can leverage their residency status to expand their business networks, access global markets, and explore new opportunities for growth and diversification. Overall, the UAE Investor Visa through Company Formation serves as a catalyst for entrepreneurial endeavors and contributes to the ongoing development and prosperity of the UAE economy.

Benefits of a UAE Residence Permit

Benefits of a UAE Residence

The residence permit in UAE offers a plethora of advantages to individuals seeking to establish a long-term presence in the country, whether for professional, investment, or personal reasons. This prestigious visa provides holders with unparalleled opportunities and privileges, including:

  • Extended Residency: The privilege of residing in the UAE for up to 10 years, with the option for renewal, providing long-term stability and security.
  • Family Sponsorship: Authority to sponsor their family members, including spouses and unmarried children of any age, enabling them to enjoy the same benefits and opportunities.
  • Flexible Travel: Travel freely in and out of the UAE without any restrictions on the duration of their stay abroad, making it ideal for individuals with international business commitments or leisure travel preferences.
  • Geopolitical Advantage: Situated at the crossroads of Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe, the UAE offers unparalleled access to global markets, making it an ideal base for international business ventures and investments.
  • Safe Environment: The UAE is renowned for its safety and security, providing residents with peace of mind and a conducive environment for personal and professional growth.
  • High-Quality Services: Residents of the UAE benefit from a high standard of services, including world-class healthcare, education, infrastructure, and amenities, enhancing their quality of life.
  • Tax Benefits: The UAE boasts a favorable tax regime for investors, with no personal income tax, capital gains tax, net worth tax, or withholding tax (excluding certain sectors). Additionally, the presence of double-tax treaties further enhances the tax efficiency for residents.
  • Real Estate Opportunities: Investors in the UAE can capitalize on the thriving real estate market, with opportunities for significant returns on investment and a wide range of property options to choose from.
  • Efficient Residence Permit System: The UAE offers a streamlined and efficient process for obtaining residence permits, ensuring a hassle-free experience for Golden Visa applicants and holders.
  • International Affiliations: As a member state of prominent organizations such as the United Nations, the Gulf Cooperation Council, and the Arab League, the UAE offers opportunities for global engagement and collaboration on various fronts.

The residence permit in UAE opens doors to a world of possibilities, empowering individuals to thrive and succeed in one of the most dynamic and vibrant countries in the world.

Application Process for UAE Residence Permit

Although the process of acquiring Dubai mainland visas, specifically a UAE residence permit, may appear challenging at first, with appropriate guidance, it can be significantly simplified. Applying for UAE residence entails completing the requisite application forms and submitting them along with the necessary fees and supporting documents.

Golden Residence visas, once obtained, are valid for 10 years and can be renewed subsequently. It’s worth noting that residing outside the UAE does not invalidate the visa, providing flexibility to visa holders.

Investments made for UAE residence must be maintained for a minimum of three years, ensuring a commitment to long-term engagement with the country. Upon completion of initial due diligence checks and payment of the retainer, the application for UAE residence can be formally lodged with the government.

After meeting all requirements and subject to initial approval, successful applicants are granted a six-month multiple-entry visa. They then travel to the UAE to complete the process, which includes obtaining an ID card and undergoing a medical examination. Upon successful completion of these steps, full approval is granted, and the applicant receives the residence visa.

Application Process for UAE Residence

The processing time for the residence application typically ranges from 2 to 4 weeks, providing a relatively swift and efficient process for obtaining UAE residence.

Obtaining an Emirates ID

All UAE citizens and residents are required to possess an Emirates ID, a mandatory identification card. It carries a unique 15-digit identity number, personal data, and biometrics, making it an essential document for residents. Expatriates can apply for an Emirates ID through their sponsoring company, approved typing centers, or online via the ICP website. Dependents’ applications follow after the primary applicant’s ID issuance, with renewal requiring nearly the same documents as the initial application.

The validity of the Emirates ID is tied to the residence visa period.

Renewing Your UAE Residence Permit

Similar to other permits, your UAE residence permit comes with an expiry date, and you might be concerned if your residence visa expired. But don’t worry! The process of renewing it is straightforward. You can renew your residence permit by:

  1. Registering and setting up an account via UAE Pass.
  2. Selecting the Residence Permit Renewal service
  3. Submitting the online application through the ICA website or app
  4. Once you’ve submitted your application and medical test results, you’ll need to pay the applicable fees, which vary by visa type and application method.

After this, you’ll receive an email or SMS notification upon visa approval, with instructions on how to collect your visa from the nearest immigration office or arrange for delivery. To start the process, simply fill out the uae visa application form.

Cancelling Your UAE Residence Permit

Cancelling a UAE residence permit involves certain procedures, much like obtaining and renewing it. If you intend to leave the country permanently or if your employment contract is prematurely terminated, your sponsor must cancel your UAE Residence Visa. The cancellation process includes:

  • Submitting the original passport
  • Submitting Emirates ID
  • Filling out and submitting the signed visa cancellation paper
  • Submitting the documents to GDRFA or online.

You’ll also need to cancel your work permits at the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, and you may potentially need a No Objection Certificate for job changes within the UAE.

Navigating the UAE Residence Permit Rules for Special Cases

Imperial citizenship - UAE residence

Although most people are subject to the general rules of UAE residence permits, specific categories of individuals have certain exceptions and special cases.

Holders of the prestigious Golden Visa, which grants long-term residency in the UAE, enjoy certain privileges and exemptions. Notably, they are exempt from the standard six-month residence rule typically applicable to visa holders. This exemption underscores the special status and benefits accorded to Golden Visa holders, allowing them greater flexibility and convenience in their residency arrangements.

Long-Term Visas and Golden Visa Opportunities

The UAE provides various long-term uae visa options, from 5 to 10 years, one of which is the highly sought-after Golden Visa. This visa, supported by the UAE government, extends numerous benefits to its holders, including the ability to live, work, or study in the UAE for up to 10 years and renew it thereafter. The Golden Visa is available to a wide range of professionals and entrepreneurs such as investors, exceptionally talented individuals, executives, scientists, skilled professionals, students, and humanitarian pioneers.

The eligibility criteria vary based on the applicant’s professional background and financial stability.

Tips for Maintaining Your UAE Residence Permit

It’s as crucial to maintain the validity of your UAE residence permit as it is to obtain it. One crucial rule to remember is that UAE Residence Permit holders must not leave the country for more than 6 months to maintain the validity of their permits. However, holders of Golden Visa or those accompanying their employer overseas are exceptions to this rule.

Visa-free travel or visa on arrival to certain destinations is another perk that UAE Residence Permit holders may enjoy. However, this benefit can vary significantly depending on their nationality.

Imperial Citizenship: Leader in Citizenship and Residence by Investment

Should you need further guidance or assistance in acquiring a UAE residence permit, feel free to contact us. Our team of experts is equipped with in-depth knowledge and years of experience in handling UAE immigration matters. Whether you have questions about the application process, eligibility criteria, or simply need help navigating the UAE residence permit rules, we’re here to help you every step of the way.


Acquiring a UAE residence permit is a multi-step process that requires careful planning and understanding of the UAE’s immigration rules. From understanding the different types of residence permits and their eligibility criteria to navigating the application process and renewing your permit, each step plays a vital role in securing your residence in the UAE.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get residence permit in UAE?

To obtain a residence permit in the UAE, you can consider purchasing real estate, starting a business or being employed by a local company. These are some common ways to secure residency in the UAE.

What is the new rule for residence visa in UAE?

The new rule for residence visa in UAE includes the launch of the UAE Golden Visa, allowing expats to reside in the country for up to 10 years, making it more accessible for investors. This change signifies a more investor-friendly approach to residency in the UAE.

Entry Permit and a Residence Visa: What is the difference?

The main difference between an Entry Permit and a Residence Visa is that the Entry Permit allows temporary entry into the UAE, while the Residence Visa grants more prolonged residence, offering various opportunities in the country.

How can I renew my UAE Residence Permit?

To renew your UAE Residence Permit, register and create an account through UAE Pass, then select the Residence Permit Renewal service and submit the online application through the ICA website or app.

What are the benefits of the United Arab Emirates residence visa?

The UAE Golden Visa provides holders with the opportunity to reside, work, or pursue education in the UAE for up to 10 years, with the option to renew. Additionally, holders can sponsor their family members for the same privileges.

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