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The Different Types of Visas in the UAE - 10 Visas You Should Know About [2022 Updated]

Mo’ Zubair
The Different Types of Visas in the UAE - 10 Visas You Should Know About [2022 Updated]

Whether you’re just looking to visit or move to Dubai in the near future, you will need to get your visa sorted.

It’s important to note that the UAE does not provide its residents with citizenship or permanent residence no matter how long they’ve been living in the country. However, in recent times, there is an option that helps you stay longer than the usual work/resident visa.  

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Let’s take a deep down into all of that and more in this blog post. Keep reading if you’re curious about the many, many different types of visas in the UAE.

Tourist Visa or Visit Visa

First on the list of visas is the tourist visa, which is also called a visit visa. The tourist visa and visit visa are the same, and the only thing that differs is the purpose of your visit. The tourist visa for sightseeing is issued for 14 days or 30 days, while the visit visa for business meetings, visiting family, etc. can allow you to stay in Dubai for up to 90 days.

Pro Tip: If you’re looking to visit Dubai to seek a Job, it is best to opt for the 90-day visa. Getting a job in Dubai takes time, and the visit visa can easily be converted into an employment visa.

Residence Visa or Work Visa

A residence visa or work visa is the most common type of visa out here. This visa is for folks who work for a company in Dubai. It is usually provided by the employer and is valid for 2 years. Getting this visa entails having a medical test done, followed by your Emirates ID creation.

Pro Tip: If you’re looking to sponsor a family member such as your spouse or children, you have to earn a certain amount in wages to do so. Each additional visa is subject to the same medical test, must be paid for, and is also renewable every 2 years.

Owner Visa or Partner Visa

Another way of obtaining a visa in Dubai is by starting your own business or floating a company here. As you can imagine, this is an expensive and sometimes lengthy process. However, this does allow you to become a resident in the UAE, and unlike the employment visa, this is valid for 3 years instead of 2.

Pro Tip: If you’re looking to set up a business in Dubai, it’s best to enlist the services of one of the many business setup consultants here for a smoother process.

Transit Visa

In the event that your final destination is one besides Dubai, you can get a transit visa for 48 hours or 96 hours. However, you should remember that this visa is not extendable beyond 96 hours under any circumstances.

Student Visa

Looking to study in one of the many universities of Dubai or the UAE? There is a visa for you too! International students, who are not under the sponsorship of a parent or relative here, can apply for a visa with the help of an admission letter from the university or college they are going to be studying.

The visa is valid for 1 year and renewable subsequently when a continuing certificate is provided.

Retirement Visa

Dubai is usually known to be a transient place, where people choose to work here and retire elsewhere. However, in the event you decide to retire in Dubai, you can do so with the help of a retirement visa.

The eligibility criteria are a little difficult to meet though with an investment in the property to the tune of  AED  2 million (USD 545,000 / EUR 536,000 / GBP 452,000) or more required. You can also qualify for the visa if you have an active monthly income of AED 20,000 (USD 5,500 / EUR 5,400 / GBP 4,600) or more.

The visa is valid for 5 years, renewable subsequently if conditions are met.

Remote Work Visa

Like many other remote working hotspots in the world, the UAE aims to attract great minds with a remote work visa also available. However, you will need to display proof of income to the tune of USD 5,000 (AED 18,400 / EUR 5,000 /GBP 4,200) a month; whether that’s through employment or your own business.

The visa is valid for 1 year and costs USD 287 (AED 1,060 / EUR 285 / GBP 240) plus the fees for mandatory medical insurance.

Freelance Visa

If you do not have an income of USD 5,000 (AED 18,400 / EUR 5,000 /GBP 4,200) per month, you can opt for the more expensive freelance visa offered by some ‘free zones’ in Dubai. You can check out gofreelance.ae for the exact process and costs of applying for this type of visa.

Do keep in mind, that you must work as a freelancer in certain categories such as media or tech to qualify.

Golden Visa or 10-Year Visa

The Golden Visa was introduced in the UAE a few years ago as an answer to the call for more long-term stability for expats living in Dubai. The visa gives its holder and their family members, when sponsored, a 10-year residence in Dubai which is renewable subsequently.

The visa also provides other added benefits such as the ability to stay outside the UAE for more than the usual restriction of six months, sponsoring family members regardless of age, and the ability to do away with a sponsor or employer.

So how do you get the coveted Golden Visa? Well, it’s reserved for exceptional talents in all fields, frontline workers, outstanding students or graduates, humanitarian pioneers, scientists, and professionals who fulfil certain employment and salary criteria.

However, if you don’t meet any of the conditions given above, you can still qualify as an investor or entrepreneur. To qualify as an investor, you must purchase a property worth no less than AED 2 million (USD 545,000 / EUR 536,000 / GBP 452,000). As an entrepreneur, you must be an innovative start-up approved by the government, generate annual revenues of no less than AED 1 million (USD 273,000 / EUR 268,000 / GBP 226,000) with your SME, or have founded a venture that was sold for an amount of no less than AED 7 million (USD 1.91 million / EUR 1.9 million / GBP 1.6 million).

Green Visa (NEW)

And finally, we have the newly announced Green Visa. The Green Visa is a lot like the aforementioned Golden Visa, except it’s valid for a period of 5 years instead of 10.

It can also be gained by the holder without the need for a sponsor or employer and allows you to sponsor family members. Male children, however, can be sponsored only till the age of 25.

To be eligible for this visa you should be a self-employed/freelancer with a degree, permit, and evidence of annual income from self-employment for the previous two years for an amount no less than AED 360,000 (USD 98,000 / EUR 97,000 / GBP 82,000). But you can qualify if you are a skilled employee with a salary of no less than AED 15,000 (USD 4,000 / EUR 4,000 / GBP 3,400)per month.

And finally, you are also eligible as an investor/partner but the amount of investment is not disclosed and is approved at the discretion of the local authorities 

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So there, you have it! 10 different types of Visas every visitor or potential resident of Dubai or the UAE can consider as per their unique situation.

Did you find this blog post helpful? We certainly hope you did. That's it from us at Wise Move for now, and until next time - Choose wisely.

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