How to get a residence permit in the UAE in 2021?

There are many reasons for wanting to move to the United Arab Emirates. The country offers a high quality of living, no income taxes in most business spheres (the only exceptions are the oil and gas businesses as well as the banking sector). Besides, there is almost no crime in the country.

However, if you want to relocate, you must obtain a special visa.

Ax Capital have prepared a detailed guide on how to get a residence permit in the UAE in 2021.

How to get a visa in 2021

Before you apply for a visa, you should understand what the document is needed for. Advantages of obtaining a residence permit:
  • Firstly, a residence permit gives you the right to reside in the country for six months to ten years, depending on the basis on which you are applying.
  • Secondly, it allows you to run a business here. You and your company do not need to pay taxes (unless you are a foreign bank or company that produces oil, gas and some other minerals). However, a residence permit does not ensure you the same rights as locals. For example, you cannot receive a land plot as a wedding gift from the authorities. The land here is given only to residents.
  • Thirdly, if you have a visa, you can visit the country at any time, but the period between your visits must not be more than six months.
  • If the holder has a monthly income of more than 10,000 dirhams, they can bring their spouse and underage children to the UAE, who will not need to apply for permits individually.
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Advantages of obtaining a residence permit

There are several ways to move to the UAE. These are some of them:

  • Marrying a local citizen.
  • Investing in the economy (starting a business or buying real estate).
  • Studying at a university in the Emirates.
  • Working in a company registered in the Emirates.

However, these options do not allow you to apply for local citizenship, but they can all help you get a residence permit.

Visa types

There are different types of visas depending on the basis on which you are applying for a visa.
  • Firstly, you can get a visa if you invest in real estate that costs more than 270,000 US dollars. In this case, the buyer has the right to stay in the country long term. You can renew this type of visa, but you cannot work in the country, and your monthly income must be at least 10,000 dirhams (2,700 US dollars).
  • Secondly, you can register a company here and invest at least 70,000 dirhams ($19,000) in the company. You should remember that you cannot work in other companies, only for your own organization.
  • Thirdly, you can become a student at a local university. To enroll for a course, you must be able to speak English fluently, because before passing all the exams, the applicant will be required to submit the results of the IELTS or TOEFL test. The tuition fee is from 5,000 to 10,000 US dollars, depending on the course. Students are not allowed to work in the country without a special permit.
  • A host company requests permission for an applicant to work. An applicant can work only in this company. Professionals who have confirmed their qualifications can apply for a residence permit.
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How to apply for a visa

You have to collect the documents and submit an application. Required documents include:
  • International passport.
  • Completed visa application form.
  • Three colour photos (size 3×4).
  • Children’s birth certificates, if they relocate with you.
  • Documents proving the reason for application of visa (a certificate of ownership of the property, company documents, a certificate from the university, etc.; the company will help those who apply for work to draw up all the necessary papers).
  • A receipt for payment of the consular fee.
  • Information about the applicant’s income.
  • Marriage certificate.
You need to make photocopies of all these papers, notarize them and attach the translations into English or Arabic to the documents. The translations must also be stamped and signed by a notary

Where to apply for a residence permit

You can apply for a residence permit on the website of the Federal Agency for Identity and Citizenship, or through the General Directorate for Residence and Foreigners. In addition, you can fill out an application for a new visa, or visa renewal, on the eChannels web portal. To do this, you first need to register on the platform. On the GDRFA portal, you can submit an application by selecting the place where it will be submitted. For example:
  • Dubai – GDRFA (Dubai Emirate);
  • Sharjah – GDRFA (Sharjah);
  • Abu Dhabi – GDRFA (Abu Dhabi);
  • Fujairah – GDRFA (Fujairah).
  • Ajman – GDRFA (Ajman);
  • Ras Al Khaimah – GDRFA (Ras Al Khaimah).
There are also the mobile apps where you can submit an electronic application:
  • GDRFA Dubai app for Apple and Android
  • ICA UAE eChannels for Apple and Android.
You can fill out an application by going to one of the official press centers or the Amer center, which issues entry permits.
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