Obtaining a Residence Permit in Dubai: Company Registration

8:56 pm  |  22.08.2023

The UAE is one of the most popular regions where foreign entrepreneurs transport business. Companies here feel comfortable. 

Options for obtaining a residence permit in the UAE

In the UAE, instead of the usual concept of residence is a resident visa. It can be obtained for a period of six months to ten years and permanently extended – but if you do not visit the UAE once every six months at least in transit, it is canceled. 

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Resident status in the Emirates can be obtained in several ways:

  • Get a work visa. It is issued by the employer, so you need to confirm your qualification, get a job, and sign an employment contract. The visa will remain valid as long as the contract is in force. 
  • Buy property. It should cost from 750 thousand dirhams – about $ 205 thousand. If the price is above 2 million dirhams (about $545 thousand), the investor receives a ten-year «gold» visa. To obtain a visa, you can buy a property with a mortgage from a local bank. An investor with a gold visa can sell the property in three years but remain a resident for another seven years. 
  • Be a freelancer or work remotely. At the same time, you need to earn at least 18 350 dirhams – $5 thousand. This is the easiest and fastest way, but only suitable for freelancers. Professions are limited. 
  • Go with your startup to the official business incubator. Or confirm the income of the startup at least 1 million dirhams per year (about $273 thousand).
  • Be a professional with high achievement. For example, an outstanding athlete or scientist, or artist. 

If none of these methods is suitable, you can open your own company. And this option has advantages:

  1. A visa is given for three years or ten years, and it can be indefinitely extended as long as the company exists;
  1. You can make a visa for close relatives: spouses and children. But the design is nuanced. For example, a daughter may obtain a visa regardless of age until she is married and a son until he is of age. The consent of the biological parent will be required for children from previous marriages.
  1. In addition, it is possible to issue work visas for employees;
  1. If the business is fully transparent, a company bank account is easier to open than an individual. 

How to Get a Residence Visa Through Company Registration

At the registration of the company issued a visa for three years. If the company has the authorized capital, and it is above 2 million dirhams (about $545 thousand), the visa will be «gold» – for ten years. As long as the company exists, the residence visa can be extended. 

READ: Where Millionaires Live: Dubai’s Most Luxurious Areas

To obtain a residence visa through the registration of the company, you need:

  • Open a company. The easiest way to do it is through the free zone. This stage takes about two or three weeks. 
  • Apply for a special immigration document to obtain a visa through the company – Establishment card. About a week. 
  • Get an entry permit and apply for a resident visa. If a person is already in the Emirates, he will need to pay for a change of visa type. 
  • Get a medical certificate for blood and fluorography. 
  • Get the biometric data. 
  • Get a UID number and a residence visa, which will be glued into the passport. 
  • Make an Emirates ID. It will take about one more week.

In the Emirates, weekends – are Friday and Saturday, so if you are going to visit, it is better to come on Saturday to start the decoration on Sunday. 

How to Choose the Free Zone

The United Arab Emirates has more than fifty free zones, each with its own characteristics and governance. Most of them are in Dubai – about thirty. To choose the right one, you need to pay attention to important points.

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Freezone specialization

Each focuses on a specific type of activity and gives companies in this field special conditions. For example, IT, trade, software, and logistics. 

Type of License

If the company operates outside the license, the regulator will impose a fine. Therefore, the license should be selected very carefully and immediately turn to professionals.

There are cases where middlemen offer a low-cost license with minimal requirements, but it turns out that it does not meet the requirements or the activities of the free zone in which it is issued.

 Commercial Property Availability

It is not available in all the free zones. If the company needs a warehouse, access to the port or airport, the choice is reduced. 

Conditions for Obtaining a Residence Permit

In some areas, medical insurance or a deposit is required to obtain a residence visa. And in some areas, there is no provision for obtaining a resident visa – only a worker. 

Availability of Authorized Capital

This is mandatory in some free zones and optional in others. 

Local Company

This option is best suited for offline businesses: restaurants, shops, and beauty studios.

On the one hand, local companies have the advantage of an unlimited number of work visas, on the other – you need to cooperate with a local agent and open a physical office. 

UAE banks request multiple documents that confirm the purity of the source of income and confirm the reality of the business. If a traditional bank account is unimportant, electronic banks or payment systems can be used. 

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