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UAE Residence Visa: Eligibility Criteria & Application Requisites for 2020

by Altaf Shaikh
UAE Residence Visa: Eligibility Criteria & Application Requisites for 2020

Finding a job in the UAE or making a certain investment in one of the Emirates would be the first step to residence visa eligibility. Here’s a breakdown of the information you’ll find below!

Table of Content
1.       Eligibility Criteria

(a) UAE-based government or private employment

(b) Study in an educational institution

(c) Protégé of immediate or former UAE resident

d) Invest in a UAE business or real estate

e) Retirement in the UAE

2.       Types of Residence Visa

a) The UAE Work Visa

b) The UAE Student Visa

c) The UAE Family Visa

d) The UAE Investment Visa

e) The UAE Retirement Visa

3.       Essential Requisites
4.       The Visa Application

(a)    Sponsor

(b)   Process

5.       Stay Permit on a UAE Residence Visa

Immigrants and expatriates looking forward to settle in the UAE need a residence visa. There’re certain protocols and application requisites you would need to following order to qualify for the visa. Before jumping into details, have a look at core benefits that can be availed by you as a UAE residence visa holder:

  • Bank account opening and loan acquisition (personal and/or car)
  • Visa-free access to several countries (check COVID-19 rules)
  • Convenience for children to attend public/government or private schools
  • Driver’s license
  • Access to health services and insurance provided by the government

Eligibility Criteria

In order to qualify, you should meet one or more of the following aspects:

  • UAE-based government or private employment; within any one of the Emirates
  • Study in an educational institution with the UAE curriculum
  • Protégé of immediate or former UAE resident (child, blood relation, parent, maid etc.)
  • Invest in a UAE business or real estate
  • Retirement in the UAE

Types of Residence Visas, UAE

Depending on the nature of your travel/visit to the UAE, residence visas are divided accordingly. Such as:

  • The UAE Work Visa; issued to immigrants and expats who’ve successfully found employment while obtaining the work permit. Occupational health screening however is a must step, requested by employers before hiring offshore individuals.
  • The UAE Student Visa; issued to the immigrant’s children who’ve been accepted in one of UAE’s educational institutes.
  • The UAE Family Visa; issued only to the bloodline of immediate or former UAE residents.
  • The UAE Investment Visa (long-term residence); issued to immigrants who’ve invested substantially in either a UAE business or real estate. Validity for this particular visa remains active for about 10 years.
  • The UAE Retirement Visa; issued to the elderly immigrants willing to retire in any one of the emirates with necessary finance to make a living.

Essential Requisites

Supporting paperwork you would need to have thus ensuring on a smooth UAE residence visa application process includes:

  • The UAE Visa Application Form that can be obtained either online or authorised agency, consulate
  • Valid original passport with two-passport size photographs (as per the UAE standard)
  • Entry visa with sponsor’s legal residency or citizenship evidence
  • Medical fitness test clearance certificate that can be obtained from a medical centre in Abu Dhabi catering to the service. That said, Capital Health Screening Centre is a dedicated health screening services provider in Abu Dhabi and part of Mubadala’s network. You can conveniently have your visa medical screening and fitness certificate clearance from the centre.
  • Proof of government issued health insurance plan
  • Family visa require proof of bloodline like marriage and/or birth certificates

Work visas will be issued only when the sponsored party surrenders valid proof of business/work contract in the UAE, official valid trade license of the company and a corporate organisation card.

The Visa Application

On your arrival in the UAE, you’ll have to apply for a residence visa as a means to legally enter with an official permit. In addition, like the entry permit, you mightn’t be able to apply for your very own residence visa as you’ll need a sponsor that can be an employer, spouse, former citizen and so on.

Important: Due to the worldwide spread of pandemic COVID-19 virus, it is mandatory to observe a 14-day isolation period on arriving in the UAE; strictly following essential safety rules and regulations.

  • Sponsor

Application for residence visa can be processed only if you’ve a sponsor; however, only in exceptional cases, you can be your own sponsor. A few valid sponsoring parties can be

  • Your employer; for work visa
  • Your school; for student visa
  • Your bloodline; for family visa

You can be your own sponsor being an investor in any of the UAE businesses or in real estate projects.

  • Process

Sponsor should acquire an Entry Permit for you which is issued by the government at one of the following:

  • The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship
  • Government approved mobile applications for Apple and Android
  • ICA’s official web portal
  • The General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) – Either online via official government website or in-person

When your host or sponsor is applying on your behalf, it must be done through official GDRFA licensing typing centres that can be accessed in any of the Emirates. The GDRFA also has official mobile applications for both Android and iOS that can be used to proceed in a legal manner. The GDRFA then would apply for your Residence Visa within a particular UAE Emirate where you would stay.

At the time of submitting the application, the sponsor would also pay relevant UAE Residence Visa fee on your behalf, depending on visa validity. On approval, residence visa would be affixed on your passport whereas you’ll receive an Emirates ID bearing the same validity period as that on the visa.

Stay Permit on a UAE Residence Visa

All that said, the duration of a UAE residence visa depends on the nature or your travel to the country with validity falling anywhere within one, two or three years with the option of renewal. However, retirement and/or investment visas are valid for five to ten years; also with the option of renewal.

All the information provided above is sourced from the official UAE government website. You can check out more details.

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