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More and more immigrants are moving to the United Arab Emirates, especially to Dubai. The UAE is among the countries where obtaining a passport is most difficult. If you manage to do so, you have completed a complex process of applying for citizenship.

Dubai attracts with lucrative job offers, a stable political situation, a high standard of living, and good educational and entertainment opportunities. The city is more than just a shopping paradise with year-round summer and tax exemption. Being a resident of Dubai is a unique reward that you must earn or obtain through kinship.

How to get a residence permit in the UAE? What documents do you need? Where can you get help? In this article, we will answer these questions in detail.

Advantages of a UAE Residence Visa

A UAE residence visa provides the citizen with the ability to:

  • open bank accounts (private or business accounts);
  • apply for a driver’s license;
  • use the rental laws;
  • have access to healthcare and medical insurance;
  • enroll children in international schools and educational institutions;
  • have access to investments.

The United Arab Emirates supports its citizens at every stage. The assistance is similar to that provided in Western countries, but thanks to its wealth, the Emirates can take even better care of their citizens.

Getting a residence permit in Dubai is difficult, and there is a reason for this: the Emiratis care about their identity and traditions and strive to preserve them. The residence visa gives the holder the right to benefits that, in the opinion of the local government, should not be available to random people, only to real residents or people who have made an outstanding contribution to the development of the state. This is about preserving traditions, maintaining national culture, language, and uniqueness in the face of high globalization.

Ways to Obtain a UAE Residence Visa

To become a candidate for a residence permit, you must meet one of the following categories:

  • company registration;
  • employment contract in a government agency or private company;
  • family sponsorship;
  • education in the UAE;
  • pension;
  • investment;
  • real estate purchase;
  • talent visa.

Company Registration in the UAE

By establishing a company, the owner and his employees receive a work visa that allows them to stay in the Emirates for up to 2 years. Family members can also be sponsored and obtain a residence visa.

Conditions for applying:

  • candidates must be adults (>18 years old);
  • be the owner of a company in a Dubai free zone;
  • attach a current passport photo on a white background;
  • provide a passport (i.e., you must stay in Dubai for some time);
  • provide a valid entry permit (tourist visa);
  • undergo a medical examination;
  • submit fingerprints;
  • provide a certificate of good reputation;
  • provide a copy of the free zone license;
  • provide a copy of the work permit;
  • provide a copy of the registration of your company name in the free zone;
  • documents in English or Arabic and/or notarized by the UAE embassy;
  • additional documents may be requested.

The residence visa can be extended for another 2 years if the company continues to exist.

Work Visa in Dubai

When hired in the UAE, the employer becomes the sponsor and is responsible for issuing the work permit and residence visa. They usually also take care of visas for the family members of employees.

Foreigners applying for a residence visa based on an employment contract must work in the private, public, or free sectors. The application is submitted to GDRFA Dubai.

The work visa is usually issued for 3 years with the possibility of renewal.

Family Sponsorship

The main requirement for a sponsor is a minimum salary of AED 4,000 or AED 3,000 plus accommodation.

The visa is valid for up to 5 years.

Sponsoring Women and Children

A certified marriage certificate must be submitted to the authorities along with a translation into Arabic (sometimes a translation into English is also accepted).

There are specific rules for sponsoring children:

  • Daughter sponsorship

An expatriate can sponsor his daughter if she is unmarried. There is no age limit.

  • Son sponsorship

The age limit is up to 25 years. This does not apply to sons with special health needs.

  • Newborn sponsorship

Parents of infants born in the UAE must apply for a residence visa within 120 days to avoid penalties.

  • Stepchild sponsorship

This includes adopted children who meet the GDRFA conditions, which include a deposit for each child and written permission from the biological parent.

Education in the UAE

A residence visa in the UAE for Russians who want to study is valid for 1 year and can be extended if the local educational institution provides evidence of continued education. The student can stay in the Emirates for education under the sponsorship of their parents/accredited university/college.

Requirements for applying for a student visa:

  • a letter from the educational institution indicating the duration of study;
  • compliance with a number of requirements listed in the general provisions for a residence visa.

Special regulation: family members of foreign students are allowed to stay in the country provided they can afford suitable accommodation.

Pension in the UAE

Applicants for a residence visa in Dubai over the age of 55 must have worked in the United Arab Emirates for at least 15 years, and also:

  • own property worth at least AED 1,000,000;
  • have financial savings of at least AED 1,000,000 or a monthly income of AED 15,000;
  • provide a bank statement for the last 6 months.

This is a type of long-term visa valid for 5 years with the possibility of renewal.

Investments in the UAE

A residence visa in Dubai for investments allows you to live and work in the emirate. Foreign citizens must buy shares in an existing company for at least AED 72,000 or establish their own company with similar capital investment.

Applications for an identity card can be submitted to the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship. The online portal of the electronic government office of the Department of Naturalization and Residency (eDNRD) is used by companies and institutions in Dubai to apply for visas.

The visa is valid for 2 years.

Real Estate in the UAE

Property owners must apply for a visa through the master developer and submit documents showing no employment in the UAE, pay an administrative fee, and wait for the application to be processed, which is usually a formality.

Important conditions for applying for a residence visa based on property in the Dubai Land Department include:

  • the property must be purchased for AED 750,000 or more;
  • the applicant must prove a regular income of at least AED 10,000 per month. This can be any type of income, such as salary from abroad, pension, or investment income;
  • provide a copy of the passport;
  • provide a passport photo;
  • provide documents confirming ownership rights (in the name of one person, as only this person can apply for a residence visa based on ownership);
  • indicate in the documents confirming ownership rights that the property is only partially mortgaged;
  • the property must be completed and suitable for living;
  • payment of a visa fee for property acquisition of AED 1,100 and an administrative fee of AED 410;
  • undergo a medical examination;
  • provide proof of no criminal record;
  • submit fingerprints;
  • provide a copy of the health insurance policy.

A property owner is not entitled to a residence visa based on property purchase if they work or do business in the UAE – in this case, they must be in the UAE on an employer’s visa or their own business visa, which is issued to everyone doing business in the country.

A residence visa issued based on property purchase in Dubai must be renewed every 3 years, and the person with such a visa must not stay outside the UAE for more than 6 months – after leaving the UAE for 6 months or more, the visa must be renewed, taking into account administrative and immigration fees.

Talent Visa in the UAE

The United Arab Emirates authorities are ready to grant a residence visa to representatives of outstanding professions. These include:

  • athletes;
  • doctors;
  • scientists;
  • people of culture and art;
  • inventors;
  • managers;
  • experts in the field of science and technology.

An applicant with professional talent can obtain a golden visa valid for 5 to 10 years. Requirements for obtaining a golden visa are determined by individual factors.

Stages of Obtaining a Residence Visa

Obtaining a residence visa in the UAE for Russians has complex rules and procedures. The application process is long and challenging. You can familiarize yourself with the necessary criteria and documents on the official government website for visa issuance.

The visa application process is as follows:

  • Entry Permit: This is a temporary visa for 60 days. The application processing time is usually 15 days. You can expedite this process by using the Fast Track option.
  • Medical Examination: You will undergo a medical examination immediately and register for the Emirates ID. The medical examination is conducted on-site by authorized medical personnel. The examination includes blood tests for infectious diseases and chest X-rays.
  • Emirates ID: The Emirates ID must be submitted along with the medical referral. With this credit card-sized ID, you can open bank accounts, rent an apartment, or buy a car.
  • Visa Stamp: In this final stage, you will receive a stamp or sticker in your passport. Your passport will be submitted to the relevant immigration authority for this.

You do not have to be a citizen of the UAE to pay taxes in Dubai. You can become a tax resident if your place of residence or the center of your company is in this country, and your economic and personal interests are in the Emirates.

Documents for Obtaining a Residence Visa

Residence visas in the Emirates are accompanied by a number of common requirements, regardless of which city you will live in:

  • valid passport;
  • employment confirmation with a contract valid for 1 year;
  • receipt for obtaining the Emirates ID;
  • lease agreement or proof of residence;
  • health certificate;
  • entry permit;
  • for children – certified birth certificate;
  • divorce or death certificate (for divorced women and widows);
  • for students – a certificate issued by the university or institute indicating the duration of study.

The passport must be valid for at least 3 months upon entry into the UAE and 6 months upon departure from the country.

A residence visa in the UAE allows its holder to stay in any emirate and allows entry and exit from the country without restrictions. As a resident, you are required to visit the emirates at least once every six months. If the visa holder violates this condition, they will automatically lose their residence visa.

Even if you meet the above conditions, your application for a residence visa in the UAE may still be rejected. It is advisable to seek assistance from a specialist, such as a local law firm. They will provide detailed information on what a residence visa in the UAE entitles you to and how to properly apply for it.

Where to Apply for a Residence Visa

Applications are submitted to GDRFA Dubai or another emirate. After submitting the application, approximately 7-12 days, excluding holidays, are allocated for the preparation of the necessary documents.

In some jurisdictions, your migration to Dubai may not be recognized, and this issue should be clarified before starting the process. These mentioned points are individual, and you should clarify them with an international consultant.

Possible Reasons for Refusal of a Residence Visa

What are the possible reasons for refusal?

  • Public (including online) anti-Islamic or anti-Emirati statements.
  • Suspicion of criminal ties or intentions.

Compliance with all rules and seeking assistance from immigration lawyers increases the chances of obtaining a residence visa.


Moving to Dubai is trendy. For several years, the metropolis has been one of the preferred destinations for emigration. Thanks to its lively atmosphere, multinational population, tax exemptions, attractive framework conditions, and the best that the world can offer in terms of luxury lifestyle, Dubai is a favorite city for wealthy families.

Obtaining a residence visa in Dubai consists of the same steps as in other emirates of the UAE. Therefore, it is entirely legal to seek professional assistance from local experts.

At Alira agency, you will receive support on all issues related to real estate purchase. We provide consultation on real estate investment opportunities and how to obtain a residence visa in the UAE. You can contact us at +971 (588) 337 903, +7 (986) 927-73-77., or leave a request on the website or email


Also known as a “retirement visa,” “investor visa,” “talent visa,” or “Golden Visa in Dubai,” the Golden Visa in Dubai and the Emirates does not require physical presence; you just need to visit the country every 6 months.

The validity period of a residence visa varies depending on the type and sponsor. It can be valid for 1, 2, or 3 years. Under certain conditions, a residence visa can be issued for 5 or 10 years.

Provided that you own real estate worth more than 1.2 million dirhams and have a regular monthly income of at least 10,000 dirhams.

Typically, you will receive a residence visa within 15 days.

After the residence visa expires, it needs to be renewed. This is usually a straightforward process that can be done independently at the local immigration office or through a professional local consulting firm.

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