How To Apply For The UAE Immigration VISA

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UAE Immigration VISA

Before you move to UAE to reside either temporarily or permanently, you must have a purpose.

It could because of Work, School, Business and Investments etc. Now, foreigners who want to live and work in the United Arab Emirates long-term need the UAE Residence VISA.

A residence VISA for the UAE offers the holder a lot of benefits, including:

  • You can open a Bank account
  • You can get a bank loan (personal or car loan)
  • You have VISA-free access to several countries
  • Your children can attend government or private schools
  • You can get a driver’s license
  • You have access to Government Health Services and health insurance

Read: How To Apply For The UAE Student VISA

UAE Immigration VISA

Eligibility Check

If you want to Immigrate to UAE, you must make sure that:

  • You will work in the UAE, under a Governmental office or in a Private Company.
  • You will study in a UAE Educational Institution.
  • You are the dependent of a UAE citizen or foreign resident (child, parent, maid, or a close relative).
  • You have made an investment in the UAE.
  • You have purchased property in the UAE.
  • You will retire in the UAE.

Read; How To Apply For The UAE Tourist VISA

How do I Immigrate to UAE?

When you are set in your mind to reside in UAE, you must indicate the type of VISA that you want, through deciding the purpose of you travel to UAE.

It might be because of School, Work or any other thing.

Before processing any type of VISA, you will have to get an entry permit to UAE first. The entry Permit can be applied through the following portals:

  • The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship
  • The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – GDRFA either online (see the websites below) or in-person. If your host applies in-person they must do so through one of the licensed typing centers of the GDRFA in each Emirate or through one of the Amer centers in Dubai.
  • GDRFA Dubai mobile apps for Apple and Android

Read: How To Apply For The Norway Immigration VISA

The Residence VISA

You have to apply for the Residence VISA once you’re already in the UAE. You can only apply for a Residence VISA through a sponsor.

However, in certain cases you may be your own sponsor.

  • For a UAE Work VISA, your employer is your sponsor
  • For a UAE Student VISA, your school is your sponsor
  • For a UAE Family VISA, your family member is your sponsor
  • If you are an investor or buy property in the UAE, you can apply yourself and your company/property serves as sponsorship

At the time of application, they will also pay a UAE Residence VISA fee, depending on the validity of your VISA.

You will receive an Emirates ID, valid for the same duration as the VISA once your application is approved, the GDRFA will affix a Residence VISA on your passport.

Read: How To Apply For The Norway Business VISA

The Residence VISA Fee

UAE Immigration VISA Application

The fees for the UAE Residence VISA changes, depending on what duration your VISA is issued for.

For one year, the UAE Residence VISA fee is AED100.

You will also have to pay a processing fee, which also changes depending on where you apply, which can range from AED70 if applying in person or AED40 if applying online.

Note: You will have to pay additional fees for medical exams and health insurance as well.

Read: How To Apply For The Norway Tourist VISA

Where Can I Apply for My Residence VISA?

Your sponsor has to follow the websites below depending the emirate you wish to stay.

Abu Dhabi GDRFA website

Ras Al Khaimah GDRFA website

Dubai GDRFA website or Amer  (a website which Dubai citizens and residents can use to apply for family reunion and visitors can use to extend their VISA On Arrival)

Ajman GDRFA website

Fujairah GDRFA website

Sharjah GDRFA website

UAE Immigration VISA Requirements

  • The UAE VISA Application Form, obtained online or through the relevant typing center
  • Your original passport
  • Two passport-size pictures, in line with UAE VISA photo requirements
  • Your Entry VISA
  • Proof of your sponsor’s legal residency / UAE citizenship
  • Proof you have passed a medical fitness test*
  • Proof of health insurance
  • For family VISAs, include proof of family ties, such as birth/marriage certificates
  • For a work VISA, your sponsor must include the work contract and copies of the company’s valid trade license and valid firm card
  • Any additional documents related to your purpose of travel. For more, see:
    • UAE Work VISA
    • UAE Family VISA
    • UAE Student VISA
    • UAE Investment VISA
    • UAE Retirement VISA
Notes | UAE Immigration VISA
  • The difference between the Entry Permit and Residence VISA for the UAE, is that the Entry Permit allows the holder to enter the UAE, and it is valid for only a certain amount of time (usually up to three months). Entry permits are issued based on the purpose of your travel. While, The Residence VISA allows the holder to reside in the UAE long-term.
  • The duration of the UAE Residence VISAs depends on the purpose of your travel: they are issued for 1, 2 or 3 years and can be renewed. But Investment VISAs or Retirement VISAs are also issued for 5-10 years and are renewable.


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