Foreigners can live as residents in the UAE if they are:
Employed by a company in the UAE - in this case, the company will apply and sponsor your residence visa while you are in the UAE.
Employed by the government sector - in this case, the government entity will apply and sponsor your visa while you are in the UAE.
Are investors in a business in the UAE - in this case, the investor himself will process and apply for his own visa under the sponsorship of his company’s registered name.
Buy a property in the UAE - in this case, the property owner’s residence visa will be sponsored under the property he owns.
Dependents that are sponsored by:
- Someone who is employed in the UAE
- Investor/business owner in the UAE
- A property owner in the UAE.
Dependents include children, parents, maids or close relatives.
University students sponsored by their universities in the UAE - in this case, the university will apply and sponsor your visa under the educational institution’s name.
Retired residents – in this case, special conditions apply.
Note that a residence visa is issued to a foreigner when he/she is already inside the country after entering the UAE via an entry permit, short or long-term tourist or visit visa.
Long-term residence visas in the UAE
Eligibility for a 10-year visa without a sponsor
1. Investors in public investments of at least AED 10 million
The investment may take many forms such as:
A deposit of at least AED 10 million in an investment fund inside the country
Establishing a company in the UAE with a capital of not less than AED 10 million
Partnering in an existing or a new company with a share value of not less than AED10 million
Having a total investment of not less than AED 10 million in all areas mentioned, on condition that the investment in sectors other than real estate is not less than 60 per cent of the total investment.
2. Persons with specialised talents
This includes specialised talents and researchers in the fields of science and knowledge such as doctors, specialists, scientists, inventors, as well as creative individuals in the field of culture and art.
The visa advantage extends to the spouse and children.
All categories are required to have a valid employment contract in a specialised field of a priority in the UAE.
Eligibility for a 5-year visa without a sponsor
1. Investors in a property in the UAE
The investor must invest in a property of a gross value of not less than AED 5 million.
The amount invested in real estate must not be on loan basis.
The property must be retained for at least three years.
This category includes those having an existing project with a minimum capital of AED 500,000, or those who have the approval of an accredited business incubator in the country. The entrepreneur is allowed a multi-entry visa for six months, renewable for another six months. The long-term visa includes the spouse and children, a partner and three executives.
3. Outstanding Students
Outstanding students with a minimum grade of 95 per cent in public and private secondary schools
university students within and outside the country having a distinction GPA of at least 3.75 upon graduation.
Long-term visa includes families of the outstanding students.