UAE Residence Visa: Types, Benefits & Requirements 

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UAE offers various types of residence visas. To obtain a resident visa in the UAE, individuals must first enter the country with an entry visa. The process of getting a UAE residence visa involves meeting specific requirements. These requirements are usually set by the government of the United Arab Emirates. 

UAE allows visa holders to reside in the country. It allows individuals to work and live freely anywhere in the UAE. The processing time for obtaining a UAE residency visa varies depending on the type you are applying for. The residency visa process might take seven working days to one month or even more.   

In this blog, we will discuss in detail the types, benefits, and requirements needed to obtain a UAE residence visa. 

Let’s start!  

Types of UAE Residence Visas 

In the UAE, there are different kinds of residence visas designed to suit the needs of residents and expatriates. Meanwhile, these residence visas are for people like workers, investors, students, and dependents. Some usual types include: 

1. Golden Visa 

A UAE golden visa is a long-term residence permit. It is usually valid for 5 to 10 years. The validity depends on the eligibility criteria. However, it allows foreign talents to live, work, or study in the UAE with several exclusive benefits.


The requirements are based on the individual’s category and profession. The common categories and their requirements for golden visa include:

For Foreign Investors 

A visa for investors is either valid for 5 or 10 years. No sponsor is required. You just need to invest or buy a property in Dubai worth AED two million. In the case of a bank mortgage, you must have an NOC from the bank or developer.  

For Specialized Talents 

It includes professionals such as doctors, scientists, artists, athletes, doctors, and engineers. Each category has specific criteria for obtaining a 10-year golden visa. To qualify you must approve classification and in some cases, have a minimum salary range. Additional requirements include: 

  • For doctors, an approval letter from the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention to practice medicine. 
  • For scientists, a recommendation letter from the Emirates Council of Scientists is required. 
  • For athletes, a letter of recommendation from the General Sports Authority is required. 

For Students

Students from all around the world are eligible to apply for UAE golden visa. Student from top international universities needs these required documents to apply:

  • Passport copy
  • Degree from a licensed university by the Ministry of Education
  • A university must be in the best 100 universities global list.
  • Residence permit
  • Transcript with 3.5 GPA and passed within last two years.


A golden visa is the most popular kind of visa in the UAE. It is offered to special talents and highly skilled individuals. The benefits are countless, let’s discuss some prominent ones: 

  • A six-month entry visa with multiple entries to help in obtaining residency. 
  • A renewable residency visa is valid for either 5 or 10 years. 
  • No sponsor is required to obtain a golden visa in the UAE. 
  • Permission to stay outside the UAE for a six-month period without losing the residency visa. 
  • Golden visa holders can sponsor family members, including spouses and children of any age. 
  • You can sponsor an unlimited number of domestic helpers in the UAE. 
  • Family members can stay until the end of their permit duration if in any case, you pass out. 

2. UAE Family Visa 

You can sponsor your family members if you hold a valid UAE residence visa. Employees can now sponsor their families without any job position or title requirements. Let’s check the requirements for obtaining a family visa in the UAE: 


The requirement is to earn a minimum salary of AED 4,000. In the case of AED 3,000, then it must be provided with accommodation. For sponsoring your parents, you require a minimum salary of AED 20,000. 

Other documents required for family visa application include:

  • Passport copy of sponsor.  
  • The employment contract of the sponsor.  
  • UAE residency visa copy of sponsor.  
  • Original Emirates ID of the sponsor.  
  • Bank statement of sponsors, if required.  
  • Passport copy of the family member.  
  • White background photos of the applicant.  
  • Marriage certificate in English and Arabic.  
  • Child-birth certificate.  
  • Tenancy contract. 


  • UAE family visa allows residents to bring their family members including spouses, children, and parents to live with them in the country. 
  • The sponsored individuals can work or study in the country. 
  • The sponsor visa is valid for 2 years, allowing the family members to live in the UAE for 2 years. 
  • Children can benefit from the high quality of education available in the country, ensuring their academic and personal growth. 

An employee in a meeting with a UAE national.

3. UAE Employment Visa

To obtain an employment visa, you need to have a job offer from a company. After that, the employer will sponsor the visa application on your behalf. The standard UAE employment visa is usually valid for two years, after which it can be renewed.


The employment visa is granted to those individuals who are:

  • Working in a non-governmental organization and requesting a residency visa as a private-sector employee.
  • Working for the government or within a free zone.

Other required documents from the employee include: 

  • White background photos. 
  • Passport copy. 
  • Attested education certificates. 
  • Cleared medical certificate.


  • It allows you to legally work in the UAE and is protected under the country’s labor laws.
  • With an employment visa, you are entitled to benefits such as health insurance, end-of-service gratuity, and annual leave, among others, as per the UAE labor laws.
  • It offers stability and security as it is linked to a specific job or employer, ensuring that you have a stable source of income.
  • With an employment visa, you can sponsor your spouse and children.
  • With an employment visa, you can easily travel in and out of the UAE without any restrictions or limitations.

4. Freelance Visa 

A freelance visa in Dubai is for those who want to work independently in the UAE. The eligible fields for an individual to apply for a freelance visa include the career fields of art, graphics, information technology, marketing, and many others.


The documents required for obtaining a freelance visa include: 

  • CV or resume with detailed information regarding your experience.
  • Passport-size photographs.
  • Passport copy.
  • Residence visa copy.
  • NOC from sponsor. 
  • Bank reference letter. 
  • Work portfolio. 


  • Freelance visa holders have the flexibility to work on multiple projects for various clients.
  • Freelancers can work from anywhere in the world.
  • Freelancers have the freedom to choose and work on the projects as their wish.
  • With a freelance visa, individuals can work for clients all over the world, expanding their network.
  • Freelancers can earn a higher income than traditional employees by setting their own rates.
  • Freelancers have the option to start their own business setup in Dubai and build their own brand in the future.

5. UAE Retirement Visa 

Foreign nationals who have retired can obtain a 5-year visa. Learn about the requirements and eligibility criteria for a retirement visa below. 


  • Worked for a minimum of 15 years, either in the UAE or abroad
  • 55 years of age or older at the time of retiring
  • Own property valued at least AED 1 million OR have savings of at least AED 1 million OR have at least AED 20,000 monthly income.


  • A retirement visa allows you to live for five years legally in the UAE. 
  • Living in the UAE can provide opportunities to meet new people, make friends, and engage in social activities that may not be available in your home country. 
  • With a retirement visa, you have the freedom to travel and explore the region, or nearby countries. 
  • UAE offers safe and secure environments, providing peace of mind for retirees.  

A picture of a sign board with written retirement on it.

6. Green Visa

A UAE green visa is also a type of residency visa. It enables individuals to get five years of residency. No sponsor is required. A green visa is typically suitable for freelancers, self-employed individuals, investors, business owners, and international students. 


The requirements vary according to the category. If you are applying as a freelancer, you must submit:

  • Permit of self-employed individual from MOHRE.   
  • Attested degree or a diploma.   
  • Last two years income must not be less than AED 360,000.  

For others the requirements are different. If you are a skilled employee and applying for a green visa, then you must have:  

  • Employment contract.
  • Attested bachelor’s degree.
  • Salary with a minimum of AED 15,000.
  • Classified as per MOHRE first, second, or third occupational level.


Green visa offers benefits for both the holder and their immediate family members, such as:  

  • You can live and work in the UAE.  
  • Security and stability for the visa holder and their family members.  
  • Sponsor your family members including spouse and children with ease.  
  • Up to 6 months of flexible grace period after residence permit expires or is canceled. 


In conclusion, obtaining a residence visa in the UAE can be a straightforward process. But only if the requirements are met. Individuals must have their visas up–to–date and in compliance with laws and regulations set by the government of UAE. 

With the right information and guidance, our business consultants in Dubai will help you with the visa application process. We ensure that the process remains smooth, and you enjoy the benefits of living and working in the UAE.  Contact us to start your UAE residency journey with us.

Emirates Business Setup is here to handle all! 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What do you mean by a UAE residence visa? 

A residency visa in the UAE is a permit that allows individuals to live and work in the country for a specific period of time. 

How to get a residence visa? 

To obtain a UAE residence visa, you typically need to be sponsored by a local employer or a family member who is a UAE resident. The process involves various steps. The steps include medical examinations, obtaining necessary documents, and submitting an application to the relevant authorities. 

What are the different types of residence visas available in the UAE? 

There are various types of residence visas in the UAE such as work visas, student visas, and golden visas. Each type has specific requirements and validity periods.  

What documents are required to obtain a UAE residence visa? 

Typically, you will need documents such as a valid passport, employment contract, job offer letter, medical clearance certificate, sponsor’s Emirates ID, establishment card, trade license and a completed visa application form to apply for a UAE residence visa. The documents might vary according to the type and category of residency visa.

Can I work with a UAE residence visa? 

Yes, a residence visa is issued in the UAE and allows you to enter the UAE and legally work in the country.  

How long does it take to process a UAE residence visa? 

The processing time for a UAE residence visa can vary depending on the type of visa and the completeness of your application. It usually takes a few weeks to a month. 

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