How to Get a UAE Residence Visa in Simple Steps

The UAE Residence visa provides long-term Inhabitat to individuals who are willing to work and reside in this country. This visa has a validity period of two, three, five, and ten years, which can be renewed according to the requirements. There are families in the United Arab Emirates who have established their roots in this country for generations by extending this visa and they are not even from here originally.

Residence Visa for Dubai and Abu Dhabi – Types of Residence Visas

UAE Residence Visa

The only requirement for having this UAE residency visa is to have a valid visa stamp on the passport along with continuously residing in the country. Western countries have a concept of PR (Permanent Residency), but that does not apply here in the UAE. However, there are various benefits that you can avail of by having this residency visa on your passport. Some of these include:

  • Getting a driver’s license.
  • Opening of a bank account.
  • Access to government services and health insurance.
  • A personal loan (for a home or car) can be obtained.
  • Access to children’s education in government and private schools.
  • Visa-free travel to several countries.

In order to obtain a residence visa in the UAE, you must secure a job or establish a business here in the Emirates. Detailed information on this topic can be found at

Eligibility Criteria for a UAE Residence Visa

To secure a residence visa in the UAE, you must meet either of the following conditions.

  • There is a property that you bought in the UAE.
  • You have secured a job in a government or a private organization.
  • Upon retirement, you will retire in the Emirates.
  • You have secured admission to an educational institution in the UAE.
  • If you are the dependent of a UAE citizen or resident overseas (could be a child, maid, or a relative).
  • You have invested in the UAE.

Types of Residence Visa in UAE

types of residence visa in uae

The type of your residence visa depends upon the reason for your travel. Following are some types of it.

  • Family Visa-This type of visa is granted to the dependents or close family members of the UAE citizen or foreign resident.
  • Work Visa visa is granted to those who have secured a job in the UAE and have obtained a work permit.
  • Retirement Visa-It is granted to those elderly foreign individuals who are willing to retire in the UAE and have the necessary financial resources.
  • Student Visa-This type of visa is granted to students who have secured admission to any of the educational institutions in the UAE (private or government).
  • Remote Working for Dubai Program visa is granted to freelancers willing to work remotely in the United Arab Emirates.

The requirements for the above-mentioned visas vary depending on their types. Hence, you should check their latest requirements on the official UAE government website or consult an expert.

UAE Residence Visa Requirements   

Following is the list of documents that you should provide while applying for the UAE Residence Visa.

  • Medical fitness proof.
  • You can acquire the UAE Visa Application Form online or through a typing center.
  • Health insurance certificate from UAE.
  • Original passport.
  • Your entry visa
  • Two passport-size photos with a white background.
  • Legal residency/citizenship proof for the sponsor.
  • To obtain a work visa, your sponsor must include a copy of the work contract as well as the company’s valid trade license and firm card.
  • When applying for a family visa, provide proof of family ties, such as birth and marriage certificates

You may also need to provide supporting documents related to your travel purpose. In the event of:

  • Retirement visa
  • Work visa
  • Student visa
  • Family visa
  • Investment visa

Application for UAE Residence Visa

In order to obtain a residence visa in the UAE, you ought to have an entry permit in the first place and then you can apply for it after coming to the Emirates. However, you cannot apply for a residency visa on your own but your sponsor in the UAE has to apply on your behalf. This sponsor can be your spouse, an employer, etc.

UAE Residence Visa: Who can apply?

A sponsor owns the right to apply for a residence visa in the UAE on your behalf. Following are the individuals who can be your sponsor while submitting an application, case of:

Student visa, your educational institution can be your sponsor.

Work visa, your employer can be your sponsor.

Family visa, your close family member can be your sponsor.

In case, you are an entrepreneur or have an established business in the UAE, you can apply for yourself as well. You can submit your application for the UAE residency visa by keeping your company or property as your sponsor.

How to Apply for a Residence Visa in UAE?   

Initially, your sponsor has to apply for an entry permit for you. They can do so by following any of the methods given below:

  • Visit any GDRFA (General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs) typing center in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, or any other Emirate in the UAE. They can also do so by visiting an Amer center in Dubai.
  • For the online process, the sponsor can visit the official GDRFA portal.
  • By using the GDRFA Dubai Smart mobile app (iOS or Android)
  • By ICP (Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship):
  • Official ICP portal
  • Mobile app (iOS or Android)

Once an entry permit is granted to you, your sponsor can then visit any of the GDRFA centers in the particular Emirate where you reside to apply for your residence visa in the UAE. During the application process, the sponsor has to pay your fee while applying. The cost of it depends upon the validity of your visa, it can be of two, three, five, or ten years.

After all these application processes, the GDRFA will affix a stamp of residency visa on your passport and after that, you will be eligible to apply for your Emirates ID card. Remember that the validity of your ID will be the same as your residency visa.

Following is a list of the GDRFA portals of all Emirates of the UAE:

UAE Residence Visa Fees 2024

The cost of a residency visa depends upon the validity of it. In general, the fee for a one-year visa is 100 AED. In addition to it, the visa processing fee also depends upon your mode of application. For an in-person process, you will be charged 70 AED, while for an online process, the fee is 40 AED.

Note: The visa fee is tentative and subject to change. However, there are additional expenses for medical tests and health insurance as well.

Difference between UAE Residence Visa and Entry Permit

The entry permit in the UAE is for the person to enter the UAE and depends upon the purpose of travel. The usual amount of time a person can stay on an entry permit is three months.

Your sponsor has to apply for your entry permit and once you are in the UAE, they can apply for a residence visa as well. However, an entry permit is the same as a tourist visa and for some countries, they can get their visa on arrival in the UAE.

Your sponsor can apply for a Residence Visa once you enter the UAE. The same sponsor can then consult the visa-issuing authority for your purpose of residency visa.

With a UAE Residence Visa, how long can I stay?

The duration of your stay on a residency visa depends upon the validity of it. It can be one, two, or three years, it can also be five or ten years if you are on a retirement or an investment visa. This visa is renewable and upon expiry, you can apply for its renewal.

Renewal of a UAE Residence Visa before it expires

Sponsors can apply for UAE Residence Visa Renewal thirty days prior to its expiration. However, they can also do so after its expiry if it is within the grace period (30 days after its expiry).

The process for the renewal is the same as was when applying for the first time. Your sponsor has to visit any of the GDRFA typing centers along with all your relevant documents and the required fees, submit your application, and renew your residence visa.

How Long Grace Period After the UAE Residence Visa Is Expired? 

The grace period after the expiration of the residence visa is 30 days for expats. During this period, you must apply for the renewal of the residence visa, and failure to do so may result in the cancellation of the visa, requiring you to apply for an entry permit once again.

If you’re staying even after the grace period of visa expiration, it will cost you a penalty of 20 AED per day.

UAE Residence Visa Overstay Fee

Following is the fee for overstaying on a residency visa.

  • For the first six months (180 days) – 25 AED per day
  • For another six months (180 days) – 50 AED per day
  • For each day after one year – 100 AED per day

If I Leave The UAE for More Than Six Months, What Will Happen? (UAE Re-entry Rules)

If you hold a residence permit and leave the United Arab Emirates for six months or more, you will need to reapply for your residency, as the authorities will revoke your permit. During this time, authorities will not permit you to visit the Emirates, and you will have to wait until they reissue your permit.

This situation is subject to a six-month residency rule. However, the following are the categories that do not fall under this rule.

  • Sponsored by her husband, an Emirati citizen’s wife.
  • Holders of golden-visa and their family members (ten years visa holders)
  • Local employees who are traveling with their employers overseas.
  • Government officials living outside the UAE for work or medical reasons.
  • Emirati students who are studying abroad.
  • Permits for investors with approved classifications.
  • Individuals sponsored by UAE consulates or embassies.

How to Get a Dubai Residence Visa?

Individuals from around the globe are willing to reside and work in Dubai. It is one of the most prominent cities of the United Arab Emirates and the process for applying for a residency visa in Dubai is the same as for other Emirates.

You must have a sponsor to apply for your entry permit in Dubai and after that, they can apply for your residency visa. They can do so by visiting any of the authorized typing centers of the GDRFA or an Amer center in Dubai for that matter.

About Harry Evans

Harry Evans is the visionary founder and chief author of, a trusted online resource dedicated to simplifying life in the UAE. With expertise in navigating Emirates ID cards, visa processes, credit card management, and daily living intricacies, Harry ensures readers are equipped with comprehensive guides and timely updates. His commitment to demystifying the complexities of UAE life shines through, empowering residents and visitors alike to navigate the landscape with confidence. Through, Harry Evans continues to be a beacon of clarity, providing invaluable insights to those seeking to embrace the vibrant culture and opportunities of the Emirates.

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