Immigration, residence Visa and being resident in United Arab Emirates

Immigration, residence Visa and being resident in United Arab Emirates
Getting a residence visa in Abu Dhabi and in the United Arab Emirates, is not difficult process. All you have to do is to get acquainted with the regulations in force and not to confuse the residence in the United Arab Emirates with the residence visa or with the immigration card.

In fact, one of the most common mistakes is not to have a clear idea about the differences mentioned above.

The immigration card is a document assigned to the enterprise, allowing it to issue residence visas to its own employees.

You will get the immigration card once you decide to open an enterprise and have  a trade licence. The setting up of an enterprise does not lead to granting a residence visa, not even to business people.

Once an entrepreneur  gets the trade licence, they may request a residence visa, for themselves and their family members and employees.

Residence visa generally lasts for three years and allows to:
-remain in the United Arab Emirates without the obligation to leave the country after 90 days.
-buy a car
-rent or buy a house
-convert the driving licence (compulsory) and the national identity card.

Once you get the residence visa still you have not the residence in UAE. To get the residence in the UAE you need to make a request to your embassy or any consular office of your country.
Moreover you are to prove that:

  • you have a permanent domicile in the UAE and your family;
  • In case you have your sons, they attend schools in the UAE;
  • you have a permanent job as an employee, entrepreneur or free lance
  • you rent or  you own  an apartment in UAE
  • you have no longer any economic activities in your home country

All nationalities except for UAE and GCC nationals need to obtain a UAE residence visa to legally live in any of the emirates. Residence Visas for UAE have a maximum period of stay in the UAE equal to the validity period of the permit (usually 1 or 3 years); however, if the holder stays outside the UAE for more than 6 months in one period, then the visa becomes invalid (not cancelled), as some have found out when attempting to re-enter the emirates.

Please note that visa-holders of all types can modify the status of their entry and residency permits electronically through a few quick and user-friendly steps while staying in the country, said Brigadier Dr. Rashid Sultan Al Khadar, spokesman for the Naturalization, Residency and Ports department at the Ministry of the Interior.

For any enquires, a new 24-hour hotline for visa and naturalization issues for any of the emirates, or on any matters related to residency, is available. The public can call the toll free ‘AMER service on 8005111 and obtain feedback on questions via communication by phone, fax, email and e-chat.

In conclusion, to get the residence in Abu Dhabi or in the United Arab Emirates it is necessary to:
–have a residence visa;
–prove that you have permanently settled down in the United Arab Emirates by submitting all documents  such as house rent contract, utility bills, etc.



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