UAE’s Evolution: Streamlining Residence Visa Processes for Expatriates
UAE is one of the safest countries in the world. The country is renowned for its business opportunities and hassle-free lifestyle. As a result, people from different corners of the world move to UAE. They carry their businesses and continue as permanent residents in the country. If you wish to settle in the UAE, you need a UAE permanent residence visa. Foreigners relish secure living and work life with a residence visa.
UAE residence visa and Emirates ID
The residence visa allows foreign nationals to stay in the country for an extended time period. At present, the Emirates ID serves as a residency document replacing the stamped visa stickers on passports.
The residence visa sticker is officially replaced by the Emirates ID in the UAE except Dubai. So, the residence information is updated on their Emirates ID itself. The change also reduces the need for two different processes; issuance and renewal of residence visa or Emirates ID.
The residents should carry a soft copy of the Emirates ID while requesting for the issuance or renewal. The current Emirates ID is capable of incorporating all the details including professional, personal, and other data.
For any updates or changes, the residents should notify the government authority within 30 days of the change. It applies to both expatriate and national residents. You can apply for the updates through the ICP website or their smart application without submitting the documents.
As per the ICP, you have to update the Emirates ID data in case of any name changes or marriage. Even if you don’t have any changes, it’s mandatory to update the Emirates ID data and population registry.
The service fee is AED 50 for updating or changing the Emirates ID details through the ICP website.
The benefits of a UAE residence visa
Get access to financial facilities
Open your bank account in the UAE
Get a driving license
Get access to health insurance and other health services
Register your children in private or government schools
Invest or work
Ensure visa-free travel to particular destinations (check with the foreign embassies)
The different types of UAE visas
The types of residence visas depend on the eligibility of the applicant.
The UAE residence visa is the following,
UAE work Visa
The work visa is issued to foreign nationals who work in both government and private sectors.
UAE student visa
The student visa is issued to students willing to pursue higher education in the country.
UAE family visa
The family visa is issued to the family members or dependents of a residence visa holder. The dependents are parents, children, domestic workers, and relatives.
UAE investment visa
It’s a long-term residence plan allowing you to make a substantial investment in the country.
The UAE retirement visa allows elderly foreigners to retire in the UAE and spend their retirement life happily.
UAE remote work
With the remote work visa, you can live in the UAE and continue to work for an existing employer outside the country.
Golden visa is allowed for a special category of applicants like entrepreneurs, researchers, investors, talented people, and bright students with scientific capabilities. The golden visa is issued for five to ten years.
A green visa is a resident visa that doesn’t rely on sponsorship or employment. The Green visa holders can sponsor their family members such as children, spouses, or parents. Most often, it’s reserved for entrepreneurs, investors, bright students, graduates, and highly-qualified people.
Residency visa for the children of Emirate women
The UAE government has launched a five-year residency visa for the children of Emirati women and foreign nationals. Earlier, the visa validity was three years, and now, it’s extended to five years.
The visa is considered a progressive step toward the right of improving the lives of children of Emirates mothers born to foreign fathers. They enjoy the same benefits as other employees in healthcare and education.
Retired ex-pats five-year residency visa
Foreign nationals can obtain this 5-year residency visa along with their spouse and dependents. They can enjoy retirement life in the UAE but hopefully, meet the eligibility criteria.
The retiree must be 55 years old and satisfy any one of the following conditions,
Own a property of value AED 1 million
Have a yearly income of at least AED 180,000
Have savings of AED 1 million
What are the UAE residency visa requirements?
A residence visa applicant must be 18 years and above. Additionally, they should undergo a medical test to prove their fitness. Furthermore, they should pass a security check and apply for an Emirates ID card from ICP.
Foreign nationals are eligible for the residence visa if they fall under the following categories,
If you’re an employee in a UAE company, the company is responsible for applying for and sponsoring the residency visa.
If you’re employed in the government sector, the government entity will process your residence visa.
If you’re an investor, the investors play an active role in the residence visa processing.
If you’re a student, the UAE universities will sponsor the respective students.
What are the required documents for a residency visa?
Application form either online or as a document
Sponsor’s UAE citizenship or legal residency proof
Medical fitness test proof
UAE health insurance plan proof
For family visas, include family ties such as a marriage certificate or birth certificate
For a work visa, include the work contract, company’s trade license, and firm card.
Apart from the above, you may have to submit additional documents based on the type of residence visa.
UAE residence visa – how to apply?
UAE visa regulations mention that a residency visa is purely obtained through your sponsor. For example – if you’re an employee, the company acts as your sponsor and they will apply for the residence visa.
Even if the Emirates ID replaces the residency visa, the visa application process and fees remain the same.
You have to obtain the entry permit from the following portal,
Federal authority for identity and citizenship or ICA
General directorate of residency and foreigners affairs
After entering UAE, your sponsor will apply for a residence visa through GDRFA.
Once you submit all the required documents, the processing time takes around 2 to 10 days.
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