Getting the UAE residency: Acquiring primary and dependent visas

Getting the UAE residency: Acquiring primary and dependent visas

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been one of the most popular countries for people with high net worth to reside in over the last several years, even becoming a favored option to establish companies.

The UAE is an appealing residence jurisdiction, with no income tax, property and capital gains taxes, or net worth taxes imposed on people, simple administrative procedures, and cheap processing expenses, as well as political stability and great accessibility.

Who can reside in the UAE?

Expats can live in UAE if they are-

  • working for a firm in the UAE, the company will apply for and sponsor your residency visa while you are there.
  • engaged in the public sector, the government body will apply for and sponsor your visa while they are in the UAE.
  • Investors in a UAE firm, in this scenario, the investor will process and apply for his own visa using his company’s registered name as a sponsor.
  • Purchasing a property in the UAE; the property owner’s residence visa will be sponsored by the property he owns.
  • Dependents (Children, parents, servants, and close relatives are examples of dependents) who are sponsored by: 

1. someone who works in the United Arab Emirates
2. an investor/business owner in the United Arab Emirates
3. a property owner in the United Arab Emirates


  • In the case of university students sponsored by their institutions in the UAE, the university will apply for and sponsor your visa in the name of the educational institution.
  • Residents who are retired – additional conditions apply in this instance.

A foreigner is given a residential visa once he or she has entered the UAE via an entry permit, short or long-term tourist, or visit visa.

Conditions for getting a residence visa

Applicants for a residence visa must be 18 years old or older and pass a medical exam to demonstrate that they are medically healthy. They must also pass a security check and apply to the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship for an Emirates ID card.

Validity of a residence visa

The time for which a person can stay on a residence visa depends on the kind of visa and the sponsor. It can be for one, two, or three years, or for up to five or ten years if you don’t have a sponsor.

A resident visa can now be given for 5 or 10 years, subject to specific restrictions, according to recent revisions.

Benefits of UAE residence visa.

Be a resident in UAE allows you to-

  • Open a bank account
  • Access financial facilities
  • Apply for a driving license
  • Access government health services and health insurance.
  • Register children in government and private schools
  • Work and invest
  • Travel visa-free to certain destinations

Primary visa

Your sponsor gets you an entry permit-

  • The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship
  • The ICA’s e-Chanel portal
  • Mobile apps
  • The GDFRA
  • GDFRA Dubai mobile apps

Once you’ve arrived in the country, your sponsor must apply for a Residence Visa with the relevant emirate’s GDRFA.

They will also pay a UAE Residence Visa cost at the time of application, which may vary based on the validity of your visa.

When your application is granted, the GDRFA will stamp a Residence Visa on your passport and provide you an Emirates ID that will be valid for the same period as the visa.

UAE Residence Visa fees

The cost of a UAE residence visa varies based on the length of time the visa is valid. The UAE Residence Visa costs AED 100 for a year. You will also be charged a processing fee, which varies depending on where you apply and may vary from AED 70 if you apply in person to AED 40 if you apply online.

Please keep in mind that visa prices are subject to vary and that you will be responsible for extra costs such as medical exams and health insurance.

The difference between the UAE entry permit and residence visa

The distinction between an Entry Permit and a UAE Residence Visa is as the name implies:

The Entry Permit permits the bearer to enter the UAE for a limited duration and is only valid for that time (usually up to three months). The reason for your trip determines the type of entry permit you receive. A UAE Tourist Visa, for example, is entrance permission for tourism reasons/purpose. Before you enter the UAE, your sponsor must apply for your entrance permit. Your sponsor can apply for your resident visa once you are in the country on an entrance permit.

Furthermore, some nationalities are exempt from obtaining entrance permission or can obtain one upon arrival.

The Residence Visa permits the holder to stay in the UAE for an extended period of time. Your sponsor must apply for your resident visa from the applicable visa-issuing authorities when you arrive in the country, as indicated above.

Dependent visas

Once your business has been set up in the UAE, and you, as the business owner, have obtained your residence visa, you may apply for a UAE resident visa for a family member or relatives, as well as individuals you hire . These residency permits are referred to as UAE dependent visas, and in order to get one, the sponsor must earn at least the minimum wage set by each emirate.

The application process for a resident visa, which is valid for one to three years, is quite easy and consists of four steps: entry permit, status adjustment, medical fitness exam, Emirates ID registration, and visa stamping. Women who wish to sponsor their spouse need to satisfy some additional requirements.

Sponsoring spouse and children

  • Entry permit

If you receive a work offer in the UAE and want to bring your family with you, you will need to sponsor them for an entry permit. You will need the following papers to get this permission for your spouse and children:

  • Entry permit application 
  • Copy of passports of dependents with at least 6 months validity
  • Passport size photographs for/of each dependent
  • If you’re sponsoring your spouse, you require your original marriage certificate and a copy of the same which should be certified and legally translated for non-Arab nationalities. A bank guarantee of AED 5000 if you have a second wife.
  • If you’re sponsoring your children, their original birth certificates and copies of the same are required. A written statement for daughters over 18 years of age stating that they are unmarried.
  • Attested salary certificate and original employment contract. If your employer is providing accommodation, you need a minimum salary of at least AED 3000 otherwise AED 4000 is required. Teachers, imams, and bus drivers for educational institutions are exempted from fulfilling this requirement.
  • 3 months bank statements.
  • Original rental contract
  • Recent water and electricity bills
  • AED 250 per application and AED 100 extra for urgent applications.

You can either send your spouse the original entrance permit or send a copy and deposit the original at the immigration office of the airport they will be arriving at.


  • Residence Visa

You’ll need to take your spouse and children to acquire a residence visa after they arrive in the UAE. This should be done within the first 60 days of arrival. The renewable resident visa generally has a three-year validity period. To apply for a resident visa, you’ll need the same papers you used to get your entrance permission. In addition to the original or certified copy, it is usually a good idea to bring additional copies of each document with you. The following documents are necessary as well:

  • Completed application form attested by the sponsor.
  • Original passports of the dependents and a copy of the same.
  • 3 passport photos of the dependents
  • Entry permit
  • Medical fitness certificates of those above 15 years of age 
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Sponsor of residence visa
  • Emirates ID card and labor card
  • 370 AED fees and an extra AED 100 for urgent applications

Sponsoring  your husband and children

It is possible for a wife to sponsor her husband and children in the UAE, however, it is rare. If you work as a teacher, engineer, doctor, or in another medical profession, you must satisfy the same standards as a male (a monthly wage of 3,000 AED with housing or 4,000 AED without it) in order to sponsor your family.

If you don’t work in one of these fields, you’ll need to file an immigration petition and earn at least 10,000 AED each month (or 9,000 AED if accommodation is provided by your employer). Each application will be considered on its own merits. You must provide the same papers as listed above, as well as an educational certificate that has been attested. Your spouse will obtain a one-year renewable residence visa, and your children will receive two-year renewable visas if your application is approved.

A wife may work while residing in the UAE on a visa sponsored by her husband (as long as he provides a no-objection certificate), but a husband who is sponsored by his wife is not allowed to work. He must instead change his visa to one sponsored by his company.

Sponsoring Children

A father can sponsor a son till he reaches the age of eighteen. They can only be sponsored by a parent until they reach the age of 21 if they are full-time college or university students. Parents can sponsor their daughters as long as they are not married.

If you want your stepchildren to come to the UAE with you, your spouse must first get a no-objection certificate from the child’s other biological parent.

Registering your newborn

If you have a child while residing in the UAE, you must apply for his or her  resident visa as well. This must be completed within 120 days of the birth date. Each extra day incurs a fee of 100 AED. Without a valid residency visa, the child is not allowed to leave the UAE. The following documents are required:

  • Application form
  • Baby’s passport
  • 3 passport size photographs
  • Baby’s birth certificate attested by Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Sponsor’s passport copy
  • Sponsor’s employment contract and salary certificate

The passport with the residence visa stamped in it will be mailed to you when you submit the paperwork to your local GDRFA. The first-year costs AED 215, with annual renewals costing AED 100.

Sponsoring parents

If you want to bring your parents or parents-in-law to the UAE, your monthly earnings must be more than 20,000 AED (or 19,000 AED with accommodation). If your salary is less than this, you might ask your local immigration authority for an exemption. Humanitarian judgments will be taken on a case-by-case basis.

Both of your parents must be sponsored jointly, regardless of your income. You must present a verified divorce or death certificate if one of your parents is divorced or deceased.

You must show proof that you are their sole provider and that no one in your native country is capable of caring for them. Your embassy also requires documentation of your relationship, as well as an attested rental contract demonstrating that you have at least a two-bedroom flat. In addition to the 110 AED application cost, you must submit a refundable deposit of 2,000 AED. Your parents will obtain entry permits first if your application is granted.

You’ll need to file for one-year renewable residence permits for them once they arrive. You will be required to submit all of the same papers that you would be required to provide when sponsoring your spouse and children. Your parents will also require medical attention. The annual fee for a resident visa is 110 AED.

Sponsoring a domestic worker

Sponsoring domestic employees such as a maid, nanny, or driver is also a possibility. Single men, on the other hand, are not permitted to sponsor a female domestic helper.

Your monthly wage must be at least 6,000 AED in order to sponsor a domestic worker (5,000 AED if housing is included). For sponsoring family members to get an entry permit and later a resident visa, you must follow the same procedures as stated above. To sponsor a domestic helper, you must show that you have at least a two-bedroom apartment, just as you do for your parents. You must sign an affidavit stating that you are not connected to the domestic worker if he or she is from your native country.

You’ll need to apply for a resident visa for the domestic worker once they arrive. If you sponsor a female domestic helper, she must have a pregnancy test as part of her medical examination. If the test comes out positive, you will be required to sign a NOC as part of her application for a resident visa. Domestic worker residence permits cost 5,100 AED per year plus a 2,000 AED refundable deposit. A one-year renewable residence visa will be given once the application has been approved. You’ll also need to take your domestic worker to the Emirates ID card application. Domestic workers are given a Domestic Worker Card in addition to a residency visa and an Emirates ID card.

Please keep in mind that domestic employees have a minimum salary that varies based on their place of origin. More information is available from the embassy or consulate of the particular nation. The GDRFA will make a judgment depending on the size of your household and your pay if you want to sponsor more than one domestic helper.

How Radiantbiz helps

In matters like business setup, people tend to get confused and get in chaos due to several rules, regulations, and multiple requirements. This is the time when people tend to look for an expert. A lot of chaos can be avoided if guidance is taken from the initial state of the commencement of the business. Every venture may have unique requirements like location, customer convenience, logistical feasibility, and banking services.

We at Radiant Biz strive to understand these unique precepts and provide expert and reliable consultation to our clients with updated laws and governing regulations, awareness of their rights, and cost-effective business solutions tailor-made to their business needs and budget.

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