Gatestone Group

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) offers a unique life’s journey. It is an exciting place to begin your business dreams and a stimulating atmosphere for academic endeavours. Here you can find your ideal fit and start a new journey amidst the fascinating mix of heritage and contemporary at its finest.

Gaining a residency in the UAE offers access to a vibrant country. Our guide explains the requirements and advantages of both short- and long-term residency visa options. Whether you are seeking retirement peace, entrepreneurial ventures, or education, we offer essential details that will be instrumental in making informed decisions and navigating the residency landscape of the UAE with confidence.

At Gatestone Group, we make the visa application process easier by providing customised assistance to ensure an easy transition.

Types of Short-Term UAE Residence Visas

1. UAE Retirement Visa

Individuals who live in the UAE and are over 55 years old can apply for a retirement visa.

Key requirements:

Any one of these criteria needs to be met:

  • Must have invested AED 1 million in real estate (this qualifies as an investment visa in this case)
  • Must own funds of at least AED 1 million
  • Having a regular source of income of at least AED 20,000 per month is advantageous
  • Have worked for not less than 15 years inside or outside the UAE, or be 55 years old or older at the time of retirement


The UAE retirement visa is available for five years and can be renewed.

Benefits of a UAE Retirement Visa:

  • 5-year long-term residency
  • Income from pensions and investments is tax-exempt
  • Some of the main lifestyle benefits are access to excellent medical care, cutting-edge infrastructure, and a safe environment

2. UAE Employment Visa

This type of residence visa allows expatriates to work and live legally in the UAE.


In the UAE, the employer is required to take on the role of a sponsor, enabling the employee to obtain the visa. Employers may include government-owned establishments as well as private businesses with headquarters on the mainland or in a free zone.

Key requirements:

  • Users must be eighteen years of age or older
  • There should not be any violations or issues with the firm
  • The business that is interested in hiring you must be licensed
  • The work you will be conducting should fit the profile of the organisation


  • The UAE Employment Visa’s validity is typically two years.

Benefits of a UAE Employment Visa

  • Two-year residency validity in Dubai
  • Access to financial services and institutions
  • Employment opportunities within the UAE
  • Eligibility to obtain a driver’s license
  • Access to healthcare services
  • Sponsorship eligibility for family and relatives

3. UAE Family Visa:

Expatriates who obtain a residency visa in the UAE are eligible to sponsor their families to live with them in the country.

Key requirements are as below:

  • Investors who wish to sponsor their families are required to pay a refundable charge of AED 3,000 for each member of the family.
  • The minimum wage required of employees who want to sponsor their family is AED 4,000. Alternatively, it might be AED 3,000 per month in addition to the rent.
  • Female sponsors are required to meet a minimum salary requirement of AED 10,000 or AED 8,000 with accommodation per month.


A Family Visa remains valid for 2 years. For a minimum of thirty days before its expiration, a family visa can be renewed.  Because family visas are dependent on their sponsors, they will also become deemed invalid if the sponsor’s visa terminates or expires.

Dependent family members, however, are granted a grace period of thirty days, during which they may attempt to renew their residence visa.

Benefits of UAE Family Visa:

  • A UAE family visa gives peace of mind and a 2-year stable residency for families in the country
  • Banking convenience and simplified financial transactions for families
  • Family members can explore employment opportunities in a growing economy and have exposure to the UAE job market

4. Investor Visa for the UAE

Categories and Key Requirements:

Expats in the UAE who invest in businesses will be able to apply for the Investor Visa. This visa also grants eligibility for individuals who want to start their own business in the UAE. This visa allows you to be legally allowed to work and live here.

If you want to obtain an investment visa in Dubai, there are two types to consider:

a. Real Estate Investor Visa

Investing in real estate in the UAE allows one to acquire an investor visa. The visa is renewable, and you can sponsor your partner and children. However, there are some criteria to meet:

  • For sole ownership, the property must be worth AED 750,000 or more, with a maximum mortgage of 50%
  • Partnerships require individual shares of at least AED 1 million
  • This choice only applies to residential property investment, not commercial
  • When requesting a resident visa, off-plan building projects are not acceptable; the real estate must be freehold

b. Business Investor Visa

A UAE Business Investor visa is granted to an entrepreneur setting up a sole proprietorship in the UAE. This kind of business has no shareholders or partners and only one proprietor.

If you wish to set up a business in the UAE, either on the mainland or in one of Dubai’s free zones, applying for a 2-year investor visa is the best option.

The Dubai Investor visa is valid for two years.

Benefits of an Investor Visa for the UAE:

  • Numerous business opportunities
  • The investor visa grants long-term residency in the UAE
  • Access to regional markets
  • Eligibility to sponsor a family (spouse and children)
  • Retirement visa options for investors aged 55 and above

5. UAE Domestic Workers’ Visa:

For foreigners wishing to hire domestic help, the UAE offers a residency visa. With this type of visa, expats can sponsor domestic helpers, which include cooks, housekeepers, babysitters, maids, etc.

Key requirements:

  • To sponsor a domestic worker in the UAE, the supporting expatriate must have an income of not less than AED 10,000
  • The domestic employee cannot be related to the sponsoring individual
  • The sponsor must be a resident of the UAE and live with their family

The visa holds a one-year validity period, during which the sponsor retains the option to either renew or cancel it as needed.

Benefits of the UAE Domestic Workers’ Visa:

  • During the term of the visa, the sponsor pays for all costs
  • A necessary form of identification for UAE legal residency is given to the holder of the visa
  • Full coverage for medical costs paid while on the visa
  • Ministry employee contract
  • Wage Protection System (WPS) that provides a secure and efficient mechanism for timely wage payments

6. UAE Student Visa

Students interested in applying to colleges and universities in the UAE can do so by acquiring a student residency visa.

Key Requirements:

  • Secondary education graduates must possess a minimum grade of 95% from a public or private secondary school
  • University graduates must have a GPA of at least 3.75 from a university inside or outside of the UAE

The validity of a student visa is limited to one year, and students must seek renewal each year until their academic program is over.

If a student has a cumulative GPA of 95% in secondary school, they are also eligible to apply for a 5-year student visa. Students attending universities ought to have a minimum GPA of 3.75.

Benefits of the UAE Student Visa:

  • Students who hold a UAE Student Visa can attend universities, colleges, or schools throughout the nation to complete their education.
  • For the length of their study program, students with student visas are granted permanent legal residence in the UAE, guaranteeing stability and peace of mind.
  • Opportunity to work part-time: Under some circumstances, holders of student visas may be able to work part-time while they pursue their studies. This will provide them the chance to gain experience in the workforce, make money, and help pay for some of their living expenses.

7. Remote Working Visa

A remote work visa is for individuals operating remotely who aspire to live in the UAE. The government provides numerous opportunities for such remote workers and digital nomads.

Key Requirements:

  • You work remotely for a company located outside of the UAE
  • Your monthly income is at least USD 3,500, or its equivalent in other currencies


A remote work visa is valid for one year.

Benefits of a Remote Working Visa:

  • Employees who work remotely are exempt from paying personal income tax
  • Travel convenience
  • Provides opportunities for networking, business development, and personal growth. As a hub for innovation, the UAE provides remote workers with a bunch of opportunities for networking and personal improvement
  • Provides the opportunity to advance their business or career opportunities as it offers easy access to markets that are constantly developing

Types of Long-Term UAE Residence Visas

1. Golden Visa

The Golden Visa is divided into two, namely:

  • UAE Long-Term Investor Visa or 10-Year Golden Visa

The UAE’s 10-year Golden Visa is an investment visa that has specific criteria. It falls under the category of investment residence visa, which requires the applicant to meet certain criteria.

Key requirements:

To be eligible for a 10-year UAE Golden Visa, one or more of the following requirements must be met:

1. Invest at least AED 2 million in the UAE

2. Own a firm with a minimum capital of AED 2 million that has been registered in the UAE

3. Take part in a UAE-based business as a partner and own a minimum of AED 2 million worth of shares


The ten-year validity of this visa will automatically renew once the tenure is over.

  • UAE 5-Year Golden Visa or Property Investor Visa

The answer to the common query of whether purchasing real estate in Dubai or the UAE may grant residence is in the affirmative. Except for the investment requirement, which is AED 1 million for a 5-year Golden Visa, the requirements for a 10-year Golden Visa and a 5-year Golden Visa are similar.

Key Requirements:

To be eligible for a 5-year UAE Golden Visa, one or more of the following requirements must be met:

  • The property must have a gross worth of at least AED 1 million
  • The amount of money used for investment should not be a loan
  • The mentioned property must be kept for a time frame of three years

 It is valid for 5 years, with automatic renewal once the tenure is over.

Benefits of a Golden Visa

  • A five-year renewable permanent residence visa with the benefit of not needing a sponsor.
  • Having the ability to remain outside the UAE for longer than the customary six months to maintain the validity of their residency visa.
  • The capacity to sponsor their spouses and kids, regardless of age, alongside other family members.
  • Allows flexibility with employment and gives exemption from traditional employment restrictions.

2. Green Visa

The UAE Green Visa allows a 5-year residence to highly qualified professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs to the country. It is highly beneficial for foreign investors willing to stay longer in the UAE without sponsorship.

Key Requirements:

  • Freelancers
  • Self-employed
  • Skilled employees


The Green Visa in the UAE offers a five-year residency to eligible individuals and automatically renews once the tenure is over.

Benefits of the Green Visa:

  • 5-year long-term residency
  • Ability to sponsor family members
  • Green Visa holders can work for any UAE-based company or start their own business
  • You are entitled to a more flexible grace period of up to 6 months following the expiration or cancellation of your resident visa
  • As a Green Visa holder, you have the right to sponsor your first-degree relatives

How can the GateStone Group assist you?

Choosing the right residency visa in the UAE is a crucial step towards establishing yourself or your business in this dynamic region. With a variety of options available, careful consideration of your goals, resources, and eligibility is key. Get in touch with Gatestone Group to guide you through the process and ensure you select the most suitable visa option for your needs. Contact our team via email at [email protected] or call +971 52 410 0849 or +971 4 450 1023 to schedule a free consultation.


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