UAE investor visa for residence

UAE Investor Visa Overview

The UAE investor visa is obtained by opening your own UAE company or investing in UAE real-estate. Here you can read - based on REAL FIRST HAND experiences - how to setup your own UAE Company.

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intended to enlighten others with similar ambitions.
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Unlike other  UAE company setups, you own 100% of your UAE company. The end result is a  UAE residence visa like this in your passport.

  The UAE residence visa for an investor or partner in a Free Zone Company
UAE Investor Visa or Residence visa for a UAE Free Trade Zone Company

In short, compared to investing directly in  UAE real-estate, as a Free Trade Zone Company owner you gain a foot on the ground in the UAE as a resident - without buying UAE property.

This allows more independence and flexibility compared to being traditionally visa sponsored by an UAE employer.

UAE residence visa - investor visa

As a Free Trade Zone Company owner, partner or investor the UAE Free Trade Zone  is your visa sponsor. This visa is commonly referred to as UAE investor visa or UAE residence visa.

The visa allows you to stay in the UAE as a resident and is valid for 3 years. The UAE investor visa expires when outside the UAE for longer than 6 months.

With the UAE residence visa or UAE investor visa it's possible to act as the sponsor for family members. The UAE Free Trade Zone can act as the intermediate to arrange the UAE investor visa or UAE residence visa. However it's also possible to do this by yourself by contacting the state immigration office and saving time and money.

To apply for the UAE investor visa you need a Free Zone Trade License.

The next step is to obtain the employment visa status.

Also interesting: Free Trade Zone's in Oman

What do you need to apply for an Investor Visa?

You need the following to apply for the UAE investor visa:

  1. - The Free Trade Zone License obtained in earlier steps.
  2. - Visa application form
  3. - 4 passport pictures
  4. - Visa application fee (Pay UAE Free Trade Zone or UAE immigration officer )
  5. - Valid passport copy (Original passport is needed later-on)
  6. - If you're in the UAE already, a copy of the entry stamp or other valid UAE visa

 These items are processed as explained in the UAE Investor Visa Process.

The UAE Investor Visa Process

An immigration file is created at the immigration and naturalization department. Your investor visa application is being processed and the immigration officer creates the so called "pink slip". This pink slip allows you to enter the UAE on an Employment visa instead of the usual tourist visa. This temporary visa allows you to enter the UAE for a medical test and finger printing.

The contact person dealing with the investor visa application is contacted to indicate the pink slip is ready and shipped to the address agreed upon or collected in person at the immigration office.

When you are inside the UAE during residence visa application processing read what to do when your UAE visit visa expires.

Duration: approximately 1 work week

The result - UAE pink slip

You receive the pink slip - a 60 day EMPLOYMENT visa.

UAE Pink slip example to enter the UAE for a residence visa
UAE Pink slip example to enter the UAE for a residence visa

How to use this read Employment visa status.

UAE Investor visa application details

This procedure from here on is only applicable for Free Trade Zone Company owners, parters or investors who also want to live in the UAE. For those who are in the UAE on a visit visa, getting the employment visa within 30 days is a race to the clock.

In case there's only a few days left on the visit visa it's safer to renew your visit visa by a trip to Oman or other neighboring countries. The ease or difficulty of doing this heavily depends on your nationality. The alternative is to pay the fine when changing visa status.

The application for the Investor visa results in a 60 day EMPLOYMENT visa. This pink piece of paper - the Pink Slip - with passport picture must be taken to the border to change visa status. (for the ones already in the country).

  The UAE residence visa or UAE investor visa will make you a member of UAE society
The UAE residence visa will make you a member of UAE society

For investors outside the country the original is sent by paper mail and requires the investor to fly to the UAE with 60 days of issue of the "Pink Slip".


1) After the passport is stamped with an entry stamp from the temporary employment visa - there are again 60 days to arrange the medical test and finger printing.

2) When you don't have a UAE drivers license from a previous UAE residence visa; the moment you reach  residence status, you are not allowed to drive a car until you have obtained the UAE driving license.
Not many people are aware of this and can keep on driving a rental car obtained with the foreign drivers license while on a tourist or temporary 60 day employment visa (pink slip). In case of an accident, insurance will not cover the damage.