UAE residence visa for investors

UAE Residence Visa Overview

You obtain your UAE residence visa with the results of the medical test through the UAE immigration department or Free Trade Zone as intermediate. For a Free Zone Company owner the UAE residence visa is also known as an UAE Investor visa. This is written on the residence visa as "Partner" or "Investor".

The UAE Residence Visa is issued by the Immigration department in the UAE state where the Free Zone Company resided. This is where your immigration file is kept.

The Free Trade Zone is the sponsor of your UAE Residence Visa and usually is the intermediate between you and the UAE state government. However you can do many things yourself also, saving costs and sometimes a bit of time.

When you work / live in a UAE different state, all government related matters need to be done in the state where your UAE residence visa is issued. (Driving Licence, Car registration, Car testing)

UAE residence visa valid for 3 years

The UAE residence visa is valid for 3 years.

After receiving the UAE Residence visa, the next steps are:

  1. Apply for a family visa - if you want to get your family over to live in the UAE.
  2. Apply for a UAE driving license to be able to drive a car. (see note below)
  3. Arrange the company stamp
  4. Register the company Internet domain name
  5. Host your domain name so there's company e-mail.
  6. Design, print the business cards
  7. Design, create a company letter head
  8. Design, create the company website

The previous step is the the medical test.

What do you need to receive the residence visa?

  1. Your presence in the UAE upto the moment you receive your passport + UAE residence visa.
  2. Blood test results from the medical test at the UAE immigration department
  3. Your passport at the UAE immigration department

From the moment your passport is at the UAE immigration department / or at the Free Trade Zone you can't leave the UAE. Same for any activities that requires your identity to be verified such as renting a car.

The Process

The state immigration department waits for the results of the blood test. After the residence visa is stamped into your passport.

Please be aware of processing delays in the run-up and aftermath of UAE cultural, national or religious holidays. During Ramadan all government institutions have limited opening hours and require you to observe extra sensitivity to how you come across in behavior and clothing.

Normally processing time is 6-8 working days. It is possible to accelerate the process by being present at the immigration department.

The Result

(Expatriate) resident in the UAE for the coming 3 years. When leaving the UAE, before sure to return within 6 months to prevent the residence visa from expiring.

  UAE Investor visa

The UAE residence visa is valid for 3 years.


When you don't have a UAE drivers license from a previous UAE residence visa; the moment you have  residence status, you are not allowed to drive a car until you have obtained the UAE drivers 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.

Residence visa details

The residence visa expires after 3 years or after leaving the UAE for more than 6 months.

The Free Trade Zone is the official sponsor and supplies all sorts of documents like;

Of course for a fee and processing time.