How to become a UAE Resident? All UAE residents faced this question at some point prior to moving to the UAE.

To become a resident of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), you typically need to fulfill certain criteria and follow specific procedures. The exact requirements may vary depending on your nationality, the emirate you’re planning to reside in, and your purpose for residency (e.g., employment, investment, family sponsorship, etc.). However, here are some general steps and requirements:

Visa Options to Become a UAE Resident

You will need a visa to enter the UAE. Residency visas vary depending on the situation. You can obtain a visa through a sponsor, such as an employer, a family member, or a UAE-based entity. Lately you can also obtain residency through investment. We will see these also below. The first step therefore is to evaluate whether we have options to reach the UAE as a business owner or investor or rather we will prefer to reach the UAE through employment. Dependency visas involve becoming a UAE resident because a family member is either a business owner, investor or employee of a UAE Company. Below we go over all of these options.


If you’re moving to the UAE for work, you’ll need a job offer from a UAE employer. Your employer will typically handle the necessary paperwork and procedures to sponsor your residency visa.


If you’re planning to invest in the UAE, you may be eligible for residency through various investment schemes, such as the UAE Golden Visa program. Requirements and investment thresholds vary depending on the type of investment. For example traditional investor visas (i.e. setting up a company in the UAE) will give you the possibility to obtain a renewal two years visa. Relatively recently it is also possible to obtain UAE resident through investment in real estate. Purchases of properties up to AED 2,000,000 give the opportunity to apply for renewable two years visas whereas the purchase of properties above AED 2,000,000 give the opportunity to apply for renewable 10 years visa. 10 years visa are known as the UAE Golden Visas in Dubai, the amounts and the length of the visas may however vary from Emirate to Emirate.

To note even if it is not a very common track to residency that it is possible to obtain residence through investment in public investments.

Such investment will give the opportunity to obtain a 10 years’ golden visa. The routes in this case are obtaining a fixed deposit with minimum AED 2,000,000; setting up a company with the investor’s capital being no less than AED 2,000,000 or paying the Federal Tax Authority more than AED 250,000 annually.

Family Sponsorship

If you have family members who are UAE residents or citizens, they may be able to sponsor your residency. This typically applies to spouses, children, and sometimes parents. The visa of family dependents is linked to the length of the family sponsor. On occasion the family sponsor needs to change visas (specially employees). In these scenarios it is possible to suspend the visas through the payment of a deposit (usually AED 2,000) and sponsors are given 30 days to complete the new visa and replug the dependents visas under the sponsor visa.

After Selecting the Right Route to Become a UAE Resident

Once knows the right track and implements the first steps: set up of company up to license and establishment card, obtaining an offer letter (employment), making fixed deposit, obtaining title deed for property etc.. it is possible to apply for the appropriate visa.

The first step is to obtain an e-visa which allows the investor to enter the UAE. If already in the UAE a change of status will need to apply for.

Next step will be to undergo medical tests and fingerprinting for Emirates ID.

As part of the residency visa application process, you will need to undergo medical tests, including a medical examination and screenings for infectious diseases like tuberculosis and HIV.

Once your medical test is passes successfully, you’ll need to obtain an Emirates ID card via the prior fingerprinting step to leave your records in the UAE system.

A couple days after your data should appear as UAE ICP and one week after the fingerprinting you should receive your physical EID. Your physical Emirates ID will enable you to get a long term rental, open a bank account, get a post-paid telephone line, wife for your property, connect property to water and electricity, etc.

Prior to obtaining your Emirates ID (electronic or physical) you will need to obtain a health insurance that meets the UAE’s requirements.

Renewal of Options to Become a UAE Resident

Residency visas in the UAE are typically valid for a limited period (one years, two years or ten years), after which they need to be renewed. Renewal requirements will include providing updated documentation and undergoing a new medical test. There will be no need to reprocess fingerprinting but an updated Emirates ID will be issued. Usually everything stops without the right documents and everywhere where you do business (banking, telecommunications) will be heavily pursuing you for the updated data. Failure to provide the updated Emirates ID will lead to the closing of the services provided to you by these providers.

It’s important to note that the UAE government frequently updates its residency policies and requirements, so it’s advisable to check with expert legal advisors for the most current information and guidance.



We hope this publication will help you understand the available options to become a UAE resident and remain available for any questions regarding this post of general application.

For more information published in English you can visit all our publications at this link as well as the videos in English of our Partner Maria Rubert.

*The information on this page is not intended to be legal advice. This article is intended to provide an initial introduction to the available options to become a UAE resident.