UAE Laws and Islamic Finance

Laws of the UAE and Islamic Finance

Archive for January 18, 2010

UAE Visas: Visit vs. Residency


The following information is taken from the following website:

Generally, there are two main types of visas in the UAE, visit and residence visas.  All types of visas in the UAE need sponsors.  The sponsor can be another person holding a residency visa or a company.  The sponsor will be responsible for all the legal aspects of the invitee.


A visit visa can be obtained for the purpose of short visits.  There are different types of visit visas as follows:

a. tourist visa: Validity up to 30 days – not extendable.  The visa status cannot be changed to any other type of visit or residence visa.  Usually travel agencies, airlines or even hotels will become a sponsor for this type of visa.

b. visit visa: Validity is 60 days, extendable to a total of 90 days. Both companies and UAE residents will be eligible to sponsor this type of visa.  Citizens of the following countries can get a visit visa free of charge upon arrival, entitling them to stay for 60 days. These countries are: Britain, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Cyprus, Finland, Malta, Spain, Monaco, Vatican, Iceland, Andorra, San Marino, Liechtenstein, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.  After this period, a visitor can extend the visit visa by a further two months by leaving the country and returning.  This can be done twice.  When the third visit visa expires, the person must leave the UAE for at least a month before returning.

c. multiple entry visa:  This type of visa can be obtained for business visitors of reputable companies in the UAE.  The maximum duration of the visa is six months and with every visit the duration of the visa is less than one month.  The visa will be issued only after the applicant enters the UAE with a normal visit visa and then applies for the multiple-entry visa once inside the UAE.

d. mission visa:  This visa is for the purpose of temporary work in the UAE.  This visa will be issued for a maximum of six months.

e. transit visa: This type of visa will be issued for travelers transiting through UAE airports.  The maximum validity time period of the transit visa is 96 hours.  This visa must be sponsored by an airline.

f.  special mission entry visa: This is a type of transit visa valid for 14 days where the holder can enter the UAE.  This visa should be sponsored by a company or a hotel inside the UAE.


A residence visa is required for expatriates if they want to partake in any legal activity in the UAE such as getting a driving license, leasing a home or office, opening a bank account or sending their children to school or college.  All residence visas in the UAE are valid for three years and renewable in the 3rd year.  The residence visa becomes invalid if the holder stays out of the country for more than 6 months.  The different types of residence visas are as follows:

a. investor/ partner/property visa: This type of visa can be granted in the case of an investor purchasing a property or investing in or establishing a company in the UAE.  A property visa is valid for six months at a time and renewable on an indefinite basis.  If working for a UAE company sponsored by the company’s visa, you are allowed to work only for this company unless you obtain a non-objection letter from your sponsor.  Furthermore, if an investor invests more than AED 70,000.00 in a UAE LLC, the investor can obtain a residence visa.

b. employment visa:  This type of visa can be granted in the case of obtaining employment from a valid company in the UAE.  Usually a company will be able to employ people on the basis of the size of its’ office space (e.g. one visa per 9 square meter).

c. family visa: Any male holding an investor/partner/property residence visa or employment visa (in case of written permission of the employer) is eligible for sponsoring his family members (wife, un-married daughters, and sons below 18) for UAE residency.  The emirate of Dubai, as an exception to all other emirates, allows a female to sponsor her family (husband and children) for residence visas in the event that she has a salary of more than 12,000.00 AED per month.

UAE Laws and Islamic Finance

Laws of the UAE and Islamic Finance