UAE Residence Visa Rules and Regulations 2022

The United Arab Emirates is an exceptionally attractive place to work as well as live. The beautiful atmosphere, scenic beauty, magnificent skyscrapers, etc. make the place more appealing to the general public. Therefore, many expats move to the UAE to enrich their careers and eventually settle in the country. However, they need to secure a UAE Residence Visa to reside legally in the UAE for a significant duration. This article will share more details on the Residence Visa and how one can achieve it. 

What is a UAE Residence Visa?

A Residence Visa in the UAE is a legal permit that allows expatriates to live in the UAE for a longer duration, such as 3 years, 5 years, or even 10 years. It is basically a visa stamp in the passport that allows people to continue living in the country. The holders can even renew the visa as per their needs. 

However, there is a particular eligibility criterion to secure a permanent visa in the UAE. That means only people who belong to a certain category can apply for this visa. 

Eligible categories of UAE residence visa

  • Entrepreneurs 
  • Highly skilled employees
  • Exceptional students 
  • Humanitarian developer 
  • Scientists 
  • Real estate investors 
  • Frontline workers (doctors, nurses, etc.) 

Types of UAE Residence Visa 

Depending on the purpose of travel, the UAE residence visas have been divided into the following types: 

  • Work Visa – Foreigners who are working in the UAE and have also obtained a legal work permit can acquire a UAE Work Visa. 
  • Student Visa – Any foreign citizen who has been accepted into a UAE educational institution is eligible for the UAE Student Visa.
  • Family Visa – UAE citizens or foreign residents living in the UAE can apply for a Family Visa for their close family members. 
  • Investment Visa – For UAE Investment Visa, foreign nationals have to make a substantial investment in the country. Usually, this visa holds validity for up to ten years, which is a longer duration than other residence visa types. 
  • Retirement Visa – Elderly foreigners who are willing to retire and also have the necessary financial means for further survival can get a Retirement Visa in UAE. 
  • Visa for Remote work – This type of visa is usually issued to foreign freelancers who want to work remotely while living in the UAE. 

Benefits of acquiring a UAE residence visa

A UAE residence visa cost might be a little steep for anyone, however, it comes with a lot of benefits. For example, 

  • The holder can easily open a bank account in the UAE and also get a bank loan and other financial facilities. 
  • They can have visa-free access to several countries.
  • The residence visa holder can gain access to government health services and health insurance, including admissions for their children to government or private schools. 
  • With a UAE residence visa, it is easier to apply for a driver’s license. 

Documentation requisite for UAE Residence Visa 

The supporting documents required while applying for the residence visa include the following: 

  • Visa Application Form 
  • Original passport 
  • Passport-size pictures as per UAE visa photo requirements 
  • UAE entry permit 
  • Proof of your sponsor’s UAE citizenship/residency
  • Medical fitness test clearance 
  • UAE health insurance plan 
  • Birth certificate/marriage certificate (for family visa) 
  • Work contract, along with employer company’s trade license and establishment card (for a work visa) 

Step-by-step process to procure a UAE Residence Visa

Once you enter UAE with a valid entry permit, you are eligible to apply for any of the above visas. However, in most cases, you might need a sponsor such as an employer, spouse, etc. to apply on your behalf. 

  • The sponsor will apply for your residence visa at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) of the respective emirate. 
  • Depending on the validity of the visa, they will have to pay a visa fee accordingly. 
  • After approval of the application, the GDRFA will affix a Residence Visa on your passport.
  • In addition, you will also receive an Emirates ID with the same duration as the visa. 

Additionally, the renewal process of the Residence Visa is also the same as the application process. The renewal process is also taken care of by the sponsor only, but within 30 days before it is set to expire. However, the sponsor can renew it even after it expires, if the visa is within the expiry grace period.

Also read the post: Key Steps of Company Registration in Ras Al Khaimah

Cancellation of Residence Visa in the UAE

Anyone sponsoring a residence visa can apply for its cancellation as well. Besides, there are several ways of canceling the residence visa in the UAE. For instance, 

  • The current employer

While your employer has the right to cancel your visa, you must first sign and confirm that you do not withhold any salary dues or benefits. Besides, you will be eligible to receive an end-of-service benefit, provided you have spent a substantial number of years working in the company.  

  • Cancellation of own business

Another method of canceling the visa is shutting down the business under which the visa was issued. They can either do it by themselves or appoint a Public Relations Officer or a business consultancy company to do it on their behalf. 

  • Spouse or parents

If your spouse or parent has sponsored your residency visa in the UAE, then they are responsible to cancel it too. Nevertheless, if they have their original passport and the original Emirates ID of the sponsor, they can simply get it done by an agent. 

  • Government Authority

If you were associated with any government agency or worked for the UAE government authority, then they are responsible for your UAE visa cancellation. 

Additionally, there are different procedures for visa cancellation, especially when the applicant is in or out of the UAE. For instance, 

  • If the applicant is in the UAE and wants to cancel the visa, then they must submit their original passport used during visa issuance to the authority. The authority will then cancel the visa as per the rules.   
  • On the other hand, if the applicant is outside the UAE for more than six months, then their visa gets canceled automatically by the authority without having to submit the passport. However, if the applicant spends less than six months outside UAE, then they need to send their passport to the company or the appointed agent to complete the cancellation process. 

UAE residence visa cost

The fees of the residence visa in the UAE depend on the duration of the visa. Moreover, it might include additional costs as well, such as medical exam fees, health insurance fees, etc. 

You can get in touch with the legal advisors of Shuraa to know more about the residence visa cost as well as the visa renewal charges. 


UAE is indeed a great place to spend your days working and enjoying the nightlife. The process of securing a UAE Residence Visa seems simple, but there are grave chances of mishaps and failure, especially with the documentation and application. Therefore, we suggest you take assistance from a professional who is familiar with the UAE’s residency laws. 

The experts of Shuraa Business Setup can guide you at every step, get all the required approvals and permissions, and also assist you throughout the visa renewal process. So, visit Shuraa’s official website at and book a free consultation. Or you may directly contact – +971 44081900/


Sakina Burhan is a good experience writer, blogger and social media promoter by providing valuable information which helps readers to get more ideas.

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