Residence Visa UAE Process and Timeframe

Residence Visa UAE Process and Timeframe

Understanding the process of obtaining a resident visa in the UAE is crucial for anyone planning to stay legally in the country. We’ll talk about who can get this visa, what documents are needed, and how long it usually takes. Understanding all this helps make the move to the UAE easier for everyone involved! Let’s dive into the details of the Residence Visa UAE Process and Timeframe to help make relocation a success.

Residence Visa UAE Process and Timeframe

Step 1: Verify Eligibility and Visa Category

There are two main types of residence visas for employees in the UAE: the standard work visa and the Golden visa.

  • Standard Work Visa: Valid for two years, for applicants aged 18 to 60. Requires a degree certificate for skilled jobs and a high school diploma or equivalent for unskilled jobs. Employers must have a valid company license and a formal job offer.
  • Golden Visa: Offers up to ten years of residency, but with different criteria.

Employees with a residence permit can sponsor their families if they earn a minimum of 4,000 AED ($1080 USD) per month.

Step 2: Prepare Supporting Documents

The initial step involves providing personal information and required documents to the relevant authority, such as a free zone or Tasheel. This includes details like:

  • Passport with at least six months validity and two blank pages
  • Colored copy of the passport
  • Digital passport-sized photo with a white background
  • Copy of the work contract
  • Legalized academic certificates
  • Financial guarantor document

All documents must be attested and translated into Arabic. If applying from outside the UAE, arrange counter-attestation through the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and translations via the worker’s nearest embassy.

Step 3: Payment of Government Fees

Upon submission of personal details, government fees associated with the resident visa must be paid. These fees vary depending on the registration authority and should be considered before initiating the application process. It’s important to note that these fees are non-refundable.

Step 4: Submission and Processing

Once documents are submitted and fees are paid, the application is processed by the relevant authorities. This includes background checks conducted by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to ensure security. The issuance of an Entry Permit follows, typically taking 3 to 20 days.

Step 5: Obtain an Entry Visa

Before entering the UAE, the worker may need an entry visa, except for citizens from GCC countries (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait) who need a government ID instead. Apply for the entry permit via the UAE immigration website portal:

  1. Registration: Create an account to manage visa applications.
  2. Application: Upload documents and pay the 1350 AED ($370) fee.
  3. Collection: Receive the entry permit within 48 hours.

The worker must enter the UAE within 59 days of obtaining the entry permit and has six months to apply for the residence permit.

Step 6: Status Change (if applicable)

For applicants already in the UAE on a tourist or visit visa, changing visa status is necessary. This involves submitting the original passport and Entry Permit to the registration authority or Tasheel. The process typically takes 2-3 days.

Step 7: Arrange a Medical Examination

Applicants need a health certificate from a Dubai Health Authority (DHA) accredited hospital. Schedule an appointment for X-rays and blood tests for communicable diseases. Pay the 260 AED ($70) fee on the Emirates Health Service (EHS) website. Results will be sent directly to immigration officials within two days.

Step 8: Apply for an Emirates ID

The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICP) issues Emirates ID cards. You will receive an ID application form within one to three days of the medical appointment. Apply for the ID, then enroll the worker in health insurance, as medical coverage is mandatory. The ID application costs 180 AED ($50), with an option for urgent processing at 150 AED ($40). Schedule a biometric appointment within 15 days of form issuance.

Step 9: Apply for Residency

Submit the residence permit application on the UAE government portal, including supporting documents and a fee of up to 750 AED ($205). The application will be processed within 48 hours. If approved, the worker will receive their Emirates ID card within two weeks. The residence status lasts up to two years (or up to ten years for Golden Visa holders) and can be renewed, requiring a repeat of some steps like medical checks and form submissions.


In conclusion, while the Residence Visa UAE Process and Timeframe may appear straightforward, it’s crucial to adhere to each step diligently. Moreover, for individuals unable to remain in the UAE throughout the application process, certain authorities accept scanned copies of documents, offering flexibility for applicants. This ensures that the visa application progresses smoothly, ultimately leading to successful relocation to the vibrant landscape of the United Arab Emirates.