Immigration Rules

New Entities in UAE

It is a mandatory requirement to register a new company’s name with Immigration Department and the Ministry of Labour & Social Affairs. Since most of the companies recruit their employees from abroad it needs to register a file at the Ministry of Labour & Social Affairs and Immigration Department once they received their trade licence. Without registering with both these departments an entity cannot employ its staff. Upon registering the company/entity shall be issued a registration card from Ministry of Labour & Social Affairs called ‘Establishment/Labour Card’. The card issued by Immigration Department is called ‘Establishment/Immigration Card’. All the visa applications submitted to both the departments should be accompanied with copy of the above ‘Cards”.

Employment Permits/Visas:

Employment Visa or Permit shall be issued by the Immigration Department for a foreign national in order to work in a company in UAEafter the approval from Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. Employment permit/visa allows the holder to enter UAEonce for a period of 30 days and are valid for a period of 2 months. When the employee entered the country on the basis of the employment visa the sponsoring company should arrange to complete the formalities of his residence stamping. It is the preliminary stage to arrange for the health card and medical fitness examination for the employee from a government health center. The employee must undergo for a medical test and obtain a medical certificate. Once the medical certificate is issued by the health department an application for Labour Card should be submitted to the Ministry of Labour & Social Affairs within 30 days of the employees entry into the country. The next step is to submit the application to Immigration Department for stamping the residency on employee’s passport. All the above formalities should be completed within 60 days of the arrival of the employee in UAE.

Investor Visa:

An expatriate investor in an LLCcompany who holds minimum shareholding of AED 70,000 in the share capital shall be issued an investor visa. Such visas shall be issued directly from Immigration Department and does not need the approval from Ministry of Labour & Social Affairs.

In Fujairah, a professional licence holder is also eligible for Investor visa and the required deposit amount is AED20,000.

Residence Visa:

A residence visa is required for those who intends to enter UAE for living indefinitely with a person who already a resident of the country. This type of visas are issued for wife whose husband or son/daughter whose parent is employed in UAE, It should be noted the person who is a resident of UAEstays more than six months period at a time out of the country his permit becomes invalid.

Visa Requirement and Regulations for Visitors to Dubai

AGCC Citizens
Citizens of the Arab Gulf Co-operation Council member states (Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia) do not need a visa.

AGCC Residents
AGCCexpatriate residents who meet certain conditions may obtain a non-renewable 30-day visa upon arrival at the approved ports of entry.

Citizens of Western Europe and the Pacific Rim

  Citizens of France, Italy, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Cyprus, Finland, Spain, Monaco, Vatican City, Iceland, Andorra, San Marino, Liechtenstein, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Brunei, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong (holders of Hong Kong Certification of Identification may not obtain any type of visa to enter the UAE) and UK Overseas Passport Holders born in China or Hong Kong will be granted a free of charge visit visa on arrival in the UAE. The visa enables them to stay for 30 days. The visa may be renewed once for a period of 30 days. Citizens of the UK (with the right of abode in United Kingdom) are granted a free of charge 30-day visit visa upon arrival in the UAE.

Entry Service Permit

An Entry Service Permit applies to the following categories and their families accompanying them: company managers, representatives, sales managers, accountants, auditors, delegations from companies or establishments to carry out a commercial activity in the UAE, enquirers requested by any of the establishments /companies operating in the UAEassumed to carry out an urgent task. Such visa is also availed to natonalities authorised to obtain a tourist visa, as per the Ministreial Council’s decision. This visa is valid for use within 14 days from the date of issue. The duration of stay is 14 days from date of entry, exclusive of arrival and departure days. It is non-renewable. The Entry Service Permit holder may enter and depart the U.A.E through any airport.

Visit Visas

The Visit Visa applies to tourists who wish to spend more than 14 days in Dubai, those coming for family visits as well as those on long-term business visits. It requires the sponsorship of any U.A.E. resident or any company or hotel licensed to operate within the U.A.E. This visa is valid for entry within two months from its date of issue. The Visit Visa is valid for 60 days and is renewable for a total stay of upto 90 days. A fee of Dhs 500 is charged for this renewal. The Visit Visa holder may enter and leave the country through any port of entry in the U.A.E.

The Authority has recently amended visit visa rules. Accordingly a visit visa will be issued for three months for a fee of Dh600. It can be renewed for an additional fee of Dh1,200 for another three months, resulting in a total stay of six months. Earlier, a visit visa cost Dh100 for two months and could be renewed for another month at a cost of Dh500.

The visitor then had to leave the country after 90 days and return under a new visa. Now those who want to stay for more than three months can remain for six months at a total visa cost of Dh1,800. Under the new regulation, the Dh600 must be paid along with the application, and the visa will be issued for three months, regardless of whether the visitor stays for a month or more. However, this rule does not apply to other types of entry visas, including those issued to citizens of 33 countries who receive visit visas for 30 days upon their arrival against a fee of Dh100.

Tourist Visas

A special category of visa under the Visit Visa type is a Tourist Visa, which can be obtained for individual tourists from: East and West Europe, Turkey, Bulgaria, Poland, Ukraine, Albania, Russia, the Hellenic Republic, St Kitts-Nevis, St Lucia, Mexico, Cuba, Bermuda, Belize, Guyana, French Guiana, Martinique, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Vincent, Kingston, Palao other non-defined American nationalities, Thailand, South Africa, Singapore, China, Malta, Cyprus. The Tourist Visa entitles its holder to a 30 day stay and is renewable. The Tourist Visa requires the sponsorship of hotels and tour operators who bring in visitors from the above listed countries.

Multiple-Entry Visas

Multiple-entry Visas are availed to business visitors who have a relationship with either a multinational or other reputable local establishments, and who are frequent visitors to the UAE. This type of visa is valid for six months from the date of issue and the duration of each stay is 30 days. The validity is non-renewable. The cost of this visa is AED1,000. The visitor must enter the UAEon a visit visa and obtain the multiple entry visa while in the country. The visa would be stamped on the passport.

Mission Entry Visa

  Expatriate doctors, engineers, lawyers and technicians are entitled to obtain the newly introduced Mission Entry Visa, according to an Interior Ministry’s decision. The visa will be issued to those who come for temporary jobs with the permission of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. It is issued for three months for a fee of AED600 and can be renewed only once for another three months for an additional fee of Dh1,200, also with the permission of the labour ministry. Visas for 90 days are being

issued to workers who are needed for special projects. Companies are classified according to their size and performance. A quota is specified for each company and they will only be allowed to bring in a certain number of workers on the Mission Entry Visa. Workers brought in must be provided health care and paid sick leave by the company. The grace period for renewal or departure of a visitor on a 90-day visa will be seven days.

Transit Visas

This is a special type of visa which applies to passengers passing through UAE  airports. The passenger can obtain a visa for up to 96 hours. The travel document will be stamped with an entry seal. The visa is only valid if the passenger is traveling onwards from UAEto another destination and not returning to the country of original departure. Only airlines operating in UAE, as distinctly from business, may apply for this type of transit visa.