The Essential Guide to Dubai Investor Visa in UAE

Tue, 14 Sep, 2021

Dubai is a city with a booming economy and a technologically advanced business structure. People from across the world come to this beautiful city in search of lucrative business opportunities and to establish their own businesses.


For these people, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) offers a unique visa category, known as the investor visa or partner visa. Businessmen who are thinking of investing or setting up a business in mainland UAE and free zones can apply for this visa. Keep in mind, though, that the application process for the visa varies, depending on the city you want to apply in and Dubai is no exception. This guide will discuss the application for a visa in the UAE and help make it easier for you to acquire a visa.

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The Dubai Investor Visa, Explained?

Also known as a partner visa, the Investor Visa is a great option for expats and foreign nationals who are looking to start their own business or invest in a property or business in Dubai. The validity for the Investor Visa is three years and allows the holders to live and work in the country, as well as sponsor their spouse and children.

Wondering what are the steps to own an investor visa in Dubai?

Required Documents for Application of Investor Visa, Dubai

If you want to invest or establish a company in Dubai's mainland, here are some of the documents that you need:

  1. A copy of your passport
  2. A personal passport-sized photo on a white background for Entry Visa Application
  3. Bank statement (past 6 months)
  4. A copy of Memorandum of Association (for an LLC)
  5. A copy of your Company Trade License
  6. A copy of Partnership Contract (if applicable)
  7. A list and IDs of partners, if any
  8. A copy of the Immigration Establishment Card. (The Immigration Establishment Card is issued by the Immigration Authority of the Emirates).
  9. The typed application

Keep in mind that this is not a complete list of documents. You may need to get prior approval from the relevant UAE authorities and may need to hire an attorney to help you out with the legalities of the procedure.

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People who are interesting in changing their visa to a long term residence visa in Dubai can start the application process at the Amer centers across the city. You can find these resources at Al Twar, Dubai Festival City, Al Jafiliya, Al Quoz, and more.

Step-by-Step Application Process for the Investor Visa in Dubai

There are two ways individuals can apply for their investor visa in Dubai:

  • By investing in real estate
  • By investing in a company in Dubai

Fortunately, the process of investor or partner visas has become simpler for expats than ever before. Once you have all the necessary documents ready, you need to start your application process at your authorized typing centre

Step 1: Applying for the Investor or Partner Visa in Dubai

  • To apply for a partner visa, you need to be listed as a partner in an LLC or professional trade license.
  • You need to have a minimum share of 25% to be eligible for a Partner or Investor Visa.
  • The Investor Visa application can be typed from any authorized typing centre. There are two types of applications for individuals inside and outside of the country and you can choose the one that is relevant to you based on where you are.
  • Submit the visa along with the relevant documents at the centre. Once you receive approval from Immigration, the visa will be sent to your registered ID.

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Step 2: Changing Status

  • If the Partner has a Residence Entry permit visa and is inside the country, they can change the status without exiting the country.
  • You can change the status by applying through any authorized typing centre
  • Once you have been approved by the GDFRA, your change status documents will be sent to your registered email ID.

Step 3: Medical Typing

  • Once you have completed the change status ID, you can do the medical type.
  • Get yourself medically tested at an authorized medical centre in Dubai.

Step 4: Emirates ID Typing

  • Once the medical typing has been completed,m you need to do the typing for your Emirates ID and then get fingerprinted.

Step 5: Visa Stamping

  • Once you have received both your medical report and Emirates ID, you need to process your visa stamping and get it attested.
  • Submit the visa application online and wait for it to be approved by the Immigration Center.
  • You will receive the notification through your registered mobile number. Once your visa has been approved, it will be delivered to you in about 2 working days.

Costs Associated with the Visa Application

You may need to pay certain costs associated with the visa application.

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  • Entry permit: The cost is AED 360. If you want the visa inside the country, the cost is AED 680.
  • Visa Position Amendment: AED 510
  • Medical Charges: AED 300
  • 3 Years of Emirates ID: AED 370
  • 3 Years of Visa Stamping: AED 760

Keep in mind that the above costs are only the ones charged by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs. These do not consist of the trade license issuance cost, which will be handled by the Dubai Economic Department. Individuals also have a way to submit an application for a visa through the online eDNRD portal, the e-government Directorate of Naturalisation and Residency Department, which companies can use to virtually submit visa applications.

Eligibility Criteria for Investor Visa in UAE

The following individuals may be eligible for a golden visa in Dubai:

  • Investors
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Individuals with specialized talents and researchers in STEM fields
  • Exceptional students who show promise in scientific fields

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Eligibility for a 10-Year-Visa in the UAE

For Investors

Investors can apply for a 10-year visa. The criteria include the below:

  • They should make an investment of at least AED 10 million
  • They should establish a company in the UAE with a capital of at least AED 10 million
  • Getting a share in a new or established company with the share value of at least AED 10 million
  • A total investment of a minimum AED 10 million in all the aforementioned areas on the conditions that real estate investment be at least 60%.
  • The amount invested should not be loaned and the investment should be continued for three years.
  • There should be financial solvency of at least AED 10 million.
  • Partners may also be included in the visa under the condition that they contribute at least AED 10 million.
  • Investors from foreign countries may also apply for a multiple-entry permit for six months.

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For Specialized Talents

All eligible people with specialized talents are required to have a valid employment contract in a priority field of specialization in the UAE to be eligible for a 10-year visa.

  • Scientists must have accreditation by the Emirates Scientist Council or be awarded the Mohammed bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence.
  • Individuals specializing in the arts and culture field need to be accredited by the Ministry of Culture and Youth.
  • Inventors have to acquire a patent of value approved by the Ministry of Economy.
  • Exceptional talents should be patented or scientific research should be published in world-class journals.
  • Executives should either be the owner of internationally recognized companies or hold a high academic position or achievement.
  • Doctors and specialists meet two of the following conditions:
    • a PhD degree from one of the 500 top universities in the world
    • An award or certification of appreciation in their field
    • Must have contributed to the major scientific research in their relevant field of work
    • Published articles or researchers in distinguished publications in their field of work
    • Should be a member of an organization related to the field
    • A PhD degree along with 10 years of experience in the field
    • Specialization in priority areas in UAE

Eligibility for a 5-Year-Visa in the UAE

For Investors in Property

  • They must have an investment in a property with a gross value of at least AED 5 million.
  • The amount of investment should not be loaned
  • The property should be retained for at least three years

For Entrepreneurs

  • Individuals should have an investment of at least AED 500,000 in an existing project or they should be approved by an accredited business incubator.
  • Entrepreneurs may be eligible for a multi-entry visa for six months which can be renewed for the same amount of time.
  • The visa also includes a spouse and children as well as a partner and up to three executives.

For Outstanding Students

  • Students who have achieved a maximum grade of 95% in public and private secondary schools.
  • Local and foreign students who have a distinction GPA of at least 3.75 on graduation.
  • The visas can also include families of outstanding students.

Key Benefits of the Dubai Investor Visa

There are many advantages for investors if they apply for one of the Dubai investor visas:

  • A longer, stable residency in the UAE.
  • Freedom to travel outside the UAE during the visa period.
  • Expats will need to pay taxes in the UAE, but they may not have to pay taxes in their home country, depending on your country's policies.
  • You are eligible to apply for an Emirates ID and driving license.
  • You are eligible to open a personal bank account.
  • You can also sponsor your spouse, parents, and children to live in the UAE with you.
  • You can also get Emirati phone numbers from Etisalat or Du as well as home phones.

The UAE Visa Application Process

Wondering how to get this visa in Dubai? Let's find out below.

Here is how to get the Dubai Investor visa: Typically, all expats applying for the long-term visa in UAE need to be sponsored by someone in the country, like their employer or academic institution. However, in the case of investor or property visa, they do not need a sponsor for the application process because:

  • For the UAE Investor Visa, the registered company acts as their sponsor
  • For a UAE Property Visa, the property they invest in or the ownership of their business acts as the sponsor.

Applying for the Entry Permit

Before you can apply for the visa, you need to get an Entry Permit into the UAE, which is valid for a period of six months for multiple entries. You have the option to apply for the Entry Permit online for:

  • UAE Investor Visa
  • Visa For UAE Entrepreneurs & Special Students
  • UAE Visa for Talented Persons

Once you have entered the country with the entry permit, you need to visit the relevant authorities for the application of the visa.

How to Apply for a Residence Visa

The UAE Visa application is issued by the GDRFA of the emirate in which you have decided to live. Please note the website for the GDRFA in Dubai. Also, check out the Amer website through which the residents and citizens of Dubai can apply for family reunions and visitors can extend their Visa On Arrival.

Before applying for the Dubai residency visa, you need to have a medical test to prove you are fit and healthy.

Since the visa for residency is a new type of visa, it is important that you perform due diligence and find out everything you can about the application process. For expats, it is important to understand they can only invest in and retain ownership of the property in a free zone. In addition, it is also a good idea to use the services of an attorney or legal entity that is well-versed in the subject of residence visas and Dubai real estate.

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How Can You Get the Dubai Investor Visa for Freezone Companies?

The good news for investors is that Dubai has also encouraged foreign investment by offering free zones in the UAE. These are special business zones in the city and if you are a foreign investor who is operating a company in one of these free zones, your company will not have to pay value-added tax or VAT. In addition, you will have 100% ownership of the company.

Individuals who establish a company in these free zone areas are also eligible for the Dubai partner visa in which the free trade zone will act as a sponsor.

However, investors and owners of free zone companies will need to follow a different process to apply for an investor visa in Dubai. The document requirements and the charges for the application will vary depending on the free zone in which your company is operating as well as the nature of your business. Other factors will also apply. It is a good idea to contact your relevant free zones to find out about the application process in more detail.

Some of the major free zones in Dubai are Dubai Media Center, Dubai Internet City, Dubai Production City, Dubai Airport, Dubai World Trade Center, Dubai International Financial Center, Dubai Multi Commodities Center, Dubai Silicon Oasis, Jebel Ali Free Zone, and Dubai South.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I call my spouse and children to UAE with an Investor Visa?

With this Visa, you can bring your close family members to live in the country with you, including your spouse, children, and parents. In addition, this visa can also be extended to include one executive director and an advisor.

Can I get a business partner with a single Dubai Investor Visa?

Yes, multiple business partners can apply under a single Investor Visa in Dubai. However, this doesn't mean that you can split the investment among each of you. Each individual partner has to invest not less than AED 10 million of their own.

How can I become an investor in UAE?

Refer to the above sections to find out in detail how to become an investor in the UAE. In addition, you should read “The Investor’s Guide to Invest in Dubai in 2021” for more in-depth knowledge on the subject. Although the process itself is not very complicated, it is worthwhile that you hire a lawyer who understands the industry, can represent your interest, and guide you on how to quickly and efficiently become an investor in the country.

How much does an Investor Visa cost?

To get the Dubai Investor Visa, you need to invest a minimum capital of AED 10 million for the public sector or AED 5 million in a property.

Can you get a long term residence visa if you buy a property in Dubai?

Investing in a residential property can help you get a residency visa in UAE. Typically, foreigners can only purchase this property in a free zone, where foreign ownership is allowed. The value of the property purchases must not be less than AED 1 million. If several buyers buy a single unit, the investment from each buyer must not be less than AED 1 million. Learn more about residents visa here.

How long does the entire Investor Visa process take?

The process of checking an investor's background, processing their visa application, and issuing the Entry Permit can take anywhere between 3 to 20 days. To shorten the process, it is advised that you provide all necessary documents in time and follow all the rules and criteria of the visa application process.

Am I allowed to work with an Investor Visa?

The holder of the Visa can live and work in the country. In addition, their sponsored family members can also work in the country.

What are the steps to applying for a Dubai Investor Visa?

Please refer to the "UAE Visa Application Process" to find out how to apply for the Investor Visa in UAE. The process involves submitting a number of documents as well as paying some fees for services rendered. If you want to go into more in-depth details about the process, we recommend that you also read the visa property guide here. Who is eligible for the Golden Visa?

According to the Cabinet Resolution No. 56 of 2018, the following individuals may be eligible for the Golden Visa in Dubai:

  • Property investors
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Exceptional students with promising capabilities in the various fields of science
  • Specialized talents and researchers in medical, scientific, and other knowledge fields

How to get a Dubai Investor Visa as an expat?

Also known as a partner visa, this is a great option for expats who want to set up their own business in Dubai or apply to an existing company.

What is the validity period for the Investor Visa in Dubai?

The Investor Visa is valid for a period of three years. However, if an expat wants to stay in the country for longer, you can also apply for a 5-year or 10-year residency visa.

How can you cancel your investor visa in Dubai?

The steps to cancel the visa by following the process below:

  • Fill the cancellation application form and pay the cancellation fee at the visa centre.
  • Submit the printed application with all the required documents.
  • You will receive the notice of cancellation by post or directly if the cancellation is urgent.

What are the steps to check the validity of the visa?

Visa holders can check the validity status of the visa online:

  1. Click here to visit the website
  2. Select your preferred language through the "Change Language" menu
  3. Click the "Passport Information" tab
  4. Select the "Visa" or "Residency" option depending on the type of visa you want.
  5. Enter your passport number and expiry date.
  6. Select your nationality from the menu
  7. Click on the captcha checkbox before clicking the search tab.

If the information is accurate, the page will show all your visa details, including the date of expiry for the visa.

What are the steps to apply for a 10-year visa in Dubai?

The application process for a 10-year investor visa for residency in Dubai requires you to follow the steps below. Make public investments of no less than 10 million dirhams. The investment opportunities can take many forms, including:

  • A deposit of no less than 10 million in an investment fund in the UAE.
  • Establishing a company in the UAE with a capital of not less than the above-mentioned amount.
  • Forming a partnership in an existing or new business, with a share value of no less than the minimum amount of 10 million dirhams.
  • Having a total investment in all the above areas, valued at 10 million dirhams, on the condition that the investment in sectors (with the exception of real estate) is no less than 60 percent of your total investment.

What are some conditions that I should be aware of when applying for an Investor Visa?

If you want to have any one of the two property visas, there are some things you need to consider. Firstly, you need to invest in a property for three years. You also need to prove that the money you have invested in the property is not borrowed. In addition, Investor Visas are not available on off-plan or leasehold properties for sale in Dubai

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