Dubai Investor Visa Simplified: Eligibility, Application & More

Mon, 28 Feb, 2022

The United Arab Emirates has gained its position to be one of the best countries to live in. The visionary leadership of the UAE has always emphasised on innovation and growth of the nation. Built with values of tolerance and co-existence, there are many reasons attracting people to move to UAE and especially to Dubai. Dubai is one of the most desirable cities in the world. With many benefits like the ease of doing business, no employment tax, freehold property ownership, etc. Dubai is a hub of opportunities for people around the world. The introduction to the Dubai Investor Visa has further attracted many more people willing to invest in Dubai.

The multicultural and diverse emirate of Dubai is home to people of more than 200 nationalities. Apart from its ideal location and rewarding lifestyle, Dubai also provides an ideal commercial and economic environment for investors and business owners. The city’s ideal infrastructure, government support, and economic conditions make it one of the most sought investment destinations in the world.

Dubai is encouraging foreign investments with a unique visa program for investors to officially reside in the UAE. This program allows investors to earn a livelihood and secure the future for their business and their families.

Real estate is one of the most prominent investment sectors in Dubai. The developed infrastructure, ease of obtaining building permits, the well-established legal structure, ease of property registration, etc. are key elements drawing attention towards real estate investments. The effective measures from the federal government have witnessed a growing momentum in all sectors of the global economy since the beginning of 2021.

What is a Dubai Investor Visa?

The Dubai Investor Visa or the Dubai Partner visa is available to expats who wish to start a business or invest in Dubai. The Dubai investor visa allows you to reside in the UAE and continue to re-enter until the duration of the visa. A Dubai investor visa holder is a legal resident of the UAE.  

A Dubai Investor Visa holder is eligible to apply for:

  • Emirates ID card
  • Bank account in the UAE
  • The UAE driving license
  • Telecommunication packages in the UAE
  • Dubai water & electricity
  • Emergency healthcare and government services 

The investor visa holder is also eligible to sponsor their parents, spouse, and children to enter and reside in the UAE.

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Obtaining the Dubai Investor Visa is classified into four major categories.

1. Investment in a Residential Property

People investing in residential property worth over AED 1 million are eligible for getting a property investor visa in Dubai. However, there are certain conditions associated with it.

  1. The property value under a mortgage can be 50% at most.
  2. If multiple investors own a property jointly, each individual's share must be at least worth AED 1 million to be eligible for the investor residence visa in Dubai.
  3. The investment has to be in a residential property only. Investment in commercial properties is not yet eligible for an investor visa.
  4. The visa is applicable for ready to move freehold residential properties only. You cannot apply for a visa through off-plan property investment.
  5. The duration of the visa can either three years or five years. It needs to be renewed from time to time and remains valid until you own the property. 
  6. Normally, a visa with three-year validity is issued to individuals with a property of AED 1 million and above. The minimum investment for a five-year visa should be worth AED 5 million. 

2. Investment in a Company

Individuals who want to start a business in Dubai or invest in an existing business can apply for this visa. The government of Dubai offers 2000+ categories of licenses to start a business. Having a business in Dubai's mainland previously required a UAE national partner. However, the new regulations allow complete foreign ownership.  

These amendments made it possible for foreign investors to own 100% of their companies and businesses within the permitted sectors in the country.

The Dubai investor Visa under this category is for the investors who start their company with capital equivalent to AED 72000 or more. If they invest in the existing company, they should own the shares equivalent to AED 72000 at least.

Foreign investors owning a business in free zones no longer require local partners or sponsors. In addition to having full ownership, companies are also exempted from taxes. The application process for an investor visa under this category is may vary depending upon the location of the company and the type of business.

3. Long Term Residence Visa

This is the most recent category under which, visas are issued for 5 or 10 years to the investors meeting specific criteria. The term largely depends on the sum of the amount invested in Dubai. The investor's spouse, children, manager and advisor are also eligible to apply for Dubai Investor Visa under this category.

Conditions for obtaining a 10-year residency

  • The capital invested should be completely owned by the investor and has to be loan and debt-free. The investor also has to produce supporting documents to confirm the full ownership.
  • The investor has to maintain the investment or business in the UAE for a minimum of 3 years from the date of issuance of the residence permit.
  • The investor's financial liability should not be burdened with claims or debts that could affect his financial solvency. It shouldn't be less than AED 10 million.

Categories eligible for a 10-year residency

  • Individuals with investments worth AED 10 million and more.
  • Exceptional talents including:
  1. Scientists who are accredited by the Emirates Scientists Council or hold a medal for Scientific Excellence.
  2. Artists accredited by the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development.
  3. Doctors and Specialists with a PhD recognised by one of the top 500 global universities or having specialisation in the area of priority in the UAE, or have a valid certification recognised by the government of UAE.
  4. Executives who are the heads of leading multinationals.

Only the investors with investments worth AED 10 million and above stand eligible for a 10-year visa. This can either be through an investment fund inside the country, by establishing a company in the UAE with a minimum capital of AED 10 million or by partnering in an existing company and owning a share value of at least AED 10 million.

There are several other categories eligible for the golden visa as per the government's discretion.

Conditions for obtaining a 5-year residency

  • The capital invested should be completely owned by the investor and has to be loan and debt-free. The investor also has to produce supporting documents to confirm the full ownership.
  • The investor has to maintain the investment or business in the UAE for a minimum of 3 years from the date of issuance of the residence permit.
  • Investment should be in a ready to move freehold property only.

Categories eligible for a 5-year residency

  • Real estate investors with a property value of AED 5 million and above. (according to specific conditions).
  • Entrepreneurs having a project with a capital of at least AED 500,000, or have the approval of an accredited business incubator in the UAE.
  • Exceptional students with scores over 95% in either public or private high and graduates with a cumulative GPA of 3.75 from the standard system GPA.

The investors with a property of a gross value of AED 5 million and above are eligible for 5-year visa. Business owners having projects worth capital of at least AED 500,000 are also eligible for a 5-year investor visa in Dubai.

Note: Individuals falling into the eligibility criteria are not guaranteed visas. However, being eligible allows you to apply for a long term visa in Dubai and the UAE. Issuing the visa is up to the government authorities.

Conditions for Public Sector investors

For investors willing to opt for an investor visa via public investments, it is necessary to meet the following criteria:

  • The company's capital should be completely owned by the investor. Whilst applying for the visa, investors need to provide proof showing that the capital is not a loan or debt
  • The investment period in the UAE should not be less than 3 years.
  • The capital should be minimum of AED 10 million.

Conditions for Real Estate Investors

Individuals can also opt for long-term visas in the UAE by investing in a property worth a gross value of AED 5 million or higher. The capital invested should not be loaned from any individual or entity and you need to maintain it for at least three years.

4. Retirement Visa

This is a special visa for investors over 55 years of age who wish to retire in Dubai. This is a 5-year long visa and is applicable for those who fit into either of the below criteria.

  • Have a property investment worth AED 2 million.
  • Have accumulated savings accounting at least for AED 1 million.
  • Have an active income of AED 20,000 or more per month.

Benefits of Dubai Investor Visa in the UAE

The Dubai Investor Visa holders enjoy all the services and facilities available for all the residents under resident visas. However, golden visa holders may have a significant advantage of a longer validity period. Holders of the investor residence visa in Dubai are eligible for the following:

  • Opening bank accounts (current, saving and investment accounts, etc.).
  • Obtaining personal and corporate financial loans from approved financial institutions in the UAE.
  • Applying for driving licenses.
  • Receive government health services and health insurance.
  • Enrolling children in public and private schools.
  • Running a business or being employed.
  • The ability to travel to certain destinations that do not require a visa or allows visa on arrival. (Check relevant websites)

Long-term visa holders can also sponsor their families. They can also sponsor a business executive and a consultant along with 3 visas enabling them to recruit domestic workers. This visa enables the holder to bring their spouses to reside in the country for a maximum period of ten years without renewal during that period.

Dubai Investor Visa Fees

The estimated cost for applying for an investor visa in Dubai is as follows:

  • Entry permit: AED 1,175 for individuals within the UAE and AED 525 for individuals outside the UAE.
  • Change of status: AED 675
  • Visa stamping: Approximately AED 870
  • Emirates ID: AED 500
  • Medical Tests: AED 350
  • Request for family sponsorship: AED 320

The Dubai investor visa cost may vary depending upon the time, investment, application centres and several other factors. Dubai Investor Visa also incurs the additional cost of an immigration establishment card.

Documents Required for Dubai Investor Visa

The investors opening a company or investing in an existing business in Dubai need the following documents to apply. (Dubai Investor Visa requirements may vary for different investors).

  • A copy of the passport with at least 6 months of validity
  • An accounting audit report.
  • Bank Statement for the past 6 months
  • Company trade license copy
  • Immigration establishment Card
  • Copy of memorandum of association
  • Passport sized photographs
  • Partner’s current UAE visa (if applicable)
  • Partner’s passport copy (if applicable)
  • Partner’s Emirates ID (if applicable)

Previously, it was mandatory to have a UAE national or an agent as the majority shareholder. The recent alterations in rules have allowed complete foreign ownership in Dubai mainland. Currently, 1000+ commercial activities are now allowed to be conducted without having a local shareholder. 

Applying for Dubai Investor Visa

In line with the vision of digital transformation pursued by Dubai and the UAE government, the Dubai investor visa application can be made on the website of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs - Dubai Government or visit one of the management’s branches located across different areas in Dubai.

Individuals willing to apply for an investor visa must go through Dubai investor visa rules thoroughly and follow the below steps.

  • Apply for an entry permit with the immigration department, a local typing centre or a government subsidiary centres found across the city.
  • Visit a government health centre to complete a medical fitness test.
  • Go to nearest typing centre to get your Emirates ID application and submit that application at a Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship centre. If this is your first time applying for Emirates ID then you will need to provide biometric data as well.
  • Purchase suitable health insurance as part of your visa application.
  • To change your visa status to the investor residence visa in Dubai, visit any Amer Centre which operates under the supervision of GDRFA.

Dubai Investor Visa Processing Time

In most cases, processing your investor visa takes around 15-20 working days. This includes the entire process of registering your new business in Dubai, getting the trade license, finishing the visa application process, and getting your investor visa stamped on the passport.

Benefits of investing in Dubai

The real estate investment categories in the country are characterized by many advantages like attractive rental returns, which are among the highest in the world. Other benefits that include the advantages of residing as an investor in the UAE, which enhances the country’s position as a leading destination for real estate investment that guarantees a stable future for the investor. The guarantee of obtaining permanent residency within the category of real estate investors, as well as many other benefits that include investment opportunities in the UAE.

The following are some of the advantages and advantages that the UAE enjoys in the investment sectors in general, and real estate investments in particular:

  • Strategic location
  • Security and social stability
  • Developed infrastructure
  • Diversity of the economic base
  • Free zones
  • Sophisticated Legal Structure
  • Low inflation rates compared to other countries.
  • Full ownership of companies in the free zones.
  • A strong and regulated banking system.
  • Low customs fees between
  • Lowest corporate taxes.

FAQs

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 long term residential visa in UAE. The foreigners can only purchase freehold properties for sale in Dubai. The value of the property must be at least AED 1 million and above. If multiple buyers own one unit, the minimum investment capital of each buyer should be AED 1 million. Learn more about residents visas here.

Can I work in Dubai with an Investor Visa?

Dubai investor visa holders are eligible to live and work in Dubai. They can also obtain a family visa for investors in UAE and the sponsored family members are also allowed to work in the country.

How many visas can you apply for while starting a company in UAE Freezone?

The number of visas you can apply for depends on the size of your office. Ideally, business owners can issue 1 visa per every 9 square meters. Detailed information can be found on the website of the Dubai land department.

What are some important things to consider before applying for an Investor Visa by investing in property?

If you want to apply for a Dubai investor visa through property investment, you need to invest in a property for at least three years. You also need to prove that the money invested in the property is not borrowed from any individual or entity. Also note that investor visas are applicable on ready to move freehold properties only and not available on off-plan or leasehold properties.

How to check the validity of my visa?

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

  1. Click here to visit the website.
  2. Select preferred language by using the "Change Language" menu.
  3. Click the "Passport Information" tab.
  4. Select the "Visa" or "Residency" option as per what you need.
  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 all the information is accurate, the page will display your visa details, including the date of expiry for the visa.

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