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Residence visa sponsorship Abu Dhabi Dubai UAE

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Sponsorship and expat residence visas for Abu Dhabi, Dubai, UAE

Except for UAE and GCC national citizens, other nationalities must obtain a UAE residence visa to legally live in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and other emirates. For many expats, the company that employs them will sponsor them for a UAE residence visa, along with a labour card or work permit. But not always. A residence visa is required to open a bank account, obtain a driving licence, register a car, apply for a PO Box, and so on. There are several ways in which a residence visa can be obtained.

From 01 April 2012 in Dubai (and other dates - usually earlier - in other emirates), expat residents will need an Emirates ID card to apply for renewal of their residence visa.

Passport validity period for UAE residence visa holders

List of types of Dubai and UAE residence visas

Expiry and cancellation of UAE residence visa

Residence visa cancellation again

Exceptions to the expiry-if-outside-the-UAE-for-6-months rule

There are some exceptions to the 6 month outside-the-uae rule according to the same report.

In all cases, it would be sensible to contact the relevant UAE immigration authority before returning to the UAE to avoid getting stuck when re-entering the country.

Dubai residence visa application process

Generally the application process for a residence visa involves the following steps.

For details of the application for different types of residence visa, see the relevant information pages.

Residence visa minimum salaries and other requirements

UAE residence visa documents required


UAE residence visa fees, costs and charges

All figures are approximate, check with the Residency and Immigration department for up-to-date official information.

UAE residence visa renewal


Limits on total length of stay in the UAE

There has been talk of a 6 year cap being introduced for residence visas and/or work permits meaning you'll have to clear off from the UAE after a 6 year spell and start again - with possibly a minimum stay-away period of time. As of April 2009, this is still under discussion, and if it does become policy, is more likely to apply only to unskilled laborers or similar jobs.

Abu Dhabi Residency Visas - 1 or 2 years for family members of residents

UAE residence visa ban for some nationalities ... or Bangladeshis only - August -October 2012

UAE residence visas and tenancy contracts - June 2012

In June 2012 there was an announcement that (some - depending on emirate) UAE residents must be named on a tenancy contract before they could receive a new, or renew their, residence visa and provide an electricity bill in their name (which is particularly difficult since to open an account with the electricity provider, an expat resident needs to show a valid UAE residence visa). Normal UAE confusion about new rules and laws resulted.

Last update Saturday 08-Aug-2015
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