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uae residency visa

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Residence Visa is issued to an outsider when he has entered the country already. To enter the UAE you will be needing an entry permit. Your entry permit must be sponsored by the resident of UAE. UAE Residency visa is beneficial if you are looking to get settled in UAE for a longer duration. Let us read in detail about the UAE residency visa.


  • Permit to reside in UAE
  • Benefits of UAE Residency Visa
  • UAE residency visa validity
  • The renewal process of UAE residency visa

Permit to reside in UAE

UAE has permitted to foreigners/outsiders to stay in UAE for longer duration by applying for UAE residency visa. The residency visa is issued id you have already entered the country.

You will be permitted for a residency visa only if you have been:

  1. Employed by the government sector: Here the government will apply and sponsor for your UAE Visa
  2. Employed by a company that is in UAE: Here the company will apply and sponsor your visa in UAE
  3. Invested in business in UAE: Here the investor will himself process for application on his own but the visa has been under sponsorship of his company’s registered name.
  4. Own / Buy a property in UAE: The visa will be sponsored under the property that he owns.
  5. University students: They are sponsored by their universities in UAE under the educational institution’s name.

Benefits of UAE Residency Visa

By having a residency visa of UAE, you will have the benefits of:

  • Opening a bank account
  • Apply for driving licence
  • Access financial facilities
  • Get your child enrolled in government / private schools
  • Can easily access government health services and insurance
  • Get a permit to travel to visa-free countries

Read Also: Apply UAE Visa Online

UAE residency visa validity

UAE residency visa validity may vary according to the type and sponsor. The validity of a visa can be for one, two or three years. According to a recent update, UAE residency visa can be issued for five or 10 years too with subject to certain conditions.

Condition for residency visa: The applicants who are 18 and above years have to undergo a medical test to prove they are medically fit. The report of the same has to be submitted.

The renewal process of UAE residency visa

Your UAE residency visa has to be renewed by your sponsor before the first visa gets expired. If your visa has expired and you haven’t renewed, then you will not be allowed to continue our stay in UAE and you will be incurred with fine charges and might also end up facing legal consequences. The GDRFA – General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs allows a grace period of 30 to continue staying in UAE after the visa has expired.

Note: When the residency visa expires, your Emirates ID card that was issued by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship will also expire. Time limit to get your expired visa renewed is 30 days from the date of expiry of the first visa.

Basic requirements for renewal UAE residency visa:

  1. A sponsor that must have a valid residency visa permit available
  2. Insurance Card
  3. Medical fitness certificate
  4. Renewed ID Card by ICA 

Required Documents:

  • Application form (online or offline) signed by the sponsor.
  • Original passport of your sponsor
  • Photo of your sponsor.

Read Also: UAE Visa Online Services

If you are working in the private sector, then your sponsor company must submit:

  • Copy of firm card
  • Copy of trade licence
  • Copy of sponsor’s renewed labour card

If you are sponsoring your family then you must submit:

  • Legal marriage certificate
  • The employment contract of the company
  • Salary certificate
  • Registered tenancy contract
  • Latest utility bill

Read Also: UAE Family Visa


  • Can a residency visa be extended for divorced women or widows?

Yes, The UAE government permits extension of residency visa for divorced women or widows. With the renewal, they are permitted to stay in the country for another year from the time for the death of their husband or divorce without needing a sponsor. The visa also includes their children.

  • How can a residency visa be cancelled?

You can cancel your visa in 2 ways

  1. Online: The sponsor has to process the cancellation online through GDRFA portal ar through Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship.
  2. Registered typing centre: Sponsor will have to visit the official office of GDRFA. The typing centre will fill the details in cancellation form and process it online.
  • What documents are needed for the cancellation of residency visa?

To process with the cancellation of your residency visa, you will be needing:

  1. Cancellation form that has been signed by your sponsor.
  2. If a company has sponsored your visa, then the form a to be signed and sealed by the company’s stamp and a certificate of clearance from Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation must be attached along with it.
  3. Copy of sponsor’s passport
  4. Copy of sponsor’s ID card
  • Is there a difference between UAE entry permit and UAE residency Visa?

UAE Residency visa is for those who wish to move to the UAE. But before applying to a residency visa, you must obtain an entry permit. UAE Entry Permit is a document that is needed to obtain a visa to enter the UAE. The validity is for a certain period. Validity depends upon the purpose of travel. You sponsor can get your entry permit arranged by GDRFA General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs. UAE Residency Visa is a document needed after you have entered the UAE and want to stay longer than the days permitted. Your sponsor will have to apply for your residency visa. You need to know that without having an entry permit you cannot proceed with applying for UAE residency visa.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, all expatriates applying for work permits or residence visas in the UAE must be certified as medically healthy and free of contagious diseases. Foreign nationals must submit confirmation of this in the form of medical reports from UAE medical examination institutions.

All expats, male and female, must undertake and pass medical fitness tests at government-approved health centres in the UAE for the UAE to grant or renew a residency visa.

If you are applying for a visit visa or a tourist visa, or if you wish to renew one, you will not be required to take a medical exam.

To maintain the UAE community's health, standard medical screening includes testing for infectious diseases like hepatitis, HIV, leprosy, syphilis, and TB.

Documents required for a medical examination to obtain a UAE residence visa:

  • Copy of a valid passport
  • A photocopy of a current visa or residency permit
  • 2 photos (passport size) with a white backdrop
  • a copy of a valid Emirates ID (only for the renewal of residence visa)

The sponsoring company must submit the following supplementary documents for employers in the private sector:

  • A duplicate of a current business card.
  • A recent business licence copy.
  • A copy of the sponsored renewed labour card.
  • A copy of the labour card renewal receipt for those who have achieved the age of (60).

Those sponsoring their families, including their spouses, children, parents, and siblings (first- and second-degree relatives), must be present:

  • For investors, a copy of the husband's/work wife's contract or company contract.
  • An employer's wage certificate detailing the employee's monthly income.
  • A marriage certificate that has been legalised.
  • A tenancy agreement that has been registered.
  • The most recent utility bill.

For cancellation of a residence visa through the GDRFA, the following documents are required:

  • The sponsor's signature on a cancellation form
  • If the sponsor is a corporation or a firm, the cancellation form must be signed and stamped with the company stamp, as well as a clearance certificate from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.
  • The sponsored original passport
  • original sponsor's identification card
  • If the sponsored individuals are not in the UAE, the sponsor may produce either the actual passport or a computerised extract of their resident visas. (To obtain a computerised extract of the resident visa, please contact the Naturalization and Residency Department.)

There are 5 places where you can travel with United Arab Emirates residency visa: 

  • Georgia 
  • Azerbaijan 
  • Maldives 
  • Sri Lanka 
  • Mauritius

Even though the visa's expiration date has passed, it must be terminated in all situations. A person's visa may become invalid after 180 days outside the country, but it is not automatically terminated.

Residents of the United Arab Emirates have 30 days after their visa expires to either change their status and obtain a new residence visa or leave the country. During the grace period, there are no fines.

If it is necessary to renew it a few months sooner, it can be done easily two months before the expiration date. In certain circumstances, authorisation from the GDRFA authorities is required to renew it before the six-month expiry period.

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