From Application to Approval: A Step-by-Step Guide to Obtaining a Residence and Free Zone Visa in the UAE
A residence and free zone visa in the UAE is a type of visa that allows individuals to reside and work within a specific free zone in the UAE. A free zone is a designated area within the UAE that is outside of the UAE’s customs territory and has specific regulations that apply to businesses operating within the zone.
A residence and free zone visa allows individuals to work for a company registered within the free zone, or set up their own business within the free zone. The visa is typically issued for a period of three years and can be renewed. The benefits of obtaining a residence and free zone visa include 100% foreign ownership of the business, exemption from corporate and income taxes, and ease of doing business within the zone.
Here is a detailed step-by-step guide to obtaining a residence and free zone visa in the UAE:
Step 1: Choose a Free Zone
The first step in obtaining a residence and free zone visa in the UAE is to choose a free zone. The UAE has over 40 free zones, each with its own unique advantages and restrictions. Research the different free zones and choose one that best suits your business needs and where you plan to set up your company.
Step 2: Company Formation
Once you have selected a free zone, you need to set up a company within that zone. This requires the following steps:
✔️ Select a business activity: Choose the business activity that best suits your needs and is allowed within the chosen free zone.
✔️ Select a company name: Choose a unique name for your company that meets the free zone’s naming requirements.
✔️ Apply for a license: Fill out an application for a licence to work in the free zone. Depending on the free zone, the application form and Certificate attestation you need will be different. However, you will usually need a copy of your passport, a business plan, and other relevant information.
✔️ Pay the fees: Once your application is approved, you will need to pay the fees to get your licence.
Step 3: Apply for a Residence Visa
Once your company is set up, you can apply for a residence visa. This requires the following steps:
✔️ Fill out a form: Fill out a form for a residence visa and give it to the right people in the free zone.
✔️ Provide documentation: Provide the required documentation, which may include your passport copy, passport-sized photographs, medical examination and health certificate, and other relevant documents.
✔️ Fees: Pay the applicable fees for your residence visa.
✔️ Wait for approval: wait for your residence visa to be approved. The processing time varies depending on the free zone and other factors.
Step 4: Emirates ID Registration
Once your residence visa is approved, you need to apply for an Emirates ID. This requires the following steps:
✔️ Visit an Emirates ID service centre: Visit an Emirates ID service centre with your passport and residence visa.
✔️ Submit your application: Submit your application for an Emirates ID and provide your biometric data.
✔️ Pay fees: Pay the applicable fees for your Emirates ID.
✔️ Wait for processing: Wait for your Emirates ID to be processed and delivered to you.
Step 5: Visa Stamping
Once you have obtained your Emirates ID, you need to get your visa stamped in your passport. This requires the following steps:
✔️ Visit the GDRFA or typing centre: Visit the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) or a typing centre authorised by the GDRFA.
✔️ Provide documentation: Provide the required documentation, which may include your passport, residence visa, and Emirates ID.
✔️ Pay fees: Pay the applicable fees for your visa stamping.
✔️ Wait for processing: Wait for your visa to be stamped in your passport.
Step 6: Visa Renewal
Your residence visa is typically valid for three years and can be renewed. To renew your visa, you need to follow the same steps as when applying for a residence visa, including submitting an application form, providing documentation, and paying fees.
Getting a residence and free zone visa may be different depending on the free zone and other things. It’s always best to talk to a professional or the right people in charge to make sure you’re doing things the right way.
Obtaining a residence and free zone visa in the UAE can be a complex process, but following the steps outlined above can help make it more manageable. It’s important to choose the right free zone for your business needs, set up a company within the free zone, apply for a residence visa, get an Emirates ID, get your visa stamped in your passport, and renew your visa as needed. You can get a residence and free zone visa in the UAE and take advantage of its many benefits if you take the time to do research and follow the right steps.