Dubai residency visa is issued for those intending to stay in Dubai for a longer time and is already in possession of a work contract. That is why opting for a residency visa straightaway is quite rare, as most people entering Dubai still do not know where they will work.
Residency visa entitles its holder to stay, live and work in the territory of Dubai for an entire 3 years, according to the recent laws. The problem with the laws of the United Arab Emirates is, that they are eager to change the laws quite quickly, so that’s why there is almost no up-to-date information about the most recent visa regulations concerning any type of visa. That is why it is advisable to get information on visas.
Most people, who are planning to work in the territory of Dubai and UAE, first opt for a tourist visa or a visitors’ visa, because it is easier to get, and then, if they get work contract, they simply upgrade their visa into a residency visa. Although some workplaces take responsibility over dealing with their employee’s visa, yet it is rare. In most cases, you need to arrange these things for yourself. Residency visa is also called work or employment visa, but they are the same.
If you apply for a residency visa straightaway, then you will need a health card, as an insurance to cover any possibly upcoming medical costs and a labour card as well, which is essential for working in the United Arab Emirates. Then the residency permit will be stamped in the passport. It is advisable to make copies of all the documents you have, especially your passport and visa. In case it is stolen, you have to prove that you are in possession of the residency visa; otherwise, you will be deported right away.
You must get the health card at a public Dubai hospital where blood tests and overall checks will be performed on you, proving you are healthy. You must also check up with the company to employ you if they ensure a private medical insurance for you or not. The health card is for a year and can be renewed even online. According to the latest information, two types of residency visas can be issued. Free Zone Residency Visas are for those who are to work in one of the Tax Free zones of Dubai, like the Jebel Ali Freezone or the Dubai International Airport. The regular residency visa is issued for all the others, in possession of a work contract already. If your company promises to provide you with a work contract, you must ensure that it is an eligible contract and that they have sent it to the airport authorities before your arrival as well. Otherwise, you might be refused from residency visa.
Free Zone jobs are different from the regular jobs, as the free zone visa does not need to be approved by the Dubai Ministry of Labour. Free zone sponsors the expat for the visa and for work and within the free zone. You are allowed to change your workplace without having any effects on your visa. In both cases, the employer must act as your sponsor. Anyone who enters Dubai must have a sponsor. That is why the accredited travel agents, who will act as your sponsor in this case, apply tourist visas. Someone, who is invited by relative or friend, needs that person’s sponsorship, which requires quite big sums from that person so it is rather an unused visa.
By seeing the list of documents required for the Residency Visa, you will understand why people first apply for the tourist visa:
– Original salary certificate from the employer
– Passport photocopy with a minimum validity of six months.
– Photocopy of labour card with a minimum validity of six months.
– Cash guarantee of AED 2,500 and cheque deposit of AED 5,000. This is a refundable amount
– Copy of Labour contract
– In case the applicant has trade license, a copy of license with 6 months validity, along with bank statements
This is only a short and informative description on residency visa and basic requirements on it; of course, the regulations might change, so contact your nearest UAE Embassy for the most recent information before getting to Dubai.