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We are experts in tax-optimized investment and relocation strategies for individuals and businesses alike, with a focus on Dubai and the UAE. Enjoy our free articles, and if you are looking for more in-depth 1-on-1 support, check out our paid services.

All Available Visas for Relocating to the UAE and Dubai

Updated: Mar 27, 2023

You want to relocate to Dubai or the UAE? Learn about all the visa options here on THE DUBAI NAVIGATOR.

AirArabia flight to the UAE
Immigrating or working in the UAE is easier than ever before thanks to a variety of attractive visa offerings.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Dubai in particular have introduced a large range of highly attractive visa options over the last couple of years. No matter where you are from or what your age and profession are, there is almost guaranteed a visa scheme allowing you to easily relocate to the UAE.

Standard Employment Visa (2 Years)

The simplest way to relocate to the UAE is by applying for a position with a local employer. Unlike most other countries, the UAE does not require employers to go through special hoops or explain to government authorities why they need you (a foreigner). Hiring non-resident foreigners is easy, and any employer can easily apply for your employment visa for any position.

Once you are in the country, nothing is stopping you from applying for alternative jobs or getting one of the other visa types listed below:

Dubai Property Investor Visa (2 Years)

Many UAE properties qualify you for a residence visa. Dubai has the UAE's most popular property investment visas.

The Dubai Property Investor Visa requires a minimum investment of AED 750,000 (around USD204,000) in Dubai real estate, with less than 50% of that value being mortgaged. Such a visa is valid for 2 years at a time and renewable. The investor may sponsor a spouse, children, and parents.

However, please keep in mind that technically speaking, the Dubai Property Visa, along with the Dubai Golden Property Visa below do not allow you to work from your Dubai home, e.g., remotely. If you do perform commercial work from the UAE while you are on your Dubai property visa, it is unlikely anyone will find out. Nonetheless, we recommend you to stay legal by obtaining a remote worker or your own local company visa instead. See below for details.

"A small investment of around USD200,000 allows you to live in Dubai all year around"

Dubai "Golden" Property Visa (10 Years)

Invest in Dubai real estate (one or multiple properties) with a combined value of at least AED2,000,000 (around USD545,000), and automatically qualify for a 10-year Dubai "Golden" Visa. The Golden Visa also allows you to sponsor a spouse, children, and parents.

The Dubai Golden Property Visa is easily the longest and most generous property investment visa of any country or region in the world today.

Investing in Dubai property is not as straightforward as it may seem. If you are not familiar with the local market and do not properly estimate the expected cash flows of your potential property investment in advance, you can easily fall into the trap of a bad investment that deteriorates in value. We offer cutting-edge property investing coaching and can estimate and compare likely property returns for any apartment or villa in Dubai. Check out our independent expert offerings here.

Professional Golden Visa (10 Years)

You may qualify for a coveted 10-year Golden Visa even without an investment in the property market. Are you a respected professional in the fields of medicine, science, entertainment, or sports? If so, you may be lucky. Contact us to guide you through the process.

UAE Remote Worker Visa (1 Year)

If you are a remote worker and have an employment contract with an organization outside the UAE, you may apply for the UAE Remote Worker Visa and move to any of the emirates. A low visa fee of less than USD300 applies.

UAE Freelance Visa (1-2 Years)

Self-employed remote workers now have the possibility to move to the UAE even without opening their own company. A variety of free zones all over the country offer self-employed remote worker packages that allow you to officially become a UAE tax resident and work from anywhere in the world. Packages start at USD750/year. Contact us to learn about the various freelance visa types on offer.

Your Own Company Visa (1-2 Years)

Another way to instantly qualify for a Dubai or UAE visa is to open your own UAE-based company. Opening a UAE company can be done for less than USD1,500 per year if you are willing to set up your business in one of the UAE's more remote emirates. In Dubai, expect to pay USD3,000-USD5,000 per year for a company license, depending on free zone.

These costs do not include your visa application fees, which will be another USD1,000-1,500 USD per year. However, these fees also apply to property investment visas.

As an alternative to a free zone company, you may open a UAE mainland company.

Opening a company has the advantage that you are legally allowed to operate business operations from the UAE, and may issue visas for your own employees. For more details, get in contact with us here.

UAE Retirement Visa (5 Years)

If you are simply looking to retire in Dubai or the UAE, there is a visa for you. The 5 year UAE retirement visa has two requirements:

  1. You need to be 55+ years old OR have at least worked for 15 years (inside or outside the UAE), and

  2. You need to own properties worth a total of AED1,000,000 OR have financial savings of at least AED1,000,000 OR have a monthly income of AED20,000 (AED15,000 in Dubai).

Dubai Visa or UAE Visa?

Technically speaking, there is no "UAE Visa". The UAE is a highly federalist country, and all visas are issued by the respective emirates. If you receive a visa in one of the emirates, such as Dubai, however, you are allowed to live in any of the other emirates as well (e.g., Abu Dhabi or Ras Al Khaimah).

The emirate of your visa, however, still restricts where you may register a car, receive a driving license, and apply for insurance. With a Ras Al Khaimah visa, for example, you may live in Dubai, but you will need to apply for your driving license in Ras Al Khaimah, and should you choose to buy a car, you need to register it in Ras Al Khaimah as well (and get a RAK license plate).

What is the best choice for you?

If your life situation is straightforward, e.g., you are a retiree or remote worker, your visa option is easy.

If you own your own business abroad and want to move to the UAE, matters get more complex. We are experts at navigating clients with businesses who want to relocate to Dubai and the Emirates through the multitude of company setup and visa options.

We make sure you stay compliant with your old home country's tax laws, all while effortlessly immigrating to the UAE and building a new, tax-free life over here - all legal.

We are also experts at analyzing and assessing property investments in Dubai. 80% of Dubai property investors tend to underperform major stock indices with their investment due to a variety of reasons, including overpaying for an investment, choosing a property in the wrong location or from the wrong developer, and choosing a sub-optimal monetization strategy. We are the UAE's first 100% unaffiliated property investment advisors who have never taken a commission from a property seller or developer. We are on you your side.


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