Get an Investor Visa in Dubai [A Detailed Guide]
Dubai is one of the most popular cities to live and work in globally. For a city of its size, Dubai is a shining example of constant progress, technological advancement, economic growth, and high standard of living for all its citizens and residents. It comes as no surprise then why so many people want to become residents of this bustling metropolis. One of the easiest ways to get a Dubai residence visa is to get an investor visa in Dubai.
The UAE, particularly Dubai, ranks high among foreign national investors and entrepreneurs seeking to explore markets for their entrepreneurial ventures. This is because Dubai follows a growth-centric approach. The government of Dubai is constantly working towards updating and introducing policies and regulations that favour economic and social development. This in turn translates into laws and rules that favour and encourage entrepreneurs and investors.
What is an Investor Visa?
The UAE Government issues several types of visas depending on the purpose of your visit to the UAE. One of the visa categories is an Investor Visa. Also known as partner visa and business visa, the UAE investor visa is issued to investors or entrepreneurs who have set up their businesses in the UAE.
Difference between Investor Visa and Partner Visa
Although the terms investor visa and partner visa may be considered by some as synonyms, there is a structural difference between the two.
Dubai investor visa is issued to an entrepreneur who incorporates a sole proprietorship in Dubai. This type of company has a single owner structure with no shareholders or partners. For instance, if you form a mainland company in Dubai with a professional trade license and as a sole establishment, your visa will read Investor Visa.
Dubai partner visa is issued to an entrepreneur whose business setup in Dubai mainland has more than one owner or shareholders. For instance, if you decide to incorporate a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in mainland Dubai, you will be required to partner with a local sponsor, as per UAE law. In this scenario, you will receive a Partner Visa, since your business will have more than one shareholder.
Structural difference and terminology aside, both investor visa and partner visa are the same in terms of legality and benefits.
Who can apply for an investor visa in Dubai?
If you are 18 years of age or above, you can legally become an investor, entrepreneur, or a shareholder in any company in Dubai and across the UAE. This in turn will allow you to obtain a UAE residence visa.
Validity of the visa
Dubai investor visa has a validity period of three (3) years. Every three years, you must go through the process of performing your medical test and renewing your medical insurance and Emirates ID in order to renew your investor visa.
Benefits of an investor visa
Starting your own company in Dubai and becoming an investor has its perks. Here are some benefits of acquiring an investor visa in Dubai.
- Residency – Since an investor visa is valid for 3 years, it automatically qualifies you for a 3-year Dubai residence visa.
- Sponsor family – With an investor visa, you can sponsor your immediate family members to become residents of the UAE. Immediate family members include your spouse, children, and parents.
- Ease of Travel – It is very easy to travel to any GCC country for business or leisure if you have a Dubai investor visa. The investor status helps speed up the process of acquiring a travel visa to these regions. The same ease is not guaranteed with an employment visa.
- Outside country visa validity – With a Dubai investor visa, you can live outside the UAE for a maximum period of one (1) year at a stretch, without having your residency cancelled. This is not the case with employment or dependent visas. These visas only allow you a maximum of six (6) months outside the UAE, after which your UAE residence visa will be nullified.
- Long-term visa – Having an investor visa and building a successful business venture in the UAE can leverage your prospects of acquiring the UAE Golden Visa. A 10-year UAE residency visa, the Golden Visa was launched in 2019 to encourage business development in the country and to reward investors and entrepreneurs for their contributions to the country’s economic growth.
How to get an investor visa in Dubai
There are two ways through which you can get a Dubai investor visa
- New company incorporation
- Proof of existing investments
New company incorporation
Company registration in Dubai mainland is the easiest way to get an investor visa in Dubai. When you form your company in Dubai, you become either the owner or shareholder in the company, depending on the legal structure of your business.
To apply for your investor visa, you must first form your company and then submit the following documents to the Dubai immigration department:
- Trade license copy
- Copy of legally attested company Memorandum of Association (for partnership) or Local Service Agent Agreement (for sole proprietorship)
- Company establishment card copy
- Cancellation document of existing visa (if you have an existing employment or Dubai residence visa you must cancel it)
- If you have a visit or tourist visa, a copy of it
The complete process of getting your Dubai investor visa involves the following:
- Registering your company with the Dubai Economic Department (DED)
- Applying for your company’s establishment card
- Applying for your entry permit to the UAE (if you are outside the country), entering the UAE, and undergoing in-country status change for your visa
- If you are already in the UAE, undergoing in-country visa status change
- Performing your medical test
- Applying for your Emirates ID
- Getting a suitable health insurance coverage
- Investor visa stamping in your passport
The time required to process your investor visa is anywhere between 15-20 working days, from start to end. This includes time taken to register your new business setup in Dubai, getting your trade license, visa application process, and getting your investor visa stamped in your passport.
Proof of existing investments
The other means of acquiring an investor visa in Dubai does not involve incorporating a new company. It only requires you to present proof of your investments in Dubai to the Dubai Municipality.
If your request meets the eligibility criteria set by the UAE Government, the Dubai Municipality will create your file with the Economic Department. The Economic Department will then issue you a reference file number based on which you will receive an NOC (No Objection Certificate) from the Dubai Municipality. You will have to present this NOC to the immigration department to apply for your Dubai investor visa.
However, you must keep in mind that the approval or rejection of your request is at the discretion of the government agencies screening your eligibility.
Requirements for sponsoring family members
As an investor, you can sponsor your family members to become residents of the UAE. Once your investor visa gets stamped in your passport, you can approach the immigration department to apply for your family’s Dubai residence visa.
To sponsor your family members, you must submit the following:
- House tenancy contract. The minimum house requirement is a 2BHK
- Attested marriage certificate, if sponsoring spouse
- Attested birth certificate(s), if sponsoring child/children
- AED 1,500* refundable deposit for each family member being sponsored
*(to help entrepreneurs during the pandemic, the original deposit amount of AED 3,000 has been reduced to AED 1,500)
Shuraa’s Exclusive Investor Visa Offer
As a business setup services provider, we have been helping entrepreneurs form their companies in the UAE for over 19 years now. We regularly introduce offers to help entrepreneurs get started on their dream of owning a business. With our exclusive Lifetime Investor Visa package, starting from only AED 16,500*, you not only get your Dubai mainland license and investor visa, but we also cover the cost of your investor visa renewal for life.
Whether you are looking to start a professional or commercial company, you can be sure to benefit greatly with our new offering. Our aim is to help reduce the cost of your new business setup in Dubai and to offer you complete support during and after the company registration process.
For further information about how to get your investor visa in Dubai or to get assistance with your new company registration in Dubai or anywhere across the UAE, speak with our legal corporate advisors. Book your FREE consultation with them today! Call them on +97144081900 or WhatsApp them on +971507775554. You can also send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org.