The Ras Al Khaimah free zone (RAKEZ) is one of the biggest free zones in the UAE. It offers a plethora of benefits for company formation including tax exemptions, hassle-free resource availability, and much more.
Setting up your company in this jurisdiction requires obtaining the relevant approvals, one of which is the RAK free zone visa. In this article, we provide you with an overview of the visa types and the process in simple terms.
This information equips you with all the knowledge required to start a company in the RAK FZ.
RAK free zone visa types
Obtaining a visa is the most crucial part of your business journey in free zones in Dubai and the rest of the UAE. There are two kinds of visas, which further have two sub-categories each.
The first type is the residence visa. This has to be obtained by the main party planning to stay in the UAE or the workers who are going to stay in the country. For instance, a person who wants to set up a business in their name in Dubai, or is joining a company or firm in any capacity would require either one of the residence visas.
The next category is the non-residence visa. Note that this has to be obtained by the family members or visitors of the working resident. This kind of visa is imperative for the non-working members of the family to stay legally in the country.
Investor visas are applicable if you’re investing in a company or are a shareholder of the same. These visas are valid for up to 3 years. Additionally, an absence from the UAE exceeding 6 consecutive months will automatically forfeit the visa.
Qualified investors are eligible to apply for a real estate or property visa for themselves and their family’s stay in the UAE temporarily. Real estate visa holders can apply for multi-entrance residence visas.
However, such visas must be renewed every 6 months and are applicable to property in different Emirates
Company managers, employees and staff members are required to apply for employment visas to work in the UAE. Like investor visas, these are also valid for three years. Furthermore, one cannot stay out of the UAE for more than six consecutive months for this visa to remain valid.
Employment visas issued by the immigration department require prior approval from the UAE Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. An employee in a free zone firm can bypass approval from the ministry and apply for the permit straightaway.
Although this makes the process a lot more streamlined, you cannot work ‘onshore’ (firms not set up in free zones) on a free zone employment visa. Why? It’s because you don’t possess a full UAE labour contract.
Family visas are for dependents of investors/employees working in the UAE. These are directly linked to the working status of the earning family member. Usually, they have to be renewed every three years.Moreover, one cannot be absent from the UAE for more than six consecutive months. The applicant’s dependents, including parents, spouse and children below 18 years of age will be granted a residence visa.
A crucial criterion to secure this visa’s grant is that the applicant must earn from AED 3,000 – 4,000 every month and have accommodation arranged.
These are for temporary visits by business partners, clients, family members or anyone related in a professional or familial capacity with the rest of the three types of visa holders.A visit visa permits a one-time visit. Such visits can range from 1 to 3 months. Note that these provisions further depend on the visa type.
Procedure to obtain RAK free zone visas
Ras Al Khaimah free zone (RAKEZ) visa rules and procedures are the same as every other free zone. You need to submit the mandatory documents and secure other critical approvals. If you’re planning to apply for a free zone visa, it’ll be helpful to go through the brief breakdown of the procedure given below:
1. e-Channel Service
The first step is to register with the e-channel service. This is an online visa approval platform designed by the authorities for a seamless visa application process.It cuts through unnecessary and repetitive paperwork and makes the entire process transparent and efficient. A mandatory registration fee and a refundable deposit are required.
2. Entry Permit
The next step is to obtain an entry permit or an employment visa. Such permits are issued 15 days post-application, but an AED 1,000 payment can fast-track the delivery to 7 days. Additionally, the permit is valid for six months. A visa applicant has to stay in the UAE till all the processes are completed.
3. Status Adjustment
Status adjustment on change is a process necessary for activating the entry permit. There are three ways for status adjustment. The in-country process is for people living in the UAE. It involves submitting your passport to the immigration department, which will be returned in 3-5 days after being stamped.
If you are not present in the UAE while the visa is issued, you can opt for the out-of-country process. Exit and re-enter UAE and present your printed visa to an immigration officer at the airport, who will stamp it.
Medical Test & Emirates ID Registration
The Ras Al Khaimah visa medical test is a mandatory fitness test involving a chest X-ray and blood test for infectious diseases. The results are given in 3 working days.Next, you need to obtain an Emirates ID card. You’ll have to visit the ID authority since biometric details like fingertips and eye scans are required. The ID card is vital for verification when it comes to legal matters like opening bank accounts or signing tenancy agreements.
How much is the Ras Al Khaimah residence visa fee?
The RAK residence visa ensures your stay in the UAE is risk-free. Remember, you’re charged AED 25 for each day you spend in Ras Al Khaimah if your visa has expired. This penalty is applicable for the first six months.
The fine goes up to AED 50 per day beyond six months and AED 1,000 for each day after a year has passed. Therefore, RAKEZ visa renewal is critical and should be finished a month before expiry.
Coming to the cost, the Ras Al Khaimah residence visa fee is around AED 1,000 for a one-year visa. Note that special provisions apply to students completing their education in the Emirates.
Such a visa costs approximately AED 100 for a year and can be renewed once (from the graduation date). The best part is that parents don’t need to make any separate bank deposits for this visa.
How to cancel the RAKEZ visa?
The RAKEZ visa cancellation process is straightforward and doesn’t take much time. First, you need to visit the Government Services Portal, fill out the application form, and take a print of the same.
Next, you need to make the payment for visa cancellation and submit the application to the jurisdiction. The concerned authority processes your cancellation request and forwards it to the RAK immigration department.
You’ll be contacted by the RAKEZ administration once they receive the e-cancellation document from the immigration department. That’s it! You have successfully cancelled your Ras Al Khaimah property residence visa.
What is a RAKEZ freelance visa?
Freelancing is a cost-effective solution for new-age entrepreneurs and individuals looking for work flexibility and financial freedom. You can work as a professional freelancer in RAK when you have a freelance visa Ras Al Khaimah.
The workstreams under a freelance permit include:
- Information and technology
- Media and entertainment
- Education and tutoring
- Consultancy and advisory
What’s more, you can freelance while working if you can get a NOC from your current employer!
The various benefits of a freelance permit in RAK include:
- Visa and business license affordability
- Complete control over business operations and legal ownership
- No auditing obligations
- Allowance to carry out invoicing transactions from your personal bank account
- Optional VAT registration (mandatory if annual income surpasses AED 187,000)
- Securing a large physical office space is not mandatory (flexi-desk solutions, business centres, etc., are available)
Call Shuraa for your business setup needs
Obtaining a visa is one of the most important tasks when it comes to working in the UAE free zones. Errors or omissions in the visa approval stage can set your business back by a lot of time, and can also attract legal scrutiny.
Hiring a professional agency that knows the lay of the land is the best way to go. When you collaborate with us, you can say goodbye to all your business setup worries. Call us today on +971 44081900. We’re also available on WhatsApp at +971 50777 5554. For an email inquiry, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.