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UAE Permanent Residency 2024

New Dubai Residence Visa, Fees, Renewal, Cancelation

Benefits of UAE residence visa

  • Permanent living in the UAE

  • TAX free country

  • Personal bank account in any UAE bank

What is a UAE residence visa?

The UAE residence visa is a permit that enables foreign individuals to live in this country for extended periods. The visa, which can be valid for two, three, five or even ten years, is renewable as frequently as required. Numerous international families have established roots in the Emirates for generations, continually renewing their visas to maintain their residency.

In essence, UAE permanent residency involves having a valid visa stamp in your passport while residing continuously in the country. While the concept of "permanent residency" as known in some countries doesn't exactly exist here, holding a residence visa essentially confers the same benefit.

How to get the UAE residency?

There are multiple ways to obtain the UAE residency:

  1. Set up a business in the UAE.

  2. Apply for a Work visa

  3. Apply for a Freelance visa in Dubai or other Emirates

  4. Enroll in a college or university

  5. Apply for a Family visa as a dependent (a spouse, child or retired parent) of a resident

  6. Buy a property worth at least 750,000 AED to get a 2-year Property Investor Visa

  7. Get a UAE Golden visa or Green visa

  8. Get a UAE residence visa for retirees

Detailed information on obtaining these forms of residency can be found at

Getting the UAE residency by opening a company

Opening a business is one of the fastest ways of getting a visa. You can set up a company either in a free zone or in the Mainland.

Business setup in UAE free zones is one of the most preferred options due to 100% ownership, affordable fees, and transparent process.

To apply for a visa, it is necessary to register a company in your name with one of the UAE's business registration authorities. There are over 40 such authorities, and you may either search for a suitable registering body yourself or engage the services of business setup consultants in Dubai.

If you're acquiring a visa as a business owner, you'll follow these steps:

  • Register your company

  • Obtain an establishment card (an immigration document for your company, enabling you to start visa applications)

  • Get an entry permit (a prerequisite of a resident visa)

  • Apply for an Emirates ID and undergo medical tests

  • Have your visa stamped into your passport.

Typically, you can stay in your home country during the company incorporation, establishment card, and entry visa-issuing stages, provided that you have visited the UAE at least once in the past.

Your personal presence is required for the medical check, Emirates ID application, and visa stamping. Your passport will be taken to the immigration office for stamping, and you will not be able to leave the UAE until the process is completed. Overall, including Medicals and ID, visa stamping takes about five working days.

UAE residency cost

UAE resident visa costs vary depending on your business registration location. If you set up a company in one of the northern Emirates—Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Sharjah, or Ras Al Khaimah—the fees would be the lowest. Сheck out the prices of UAE residence visa with company setup below:


For Dubai resident visa costs, these will be higher due to increased business registration prices and other additional expenses, such as obligatory health insurance, which must be arranged prior to visa stamping.

Here you can see the breakdowns of Dubai resident visa for business owners:

UAE-Residence-Visa-2024-New-Dubai-Residence-Visa-Fees-Renewal-Cancelation (1).png

Benefits of the UAE residency

Obtaining a UAE residency allows for permanent living in the UAE or regular visits, which is particularly beneficial for nationals who don’t automatically receive a tourist visa upon arrival.

For those looking to open a corporate Dubai bank account, a resident visa holder is considered a low-risk category by compliance.

How to maintain the visa?

If you maintain UAE permanent residency, you shouldn't encounter any issues keeping your visa valid. However, if you're a frequent traveler or don’t live in the UAE, you need to re-enter the country every six months to keep the visa active. In case you fail to do it, the visa will be canceled automatically and you will have to go through the process of getting a new one from the start.

How to renew your UAE residency visa?

Renewing your UAE residency visa is often a simpler process than obtaining your first one. However, it does require a medical check and renewal of your Emirates ID. Start by visiting a medical screening center 1-2 weeks prior to your visa expiration date. After completing the necessary tests, you can apply for your Emirates ID renewal. Once you've obtained your medical report, submit it to the immigration office along with your passport. Your new visa, granting you continued residency, will then be stamped for another period.

How to cancel your residence visa in the UAE

Wondering who can cancel a residence visa in the UAE? Usually, it falls to the sponsor of the visa to apply for its cancellation. Sponsors can be:

  1. Your employer: As part of the cancellation process, you will need to sign a form confirming you've received all due salary and benefits. If you have worked for many years in one company, you may be eligible for an end-of-service benefit.

  2. Your own company: If you're a business owner and have a visa under the company, you may apply for cancellation yourself or hire a PRO or business consultancy firm to handle it on your behalf.

  3. Your spouse or parent: If you're on a dependent visa needing cancellation, your sponsor—either a spouse or parent—will be responsible. They may also sponsor a PRO or business consultancy company to process the cancellation, provided they have the original passport of the visa holder and original Emirates ID of the sponsor.

  4. Government authority: If you're employed by a UAE government authority, they will be responsible for visa cancellation.

Visa cancellation in or out of the UAE

Whether you're in the UAE or outside during the visa cancellation process, certain rules apply.

Canceling visa in the UAE

If you're in the UAE, you need to submit your original passport to the issuing authority and wait for the cancellation. 

Canceling visa outside of the UAE

If you're outside of the UAE, you need to have been absent for longer than six months to cancel without sending the original passport. If you've been away for less than six months and wish to cancel, you'll need to send your original passport to your company or a PRO for processing.

Where to apply for the UAE visa cancellation?

UAE residence visas must be canceled by the same authority that issued them. These authorities can be: The General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs, Dubai (GDRFAD) for Dubai Mainland visas, represented by Tasheel or Amer, or Free Zones for visas issued by free zone companies.

Three ways to cancel your visa in the UAE

Thanks to the UAE government's provision for both online and offline visa cancellation, residents can choose the most convenient method. You can cancel your UAE residence visa through:

  1. Online services of ICA or GDRFAD 

  2. Any of the approved typing centres near you

  3. The ICA or GDRFAD mobile application

Using GDRFAD Online Services 

  1. Visit the GDRFAD online services page at

  2. Click Cancellation of Residency Visa.

  3. On the new page, click Start Service at the bottom.

  4. At the individual login page, enter the necessary details and documents.

  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the visa cancellation process.

  6. Look for a confirmation message or email to verify successful cancellation.

Through a Tasheel Typing Centre

  1. Gather the required documents (details below).

  2. Visit an approved Tasheel typing centre.

  3. Allow the centre agents to fill the necessary forms.

  4. Hand over the required documents to the agents.

  5. The centre will handle the rest of the process.

Using ICA or GDRFAD Mobile Application

  1. Download and install the ICA or GDRFAD mobile app.

  2. Log in using your correct details.

  3. Navigate to Cancellation of Residence Visa under the service categories or use the search button.

  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.

  5. After approval, you will be notified via email or call. Submit your passport for actual visa cancellation.

Required Documents for Visa Cancellation

  1. Your original passport.

  2. Original copies of your Emirates ID and labour card.

  3. A signed visa cancellation paper from your sponsor.

  4. If company-sponsored, a signed, stamped cancellation form from them, and a clearance document from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE).

For more information on how to cancel a UAE visa, read our UAE Visa Cancelation Guide or contact the Aljata consultants.

Long term visas

The United Arab Emirates offers several types of long-term visas, designed to attract foreign talent and investment. These visas provide a sense of stability and long-term residency to holders, allowing them to plan for a future in the UAE.

  1. Investor Visa: This is available to foreign nationals who wish to make a substantial investment in the UAE. The visa can be valid for 5 or 10 years and is renewable.

  2. Entrepreneur Visa: For those who own a successful project in the UAE, an entrepreneur visa is available. This five-year visa can be upgraded to an investor visa if the business thrives.

  3. Special Talent Visa: The UAE also offers long-term visas for people with special talents in areas such as science, art, culture, and sports. This includes researchers, scientists, inventors, artists, and performers.

  4. Golden Visa: The Golden Visa is a long-term residence visa introduced by the UAE government in 2019. It is provided for investors, entrepreneurs, chief executives, scientists, outstanding students, and artists.

  5. Retirement Visa: As of 2018, the UAE offers a five-year retirement visa for residents aged 55 and above. Certain financial criteria must be met to qualify.

The specific requirements for each visa type vary, so it's essential to check the most recent guidelines from the UAE government or consult with an expert.

Where can I live?

Regardless of the authority that issued your visa, you can maintain Dubai permanent residency or choose to reside in any other Emirate. 

Any visa, whether obtained from Dubai or another Emirate, makes you eligible for UAE permanent residency anywhere. You can rent an apartment and settle your family in any location. 

However, certain services like obtaining a UAE driver’s license must be applied for in the Emirate your visa belongs to. For instance, if you opened a company in Fujairah free zone, you need to get your driver’s license from the Fujairah road and traffic authority.

While residing in Dubai can be more costly, it's also much more vibrant! All the largest amusement parks, fashionable restaurants, and malls are located here. The infrastructure, in general, is more advanced: you have a wider choice of grocery stores, hospitals and clinics, schools, and colleges.

Regardless of the Emirate you reside in and the type of visa you have, the UAE is a great country to live, work, study, or run your own business. Whether you're an individual or a business owner, an investor or a specialized talent, there's a place for you here.

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