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United Arab Emirates

Business Residence Visa

If you wish to start a company in a free zone established in the United Arab Emirates, and get a residence permit, you may apply for a Business Residence Visa.

You can either set up a company or purchase shares of an existing one, but you must own shares with a value of at least AED50,000 (fully paid-in).

The company does not need to carry out a real commercial activity in the territory.

There are more than 40 free zones where you can incorporate your company. Free zone companies are tax-exempt, but they are usually only entitled to do business within the free zone or internationally.

Learn more about UAE’s free zones.

Once you have incorporated your company or purchased shares, the company may sponsor your visa. This visa will be valid for up to 3 years, with unlimited renewability, as long as you still own capital shares of a company and you visit the country at least once every 180 days. Absence for a longer period may lead to the visa's cancellation.

The visa will give you the right to live in any of the 7 Emirates. All government-related matters will need to be done in the state where your UAE residence visa is issued.

Once you have obtained the visa, you can sponsor your relatives, who may apply for a 3-year visa, renewable. You must demonstrate family ties and get at least AED4,000 (USD 1,090) per month. A man may not apply for a visa for his children, if the application is not done together with his wife, unless the latter is deceased.

There is no permanent residence visa, which means that every three years you must renew the visa. This visa does not lead you to citizenship.


- No Objection Certificate from the Free Zone.
- Health insurance card or the insurance subscription certificate in case there is no insurance card.
- Medical test.
- Establishment card.
- A copy of the UAE e-gate card or "The Stamp".
- Company incorporation documents and business license.
- The original copy of the "Inspection Form" issued by the Department of Economic Development.
- Memorandum of Association of the company.
- Trade License of the company.
- Establishment Card of the company - a card confirming registration of the company with the Immigration Department.
- An Empost sticker.

Restricted Nationalities

No nationality is officially restricted

dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is not recognized in United Arab Emirates. To become a citizen of United Arab Emirates, you must renounce your previous nationality.

Documents Required

  • Certificate of shareholders by the Registrar of Companies (if applicable)
  • Certified copy of Business License or Incorporation documents
  • Evidence of Health Insurance
  • Original and photocopy of passport
  • Original Bank Reference Letter (Not older than 6 month)
  • Bank Statement
  • Medical Certificate
  • Three passport-size photos
  • Original Police Clearance Certificate
  • dual citizenship No
  • Family members included No
  • land ownership No
  • Physical residence required No
  • Personal visit required Yes
  • Language skills required No
  • Interview required No
  • Investment Single $10,000
  • Investment Family 4 $10,000
  • Minimum annual income -
  • Time to citizenship 360
  • Time to permanent residency
  • Visa-free countries 184
  • Financing available No

Country details

United Arab Emirates
Abu Dhabi
Arabic (U.A.E.), Farsi, English, Hindi, Urdu
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of the Middle East and member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and OPEC. Located on the Arabian peninsula, it borders Oman to the southeast, the Persian Gulf to the north and Saudi Arabia to the west and south. Its territory is made up of seven Emirates: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sarja and Umm al-Qaywayn. Each emirate has considerable political, judicial and economic autonomy.

The emirates are inhabited by 9 million people. The capital is Abu Dhabi, although the most populated and well-known city is Dubai, which is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. Arab and English are the official languages. The official currency is the United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED).

Visa Free Travel

With your new passport from United Arab Emirates you'll be able to access 184 countries visa free


The United Arab Emirates does not levy personal income taxes and therefore there is no legal definition of tax residency. However, residents may be able to obtain a UAE Tax Residency certificate, subject to certain conditions.

There is a real property tax levied on the transfer of properties, at rates that vary from 2% to 4%, depending on the Emirate where the property is located. Some municipalities, e.g. Dubai, also levy an annual property tax on the assessed rental value of the property.

The V.A.T. rate, first introduced in 2018, stands at 5% on most goods and services.

Regarding corporate taxation, most economic activities are exempt from income tax, except companies engaging in oil and gas exploration and production, and companies providing financial services. Corporate foreign-ownership is restricted to 49%, except for companies incorporated in the Free Zones and offshore companies.

To learn more on UAE’s corporate taxation, legal framework and tax treaties, visit incorporations.io/united-arab-emirates.

This should not be construed as tax advice. We have access to a global network of qualified attorneys and accountants who can give you the proper advice for your particular circumstances. Contact us for further information.

  • Property tax No
  • Transfer tax Yes
  • Inheritance tax No
  • Net worth tax No
  • CFC law No
  • Tax residency days -
  • Personal income tax rate 0%
  • Capital Gains tax rate 0%
  • Investment income tax rate 9%
  • Territorial taxation Yes

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Residency by Employment (Work Permits)
Residency by Entrepreneurship (Starting or Relocating your Business)
Residency by Investment in Real Estate or Securities
Residency by having sufficient means (Passive Income)

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Flag Theory is an internationalization and offshore solutions provider, and the creator of residencies.io. We offer expert consultation advice and assistance.

Your privacy is important for us and we will keep your information secure. View our privacy policy

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