Complete guide to the Investor Visa in Dubai

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The UAE attracts investors from all over the world due to its environment that is favourable for businesses. Owing to this reason, UAE maintains a separate category of visas for investors and business owners. Dubai investor’s visa or partner visa is specially designed for individuals willing to settle in Dubai for the purpose of business or investment in UAE. Dubai, being a leading financial hub of the Middle East and the world, provides ample opportunities to global investors. Consequently, anyone can practice their business in Dubai mainland or the free zones.

However, to start an investment or business venture as an ex-pat in the UAE, you need to have a valid investor’s visa. The application process for investors' visas may differ as per the emirates. The article below provides details regarding the Dubai investors visa, its requirements, fee, and application processes. 

What is a Dubai Investor Visa?

Dubai Investor’s visa, popularly known as ‘Partner Visa’, is specifically designed for ex-pats who wish to invest in the UAE or perform a business in Dubai mainland or the free zones. With an investors visa, you have the advantage of living, working, and sponsoring your family members in the UAE. 

It should be noted that while Dubai Investor’s visa is valid for a minimum period of 3 years, you can also apply for longer terms of up to 10 years. During the validity of your investor visa, you can stay within the UAE, or move in and out of the country whenever you want. Moreover, Dubai Investor visa holders need to pay taxes in the UAE and not in their home country, although this condition is subject to constraints in their home country. 

As a Dubai Investors Visa holder, you can apply for an Emirates ID card, get a driver’s license, open a bank account, register for mobile services, and access various home packages. 

Type of Dubai Investors Visa

Based on the kind of investment an individual makes, Dubai Investors Visa comes in the following types. 

Investment in Residential Properties

To opt for investors visa by investing in residential properties, you need to invest in residential properties worth AED 1 million or above, with a maximum of 50% property value under the mortgage. In the case of shared investment in properties, each individual needs to have a share of AED 1 million. Additionally, you need to invest in a single residential property and not in commercial properties. The validity of the visa varies between 3 to 5 years and can be held by the investor until they own the property. 

Investment in a Company

The Department of Economic Development (DED) offers more than 2,100 types of business licenses to start a business in the UAE. You may start a business in any of the free zones or Dubai Mainland to opt for a Dubai investors visa by investing in a company. You will be required to invest a minimum of AED 72,000 or start a business with a capital investment of the same amount. Importantly, foreign investors starting a venture in the free zone don’t require a local sponsor, and the companies are also exempted from taxation. The application process for these visa types may vary depending on the nature of the business and its location.

Long Term Residence

You can opt for a long-term residence investor visa by investing a minimum of AED 10 million in a company or starting a business worth the same amount. However, the long term resident visas are only available to individuals also satisfying a set of other criteria as laid down by the Dubai Foreign Affairs authorities and General Directorate of Residency, Dubai. A 5-year validity investors visa is available to individuals who invest a minimum of AED 5 million or entrepreneurs having active projects worth AED 500,000 and fulfilling other criteria. 

Retirement

This type of visa, valid for a period of 5 years, is available to individuals above the age of 55 years and who wish to retire in the UAE. To avail of this visa, the applicant needs to invest at least AED 2 million, accumulate a wealth of AED 1 million, or have an active income of AED 20,000 or above.  

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Documents Required to Apply for Investors Visa in Dubai

If you are investing in or establishing a company in Dubai, these documents are required as part of the Dubai investor visa application.

  • Establishment Card
  • Sponsor’s Bank Account IBAN Number
  • Original Emirates ID of the Sponsor
  • A passport size photograph with white background
  • Memorandum Papers (MOA) for shareholders’ proof
  • A valid copy of the partner’s passport
  • Current UAE visa of all the partners (if applicable)
  • A copy of the Trade Licence
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How to Apply for Dubai Investor Visa?

If you wish to apply for a Dubai Investor Visa, you need to follow the steps mentioned below.

  • Apply for a visa at an immigration office, a Tasheel centre, or typing centre.
  • Visit any government health centre to get a medical fitness exam. You will be required to choose the health centre you wish to visit while filling out the entry permit form. 
  • Next, visit the Amer centre to apply for an Emirates ID card. During the form submission, you need to bring a valid Emirates ID and pictures of your family and/or Emirates ID application of your family. In case you have not applied for an Emirates ID before, you will be required to submit your biometric data. 
  • In order to proceed with your visa application, you must purchase health insurance. Examine the many health insurance providers in Dubai to choose which one best meets your needs.
  • To change your visa status to an investor residency visa in Dubai, go to any of the Amer centres located across the city. You can locate Amer Center at Al Jafiliya, Al Twar, and Al Quoz, Dubai Festival City.

Cost of Dubai Investor’s Visa

The following table details various charges associated with a Dubai Investors Visa.

Particulars 

Cost of Dubai Investor Visa

Charges for Entry permit

AED 1,175 for an applicant in the UAE

AED 525 for applicants outside the UAE

Charges for Change of status

AED 675 (not required for applicants entering from outside the UAE)

Charges for Visa stamping

AED 870

Charge for Emirates ID issuance 

AED 405

Charges for the Medical Tests

AED 322

The above-mentioned fees are according to the charges of GDRFA. Please note that the trade license charges are not included (As charged by Dubai Economic Department). The establishment and companies can use the E-government Directorate of Naturalisation and Residency Department (eDNRD) website to submit their visa application. 

Eligibility for 3-years, 5-years, and 10-years Investors Visa in Dubai

Dubai Government has come up with long-term investors visas starting from a duration of 3-years that can go up to 10 years. However, there are separate eligibility criteria for different investors visas in the UAE. Following are the eligibility criteria for various Dubai investors visas. 

Eligibility Criteria for 10 Years Investors Visa

To be eligible for a 10 years Investors Visa in the UAE, you need to satisfy the specific criteria mentioned below. 

  • Public investment of a minimum of AED 10 million or establishing a company worth the same amount 
  • Must be a UAE based investment Fund 
  • Become a partner in an existing or new company and share a value of a minimum of AED 10 million
  • 60% of your total investment must be invested in sectors other than real estate
  • The amount invested must not be in the form of a loan
  • Financial solvency of AED 10 million required

Eligibility Criteria for 5-Years Dubai Investor Visa 

You need to meet the following criteria to be eligible for a 5-year Dubai Investors visa.

  • You need to buy a property with a minimum value of AED 5 million
  • The invested amount must not be a loan
  • The property must be retained for a minimum period of 3 years
  • The investment must be in a freehold property and not in a commercial one

Eligibility Criteria for a 3-Year Dubai Investor Visa

Following are the conditions you have to fulfil in order to qualify for a 3 years Dubai Investor Visa. 

  • The investor needs to own a property worth AED 750,000
  • The maximum mortgage in the investment must not exceed 50% of the property cost, meaning that you need to pay a minimum of 50% of the property value upfront to the bank. 
  • The investor must also submit a no-objection letter from the bank written in Arabic. 
  • The property in which the investment is made must be residential.
  • The investor can jointly own a property provided they have an individual share of at least AED 750,000.
  • The property can be shared between spouses. However, investors need to produce marriage certificates

Key Takeaways

  • Dubai Investors visas are special category visas available to ex-pats who wish to invest in the UAE. 
  • The application process for these visas varies depending on the type of investment and the location of the business. 
  • Individuals holding Dubai investors visas are UAE taxable residents and not their home country. However, the condition is subject to constraints of their home country.