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Is a resident of the UAE a citizenship or not?

Резидент ОАЭ — это гражданство или нет?

Starting to seriously plan a move to the Emirates, many face various difficulties, due to large cultural and social differences. One of the most common UAE residency is citizenship or not? In the article we try to understand this concept in detail, as well as what advantages the residence of the Emirates gives and what other types of visas exist.

What is a resident visa in the UAE?

The legislation of the Arab Emirates is formulated in such a way as to protect the indigenous inhabitants of the country as much as possible, and only then think about the safety of visitors. In particular, and for this reason, you will not find the wording of a residence permit in the United Emirates.

It is so difficult for a visitor to obtain citizenship here that even the process itself already scares off all potential applicants. The best way to legally reside here and at least a little equal in rights with the indigenous people is a special visa for a resident of the UAE.

During the validity period of the document, you can live in the Emirates quite legally, as well as use the services of local companies and feel at home. Of course, we will have to systematically extend the validity of the document, which is issued for a period of six months to 10 years. You can do this without restrictions on the number of times, you just need to have a reason confirming the expediency of the extension.

What are the advantages of a UAE resident visa?

As mentioned earlier, residency is almost the same as a residence permit in any other country, namely:

  • staying on the territory of the state for a long time;
  • the number of entries and exits outside the country is not limited;
  • you can not live in the country permanently (but not less than 6 months);
  • account opening or lending in a local bank is available;
  • UAE tax resident status;
  • opening and running your own business;
  • the right to work with local employers;
  • study at any level in local institutions (not free of charge);
  • access to UAE healthcare with appropriate insurance;
  • the opportunity to obtain a local license;
  • a resident can apply for a Schengen or a United States visa.
UAE residents

In addition to the fact that the president himself is endowed with these rights, he also gets the opportunity to transport his closest relatives to the Emirates. However, this applies only to men, a woman will have to face other conditions and requirements that vary according to the basis of registration of residency.

Nevertheless, no matter how many rights residency gives, he is far from citizenship, so he will have to get used to the fact that if necessary, a foreigner will have to pay for medical care or educational services, whereas for locals all these services are free.

Visas for investment/purchase of real estate and business visas

Entrepreneurs are often attracted by the opportunity to obtain a document authorizing residence in the Emirates through investing in real estate or starting their own business. An entrepreneur can count on a permit for 3, 5, 10 years, depending on the amount of investment. You can renew the document an unlimited number of times, and the principles of obtaining them are as follows:

  1. A residence permit for 3 years is issued to an applicant who will buy a property for his own use for at least 204 thousand dollars. The purchase must be made with your own money, without using mortgage loans.
  2. Within 5 years, a document issued on the basis of the purchase of real estate in the amount of $ 1.36 million or more will be valid. It is noteworthy that in this case there may be several objects (up to three), but the sum of their cost must necessarily equal or exceed the desired one.
  3. It is more difficult to get a visa for 10 years. It is also called the “Golden Visa”. The difficulty lies in the fact that you will have to invest from $ 2.72 million, and the share of the real estate market from these funds should not exceed 40%. The remaining funds need to be directed to other areas, for example, to start a business, become a co-owner of a local company, invest in a fund, etc.

In addition, the 10-year visa also applies to a business partner, spouse, children, executive directors, advisers. Another important condition that applies to any of the available options is a ban on the sale of purchased real estate for 3 years.

Businessmen in the UAE

Business visa

To apply for a resident visa through a business, you will need to organize a personal business or invest in a local organization in the amount of $ 13,600. It must be your own money, not a loan. An organized firm may not carry out actual commercial activities – this is not essential.

As soon as the company is registered, its founder applies for a visa, which can be obtained for 3 years. there are no restrictions on the number of extensions. The only condition is that the candidate continues to meet the requirements. In addition, you will need to stay permanently in the Emirates for at least 180 days, otherwise the permit may be canceled.

A company founded in this way can purchase real estate of any nature – both commercial and residential. In this case, the object will be virtually confidential, and it can be used both for its intended purpose and as a convenient profitable tool.

You will be interested
How to buy a company in the UAE

Other types of visas

In addition to the resident visa of a businessman or investor, there are 4 other types of resident visa:

  • working;
  • student;
  • family;
  • pension.

There are also non-resident visas, which include medical, transit and tourist visas.


A worker in the UAE

They often issue a work visa for the possibility of a long stay in the Emirates. And recently, a freelancer visa has also appeared, which also implies a work permit, but via the Internet. A visa is issued subject to the applicant’s compliance with the following requirements;

  • age from 18 years;
  • full legal capacity;
  • permission of the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE), which the employer receives.

While still in his country, the employee must find an employer who is willing to pay all or part (by agreement) of the costs of moving and paperwork. The company must be officially operating on the territory of the Emirates, financially stable, without problems with the state and law regulatory authorities.

The employee, for his part, must provide the employer with all the necessary documents for the company to issue a work permit (WorkPermit) and a work visa on his behalf, which includes a resident and an employee card. After that, the employee can fly to work and get a 30-day permit on the spot. It can be extended to 60, and during this time it is required to resolve all issues that give the right to carry out legal labor activity.

The permission received by the employee from the organization is valid as long as the resident is registered on the staff. The same applies to the visa of a remote employee. He must receive it at the request of a specific company that is going to hire an employee. To apply for such a visa, you will first need to issue an establishment card. If an employee plans to work in the technology sector, then such permission must be requested from TECOM Group, representatives of the media sphere in Dubai Media City.


Students in the UAE

A student visa can be issued upon reaching the age suitable for admission to universities. The principle of registration is practically the same, that is, the whole procedure is the responsibility of the university where the applicant entered. You only need to provide the requested documents.

Depending on the emirate, the registration process may also change. Full information can be obtained on the website of the General Directorate for Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) of each of them. Admission to some universities does not give the right to obtain a permit, so this point must be clarified in advance. A simple student visa is issued for a year, but with successful completion of the training course, you can apply for a gold one, which is limited to a five-year validity period.

Family, or dependent person visa

A family who moved to the UAE

The family visa itself cannot be called a full-fledged resident visa. Rather, it is an extended version of an already existing one that was obtained by one of the available paths. A family visa is issued by a man or, in special cases, by a woman, for the closest family members, including children (including foster children), spouses, parents. It should be emphasized that even if a woman already has a resident visa, but her spouse earns enough to pay for visas for children, then he should do it.

A man, in order to be able to apply for a family visa, must earn at least $ 1,000 or $ 820 if there is a loan covering the balance. The requirements for women are stricter, their salary should be at least $ 2,700, or $ 2,200 if there is a loan covering the remaining amount. At the same time, it is important in what position a woman works, for example, a teacher, a doctor, an engineer. But if a woman’s income significantly exceeds the minimum established, then other requirements are sometimes not looked at.


Pensioners who moved to the UAE

The pension visa differs from the others by a set of fairly straightforward and specific requirements, including:

  • age from 55 years;
  • property owned from $ 544,000;
  • personal savings in the account from $ 272,000;
  • income from $ 5.5 thousand. per month.

It is necessary to apply for such a visa at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDFRA), and it is issued for 5 years.

Documents for obtaining a resident visa

In order for an expat to be able to apply for a visa, he must provide:

  • passport;
  • apostilled in the Russian Federation and legalized in the Emirates marriage and birth certificates;
  • photos on a white background;
  • medical certificate in the prescribed form;
  • valid medical insurance;
  • certificate confirming the absence of problems with the law;
  • application for an identification card.

If you own real estate in the UAE, then you also need to provide documents for it. Depending on the basis of the visa application, you may still need a work permit, a translated and notarized copy of the university diploma, an income statement, a certificate from an educational institution.


Where to apply for a resident visa

Expats, in order to obtain a resident visa, must apply to the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (Federal Authority for Identity & Citizenship) or to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (General Directorate of Residency & Foreigners Affairs). Since the UAE is a progressive country focused on active economic development, there are options for submitting applications remotely.

Is it possible to obtain citizenship in the United Arab Emirates?

The Muslim community in the Emirates leads a very closed life from outsiders and does not allow it to be penetrated from the outside. This is also due to the extremely difficult ways of obtaining citizenship in this country. First of all, those children who were born to citizens of the country, regardless of the actual territory of birth, or were recognized by the father in writing, can apply for it.

In the emirates, you can naturalize and obtain citizenship on this basis, this option is available exclusively for the closest neighbors of the state, for example Qatar, Saudi Arabia and others. Arabs can also apply for citizenship after 7 years of legal residence in the UAE.

For all other foreigners, there are only 2 ways – for special services to the country (there are no registered cases yet), or after marriage (only for women). Exactly. A man, even if he succeeds in marrying a citizen of the UAE, will never be able to obtain citizenship of this country.

A woman can also obtain Emirati citizenship in the case of marriage with a local man, but even here she will have to make sacrifices. It will be necessary to accept the faith of the locals, fully obey the rules of the country and the spouse’s family and live in the country without discrediting your stay in it for at least 3 years.

But even having the opportunity to legally obtain citizenship of the most prosperous country in the world, not every woman agrees to such a step. This is due to the fact that if the marriage is dissolved, the children born in marriage remain in the custody of the spouse almost always. Even attempts to change the situation on an international scale are likely to end in failure.

Is there dual citizenship in the United Arab Emirates?

The principle of dual citizenship is not recognized in the UAE. In order to obtain citizenship of the country, you will have to give up your past. The situation also works in the opposite direction – after obtaining citizenship of another country, a local resident will automatically lose his previous one in the Emirates. Thus, we figured out whether or not residency in the UAE is an analogue of citizenship, and also described in detail the options for legal stay in this country.

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Vladimir Sviridov
Vladimir Sviridov
General Manager RLC Consulting
With a Postgraduate Masters in Finance from The, Moscow State University, Russia. Vladimir started his professional career as an auditor of the financial sector of EY. After that, he worked for several years in senior positions in corporate banking. In 2018-2021, he managed the finances of a large agricultural holding, and is currently responsible for strategic planning, corporate partnership and financial management in the role of General Manager of RLC Consulting GROUP in the UAE.

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