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How to process an investor visa


A high stakes, high value investor visa is a must for anyone considering opening a company in the UAE or investing in real estate (commercial or residential).

The UAE is trading up when it comes to pursuing an ambitious economic agenda with a US$350 billion economy focused on diversification and commitment to capitalise on the future of smart technology in an era of digitalisation.

Attracting long term investors to its shores isn’t a problem, with an average of US$10 billion FDI every year since 2010, but for entrepreneurs, SMEs and large-scale enterprises setting down roots in the UAE, before getting down to doing business, the first challenge is legitimising your presence.


An investor visa is currently valid for a period of three years, although the UAE Government recently announced planned changes to the system permitting (discretionary) residency visas of up to 10 years for investors, along with 100% foreign ownership, which will come into effect from January 2019.


To qualify for an investor visa, you need to prove that you have sufficient funds to either make a significant investment into an existing company in the UAE or to open a business in the UAE. This has to be pre-approved by UAE Immigration prior to any visa issuance


Step 1

Complete an investor visa application, which includes submission of the following documents:

  • Passport copy
  • One standard passport photograph (taken against a white background)
  • For an LLC, a copy of the memorandum of association
  • Copy of the trade licence
  • For an LLC or partnership, a list of all the partners
  • For a professional license company, a copy of the service agent contract and partnership contract
  • Original Emirates ID of authorised signatory
  • Copy of the immigration establishment card
  • Investment capital in excess of AED40,000

Step 2

Wait for the visa to be emailed to your home country before travelling to the UAE or, if you are inside the country, you need to apply for a visa amendment.

Step 3

Once in the UAE, you need to undergo a routine medical check-up for health clearance prior to visa approval. The following documents are required:

  • Typed application for a medical check-up
  • Passport copies
  • Investor visa copies
  • Two standard photographs (taken against a white background)

Step 4

Apply for Emirates ID card, for which the following documents are required:

  • Original passport
  • Typed Emirates ID application form

Step 5

Get the residency visa stamped in your passport, for which the following documents are required:

  • One standard passport photograph (taken against a white background)
  • Original investor visa
  • Original medical certificate
  • Original passport
  • Immigration establishment card
  • LLC agreement if applicable
  • Trade licence (commercial, professional or industrial)
  • Copy of partners list
  • Completed Emirates ID application form
  • Health insurance


Once you have registered your company registered and you have your visa, in order to retain its validity, you need to be present in the UAE at least once every 180 days and pay the annual renewal costs for your trade licence.

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