Business Setup in Dubai

Dubai Business Visa Requirements

Dubai business visa is designed for entrepreneurs, investors, and freelancers from across the globe, these visas are the keys to unlocking the vast potential of the UAE's dynamic economy. Whether you're planning to launch a startup, invest in existing ventures, or pursue freelance opportunities, the right visa ensures you're legally set to explore and expand in the UAE.

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Table of Contents

What Types of Business Visas Are Available in the UAE?

The UAE visa options are many to choose from. For example the Dubai Golden Visa offers long term residency for people making large investments or having exceptional talents. 

On the other hand the Investor Visas is designed for those injecting capital into the UAE’s markets, while Entrepreneur Visas support individuals with innovative business ideas. 

For those on specific projects or seeking flexibility, Mission Visas and Freelance Visas provide temporary or specialized entry choices. 

Each visa caters to different aspects of business and professional activities, ensuring there’s a match for your ambitions.

How Do You Qualify and Apply for a UAE Business Visa?

For you to qualify for a UAE business visa hinges on a set of criteria reflecting your purpose in the UAE.

Generally, applicants must demonstrate financial stability, possess a clean criminal record, and, for long term visas, show evidence of investment or exceptional skills. 

The application process typically involves submitting detailed documentation, including business plans for entrepreneurs or investment proof for investors, to the UAE’s immigration authorities

With the right preparation, navigating the application process can be a smooth journey towards your business aspirations in the UAE.

Purpose of the Golden Visa

Long term Residency:

The Golden Visa offers a pathway to residency in the UAE for 5 or 10 years, renewable based on the category.

For Whom?

Tailored for investors, entrepreneurs, individuals with outstanding talents, and top-performing students.



Live, work, and study in the UAE without the need for a national sponsor.

Family Inclusion:

Sponsor family members, including spouses and children, for their residency.


Extend your stay by renewing the visa under the same conditions.


For Investors:

A minimum investment of AED 2 million in real estate or public investments.

For Entrepreneurs:

A viable project with a value of at least AED 500,000 in a certified field.

Specialized Talents:

Recognized achievements or contributions in fields such as science, art, sports, and more.


Exceptional academic records from recognized institutions.

Duration and Cost

5 or 10 Years:

Depending on your application category, with the possibility of renewal.


Varies by category but generally ranges from AED 2,800 to AED 4,000 for application fees, excluding additional charges for documentation and processing.

Application Process

Determine Eligibility:

Match your profile with the specific Golden Visa category.

Gather Documents:

Essential documents include a valid passport, proof of investment or talent, and medical insurance coverage.

Submit Application:

Apply through the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship website or visit designated centers in the UAE.

Attend Interviews/Health Checks:

Some categories may require a health checkup or an interview as part of the vetting process.

For Expats Specifically

Recognition of Foreign Achievements:

Whether you’re from the UK, USA, Australia, or other eligible countries, your international achievements or investments are recognized.

Health Insurance:

Secure comprehensive health insurance valid in the UAE for yourself and any dependents.

Certification and Legalization:

Ensure your documents, especially from abroad, are legally attested and translated as required.

What Does Sponsorship Mean in the UAE Visa System?

In the UAE, sponsorship is a cornerstone of the visa system, acting as a bridge between the expat community and the local regulatory environment. 

Essentially, a sponsor is a UAE national or a company that vouches for the visa applicant, overseeing their legal and immigration status. 

This relationship is pivotal, especially in business, where the type of sponsorship directly influences your entrepreneurial journey and responsibilities within the Emirates.

How Do Sponsored and Self Sponsored Visas Differ?

The choice between sponsored and self sponsored visas reflects your business strategy and how you envision your presence in the UAE. 

Sponsored visas require an external UAE entity to take on the role of your sponsor. This model is prevalent among employees and some types of entrepreneurs. 

On the other hand, self sponsored visas, such as the Golden Visa, allow individuals to maintain autonomy, not tethering them to a single employer or sponsor, and are ideal for investors, certain entrepreneurs, and professionals with exceptional talents or contributions.

What Should You Know About Sponsored Business Visas?

Sponsored business visas are synonymous with partnership and responsibility. 

The process involves finding a UAE based company or individual willing to sponsor your stay. 

This path is particularly suited for those who plan to be employed by a UAE company or entrepreneurs who partner with local businesses. 

The sponsor takes on significant responsibilities, including ensuring legal compliance and assisting with the visa application process, making this option ideal for those looking for a guided entry into the UAE business setup landscape.

Why Consider a Self Sponsored Business Visa?

Self sponsored business visas celebrate independence and flexibility, offering a direct path for investors and talented individuals to contribute to the UAE’s economy without being anchored to a specific sponsor. 

These visas, especially the Golden Visa, provide longer term residency and greater stability, appealing to high net worth individuals, innovators, and those with significant contributions to their fields. 

Business Visa Cost & Breakdown

Golden Visa

  • Costs range from AED 2,800 to AED 4,000, excluding additional fees for medical testing and biometrics.

Investor Visa

  • Expect to invest approximately AED 10,000 to AED 15,000, covering the visa fee, medical examination, Emirates ID, and processing fees.

Entrepreneur Visa

  • Processing fees hover around AED 3,000 to AED 5,000, with additional costs for establishment card fees and medical tests.

Freelance Visa


Step by Step Guide to Applying


Determine the Right Visa Type

  • Match your business needs and goals with the appropriate visa.

Gather Required Documents

  • Common requirements include a valid passport, proof of business activity or investment, financial proof of sustenance, and a clear criminal background check.

Submit Your Application

  • This can typically be done online through the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship or the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, depending on the visa.

Attend Necessary Appointments

  • Some visas may require you to undergo medical testing or biometric capturing in the UAE.

Receive Your Visa

  • Upon approval, your visa will be stamped on your passport or issued electronically, depending on the specific procedure.

Required Documentation and Application Venues


Common Documents

  • Passport, passport-sized photos, business plans or proof of investment, bank statements, and health insurance.

Application Venues 

  • Applications are usually submitted online via the official portals of the UAE Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship or the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs.

Tips for a Successful Application


Make sure Documents are Up to Date

  • Expired documents can lead to application delays or rejections.

Be Precise with Your Business Plan

  • Particularly for Entrepreneur Visas, a clear, viable business plan is crucial.

Understand the Role of a Sponsor

  • For sponsored visas, choose a reliable sponsor who understands the responsibilities involved.

Follow Up on Your Application

  • Keep track of your application status and be prepared to provide additional information if requested. 
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