The UAE is a land of opportunity for many in the business world and can be a great launching pad to global markets, given its strategic location and ease of business. If you are considering getting set up in the country, you need to know your options; one of the best pathways to launching a UAE business is to get a three-year investor visa by registering your company with a UAE free zone or on the mainland.
What is the process?
First of all you must fill in and submit an application with the Immigration Department, which will then initiate a file in your name. Before the formalities of processing an investor visa can be completed, you will have a so-called ‘pink slip’ issued, which will allow you to enter the country on a 60-day temporary employment visa. This can be picked up from immigration if you are inside the UAE, and then go to a UAE border to change your visa status. Otherwise it can be delivered to a contact person inside the country or can be sent directly by mail to an overseas address. You must hand this slip across to border control authorities when you land in the country.
Once on the ground, you must complete fingerprinting and medical testing and arrange to get your passport stamped with a UAE visa at immigration or border control within your 60-day temporary visa time-frame.
You will then get a residence visa. If you are registering a company within a free trade zone, you will have access to an agent who will help you with all the necessary procedures, and your residence visa will indicate you are an ‘investor’ or a ‘partner’.
Once the results of your medical tests, which can include x-rays, blood tests and eye examinations, are completed, the Immigration Department will review them and will complete the formalities if you are deemed to fit to stay. You cannot leave the UAE during this period of time, though once issued you will be free to come and go as any other UAE resident is entitled to.