How to Get a UAE Visa Without a Company to Sponsor You

relocation in dubai

Are you considering a move to the United Arab Emirates? With about 80% of its population consisting of foreign-born nationals, the UAE has long been a welcoming country towards ex-pats. Today, that welcoming attitude is more present than ever. The country recently announced a sweeping overhaul of significant portions of its legal code to make the living environment more favourable for foreign residents. Plus, the government introduced recent visa reforms targeting investors, entrepreneurs, top-performing students and individuals with specialised talents that address vital growth areas for the Emirati economy allowing an increasing number of foreigners the chance to make the Emirates their home. Curious? Let’s have a look at all the options.


How can I get residency in the UAE?

Most foreigners who come to live in the UAE have work-based visas by working at an Emirati-based firm or the Emirati government. While most permits are employment-based, don’t count yourself out if you don’t have an established entity that can vouch for you in your process of pursuing relocation in Dubai or any of the other Emirates. 


How to get UAE residency visa without a job

The key to understanding the UAE residence visa options you have available without a sponsor is that some are short-term, and others are long-term. It all depends on whether you can meet the criteria for any of the available schemes. Let’s explore all the options to give you an idea of what you can pursue. 


Short-term UAE residence visa schemes

Six-Month Multiple-Entry Visa

If you purchase a property worth at least 1 million AED (around £197,480.25 when writing this article), you can procure this visa (essentially a visit visa) for you and your family members. 

How can you qualify for this scheme? The first condition is meeting the minimum property value. If you choose to purchase a property with multiple owners, every shareholder must have a stake of at least 1 million AED. The property can’t just be any property; the rules stipulate that the dwelling must be move-in ready at the time of purchase. As it is a visit visa, you and your dependents won’t have the right to work in the UAE, and you’ll need to renew it every six months. 

Two-Year Property Investment Visa

Another option for those seeking to purchase a property in the UAE is to get a two-year multiple-entry residency visa that entitles you to the Emirates ID card, driving licence and the ability to sponsor your family. The two-year property investment visa scheme’s property value requirements are the same as the six-month multiple-entry option. Still, if you wish to obtain a two-year property investment visa, you cannot have any mortgages on the property. It must also be ready for move-in. 

Property owners must also earn a monthly income of at least 10,000 AED (£1,976.05 at the time of writing this article); however, the owners nor their dependents have the right to work in the Emirates with this visa. 


Long-term UAE residence visa options

For those looking to create more permanent bonds with the UAE, some schemes might be the perfect fit for your goals. There are two classes of long-term residence visas, a five-year visa without a sponsor and a ten-year visa without a sponsor. If you currently possess residency status in the UAE, you can switch to an investor visa as long as you meet the conditions the government outlined. 

Five-Year Visa Without a Sponsor

Property investors in the UAE can opt for a five-year residency visa, but you must meet the following conditions:

  • Your investment property must have a gross value of at least 5 million AED (£988,149.98 at the time of writing this article).

  • You cannot have any of the investment as a loan.

  • You must hold onto the investment for at least three years.

Ten-Year Visa Without a Sponsor 

For those seeking an even-longer amount of time as UAE residents, you can also pursue the ten-year visa scheme. How can an investor gain eligibility for this scheme? You must invest at least 10 million AED (£1,976,245.50 at the time of writing this article). Your business partners can also qualify as long as their stake is at least 10 million AED.

What investments qualify? The minimum 10 million AED investment can be in the following ways:

  • Deposit at least 10 million AED in an investment fund in the UAE

  • Pursue company formation in the UAE with at least 10 million AED of startup capital. 

  • Enter a partnership with a new or already-existing company with a share value of at least 10 million AED

  • Have a minimum 10 million AED investment across all the other options, as long as the share in real estate gets capped at 60%


The investment must also meet the following conditions:

  • You must prove that you have at least 10 million AED in financial solvency. 

  • The investment amount can’t be a loan.

  • You must hold onto the investment for at least three years.


The Gold Card Scheme

In May 2019, the Emirati government announced the Gold Card Visa Scheme, a long-awaited development for those ex-pats looking for long-term residency. There are four eligible categories for those seeking Gold Card status: Entrepreneurs, Investors, Outstanding Students and Specialised Talents. We take a deep-dive into the full conditions under each class in a previous article, but this scheme (should you qualify) offers appealing conditions. 


What if you’re looking to apply for a long-term UAE residence visa but want to live in the UAE while you await your resolution? 

Multiple-Entry Six-Month Interim Visa

For non-UAE residents seeking a long-term visa, there is a multiple-entry interim visa for six months. This scheme is ideal for those foreigners looking to live, work or study in the UAE without local sponsorship. The permit also allows you to have a total ownership stake in an enterprise in the UAE.  

This visa offers investors, investors, entrepreneurs, outstanding students and talented individuals the flexibility in completing the Gold Card residency application process while guiding applicants in identifying available opportunities in their field while making the right decision for them and their families. It also allows you the ability to come in and out of the Emirates on multiple occasions. 


What UAE residency visa without a sponsor is right for you?

Now that you have a complete summary of the possible visa schemes, it’s time to start looking at your financials and other factors to determine what UAE residence visa scheme is the best for you and your family. Fortunately, our expert team at Europe Emirates Group is ready to help you pursue residence by investment or one of the other pathways. How can you start your journey to the Emirates? Schedule your first consultation today. 



Written by
Adrian Oton
Adrian Oton

CEO, Europe Emirates Group  

Citizenship, Residency and Relocation Services
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