Immigrate to Dubai - UAE (2023)

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(Video) Ultimate Guide for Moving to Dubai

Dubai, like all emirates in the UAE, has its ownDepartment of Naturalization and Residency, also known as theGeneral Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairsthat handlesimmigration and visa issuance. Most of those alreadyliving in Dubaiare not immigrants, but expats with aDubai residence permitthat grants them the right to live in the emirate.Residence visasare issued for a specific period of time and must be renewed every one, two or three years.

Most immigrants come to work in Dubaiand that is why the companies they work for will handle all visa proceedings. However, for those wanting toset up a companyand obtain residency,our company formation agents in Dubai will help with all the procedures, including for other emirates in UAE.

We invite you to read below about the main ways in which you can immigrate to Dubai. Our local consultants can also help you open a company in Dubai which represents one of the easiest ways of relocating here.

Table of Contents

Immigration options in Dubai – UAE

Compared to several years ago, the immigration options for foreign citizens interested in moving to the UAE have increased. The Dubai government has tried its best and succeeded in offering advantageous conditions for those willing to immigrate here by enabling new laws and regulations related to employment conditions and business opportunities.

Those who want to immigrate to Dubai have several options, among which:

(Video) SHOULD YOU MOVE TO DUBAI IN 2022? | What life is like in the UAE ~ Mabel Goulden

  1. by applying for one of the visas which allow a foreign citizen to live in Dubai (student visas and family reunification visas);
  2. by obtaining an employment visa which implies securing a job offer from a local company first;
  3. through the investor visa which is available for those interested in starting a business in Dubai;
  4. through the residency by investment program which was recently enabled in Dubai.

It is important to know that in certain cases a sponsor is required for the person immigrating to Dubai.

Our Dubai company formation advisors can provide detailed information on all the ways in which a foreigner can relocate to this Emirate and others in UAE.

What is the best way to immigrate to Dubai?

Those interested inimmigrating to Dubai – UAEhave few options:

  • obtain an employment visa,
  • the family visaif the individual has a family member already established in Dubai,
  • obtain a business visa whenopening a company in Dubai.

Obtaining awork permitis, perhaps, one of the easiest ways toimmigrate to Dubai. The initial application allows an individual to obtain a three-year visa that can be extended indefinitely. Thework permitmay be obtained if an employer applies for the visa on behalf of the employee. However, the future employee must also meet certain criteria and provide certain documents prior to the application. The main category ofwork permitis theDubai residence visa for employment.

Family-sponsored visasare available for those with a family member residing in Dubai. In this case, the family member, also known as the sponsor, must make a security deposit payment and must provide his or herresidence permitwhenapplying for a Dubai family visa.

You can watch the video below for more information on how to immigrate to Dubai:

The Dubai investor visa

TheDubai investor visa is for foreign businessmenwho make an important investment in the city. TheDubai investor visahas a three-year validity. Similar to the investor visa is thepartner business visathat allows residence based on the value of shares a partner has in aDubai company. Eachtype of business visais subject to certain security deposit payments.

(Video) Dubai Residence Process Just Got Easier and Faster!

Those involved in business relations withcompanies in Dubaimay apply for amultiple-entry visa that will allow them to come to the city as many times as it is necessary.Immigration to Dubai on business purposesallows individuals to apply for several types of visas depending on the investor’s needs.

The Dubai residence by investment program

Not long ago, the Dubai government enabled the residency by investment program through which a foreign national can immigrate to the UAE by purchasing a property in Dubai. The minimum amount to be invested in real estate in order to obtain residency is 1 million AED. This must the purchase value of a property under this program. It is also worth noting that the investment must be made in residential property and the applicant must also submit proof of 10,000 AED as a monthly income. Following the relocation to Dubai, the applicant can become a sponsor for other family members who want to relocate.

The new Immigration Law in the UAE

As seen above, there are several types of visas a foreign citizen may apply for when immigrating to Dubai. One of the easiest ways to do that is the employment visa which is based on two main requirements: the work contract and the sponsor.

In 2015, the UAE government introduced three new amendments in the UAE Immigration Law:

  • Decree 764 which refers to standards employment contracts;
  • Decree 765 which refers to the termination of limited and unlimited employment contracts;
  • Decree 766 which refers to the issuance of new work passes.

The first decree eases the employment offer a Dubai company sends to a foreign candidate. Under the new law, the employment offer may be considered a work contract as soon as the candidate agrees and signs the offer.

The second article in the 2015 Immigration Law refers to the termination of employment which can now take place if the two parties agree to end work relation before the contract itself ends. The same termination clause applies to renewed contracts. The end of work relations must be agreed by the employer and employee and a written notice must be given.

The third decree refers to the release of a new employment permit for immigrants in Dubai right after a previous work contract has terminated. However, this provision applies to skilled foreign workers entering classification categories 1,2 and 3.

Sponsorship requirements when immigrating to Dubai

As seen above, there are cases where a sponsor is required for those immigrating to Dubai. Among these, foreign employees need a sponsor (in this case the company hiring them will be the sponsor). Those who want to open an onshore company in Dubai will need a local partner in order to set up the business.


In the case of family members relocating to Dubai, the members established here will cat as sponsors. It should be noted that women cannot act as sponsors.

Our company registration agents in Dubai can offer more information on the sponsorship requirements applicable when immigrating to Dubai or other emirate in UAE.

Obtaining citizenship in the UAE

Even if it is not common for the UAE government to grant citizenship to foreign citizens, there are cases where a foreigner can obtain an UAE passport. One of the conditions for obtaining citizenship is for the foreigner to live in Dubai for at least 30 years.

Children of foreign citizens born in Dubai will directly acquire UAE citizenship. Also, the children of UAE citizens born outside the country can obtain citizenship after they reach the age of 18, while women married to UAE citizens can apply for citizenship after 3 years of marriage.

It is important to note, though, that most expats living in Dubai choose to do that only through ordinary residence permits.

If you are interested in immigrating to Dubai for business purposes, our agents can help you obtain the necessary visas and open a Dubai company.

Document requirements when immigrating to Dubai

The documents which need to be prepared and filed with the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs depend on the type of visa the foreign citizen applies for.

Generally speaking, the following documents must be prepared when immigrating to Dubai:


  • the valid passport;
  • recent photographs;
  • proof of financial means to support oneself;
  • proof of accommodation;
  • job offering letter (in the case of employment visas);
  • the property title of the purchased property (required under the residence by investment program);
  • information about the sponsor (where required).

Our Dubai company formation consultants can advise on the documents required when immigrating to Dubai.

Immigration statistics in the UAE

The UAE is one of the most appealing countries in the Middle East for those who want to work and open companies. As a matter of fact, statistics indicate that:

  • out of the 9.54 million individuals living in the country, around 8.5 million were expats (2018);
  • with respect to Dubai, only 15% of its population is represented by UAE nationals;
  • most of the foreign residents in the UAE come from India (2.623 million inhabitants in 2018);
  • there are 6 types of visas available for those interested in immigrating to the UAE.

You cancontactourcompany incorporation agents in Dubai to find out all the eligibility criteria forimmigration. Our local consultants can also help foreign investors interested in opening companies in Dubai or other emirates in UAE.


Is immigration to Dubai easy? ›

Visa requirements

Employment visa is the easiest type as your employer takes care of all the requirements. There are different types of visas for immigration from India. The visa types needed to move to Dubai are: Employment Visa: This is the easiest type as your employer takes care of the requirements.

How hard is it to immigrate to UAE? ›

Expats wanting to know how to move to the UAE will be pleased to know that it is relatively easy. With an expat population that is almost five times larger than the population of Emirati nationals, the UAE makes relocating to their country easy and straightforward.

How can I pass immigration to Dubai? ›

What do you need to bring?
  1. Passport – must be in good condition, 6 months validity.
  2. Ticket – must be a two-way ticket. To prove you're a tourist. Otherwise, they will doubt that you have a different purpose in visiting the country.
  3. Visa – check for countries that require visa in entering their country.

Why do people choose to migrate to the UAE? ›

The tax-free salaries in Dubai make it one of the best places to build one's future. For most expats who come to Dubai looking for greater opportunities, the tax-free income eventually means more possibility to increase your savings and a compelling reason to move to Dubai.

Can I move to Dubai without a job? ›

UAE visa you can get without a job. Although a majority of the expats, which accounts for about 85 percent of the UAE's population, work as an employee in the country and require a work visa to live here, there has, however, been a noteworthy expansion of the visa scheme as announced by the UAE government.

How long is immigration in Dubai? ›

Visa processing time is approximately 3 to 4 working days. Entry into the UAE is subject to immigration approval. All visas are valid to enter Dubai for 60 days from the date of issue, except the 96‑hour and 48‑hour visas, which are valid for 30 days from the date of issue.

Why are there so many immigrants in Dubai? ›

Background. The United Arab Emirates attracts immigrants from all over the world; this may be because UAE nationals prefer to work for the government or military. The country's relatively liberal society compared to some of its neighbours has attracted many global expatriates, including people from western nations.

Which country is best to migrate to UAE? ›

Canada is an ideal destination for immigration from Dubai. It has ideal immigrant-friendly laws that make it a perfect country to reside with your family. Having a canadian PR lets you to enjoy all benefits that are provided by Canadian Government like: Great Job Opportunities.

Is UAE a good place to migrate? ›

Overall, the UAE ranked second in the world in the Expat Essentials Index, and fifth for both the Quality of Life and Working Abroad categories, which cover the likes of career prospects, salary and job security, leisure options, health and well-being, and safety and security.

Do Dubai visas get rejected? ›

While Dubai visa process is extremely easy and can be completed within a couple of days there are times when a Dubai visa applicant may face rejection. Filling a Dubai visa application form should be done with utmost care as any discrepancy in the form could result in rejection.

Can I go to Dubai without sponsor? ›

If you're applying for a UAE Visa, you need a sponsor. It can be a family member, a colleague, or a friend. This will make things a lot easier. If you don't know anyone there, an airline, hotel, or travel agency can sponsor you.

Why do you want to move to Dubai interview question? ›

Why Did you choose to go and work in Dubai? This is a really important question since employers want to know why, of all countries, you chose to be in the UAE. To answer this question, you have to think about the advantages of being in this country, or in the Middle East in general, as an OFW.

What are 3 reasons people immigrate? ›

People may choose to immigrate for a variety of reasons, such as employment opportunities, to escape a violent conflict, environmental factors, educational purposes, or to reunite with family.

What are the benefits of moving to Dubai? ›

The Pros of Moving to Dubai
  • Great Weather. The climate in Dubai is perfect for 8 months of the year. ...
  • Job Opportunities. ...
  • No Income Tax. ...
  • Good Education. ...
  • Vibrant Social Life. ...
  • Accessibility. ...
  • English is Widely Spoken. ...
  • High Standard of Living.

What salary is enough to live in Dubai? ›

Around 80% of the emirate's population is made up of expatriates, partly because of the high quality of life and the attractive salaries. The average salary in Dubai is AED 21,500 per month, which is equivalent to USD $5,853. The salary of a worker in Dubai is therefore on average higher than in Western countries.

How much salary do you need to survive in Dubai? ›

Let's begin. If you don't want to read the whole blog, here is the bottom line; a salary of AED 10,000 - 15,000 (USD 2,700 - 4,000) a month is considered pretty decent with the potential to save a good amount, while a salary of AED 15,000 - 20,000 (USD 4,000 - 5,400) per month and more is considered very attractive.

Is living in Dubai worth it? ›

The pros of living in Dubai

Dubai is an exciting and happening destination that cannot be ignored! It is, therefore, the place to be if you want to enjoy your social life and your working life in the fast lane. The climate in the emirate for 8 months of the year is perfect.

What happens in Dubai immigration? ›

This process involves the scrutiny of your passport, visa, and other related supporting documents like your hotel and itinerary. The immigration officer typically checks your documents before you pass the security check at the arrival and departure sections.

Can I live in UAE permanently? ›

If you invest in a property in the UAE worth at least 5 million AED, you can acquire a five-year visa. You must meet the following terms for the visa: You must hold onto the property for at least three years. You must not purchase the property in the form of a loan.

How many years do you have to live in Dubai to become a citizen? ›

Any person with Arabic proficiency who has been legally settled in the UAE for no less than 30 years with at least 20 years spent after the effective date of the 1972 law and has maintained a good reputation and has not been convicted of a crime.

What is the biggest problem in the UAE? ›

Invasive species, carbon footprints, limited water resources, overfishing, waste generation, air pollution and land degradation and desertification are posing an environmental threat to the UAE.

Does Dubai accept immigrants? ›

Those who want to immigrate to Dubai have several options, among which: by applying for one of the visas which allow a foreign citizen to live in Dubai (student visas and family reunification visas);

Is Dubai full of foreigners? ›

Most major cities around the world are tourist-friendly, but Dubai's expat community is next level. Currently, about 85% of this international city's population is made up of expats – great news for anyone wanting a fresh start, and to make friends from all corners of the world.

What country is easiest to immigrate to? ›

Easiest Countries to Immigrate To
  • New Zealand.
  • Australia.
  • Spain.
  • Paraguay.
  • Germany.
  • Montenegro.
  • Czechia.
  • Thailand.

Is it hard to move to Dubai? ›

Finding a place to live in Dubai is one of the biggest challenges expats face when they move, providing that their job doesn't supply accommodation. What is this? You will need to find accommodation to live in for a few weeks before you get a long-term rental or purchase a property in Dubai.

Which is the hardest country to immigrate to? ›

Top 14 Hardest Countries to Immigrate To:
  • Vatican City.
  • China.
  • Japan.
  • Qatar.
  • Liechtenstein.
  • United Arab Emirates.
  • Kuwait.
  • Saudi Arabia.

Why is living in the UAE easy? ›

The UAE offers expats an exceptional quality of life. There's modern accommodation and medical facilities, good international schools and a highly developed infrastructure. You'll also find plenty to keep you entertained in the lively cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Is it worth moving to Dubai for work? ›

Salaries. Thanks to its tax-free salaries, net take-home pay in Dubai is among the highest in the world. At the same time, the cost of living is also relatively high by global standards.

How much is a rent in Dubai? ›

The average rental price for a one-bedroom apartment in JLT is around AED 66,236 (USD 18032.23) per year or AED 5,519.66 (USD 1502.68) per month.
Housing, Rental & Utilities.
Type of ApartmentCost of rent per month
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City CentreAED 5,141.89 (USD 1 399.92)
3 more rows

Can you refuse to answer immigration questions? ›

You do not have to answer questions asked by immigration officers if you do not want to answer them. This includes questions about your citizenship status, birthplace or place of residence. If you are asked about your immigration status and you wish to remain silent, you may say: “I have the right to remain silent.” 2.

How do I answer immigration questions? ›

Answer all questions fully, succinctly, and truthfully, but do not volunteer information unless asked. If you're unsure of the answer or do not understand a question, you should always say so rather than guess.

What should you not say in an immigration interview? ›

DON'T joke around with the USCIS officer. In particular, avoid joking or sarcasm related to drug dealing, communicable diseases, bigamy, or smuggling people into the country. DON'T argue with your spouse or other family members in the middle of an interview.

Is it hard to apply Dubai visa? ›

In applying for a Dubai visa, there aren't a lot of requirements needed. However, depending on who your sponsor is, more requirements may be asked of you For instance, if say Emirates or Etihad Airways will sponsor your visa, you will be required to present your flight details along with the rest of your application.

How can I avoid rejection of visa? ›

If any information mentioned on the application form does not match with your travel documents, your application will be rejected. This is a very common occurrence when people fill the form hastily. Ensure that your details mentioned on the application form is the same as that in the passport.

What is immigration ban in Dubai? ›

An immigration ban is typically followed by an order to leave the UAE. An immigration ban in UAE is imposed on people who have done something against the laws of the land. Having this kind of ban means that a person will not be able to enter or have a residency visa in the country.

How much bank balance is required for Dubai visa? ›

The letter must be signed by ALL partners/owners of the company (as shown in the trade license). b) Copy of Trade License. c) Copy of ALL partners/owners passport and UAE visa page. d) 3 months up to date bank statement of the company (originally stamped by the bank) with a minimum balance of not less than AED 3000.

Who can sponsor me in UAE? ›

Expatriate residents, both employers and employees, may sponsor their families in the UAE provided they have a valid residency permit.

How much does UAE sponsor visa cost? ›


The minimum salary for sponsoring your family in Dubai/UAE is AED 4,000 or AED 3,000 plus accommodation for male sponsors. There is no longer any restriction on the type of profession one has, as long as they match the salary criteria.

How do you answer the question why do you want to relocate? ›

I'm happy to consider relocating if the job's a good fit. If there's also an opportunity to work remotely or out of the office in [current location] I'd love to discuss that as well, as that would work best for my current situation because [reason].”

What are the 10 most common interview questions and answers? ›

10 most common interview questions and answers
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What attracted you to our company?
  • Tell me about your strengths.
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • Tell me about a time where you encountered a business challenge?

What is a good reason to migrate? ›

Pull factors include higher wages, better employment opportunities, a higher standard of living and educational opportunities. If economic conditions are not favourable and appear to be at risk of declining further, a greater number of individuals will probably migrate to countries with a better outlook.

What are good reasons for immigration? ›

Common Reasons for Immigration to the U.S.
  • Better Work Opportunities. ...
  • Better Living Conditions. ...
  • Better Education. ...
  • Safety from Persecution and Violence. ...
  • Reunification with Family in the U.S. ...
  • Marriage. ...
  • Better Economic Output Growth. ...
  • Better Workforce.
25 Aug 2022

What challenges do immigrants face? ›

5 Challenges Immigrants Face When They're New to the Country
  • Navigating life in a new language. Uprooting your life and moving to a new country is challenging by itself. ...
  • Building your credit. ...
  • Access to health care. ...
  • Employment opportunities. ...
  • The power of education.
5 Feb 2022

Is life in Dubai stressful? ›

"It is very stressful, as you get to stay here depending on how well you do your job," Shaheen told Insider. "That's a huge burden on anyone, especially for breadwinners and people who come from countries that are not doing well economically."

Why Dubai is the best place to live? ›

Renowned for its ultra-modern social and economic infrastructure, safe living environment, unrivalled lifestyle offerings and world-class career opportunities, Dubai is firmly established as one of the world's most liveable cities, making it a hugely popular destination among expats and their families.

How easy is it to get a job in Dubai? ›

Dubai's job market is extremely competitive, and on average, a recruiter will only spend six seconds checking out your resume. It's essential to avoid major CV pitfalls, like using buzzwords. Monster offers a great resource for CV tips and advice for those looking for a little more help.

Is it hard to get citizenship in Dubai? ›

Naturalization. This method provides that a citizen of a foreign state must live for 30 years or more in the territory of the Emirates. They must also have a regular source of income in the UAE and an unblemished reputation. They must be fluent in Arabic and voluntarily renounce the citizenship of another state.

How much does it cost to immigrate to Dubai? ›

Foreigners moving to Dubai from places like USA, Canada and Europe will need at least $2,000 to live a comfortable life you used to have in your home country.

Is relocating to Dubai worth it? ›

Jobs and salaries in Dubai

For those who want to advance their careers, earn a tax-free salary, and live in one of the most exciting and vibrant locations in the world – Dubai is a top place to move to.

What's a good salary in Dubai? ›

Dubai has a good average salary range, extending from a monthly salary of 4,810 AED (1,309.56 USD) to 99,000 AED (26,953.44 USD) per month.
CityAverage Salary (per month)
Abu Dhabi21,000 AED
Sharjah20,400 AED
Al Ain19,800 AED
Ajman19,300 AED
1 more row
6 Aug 2021

What happens if you marry an Emirati? ›

Marriage. A foreign woman married to an Emirati national may acquire citizenship provided that the marriage lasts for at least seven years with the condition of having at least one child, or ten years in the absence of children. The wife of a naturalized male citizen may also acquire Emirati citizenship.

Does UAE give citizenship to immigrants? ›

According to the new citizenship law in the UAE, those who are granted UAE citizenship will be allowed to keep their existing citizenship. Accordingly, the UAE allows for dual citizenship, you just need to check with your country of origin.

Can you buy UAE citizenship? ›

One option is to obtain UAE citizenship by naturalization after 30 years of residency in the country. Foreigners with valid residency permission can marry an Emirati national and petition for citizenship. The Emirati government can also confer citizenship on the basis of outstanding merit.

Can I just move to Dubai? ›

Visas and work permits for Dubai

As such, you really shouldn't move to Dubai unless you have a job that will lead to a work permit, which will, in turn, lead to residency and the right to rent an apartment, access healthcare and education, etc.

What are the disadvantages of living in UAE? ›

7 Cons of Living in Dubai
  • No Citizenship on Offer. ...
  • Cost of Living. ...
  • Hard to Find a Job. ...
  • Strict Laws in Place.
6 Jun 2022


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