Residence Visa

To live in Dubai, you need a residence visa, and there are three main types: employment, family and domestic worker. You either need to have a job in the UAE and be sponsored by an employer, or be married to, or related to (son/daughter) someone who has a job here and they will sponsor you. As part of any residence visa process you will need to take a medical test and apply for your Resident Identity Card (formerly known as the Emirates ID). Once you have your visa – and this process can be completed in less than a month if your employer is on the ball – you can legally live and work in the UAE. Well, for two years at least (or three years if working in some free zones and government jobs).

 
 
PROs & NOCs 
A PRO (Public Relations Officer) is the person in your company who liaises with various government departments and carries out admin procedures. The PRO will take care of all visa, residency, health card, and labour card applications. An NOC (No Objection Certificate) is a letter stating that the person in question permits you to carry out a procedure. You’ll need one of these in a variety of situations: your employer allowing you to switch jobs, or your own NOC permitting a family member to work.  
 
 
 
Once you initially enter the UAE, you have 60 days to complete the visa application process – but it’s unlikely to take that long. While your visa is being processed you should be able to leave the country as long as you have the visit visa that was stamped in your passport when you first entered. Citizens of the visa on arrival countries may need to do a ‘visa run’ to get a new visit visa after 30 days. 
 
The residence visa permits you to live anywhere in the UAE, and you can live and work in different emirates. It is valid for two or three years (depending on where you are working), after which you’ll need to re-apply. 
 
Visa renewal is a simpler procedure, usually looked after by your PRO, although you will need another medical. If you are out of the country for longer than six months, your residence visa will be cancelled.
 

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