Visa Processing For Employees
Each emirate in the UAE has their own General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs (previously called Department of Naturalization and Residency) to take care of immigration, visa, and entry permit related issues, search for and apprehend overstayers and illegal immigrants, or issue and renew UAE passports for UAE nationals. Most residents of the UAE are not immigrants in the normal sense of the word (meaning those wishing to move to a country, settle there, and obtain citizenship of that country), but resident expatriates with a UAE residence visa (or permit) that allows them to live in the UAE for a period of time (usually 3 years between renewals, sometimes 1 year). For all issues to do with permission to visit and/or live in the UAE, contact the relevant immigration office in the emirate in which you live or plan to live. If visiting the UAE, contact the immigration office of the emirate in which you expect to arrive. Note that Al Ain is not an emirate, it is a city in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. Note also that although immigration rules are federal, they are not applied consistently in each emirate. Sharjah especially, seems to do their own thing.
- Different paths to Dubai immigration: If you are interested in long-term (or permanent) UAE immigration, your main options come under the employment, family and business categories of Dubai visa.
- Employment-based Dubai immigration: The standard Dubai work permit is your best path to Dubai immigration. An initial application grants a three-year visa which can be extended indefinitely. To find out more about the employment path to Dubai immigration visit the Dubai Work Visa page and read about the “Dubai work permit” and the “Dubai work permit (public sector)”.
- Family-sponsored immigration Dubai: If you have family in the UAE you may be eligible for immigration to Dubai with family sponsorship. This allows you to stay in Dubai based on your family connection. It requires the sponsorship of the family member residing in the UAE.