The UAE offers a residence permit for remote working that allows people to live in the Emirates but work for a company that does not operate in the country.
The one-year visa, which can be renewed, was introduced in September 2022.
With remote working increasingly normalised since the coronavirus pandemic, the visa offers the chance to enjoy life in the UAE without having to quit a job with a company based elsewhere.
In the first half of 2022, remote hires from the UAE doubled compared to the same period in 2021, according to a report from remote onboarding company Deel.
Here is everything you need to know about the remote working visa.
Who is eligible for the remote work visa?
To apply for the visa, the employee needs to provide proof that they work remotely for a company based outside the UAE.
The applicant should have a valid passport for at least six months and health insurance that covers medical costs in the UAE.
People who secure a remote work permit can also sponsor family members, but the duration of residency should be the same as the sponsor.
How to apply from Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and the Northern Emirates?
People looking to apply from Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Umm Al Quwain and Ras Al Khaimah must submit their request on the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) website and obtain a 60-day entry permit.
Here is a step-by-step process to apply:
- Register on the ICA website - https://icp.gov.ae.
- Go to the smart services channel and log in.
- Choose the remote work visa UAE option.
- Upload the documents, submit them and pay a fee of Dh300.
ICA officers will approve the applications. The Dh300 cost is only the application fee and people may have to pay more when they come to the UAE.
Applying from Dubai?
In Dubai, remote work permits should be applied for on the website of the Dubai Corporation of Tourism and Commerce Marketing - www.visitdubai.com.
If you are an employee, you need proof of employment with a contract valid for one year from your current employer. You must earn at least $5,000 (Dh18,250) per month and submit the salary slip for the last month and bank statements for three months.
If you are a company owner, you must provide proof of company ownership with a minimum income of $5,000 per month. Bank statements of the company’s account for the preceding three months should be submitted as proof.
The application fee in Dubai is $287 (Dh1,050), which includes all costs. Paying the fee does not guarantee you will receive the visa.
All applications will be reviewed and processed by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai.
What happens when you come to the UAE?
Once you obtain the entry permit, you must have your medical test and apply for residency within 60 days, as is the case with normal work visas.
The remote residency permit allows you to rent a house, open a bank account and send your children to school.
A version of this article was first published in September 2022