Abu Dhabi Residence Visa Overview

To get a residence visa to live in Abu Dhabi, you will need to be sponsored.

There are two types of visa - sponsorship for employment, or sponsorship for residence (ie for the family members of someone employed in the UAE).

What is the process for obtaining a residence visa? Here's our general overview.

After negotiating your employment contract and signing up for your new role in Abu Dhabi, your employer will begin your visa process.

In order to process your entry permit, your employer will need to provide local immigration with various attested documents such as your universtiy degree, birth and marriage certificates etc.

When it comes to important personal documents, if in doubt, get it attested, as doing it in the UAE may not be as straight forward as getting it done 'back home'. For more on attestation, click here.

Your entry permit, once processed can be emailed and printed off ready for presentation to the authorities on arrival in Abu Dhabi - the orignal can then be collected from the passports section at the airport.

After arrival your sponsoring company have 60 days to complete the process of obtaining your residence visa, which as per the UAE law is valid for 3 years.

On arrival you will be given a Pink Slip. A copy of this form will be requested in the interim while you wait for your residency permit for most official processes, such as school applications for your children.

If you have already entered Abu Dhabi on a visit visa, it may be possible to transfer to a residence visa by either re-entering Abu Dhabi with your sponsored entry permit or by (in specific fields of work listed on visiting the local Immigration Department.

For those moving to Abu Dhabi with family members, you will need a 'family visa', which allows you to sponsor your spouse and children under the age of 18. You must earn above a certain amount to qualify for a family visa

Residence Visa - The Process

In order to complete your residence visa process, you will need to take a medical test and obtain a health card. Any person who test positive for AIDS will not be permitted to obtain a residence visa.

Your sponsoring company will likely have a PRO (personnel relations officer) who will take your passport with stamps, entry permit, employment visa forms, medical test results, attested certificates, fees and the sponsoring companys appropriate trade licenses to the Immigration Department for submission.

It takes roughly 10 days to process your residence permit, although for a fee there is a same day service if you are keen to get your passport back quickly.

Once you have your visa process completed you then need your Labour Card. Your employer will make the application for this.

- Applying for your mandatory Emirates ID Card

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Taking your Medical Test


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