Everything you should know about the UAE Freezone Visa


Working and doing business in the UAE has many benefits that are attractive to foreign business people. For example, having the opportunity to work or set up a company in any free zone. However, the best part of it is that you can apply for a UAE Freezone visa. This document will allow you to legally reside in your chosen free zone.

In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about this type of visa available in the UAE. For instance, we will briefly explain how this document works and why you need it. Besides, here you can also find the information you need to apply for this special visa. Let’s observe:


1. What is a Free Zone Visa in the UAE and How Does it Work?

All free zones in the UAE offer great advantages to investors to allow them to develop their companies. However, its main function is to allow entrepreneurs and investors to reside and operate their businesses in a free zone. Free zones are known for being favorable business locations for all kinds of industries and businesses.

It’s not easy to apply for a free zone visa in many countries, but luckily, it is in the UAE.  Applying for a UAE Freezone visa is a simple process that offers beneficial results within a few days. However, all investors should be aware of the rules it implies and the elements it requires.

Therefore, keep reading this article to learn about the application process and its requirements. Besides, you will also find relevant information about its rules and benefits for investors like you. Furthermore, the cost of applying for this type of visa is something you should also take into consideration.

What are the Benefits of Setting Up your Business in a Free Zone?

Since this visa is only available for investors in free zones, you should know about the free zone benefits. As we previously mentioned, these locations offer a favorable environment to help investors make their businesses thrive. Although all free zones share common benefits, some of them can offer additional advantages too.

Some of the common benefits that all free zones in the UAE share are these:

  • Full exemption from corporate and personal taxes.
  • 100 percent of foreign ownership of the company.
  • Full repatriation of profits and capital.
  • Access to world-class infrastructure, facilities, and support services.
  • A wide range of business licenses and activities is available.

2. Why should you apply for a Free Zone Visa to work in this country?

Besides its main function as a permit to stay and work in the UAE, it also offers other advantages. For example, you can apply for other visas for your dependants after obtaining your own one. Besides, the application process is very simple and easy to complete, not to mention that it is affordable.

Moreover, there are several ways in which you can apply for a free zone visa. You can apply for it inside or outside of the country. However, it is recommendable to do it while staying in the country. On the other hand, you will be applying for a long-term visa that can be easily renewed.

3. What rules should you be aware of regarding the UAE free zone visa?

As we said before, there are some Freezone visa rules that you should be aware of. For example:

  • The General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) is the only authority that issues the UAE Freezone visa.
  • This type of visa is only valid for 3 years and it can be renewed.
  • There are two types of people that can apply for this visa. The first person is the one outside of the country. The other person is the one who already resides in the country.
  • If you already have your visa, you can apply for visas for your dependents.
  • This visa does not allow the holders to work outside free zones.

4. How to complete the application process for a free zone visa in the UAE?

application process for a free zone visa in the UAE

If you want to obtain a UAE Freezone visa, you must follow certain steps during the application process. Although the process is quite simple, keep in mind to meet all requirements and gather all necessary documents. Now, let’s take a look at the five steps you should follow to obtain your visa.

4.1. Complete Your Registration for E-Channel Services.

Firstly, it is essential to register for e-channel services in order to apply for this type of visa. The UAE government implemented this online system to remove paperwork and make the application process easier. This is an advantage that offers transparency and helps investors to save time while applying for this visa.

The registration process for e-channel services only takes a few simple steps that you must follow. The first step is instructing your free zone agent to register your company for these online services. After your agent completes the registration, you must pay the required fee and a refundable security deposit. As soon as your company is registered, you will receive a notification.

4.2. Apply for an Entry Permit.

After completing your registration, the next step will be applying for an employment visa or entry permit. Usually, the authorities issue this type of permit within 15 days, after the submission of the investor’s application. And since this visa is a temporary permit, it will be valid for 60 days only.

Something you should consider is that you can pay an additional fee to apply for the express service. If you pay for this service, you will obtain your visa within 5 or 7 working days via email. And lastly, it is recommendable to stay in the country while completing this visa process. Otherwise, there might be some issues that can cause delays in the process.

4.3. Complete the Status Change Process.

This process is necessary to activate your entry permit; otherwise, you won’t be able to obtain a full visa. You can carry out the status change in three ways; in-country, out of the country, and border run. Naturally, the first option is the easiest since you only have to submit your passport to immigration.

Once you submit your passport, it will be stamped and it will activate your employment visa. However, if you choose any of the other options, the process may be a little more complex. Therefore, it is highly advisable to complete your UAE Freezone visa process while staying in the UAE.

4.4. Apply for your Emirates ID card by submitting your medical fitness test.

The medical fitness test will only include a blood test and a chest X-ray. Usually, the test takes a few hours and the results are available after 3 working days. And after getting your results, you’ll be able to apply for an Emirates ID card.

This card will allow you to do many things, like opening a bank account and take out contracts. Therefore, you have to visit an official ID authority and complete the application process.

4.5. Obtain the Residence Visa Stamp.

And lastly, you will need to obtain the UAE residence visa stamp or sticker in your passport. Before obtaining it, you have to submit your passport to the immigration authority. This operation takes around 15 working days and you cannot travel outside of the country during those days.

Remember that you can complete all these five steps with a company formation specialist. That way, the entire process will be easier for you.

5. Information about the Application Process for Visas for Dependents.

After obtaining your visa, you will be able to apply for additional visas. In this case, these visas are for your dependent family members, like your spouse and children. Also, you can apply for these visas for domestic staff, like drivers or maids. However, you must have a salary certificate to sponsor your wife or children.

The required minimum salary varies according to each jurisdiction, but it is usually about AED 7,500. Besides, it is also mandatory to pay a security deposit of AED 3,000 (AED 5,000 for women). The rest of the process is quite similar to the one we previously explained, but there might be different requirements.

6. How Much do the Application Fees Cost for Obtaining a Free Zone Visa?

You must consider the following expenses during the UAE Freezone visa application:

  • Registration fee: AED 2,500.
  • Refundable security deposit: AED 5,000.
  • Express service for your entry permit (optional): AED 1,000.
  • In-country status change: AED 750.
  • 3-year Emirates ID card: AED 370.

7. UAE Employment Visa information you should know.

If you want to work in Dubai, you can complete the employment visa Dubai procedure. This process also involves the GDRFA as the pertinent authority. Nonetheless, if you want to stay in another emirate, you can choose between Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, and Fujairah. It is vital to submit all necessary documents and meet all requirements.

The UAE employment visa processing time takes approximately 5 working days. The authority will issue your visa and it’s recommendable to stay in the country during that time. The first employment visa is valid for 30 days, but it can be valid for another 30 days. Therefore, you have 60 days to get a long-term residence visa.

8. How can Connectfz help you obtain a free zone visa in the UAE?

Since obtaining a UAE Freezone visa is a vital element of the process, you can get professional help. Working with Connectfz can help you complete the company setup process in any free zone in the UAE. However, our team can also help you obtain the documents you need to work freely in the country.

With our visa and government services, you will be able to apply for the visa you require. Besides, you will also have the advantage of completing the process in a matter of time. Moreover, you can get professional advice when choosing the free zone you want to set up in.

On the other hand, if you already have business setup in Dubai mainland or other free zone you can request other useful services.

Would you like to contact Connectfz to know more relevant information about the available free zone visas for foreigners in the UAE? If you have any questions, call us on +97143316688. You can email us at info@connectfz.ae, and you will talk to one of our representatives who will answer your questions.

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