A step-by-step guide to get free zone visa in UAE


Company incorporation in any of the 40 UAE free zone jurisdictions is rewarding, thanks to zero tax policy, anonymity legislations, sound infrastructure, and capital repatriation facility. However, the entrepreneur has to navigate through some matters for company formations and operations, and Visa is undeniably an important consideration. Expatriate entrepreneurs and investors need visas to work and live in the UAE as much as their employees, families and domestic help. Thankfully, a free zone visa is easily attainable if a set procedure is followed.

Online Registration:

The UAE government ensures convenience and speed for the applicant with an e-channel. You have to register on this e-channel to kick start the Freezone visa UAE process. To this end, either visit an authorized typing center or hire a company formation consultancy to do all the spadework. Since the paperwork is eliminated, the registration is simplified and fast-tracked. AED 2,500 as registration fee and AED 5,000 as a refundable security deposit are required.

Entry permit:

Now that e-channel service registration is achieved, the next step is to apply for an entry permit. This electronic document legalizes your stay in the UAE for 60 days, during which the company formation and visa process can be accomplished. The authorities will take at least 15 working days to process and email the document, but it’s attainable within 5 to 7 working days upon an additional payment of AED 1,000. Prefer not to leave the UAE until the entry permit is obtained. Any such action will lead to inconsistencies in your immigration file, causing delays.

Status Adjustment:

The Status Adjustment or Status Change has to be initiated just upon the arrival of your entry permit. The process is accomplishable in three ways – out of the country, in-country or “border run.” The time and Dubai free zone visa cost vary as per the option you choose.

●In-country Status Adjustment involves the submission of your passport to the immigration office where it will be stamped and activated within 3 to 5 days at AED 750.

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●In“Out of Country” visa activation, you exit and re-enter the UAE and present the entry pass at the airport’s immigration desk for stamping.

●The Border Run option involves your exit with an exit stamp and re-entry via land. Upon re-entry, the entry pass should be submitted to the immigration office at the border.

Medical test:

The next step is to undergo a mandatory medical test from any authorized healthcare facility in the UAE. The blood tests and upper body X-Rays are done to identify infectious conditions. The visa may be flatly denied if you fail the test. However, if the results are favorable, you can apply for an Emirates ID card, a document indispensable for opening a bank account, entering into renting agreements, availing local mobile phone numbers and other key services.

Residence visa stamping:

The last step to your Freezone visa UAE is getting the residence visa stamped in your passport. Here, you’re required to walk up to the immigration authorities with your passport and other relevant documents. Although stamping process usually takes up to 15 working days, the option to expedite it is always available provided you’re ready to spend some extra money.