Dubai is one of the emirates in the United Arab Emirates known majorly for tourist attraction and the location of the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa. The majority think people only visit Dubai for fun and go back. You probably thought so too, right?
When I finally decided to move, I was asked, “Do people actually live in Dubai?” Yes, people live here! I live here, in Dubai, and one of the things I had to do before I became a full-time resident was to get my residency and emirates ID.
Becoming A Resident In Dubai
If you wish to be a resident in Dubai, for whatsoever reason, one important thing you should consider getting is your residency permit (serious emphasis on important). Luckily for you, Mimie *aka Mama cash* is not stingy.
In this blog post, I have decided to share with you guys, how I got my residency in Dubai and also, how to make things easy for you if you’re considering moving to Dubai. Cool, right? I know.
Before I proceed, I would want you to know that this is based on my personal research and experience, so it might be different from others, probably your friends, aunts, cousins that stay in Dubai. I don’t want to hear “Mimie, this wasn’t how my uncle described it o”. Lol, Just kidding. All I’m saying is that my experience might be different from others’.
Types Of Residency You Can Get In Dubai
It is expedient that you know the kinds of residency you can get in Dubai before you decide to opt-in for one. This will enable you to know which one suits your purpose and your pocket. There are 4 types of residency in Dubai:
1. Student Residency
It is also known as the student visa. This is as straightforward as it is. It is used for the purpose of study and obviously issued to students. So yes, if you’re coming into Dubai as a student or to study, getting a student visa is your best bet and it is valid for one year but renewable yearly throughout your duration of study.
2. Investor Residence Permit
This is the residency you’ll get if you’re coming into the city as an investor and this basically means you have to be contributing to Dubai’s economy. Getting an investor residence permit requires that you own a property worth over 1 million dirhams and that’s over 100million Naira in Nigerian currency (presently conversion rate is 1 AED = 130 Naira).
Coming in as an investor would give you access to 2 years residency permit.
3. Workers’ Residence permit.
This type of residency basically requires you to have a job here in Dubai. You need to be an employee with a company. It is usually done by the company that has offered you employment. Getting a worker residence permit is pretty fast as your company will be the one to ‘work’ it for you and make the arrangements on your behalf, you just need to provide all that is needed.
This type of residency, however, has a clause. With this kind of residence permit a company kind of “owns” you. Since they are involved in getting you a residence permit, they might be a little strict. You cannot afford to get into any kind of trouble because the company might be held responsible. In extreme cases, these companies might even decide to hold your passport just to keep you on your best behavior.
If you like getting into trouble very well, this type of residence permit isn’t for you. Don’t say Mimie didn’t warn you o!
4. Business Owner Residence Permit
This is the kind of residency I got and since I have much knowledge about it I’d be breaking it down in the next paragraphs.
How To Get A Business Owner Residency Permit In Dubai
To get residency as a business owner, you need to have a registered business here in Dubai to get access to a 2 years’ resident permit. Trust me, this one is quite a process so I’ll just get right to it.
- Get A Tourist Visa
The first thing to know is that you would have to come into the country as a tourist, meaning you have to be issued a tourist visa, preferably a 3-month visa. I will recommend a 3-month visa because you are not exactly sure how long the process will take. So imagine coming in with visas with shorter duration. To avoid having to go through the process of extending your tourist visa and spending more money, it’s better to come in with the 3 months one.
- Decide the name of your business or company
You then go ahead to decide the name of your business/ company and what kind of company it is. Is it a tech company? Events, maybe?
- Submit your company name to the Government office and get approval
You can now go to the Government office to submit the name of your business for approval (kind of similar to registering a business in Nigeria), keeping in mind that you need to have an office whether physical or virtual.
Your details would then be sent to your country of origin (Nigeria, in my case) to be sure you’re not a criminal or maybe you’re wanted. If they discover that you are wanted, you know the rest of the story……lol
- Get medical insurance
You’ll be directed to a government hospital to get tested for HIV, Hepatitis, and the likes and also get medical insurance.
Now, you can go ahead to send your request to immigration. Here, they just check through previous processes and determine whether you should be considered a resident. Once approved, you will be invited to come for data capturing, thumb printing and all. This is done to change your status in their database (tourist to resident) and also get your passport stamped.
You can finally have your residence permit after being cleared by immigration and you now proceed to request for emirates ID. Emirates ID is just like a national Identity card but it has way too many uses.
This process, in general, might not be fast but the good thing is you will definitely get approved as long as you meet all the requirements.
If you don’t want to go through all these business registration processes as I did, there are agencies that you can reach out to for help to get Dubai residency. Obviously, it isn’t free.
The Cost Of Getting A Residence Permit In Dubai
The amount to be paid for this process varies depending on the type of residency you choose to do. But generally, I’d say your budget should be between the value of 10,000 – 20,000 AED in your currency.