Resident Guide | Legal Issues

Sponsorship a must for trade

Businessmen and investors can find the best atmosphere for running their business in the UAE. They can select any emirate to run their business depending on the activity in which they want to engage.

  • By Bassma Al Jandaly, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 00:19 January 26, 2009

Sponsorship a must for trade
  • Image Credit: Gulf News Archive
  • Persons who wish to set up businesses in the UAE have to obtain a residency visa from the emirate where the business will be set up.

Dubai:If you are an investor and you are thinking of coming to live here, the first thing you need to do is to obtain a residence visa which has a different process from other visas such as employment visa or work permit. The investor's visa is valid for three years and must be renewed.

The investor's residence permit must also be renewed before expiry to avoid fines.

In partnership

In the UAE, an investor can run his own business by himself after obtaining the investor's visa and an Emirati sponsor in the country. Some people run their businesses in partnership with an Emirati partner.

In the UAE it is a must for all either to have an Emirati sponsor or Emirati partner.

However, those who run businesses in the free zones such as Jebel Ali in Dubai or Hamriya Free Zone in Sharjah are exempt from having an Emirati sponsor or partner.

The investor must obtain a three-year residence visa for the family.

The investor's visa is different from other kinds of visas in a way it will cost more and the investor must pay a deposit at the residency department of about Dh70,000.

The residence permit is issued by the Naturalisation and Residency Department in the emirate which will issue the trade licence of the business.

The emirates have a uniform process for issuing investor's visa. To complete the visa process, the person must apply for an establishment card, trade licence, municipality licence and other supporting documents to run the business.

The investors must obtain a health certificate from a government department or a clinic which will issue the visa.

The residency department which issues the investor's visa will also issue visas for family members. The investor need only have a valid residence permit to sponsor the family members.

Transfer sponsorship

To transfer sponsorship, the investor needs several documents apart from the required fees.

The documents are sponsorship transfer application form approved by authorised signatory, certificate issued by the Economic Department in the partner's name and showing the percentage of his or her shareholding, copy of the valid commercial licence, original and copy of the valid establishment card, bank statement of account of the last three months if the licence was issued more than one year ago and other necessary documents and the fees.