To come to the topic at hand, there are various jurisdictions for businesses in the UAE, depending on the location. These are free zone and mainland and even offshore. Free zones are often preferred by entrepreneurs and investors since they do not have mandatory local sponsor requirements for starting the business.
Key things to Remember and Major Benefits for UAE Free Zone Visa
Any company or individual desirous of starting operations in the UAE is required to apply for a visa beforehand. Every free zone has its own dedicated authority and specific application rules. Some of the key benefits include the following:
- 100% ownership by foreign nationals without local sponsor/affiliation.
- Exemption from export, import and personal taxes.
- Exemption for a fixed duration from corporate taxes with an option for renewal as well.
- Repatriation of profits and capital.
- Availability of leasing options up to 25 years.
Steps for Get your UAE Free Zone Visa
There are several steps towards getting a UAE free zone visa. People willing to open businesses in free zones have to apply for residency in the country on the employment visa or on the investor visa. The Dubai free zone visa is issued by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs or GDRFA. Free zone visas do not cover the UAE Ministry of Labor and they cover only the Department of Immigration.
Here are the major steps:
- Registration for e-channel services- Agents or authorized centers will help you apply for e-channel services and company registration (GCC Filings can help) through payment of necessary fee/charges. This system is fast and hassle-free.
- Application for employment visa- Post e-channel service registration, you have to apply for an employment visa. This will have validity of 60 days and will be temporary. It will take 5-6 days for the entry permit to be mailed by the immigration department.
- Changing Status- Status adjustment or Status Change is vital for getting a free zone visa. It can be done via border run, in-country or out of the country. The most chosen option is in-country status change. You have to submit the passport to the immigration department who will stamp the passport and get the employment visa activated. Check whether this option is applicable for your particular nationality. The visa may be activated by exiting and re-entering the UAE as well.
- Medical Tests- This medical test is compulsory and covers a blood test for ascertaining any diseases/infections along with chest X-rays. This procedure requires 3-4 days to be finished.
- Registration for Emirate ID- Post getting suitable results, you should apply for the Emirate ID. This ID should be carried by all UAE citizens on their person. You will have to visit the official ID authority for submitting the application and biometric information.
- Residence Visa- The final step is visa stamping in the whole process. The visa stamp will now be obtained for your passport. For getting your passport stamped, you will have to submit it to immigration authorities accordingly. Free zone visa processing timelines are close to 15 days after which you will receive your visa.
If you’re looking at assistance with obtaining a free zone visa for the UAE, UAE business incorporation, auditing, accounting, VAT and other services, you can rely on GCC Filings VAT consulting in the UAE. Their team of skilled professionals will help you out with these aspects impeccably.