Which Authorities Deal with UAE Resident Visa

If you are planning to apply for your resident visa in the UAE, you may not know, which authority or authorities to approach. The objective of this chapter is to provide clear guidance, as to which authorities you will be working with on the way to getting your resident visa stamped in the passport.



First of all, let’s break down our discussion into two parts. In the first one we will talk about authorities you would be dealing with, in case you have a free zone company. And then we will move on to the local companies and discuss, who you will be working with in the mainland.


We suggested starting with the free zones, as their structures would be the easiest to explain. Let’s begin. The moment you want to establish a free zone company, you come to a free zone administration, which is often referred to as a Free Zone Authority. Each free zone has its own Free Zone Authority. Free Zone Authority remains your first and the last point of communication. It is extremely rare, that you need to communicate with any other external government authorities apart from the free zone administration. Regardless of the issue you might have with your company, you would be coming here, to a free zone authority. Resident visa issuance – free zone, change of manager – free zone, employment dispute – again, first, free zone. As such, you do not need to worry who to ask. If you have resident visa queries, go straight to the free zone. Free zone authority is an official representative of all free zone member companies, so it is the free zone, who represents you before Immigration Authority, Ministry of Labor or any other government bodies. You cannot approach the Immigration Authority by yourself, as a free zone company, only free zone authority can do so on your behalf. Consider this as a one-stop-shop for all your business needs, which is very convenient, one must admit.


At the same time, if you are the owner of a local company registered in the mainland, guidance on the subject would be quite helpful. Unlike a free zone, mainland companies deal with the Department of Economic Development (which is a registration authority) solely with respect to company formation and further license amendments. The moment you need to deal with your resident visa or employ someone, you approach two different authorities at once: Immigration Authority, which is The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (DNRD for short), and the Ministry of Labor.


In the recent years much has been done to streamline governmental services, including those of the Ministry of Labor and the DNRD. You may be wondering how such major improvements were achieved. It was not but for the partnership of the government authorities, Ministry of Labor including, with the private sector. This partnership, in turn, led to the establishment of the first TAS’HEEL centers. Today TAS’HEEL centers are providing a broad spectrum of services for a number of government institutions. Among those institutions one can name Ministry of Labor, DNRD, Dubai Economic Department and others. At the same time all the named government authorities have improved all their systems too, and now almost all services can be applied for online. DNRD has its online system, through which you can apply for resident visas, Ministry of Labor has its system, through which you can apply for visa quota. Emirates Identity Authority allows to apply for Emirates ID online. As such, you have an option to go through the online systems independently or resort to assistance of TAS’HEEL centers, which also minimizes your efforts.


Now let’s summarize: if you have registered a company in a free zone, you apply for your resident visa through free zone authority. In case you established a local company and you need to proceed with resident visa application, you have two options: either you go to the Ministry of Labor and DNRD separately or you approach TAS’HEEL for all your resident visa needs.


We hope you have now a clear understanding of the role of each mentioned UAE authorities and the application process will become a way easier for you moving forward.     


    If you want to know more about Dubai freezone company formation, feel free to get in touch with our professional consultant team and we would be delighted to assist you and help you to compare Dubai freezone company setup costs and help you to find that free zone, which would suit your business needs the most.


 Disclaimer: Business Boutique UAE-Consultants.com is not affiliated with any particular government or legal entity. Business Boutique does not give professional legal advice nor any other professional advice subject to a public office in the government. This article merely sets out a simple and basic idea as to the reasons of Dubai freezone company setup and Dubai free zone company formation cost. Business Boutique in no way holds nor imposes any official governmental or legal authority and the article herein is only to be taken as a guide. All further governmental or legal issues should be addressed to the corresponding authorities.

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