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Officially Licensed Company for Dubai Business Setup

We are a division of BinShahzad Dubai Accountants Group, which is owned by the Chicago CPA Firm of Gold Wiseman.

To obtain a business visa for Dubai as a foreigner, you need to comply with specific regulations and follow a set process. Here are the key steps and requirements:

1. Determine the Type of Visa

Dubai offers various types of business visas, including:

  • Investor Visa: For individuals investing in a business in Dubai.
  • Partner Visa: For partners in an existing business in Dubai.
  • Employment Visa: For employees of a company based in Dubai.
  • Freelancer Visa: For individuals working independently or providing services to multiple clients.

2. Establish Your Business

  • Free Zone: Many opt to set up their business in one of Dubai’s free zones, which offer benefits like full foreign ownership, tax exemptions, and simplified immigration processes.
  • Mainland: Setting up a business in Dubai mainland involves working with a local sponsor who owns 51% of the business.

3. Documentation Requirements

  • Passport Copies: Valid passport with a minimum of six months validity.
  • Photographs: Passport-sized photographs as per UAE visa requirements.
  • Application Form: Completed visa application form.
  • Business Plan: Detailed business plan, particularly if applying for an investor visa.
  • Proof of Investment: For investor visas, proof of capital investment in the business.
  • Medical Examination: Medical fitness test results from an authorized UAE medical center.
  • Trade License: Copy of the trade license if the business is already established.
  • Entry Permit: Issued by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA).

4. Application Process

  • Submission: Submit the application and required documents to the relevant authority (GDRFA or the respective Free Zone Authority).
  • Security Clearance: Undergo a security clearance process.
  • Medical Examination: Complete the medical fitness test.
  • Emirates ID Registration: Apply for an Emirates ID.
  • Visa Stamping: Once approved, your passport will be stamped with the visa.

5. Processing Time

The processing time for a Dubai business visa can vary but generally takes between 15 to 30 days.

6. Costs

The cost of obtaining a business visa varies based on the type of visa and the specific free zone or mainland jurisdiction. It typically includes:

  • Application fees
  • Medical examination fees
  • Emirates ID fees
  • Sponsorship fees (for mainland businesses)

Additional Considerations

  • Renewal: Business visas are typically valid for 1-3 years and can be renewed.
  • Dependents: Visa holders can sponsor their dependents (spouse, children) for residence visas.

Contacting Authorities

For precise details and assistance, it’s advisable to contact:

  • The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA)
  • The specific Free Zone Authority where you plan to establish your business


While the process might seem complex, Dubai offers a streamlined system for business visa applications, particularly in free zones. It’s crucial to ensure all documentation is accurate and complete to facilitate smooth processing.