Home > Living in Dubai > A Comprehensive Guide to Obtaining a Partner Visa in Dubai

A Comprehensive Guide to Obtaining a Partner Visa in Dubai

Dec 6, 2023 | Living in Dubai

Do you want to start a business in Dubai? Obtaining a partner visa in Dubai could be your ticket to embarking on your next business venture in the UAE.

However, we want you to be fully informed and understand the benefits and requirements before you start your journey. A partner visa offers a 3-year residence, the chance to sponsor family, easier GCC travel, and even the possibility of the UAE Golden Visa. However, the average minimum investment will require an AED 1 million investment in a UAE-based company.

Whether you’re investing in a company or starting a fresh venture, understanding the prerequisites, financial obligations, and legal frameworks is essential. We’ll walk you through the eligibility criteria, costs and the application process for obtaining a partner visa.

Partner and investor visas in the UAE are often mistaken for one another due to their similar nature in facilitating business operations and residency; we will clarify their distinctions, highlighting their unique features and eligibility criteria.

What is a Partner Visa?

A partner visa in Dubai is a type of residency permit specifically designed for individuals who hold a partnership in a UAE-based company. This visa is tailored for those with a significant stake or share in a business operating within the country. It allows partners to be actively involved in the management or day-to-day operations of the company.

Typically, the visa is linked to their role and shareholding in the business, enabling them to reside in the UAE legally. Holders of a partner visa can often sponsor their immediate family members for residency.

What is an Investor Visa?

On the other hand, an investor visa is issued to individuals who make a substantial financial investment in the UAE. This can include investments in business ventures, startups, or real estate within the country. Unlike the partner visa, the investor visa is not necessarily tied to active involvement in a business’s daily operations. It’s aimed at those who contribute to the UAE’s economy through capital investment.

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What are the Eligibility Requirements for the Partner Visa in Dubai?

To be eligible for a partner visa in the United Arab Emirates, applicants must fulfil specific requirements, which typically include these requirements:

  • Business Ownership/Partnership Agreement: The applicant must hold a significant share or stake in a UAE-based company. This is usually validated by presenting a partnership agreement or company registration documents showing the applicant’s name as a partner or shareholder.
  • Minimum Investment: The minimum investment requirement for obtaining a partner visa in the UAE often varies depending on the emirate and the nature of the business. The GDRFA lists that the minimum value of the contribution of a partner must equal 1 million AED or its equivalent in other currencies.
  • Valid Passport: Applicants must have a valid passport with enough validity period remaining.
  • UAE Entry Permit: Before applying for the partner visa, the applicant often needs to enter the UAE on an entry permit, which may be a visit or tourist visa, depending on the nationality of the applicant.
  • No Objection Certificate (NOC): If the applicant already resides in the UAE on a different visa type, a NOC from the current sponsor might be required.
  • Health Insurance and Medical Fitness Test: Applicants need to have valid health insurance in the UAE. Additionally, they must pass a medical fitness test conducted by UAE health authorities.
  • Emirates ID Registration: The process involves registering for an Emirates ID, which is mandatory for all UAE residents.
  • Clean Criminal Record: A clear criminal record in the UAE and the applicant’s home country is typically required.
  • Proof of Accommodation: Evidence of suitable accommodation in the UAE may be needed, such as a tenancy agreement or title deed.
  • Financial Stability: Sometimes, proof of financial stability or sufficient income to support themselves and any dependents will be required.
  • Trade License Copy: If investing in or starting a business, you’ll need a copy of the trade license issued by the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai.
  • Immigration Establishment Card: Required for businesses looking to invest in the UAE, obtainable from the relevant immigration authority.
  • Memorandum Papers (MOA): For investing in a company, you’ll need a Memorandum of Association outlining its purpose and terms of operation.

How to Get a Partner Visa in Dubai: Application Process Step-by-Step

Applying for a partner visa in the UAE involves several steps, which generally include the following:

  1. Create a Partnership Agreement within a UAE Company: Ensure you have a partnership with a UAE-based company. This is usually validated through company incorporation documents. You should have a partnership agreement outlining each partner’s ownership percentage, profit-sharing arrangements, job responsibilities, etc.
  2. Obtain Trade License and MOA: Secure a valid trade license for your business and ensure you have the Memorandum of Association (MOA), including your name as a partner.
  3. Apply for an Immigration Establishment Card: Your company must obtain an Immigration Establishment Card from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA). This card is essential for sponsoring visas.
  4. Entry Permit (if outside UAE): If you are not in the UAE, apply for an entry permit to enter the country. This can be done through the GDRFA or online portals like Amer.
  5. Medical Fitness Test and Health Insurance: Once in the UAE, undergo a medical fitness test and get health insurance, which are prerequisites for a residency visa.
  6. Emirates ID Registration: Apply for an Emirates ID at a Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) service centre.
  7. Visa Stamping: Submit your passport, visa application, Emirates ID application, medical test results, and health insurance to the GDRFA for visa stamping. This process finalizes your partner visa.
  8. Collect Your Passport: Collect your passport with the partner visa stamped after processing.


A screenshot of the GDRFA on how to apply for an entry permit and then a partner visa in the UAE.

Processing Time of a Partner Visa in Dubai

Generally, the processing time for a partner visa ranges from a few days to a couple of weeks once all required documents are submitted and the necessary procedures (such as the medical fitness test) are completed. The processing time can vary based on several factors, including the specific emirate, the completeness and accuracy of the submitted documents, and the workload of the immigration authorities at the time of application.

In many cases, the processing can be expedited for an additional fee, offering a quicker turnaround.

Dubai Partner Visa Benefits

Obtaining a partner visa in Dubai and the UAE allows you to access a range of benefits that can significantly enhance your experience while living, working, and investing in the region. Some of the primary advantages associated with each type of investor visa category include:

1. 3-Year Dubai Residence Visa

One of the most significant benefits is the 3-year residence visa allowing you to live and work in the UAE without the need for frequent visa renewals.

2. Ability to Sponsor Immediate Family Members

As a partner visa holder, you can sponsor visas for your spouse, children, and, in some cases, parents. Having your loved ones close can improve your overall experience in the UAE.

3. Easier Travel to GCC Countries

Partner visa holders benefit from easier travel to GCC countries, leading to increased networking opportunities, business collaborations, and regional market insight.

4. Possibility of Obtaining the UAE Golden Visa

Holding a partner visa may make you eligible for the prestigious UAE Golden Visa, which comes with numerous benefits like smoother travel to GCC countries and access to exclusive business opportunities.

5. Access to UAE Services

Residing in the UAE with a partner visa grants you access to various government and private services in the UAE, including healthcare, education, and property rental or purchase.

Dubai Partner Visa Cost

It’s important to be aware of the costs associated with each visa category and any other fees and charges you might encounter during the application process. While the actual cost of the visa is only 200 AED (in addition to the 5% VAT), there will be other associated costs, such as getting a medical fitness test, health insurance, emirates ID, and an establishment card. There may also be document translation fees and any fees associated with a legal advisor.

Additionally, additional fees will be added for each dependent’s visa if you plan to sponsor family members.

A picture of two people who have just acquired partner visas in the UAE.

Summing Up: Obtaining a Partner Visa in Dubai

In conclusion, applying for a partner visa in Dubai is a clear and structured process, albeit with specific requirements and costs. Understanding the eligibility criteria is crucial for a smooth application process. The benefits of obtaining a partner visa in Dubai are significant, offering partners the opportunity to live, work, and enjoy the vibrant lifestyle of this dynamic city together.

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Frequently Asked Questions Partner Visa Dubai (FAQs)

1. How long is the validity of the Partner visa?

Partner visas in the UAE are generally valid for three years and can be renewed after this period.

2. What is the difference between an Investor Visa and a Partner Visa in Dubai?

An investor visa in the UAE is typically granted to individuals who make a substantial financial investment in the country, such as in real estate or a business, without necessarily being involved in the daily operations. In contrast, a partner visa is issued to those who hold a significant stake and are actively involved in the management of a UAE-based company.

3. What are the requirements for sponsoring family members?

A partner visa holder must provide valid identification documents, proof of income, a marriage certificate (for the spouse), and birth certificates (for children) and meet the government-specified minimum monthly income requirement.

4. Do I need legal or expert help applying for a Partner Visa in Dubai?

Whilst it isn’t 100% necessary, we recommend you seek professional advice from a business setup expert, legal advisor, or such as Virtuzone. We will help guide you through the application process and help you make the most of your investment in Dubai. With our support, you can confidently navigate the partner visa process and ultimately enjoy the benefits of living, working, and investing in this dynamic city.

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