Opportunity Awaits podcast Episode Transcript
Hi, I'm Aaron Henriques and I'm going to talk to you about my experience getting the residency visa set up for Dubai and the United Arab Emirates overall. I'm recently back in Dubai where I got my UAE residence visa sorted out and I've been in the UK now for two to three months. And the last video I did on setting up the company seems to have gone really well.
Lots of people have asked about the visa process though So this is what this video is about and for those of you who've been waiting a while Sorry, but i've been busy. I've got a business to run now just before I get started I want to make it really clear the process That i've been through is as a business owner someone setting up a company in the UAE a free zone company particularly and That is the process that I followed that's in relation to that.
Now, I do not know for sure, but I imagine the majority of the process is the same for people who are coming in as employees for companies that already exist in the UAE. I imagine the process is very similar, if it's not identical. Now, to be even clearer, I've applied as a business owner. with a so called like investor's visa is what the title is on my visa.
But it's exactly the same thing as any other free zone business owner's visa where you might be titled general manager, partner, managing director, whatever their equivalent is or whatever it is, it's exactly the same. But what it is not, it's not a golden visa. So in my previous video I mentioned about the fact that maybe I ended up being scammed after all.
Well it turns out I wasn't. I've now got my. Memorandum and association of articles for my company with IFSA. which is one of the free zone companies in Dubai. I have my UAE trade license here and my certificate of formation. So business has been formally set up, which is great news. So I wasn't scammed.
And for all the people that I've sent over to Switty, who've contacted me from the other video. There's a number of them that have already set up their companies too. And if you haven't seen that video already, look back through there somewhere. The last few videos, there's some videos in between where I've shown like my first few days in Dubai, but the last podcast episode was in relation to that.
Now, because I've had so many questions, had lots of comments on YouTube. I've had multiple people contact me via email, WhatsApp. I don't even know how they get my details. So I'm going to be covering a lot of the questions. That I've been asked throughout this. Okay, the residency visa process. It wasn't a smooth process Or it wasn't as smooth a process as setting up the company It was a bit confusing and costly and there were things that I was paying for which i'm still not even now I'm, not quite sure if i've paid twice for something or not, but i'm just whatever I paid it and it's done now weirdly Well, I think it's weird just coming from the uk I sponsored myself through my own company to get my visa.
So that's how the system works there. So you set up your own company, you can sponsor yourself and also other, if you take on other employees, you can sponsor them to come and get their visa in the UAE. But whether you are coming in as an employee or whatever, you're going to need a sponsor and an employment contract if you aren't setting up your own company anyway.
Now, as I said before, There may be slight differences. There might be a few extra bits that you have to go through if you are coming in just as an employee. But to be honest with you, there's parts of this, big parts of this stuff that I didn't know that you'd have to go through, which is worth. sticking around for just listening to that anyway.
So I thought about the structure of this video quite a bit and I'm going to start with the process going through the whole process then more about what the visa allows you to do and towards the end of the video I'm going to talk about how to keep it active and a few frequently asked questions that I've been asked.
So it's a bit of a mixed up video you might see a clip or two of me in the past in Dubai and if you're listening on audio well if you head over to YouTube the whole thing will be there. And, really importantly, for a lot of people watching now, we'll be covering those common misconceptions, those false beliefs that are out there where people talk a load of shit.
And I'm correcting a lot of those because I had to do the research and I might as well share it with you to show you how it's actually done, the process that I've actually been through quite recently. Okay, so, first of all, really, why am I doing this? I've had an idea about setting up companies and stuff like that, and I've, I've got companies in the UK already.
And quite recently, the UK government decided it's going to increase the tax on all the businesses, and then at the other side of it, when you take your dividends and whatever. Basically, they've been annoying me. I just find them really annoying. And I think they tax us way too much. They tax entrepreneurs way, way, way too much.
And it really prevents people from being able to grow. So. I don't really need to be any particular place. I don't have kids. I'm not married, anything like that. I've got the freedom to move around as I please and I just kind of felt like, well, I'm holding myself back. I've heard about, I've known about Dubai for years.
You know, I've thought about it many times over the years. I know a couple of people who've gone over to Dubai and who are still in Dubai. I know people who've gone to Australia and America and wherever. And really for me, I was thinking about setting up another company. And it is one that is a global company.
It's not a UK local, like a UK only business. And so I thought, well, what should I do? Do I stay in the UK and pay a ridiculous amount of tax on the earnings and have really slow growth? Because I don't, you know, I'm getting taxed left, right and center. Or do I? Try my luck and think about setting up a company in Dubai.
Now, before I decided to set up a company in Dubai, in fact, around the time I decided to set up a company in Dubai, I had a lot of misconceptions about how the tax situation changes. And I know From people contacting me quite recently since my other video where I've set up about setting up the company in Dubai that there are a lot of people out there still with misconceptions about how it works for tax residency status.
So recently the UAE changed the investor's visa or business owner's visa, whatever you want to call it. The Dubai residency visa to two years. It used to be three years. It's now aligned to the rest of the other residency visas, which were like normal employees or whatever, to two years. Now, getting the visa doesn't mean I have to live in Dubai.
So when I set up the company and even getting the visa, I don't have to live in Dubai for that. It allows me to go live, work there and do whatever in Dubai during the two year period. But what it does require, unlike the golden visa, the normal visa will require you to visit, to be in the country at least every six months.
So, if you leave for longer than six months, then I believe the visa will be cancelled and you get a fine as well. They like to fine you for everything in Dubai. And that fine is nearly the equivalent of an economy ticket from the UK to Dubai. So when I was going through the process, I had an absolute ton of questions, probably like you as well, hence why you're watching.
And I've heard so many, like, conflicting and just completely false information that's online, particularly from these companies that are, you know, they're helping you get your visa, and they're helping you set up your companies, and they're putting out all this false, false information. YouTubers, whatever.
There's so much. rubbish online about the UAE. For example, there's a ton of stuff out there which would indicate that by getting a UAE residence visa means you pay absolutely no tax where you're from, which is absolute nonsense. There are so many variables to it. And so this is something that I want to correct.
Although I will put in a caveat here. I'm not here for your tax planning. It's I had someone contact me on Instagram the other day was asking me about like what are the actual rules for the visa? How many days you have to be in Whereas actually that's the wrong question. It's more about how many days can you stay in your own country where you're from.
That's the question. It's not about how many days you need to be in Dubai for. Anyway, in the UK, there's rules around it, but generally speaking for me, I can't be in the UK for more than 90 days a year. As an example, but residency and your tax residency status are also two different things. And it really varies depending on where you are and where you're from in the world.
For example, the Americans got a really bad deal. They don't really get much benefit from going to the UAE, whereas lots of European countries would do. So what I'm going to get onto now, because I've been nattering on for a while, is I'm going to go through the full process that I went through during May and June 2023 and covering the things that I learned along the way.
Now, there's a lot more moving parts to this than there was in the company setup process, which was a lot simpler, to be honest with you. So, bear with me. I'm going to try and be as accurate as I can and give you as much detailed information as I can, which isn't going to be... You know, glossy and exciting and fun and, you know, do the usual YouTube logarithm stuff or whatever.
It's just going to be as I experienced it. So the most frequent question I keep getting is about how long the process takes. How long do you need to be in Dubai to get through the visa? process. I'm not talking about the company stuff, just the visa process. Now what you need to get is something called an e visa.
Now the e visa gives you 60 days to enter the UAE and sort out your medical and all the other requirements that are needed. To get your visa issued now you can apply for your visa outside of the UAE and also inside of the UAE What I will say though is if you are inside the UAE on a tourism visa You will need to pay to cancel your tourism visa before you can then apply for your e visa And so it costs more money So if you apply before you enter the UAE, you can get your e visa, which gives you the whole 60 days to sort out your medical and requirements, and then get your visa issued.
Now, lots of people want to try and do it on a really fine line, and what I would say is plan for two to three weeks in Dubai. The main reason is, is you cannot leave. Before the visa is issued. So once you enter an e visa from what I've been told you cannot leave the UAE Before your visa is actually issued to you or you start the whole process again And I believe there's a fee for everything in the UAE And you may come across things that you hadn't expected that may have held you up now for me That wasn't the issue.
It was all pretty smooth in terms of time wise But yeah, definitely two to three weeks, right? So I applied for my e visa when I was setting up my company and for some reason, I don't know why I just decided that I knew the rules of the UAE like without even bothering to check But for some reason I just thought that the e visa would let me show up at some point in the future And then my 60 days started from then.
That's not the case. It is the 60 days start from the date it's issued, which actually makes more sense. I don't know what I was thinking. And if you don't enter within that time and do all the stuff that you need to do, it's cancelled and you lose your money. Now, I mentioned about applying whilst you're in or out of the UAE, the differences between that.
What I would say is, if you can, apply when you're outside the UAE because it saves you a bit of money. But just be mindful that you cannot enter the UAE on that e visa until it's issued, obviously. And that can take several days. So don't plan to, you know, you're going to the UAE on Monday and then you decide to apply for your visa on the Friday because you may turn up in Dubai and don't have a visa.
Now I don't know what happens then. But you may not have that e visa issued and you cannot enter. And so if you haven't entered on that e visa, which they need to stamp by the way, you're going to have a problem. And I don't know what that situation would be, but all I'm just saying is give it enough time so you can apply for your e visa before you enter the UAE.
At least, you know, aim for a week at least. It doesn't take that long, but just in case, you never know. Okay, so the first thing you need to do is complete the visa application and upload your documents. To whoever you've applied for your visa with I did mine when I set up my company So if you're not setting up a company, I don't know where you would go to do that directly So this is what I was saying about earlier But I can't tell you about all the steps for people that aren't Setting up a company because and through who I set up with which was ifsa I can't tell you all the steps because I haven't done them.
All I can tell you is what i've done So the first part is basic information, which is where you select like employment visa, is an investor's visa, a partner's visa. Um, a partner's visa is just if there's more than one person that you're setting up a company with, then you have the partner's visa. It's not to do with your like a relationship, like you and your wife or whatever.
Then you've got the address information, employment, your salary, the company you're going to be working for. Then you upload a document, passport, photo, and for the, for the company I set up with proof of payment. You know, they, they just want you to upload a screenshot from your bank just to say that you've actually sent the money to them.
I don't know why they can't just check the bank statement, but whatever, that's what they ask for. Now, of course, you're going to want to know about the cost. I'm going to cover all that at the end of the video. All right. It's important point, but there's so many different parts where you pay out money. I thought what I'm going to do is I'm going to put them all together, um, at the end of the video so that it's easier to sort of keep track of.
Is that all right? Sound good? Okay, you also need a signed employment contract. Now, of course, I was sponsoring myself. So my employment contract signed by me, um, was to sponsor my visa. to come in. And you do that through an establishment card. You'll need a work sponsor. If you don't have your own company, for example, you're going to need a work sponsor.
So whoever your employer is going to be, they'll sort that out for you. I see a lot of people doing these things. What are they bloody called? Visa runs, I think they're called. Literally that. Where they're leaving the country by bus or something like that and coming back and whatever. I don't know how these people support themselves.
They must be working illegally. But anyway, don't do that. Just get a visa. It's easy. Now if you want to be shown as an investor on your visa, it needs to be shown in your employment contract. You can't apply for the investor's visa. It doesn't do anything different for you anyway. It's just what is written on the bloody thing.
But you can't have like general manager on your employment contract and then apply for investor's visa because It will have to say you're a general manager. Does that make sense? Now the bulk of the fees that I paid for the visa were paid directly to the visa team and some directly to the medical when I went to the medical facility and then the biometrics and whatever which I'm gonna come to and I'm gonna break that down at the end of the video like I said.
Now for me the visa payment and application was submitted on a Friday and I had the e visa in my inbox on Tuesday. Literally like 7am when they woke up, they had it ready by then, UK time. I was still confused about what happens next though. There's a lot of steps involved. In fact, they sent this really long document which tells you all the different steps and how to break it down.
But it wasn't really that clear and simple as setting up the company. As I've already said about 10 times, I need to stop saying. So you need Emirates ID typing. Emirates ID typing is literally just... The application form for your Emirates ID, but you need to get it done at a particular centre and they stamp it.
Well, I think you need to get it done at a particular centre. I kind of feel like I could have just filled that in myself, but whatever, they didn't let me do that. And then they book you the appointment for your biometrics as well. So, you need a medical, but nobody could tell me, and I mean nobody, when I ask so many times, How long does the medical take?
I think some people are getting confused, they're thinking like, Am I saying it, you know, if I do the medical today? Will it be back in a week, or will it be back in like two days, or five days, or whatever? I couldn't find a way just to ask them, like, am I going to be in the medical center for half an hour, or do I need a whole day?
That was what I was trying to get, but it got into the too difficult box, um, for everyone I was asking, so clearly it's something to do with. The way I speak English or whatever. And again, medical insurance. That's another one which was mentioned as it was required, but then I discovered it wasn't that I don't need it because I'm a company owner, I think.
And so it's optional for me. It was a bit confusing. Even now I'm like, uh, but these, the e visa gives you 60 days to sort out all those requirements. So it's plenty of time. It's just whether or not you. Can give yourself enough time in the UAE to get it sorted out. So if you've seen my vlog, you would have already seen that.
I went to the Al Bahara Medical Center. This was on the 7th of June, 2023. That was the day after I landed in the UAE in Dubai. I landed like really late at night in Dubai and I was going in the morning. I arrived much later than I originally planned, as I was told it was like, it's more quiet in the morning.
They suggest on their website, just like a few of the others that I actually contacted before I even left the UK, that you can book appointments. But it seems like you can only book appointments if you're booking like their VIP. thing. Particularly now I don't really see the point of what it was other than the fact you get to sit in a different part of the medical center away from all of the other people going through visas.
So as I mentioned like literally nobody could tell me how long I'll be there for. When I got to the center I asked them and I think the best answer I got was two days that I'd be there getting my medical done. So I was like, okay, well, obviously I'm not going to be here for two days. Well, that'd be a bit weird, but it, it wasn't two days.
Um, as I come on to now, I got ticket number one, two, one, five. When I went there, I knew I'd had to do the medical and also the Emirates ID typing, which I did explain when I went to reception, they gave me ticket one, two, one, five, which. Only said medical form typing, admin, medical exam, blood test for HIV and an x ray of the lungs for TB.
So what I did is I saw the guy at the desk who completes some forms. I don't really know what he was doing. Then he was, he was like friendly. He's very happy, smiley guy. Then he sends you to the cashier. He goes like, go over there and pay. So you troddle over to the cashier. It's like 347 dirhams, but I'll go through that later.
And then back to the desk to show proof of payment. You know, yes, it's been paid. Then I was sent around the corner, but then I had to put a mask on. I think relating to COVID. So the main part of it, they didn't care. But then when you go to the medical bit, they want you to put a mask on. So I put my mask on.
Anyway, I put that, that mask on. So another thing that I was trying to get out of them, but I couldn't. So one, I couldn't get out of them how long it would take to do the medical. I also couldn't get out of them what the medical consisted of. So I kind of went in there a bit blind, not knowing what was going on.
It just seemed like as if I just asked them to solve like how to make us immortal or something. I don't know. So I'd asked many times about what the medical was. I went there assuming. that it would be something like, like, take your blood pressure, take your weight, put a tape around your belly just to make sure you're not too fat and then take your height and on your way and say yeah you're either like at risk of death in this heat or something like that so we won't give you a visa or whatever.
But that was not what occurred. So I went around to the medical section and I sat down for a while and then I was invited into a room and that was when I discovered what the first part of the medical really was. Which I could have discovered had I paid any attention to my ticket but ultimately what it was is they sit you down in a, in a room, in a chair.
And then they take your blood. And so I asked the guy, because I was distracting myself, I don't like people taking my blood. In fact, I can't remember the last time I allowed anyone to take my blood. I kind of like having my blood inside of me. They took the blood and I asked the guy what that was for and that is for HIV.
That's what they're testing for. Nothing else, apparently. Just for HIV. Then I got sent round to another part of the centre. So they've got separate for men and women on, for this part of it, but understandably why, what I'll say in a second. Which I think they'll do here as well, to be honest. But the next part of it, I was sat down for a while.
There's lots of people I don't know where they're from. Somewhere like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, I don't know. somewhere like in that region where a bit of an argument ensued between security and one of the people who were waiting like really rudely and there was just this heated argument. I don't think security was expecting them to talk back.
A manager come out and sorted it out and then eventually what happened was I took a photo. Because I was trying to film a vlog, guys. I took a photo, which I was gonna do a video, luckily it was just photo. I know I did do a video as well. I did a video, but they didn't see that bit. But when they saw me take the photo, which was not of anyone, it was just of how the center looked.
Yeah, I got told off by security for that. And I just sort of had to ignore him because he was just a bit rude. And I kind of, um, I've got a bad attitude if, if you piss me off. Yeah, I just had to ignore him a bit and just put my phone away. But anyway. The next bit was an x ray. Now, I'm still not sure if I was meant to take my shirt off or not.
That's why I was thinking, well, maybe, yeah, you're, you're meant to. I think there was something lost in translation, because they send you to this little, tiny little cupboard room. There's lots of these little cupboard rooms that go into like one x ray room, and they've got hangers there, and I thought the guy said, like, he, not to me, but to someone else before, he gestured about taking a top off.
And so I took my chain off, because it's an x ray, I took my, my top off, and then I stood in the room, but I stood in the room when there was still someone in there, but I noticed that the guy there didn't have his top off, he was in the room, and I got sent back out, and then I quickly got dressed. And then come and did it without the thing on.
But anyway, I don't really know what I was meant to do. I'm still not sure if you're meant to have your top off or not. But whatever, I had that done. And that's the test for tuberculosis, to make sure I didn't have TB. Thankfully, I don't have TB or HIV. Otherwise, I wouldn't have had my visa issued. So after that process, and I was still holding on to my...
thing like that. Like on my arm feeling like as if someone had just sliced my arm open but it hadn't. It's just me, I don't like needles. I then realized that they hadn't put Emirates ID on the thing. So this is why I mentioned like, I think I might have paid twice earlier for something because I then had to pay another 386 dirhams for getting the Emirates ID thing done.
And I can't, I've just got this feeling that had you done it in the one, the, the difference is like really minimal. Not, not as much as that. So I'm not sure though. I'm not 100 percent sure, but yeah, anyway, I ended up with ticket 5022 somehow, and I saw the same guy to do the paperwork. He sent me off to the cashier again, I paid the 386 dirhams.
Then he told me I need to attend biometrics the next day, which was another thing I didn't know at the time, at another centre as well. So, they call themselves the smart centre all in one, that's how they pitch themselves, but they're not an all in one centre to go somewhere else to get your biometrics done.
Now the only thing I'll say about those ticket numbers, don't worry, I wasn't there that long at all. Ticket numbers seem random, I think I went from, what, ticket number like 1215 to 5022, I mean, it wasn't, you know, 4, 000 people or whatever come in that time. Yeah, I got sent, I got... Booked the time and date for the biometric center the next day.
I wasn't given an option, by the way. I was just told you will attend on this day and time. I asked him, does it have to be that day and time? Because my friend was coming that evening from London and we were meant to do stuff, but it ended up being pretty quick. I think in total, it took about an hour and a half for the entire medical Emirates ID and all of that using their standard service.
I must add that's their standard service. It wasn't a VIP service. And like I said, I think it was just another room. Now, there is a bit of a class system in the UAE. Not a bit, there is one. I think that is really designed to separate the two. Like, I, I just sat among the people who are from much, much poorer countries than I.
I don't care. I didn't give two hoots. I mean, there's plenty of space. There's no issues really apart from that one argument between security or whatever. But I think the VIP service, one, they do the turnaround a bit quicker. I think it's done within 24 hours or Two day, 48 hours. But also they have a separate seating area so you don't have to sit among the riffraff like me who are doing it.
But I would just say pay for the standard service. I think the VIP was hugely like way, way, way more money. And also they, they want to like give you COVID shots as well with the VIP service for some reason. I don't know why. Okay, so the next day, on the 8th of June, I was sent to Al Ghazal. The Al Ghazal Center.
That's what I'm going to say with confidence. All they did was take my fingerprints. They took my fingerprints, took the ciders, just like when I was in the police before. back in the day how we take the fingerprints on the machine and then make sure they stamp your paperwork if they don't stamp your paperwork none of it will happen and also the same for the medical and blood test it needs a stamp that i think it says like blood on it you need to have your stamps done otherwise it won't count when you do the next part of the process.
But anyway, I went to this center. I was there, what, five minutes in and out. It was super, super quick. I thought I was gonna be there for ages and that was it. I was off for the day. Then I had to wait for the medical certificate confirmation from Albahara Smart Medical Center. So I sent over the paperwork with all the stamps and stuff on and the medical certificate was issued on the same day on Thursday the 8th of June 2023.
So Again, like I mentioned about the VIP service didn't really matter because it was done anyway in that time But I guess that at busier times a year I was there at quite a quiet time of the year at busier times a year Maybe it does actually make a a big difference and you might have a different experience to what i've had Depending on the time of year you're there.
Then I uploaded the paperwork to the visa team There's so many steps to this and my visa was finally finally issued on the 14th of June 2023. So it's a few days, well it's nearly a week later. Now there's a couple of things to note for you. Firstly, you don't get a stamp in your passport anymore. The UAE are trying to move to an all electric system, so it's sent electronically.
The visa, you still get the Emirates ID like in a hard copy card, which I'll show you, but the visa is sent electronically and the Emirates ID acts as the visa. You can't have it without the visa basically. So once you've got the Emirates ID. You can then register on things like UAE pass, which is like a one stop shop system to gain access to all sorts of different UAE apps, like via your phone, maybe online, no, online as well, uh, on, on the internet and the IAE, the IAE.
ICP apps, which is where you can see all your visa information. You can see your Emirates ID. You can see, I think you can see any fines and stuff that you've been, that have been assigned to your Emirates ID and a number of other things. And they've got a police app as well, which is nuts, which you can also sign in with the UAE pass.
So that UAE pass, once you've got that authorized and verified, it then is like a, like a single sign on. for all of these other apps basically. I then received an email on the 14th of June, same day that my visa was issued, saying that my Emirates ID card had been printed. But I didn't hear anything about a delivery and I must just make it really really clear here.
This is nothing to do with my FreeZone, if like who I'm registered with, if so or the visa team, anything like that. This is now over to, I don't know if it's a UAE government entity, I imagine it is. Um, or if they subcontract out the work to like private companies or whatever, but I didn't hear anything about the delivery for a few days.
And I was approaching the time for me to go home. Now, bear in mind that I'd given myself three weeks. Okay, so I mentioned at the start of this, I'd given myself three weeks and I thought that'd be plenty of time. I thought I'd have everything done, the Emirates ID and all that issued before I leave. Now, just as a point to note that you can leave the UAE without the Emirates ID.
You cannot leave the UAE without your visa though. It would have been fine if I didn't get the Emirates ID. I could have left. It would have been a problem. I could have just picked it up the next time I came to the UAE. So anyway, I called on the 19th of June 2023 and they confirmed that the courier had been given my Emirates ID already and they gave me the contact details for the courier.
So I contacted the courier and they said they would deliver two days later. So I thought I'd do something the next day and then plan to wait around the following day for the delivery to the hotel or for the apartments that I was staying in. And then when I was at the IFSA offices I was looking around like checking out their office space, meeting a few people there.
I went there to get the memorandum thing as well. I mean, that's another story. I had to go back twice because I forgot my passport because I'm stupid But anyway, I had a phone call when I was at the IFSA offices drinking a cup of coffee to say oh by the way I'm 10 minutes away or 15 minutes away from bringing your Emirates ID to you Which is I was like half an hour 40 minutes away from there like from the hotel Not only that they said that they could only give it to me directly And I had to sign for it and show my passport or whatever.
Ended up getting that sorted out. I'm not gonna explain how, but we ended up getting that sorted out. I got a taxi back. I collected my Emirates ID. Now here's an important point for you. Now you've gone to the expense of perhaps getting your company sorted out, but now also getting your visa and gone through all this process.
You've got to keep it active, okay? And I had a bit of a confusion over what it meant to keep active. Was it... You had to spend six months in the UAE or was it that continuously, did you have to spend six months over the course of a 12 month period in the UAE? Did you have to be in the UAE at least once every six months?
So I didn't know. And it's something that I, I clarified because obviously it's important to keep your visa sorted out. So from what I was told, Okay, and there's always potential that I may have been giving wrong information people, right? So definitely ask when you get your visa sorted out just to confirm But what I was told is that you must not be outside of the UAE For more than six continuous months or you will be fined and your visa will be cancelled That is what I was told, okay?
So that doesn't mean that I need to spend six months in any 12 months in the UAE like I thought at one point. It also doesn't mean that I can leave the UAE, for example, on in September 2023 and go back in May 2024, then stay another six months from May to November 24, because September to May is eight months and you'll be fined and your visa cancelled.
It's important that you make sure that you are visiting the UAE if you're on this visa at least once every six months. If you have a golden visa though, that is a different process. I imagine the medical and everything's the same but it's different requirements, different process for a different matter.
You don't have any of that problem. And that's what what I think I'll do is probably look for getting a golden visa next time when my visa runs out. If I'm still planning on staying in the UAE. I think I will probably go through the Golden Visa process instead of maintaining the current one that I have.
Because it gives, one, it gives you a lot longer to stay in the UAE rather than having to renew every two years. I think you can get up to 10 years for the Golden Visa. So there's no limits. I mean, if you want to stay out. the UAE for a year you can go back and it's fine. On to the FAQs. I think this is an important part for a lot of people.
It will cover a lot of misconceptions, uh, a lot of wrong information that's out there, potentially a lot of questions. So let's go through them one by one. So I'm going to cover a few of the main ones which take maybe five minutes and what I'll try to do is get all of these. done because since I've made this list there's actually a number of others that have come up quite frequently throughout the YouTube Instagram that are not on this list so I will go through those another time in a separate video so if you're subscribed then you'll be able to know about them because there's a lot of wrong information out there.
Not just about the visa process, but also about tax. I can't really talk about tax too much. I mean, I can tell you bits about what I've been told about my situation, but you're not going to know the ins and outs of my situation. It does really vary depending on your personal circumstances and of course, where in the world you're from.
I'll go through a few of these and then we'll look at wrapping up. Okay. So one of the main questions I get asked, which I've already covered is how long does the investor's residency visa last for? It is now two years. It's not three years like it used to be. So it's two years. What does the residency visa allow you to do?
So that allows you to live and work in the UAE as a resident for two years. And what that means is you can do things like you can open a bank account. You can get a bank loan, personal or, you know, like a car loan. You can get a mortgage. You can have visa free access to several countries around the UAE.
If you have kids, your children can attend government or private schools in the UAE. You can get a driver's license and some access to like health services and health insurance. You know, it basically just allows you to live. It allows you to live and be like a normal free human being in the UAE. Now the costs.
This is important for a lot of people because a lot of people ask. Now I'm going to start off with saying that I have a feeling that there is another way to get these visas issued with you doing it directly, this residency visa, without paying the amount that I've paid to get this done. I think that a lot of my fee is to do with basically admin fees for the company that have done it for me because when I look on the UAE website, the cost of the visa itself.
like the official government websites. The cost of the visa itself is like insignificant, like just pales in comparison to what I've actually paid. Certain things like the medical process and stuff might vary by centre, but I'm on about just the admin fee initially. I think explore other options because you may have other options and other alternatives available to you.
So in May and June The cost for me to get my visa sorted out, my residency visa with the investors, but investors visa sorted out was 5, 483 dirhams. And I'm going to break that down for you. So I paid to the visa team in my free zone that I'm with with IFSA. I paid 3, 750 dirhams for the application, which included the e visa application from the UK.
If you were applying for that in the UAE, so you're there on a tourism visa, imagine, instead of 3, 750 dirhams, that cost changes to 5, 350 dirhams. That's an extra 1, 600 dirhams to change the visa, which is... Where I set it up, I then had to pay an extra thousand dirhams for it to be shown as an investor on the visa itself, rather than general manager.
They have a partner designation as well, which would also cost you another thousand if you were... Wanting to show a partner and that's like a partner for a company. It's optional to have that You can just get general manager on on there The reason why I didn't get the like the equivalent of the director the managing director whatever it is is because again, you know the UAE have their own rules and to get managing director on your on your visa for this, you need to have a business degree, which I don't have.
I own businesses. I have, I make money from businesses, but I don't have a business degree. So by that, I wouldn't be able to have a managing director on my visa for some reason. But generally speaking, if you want to save a bit of money, you can go for general manager for most owners. It doesn't make a blind bit of difference.
to anything and I'm actually questioning why I even bothered to pay a thousand dirhams just to get the word investor put on there instead of general manager. So I paid directly for my medical which was 347 dirhams for my medical, 386 dirhams for my emirates id typing and biometrics to be done and like I mentioned before I've got a feeling that had I been a lot clearer to them at the start that the overall cost of that would have been a bit lower.
I'm not sure. Even to now, I don't really care. It's done. Whatever. Another common question is, can you leave the UAE before the Emirates ID is issued? Yes, you can. As I've mentioned, you just can't leave before the visa is issued. Do you need medical insurance to apply for a visa is another one. No, you do not.
Put a caveat to that. You do not. Definitely. Not if you're a business owner. I believe that the rules are different for workers in the UAE where I think the employer potentially has to pay for that. Um, or some indication they have to have medical insurance. But as an employer, the owner, you don't need to.
So what's the difference between the Employment Visa, Investor Visa and Partner Visa? The fact is, as I've kind of mentioned, they're all the same thing. Call different names, they give you two years. as resident in the UAE. Yeah, that's it. They're different to the green visa and the golden visa, which are issued differently.
I think the green visa just allows you to work in UAE, golden visa allows you to invest in the UAE, but the requirements are a lot higher, a lot more stringent, but you do get a lot more freedom and a lot longer visa on both on the golden visa. Now, the main question, the main question that I get probably by far the most or comments around it is about.
The UAE residency visa. People believe that the UAE residence visa means you automatically do not pay any tax. It is nonsense. It is a lie. It is false. It depends where you come from in the world and your personal circumstances based on the laws where you are from. in your country. So if you are someone who is of the belief that, oh, just go and pay all this money, pay out a load of money to get a residency visa, but as someone mentioned the other day, they don't plan on spending any time in the UAE, they just wanted to keep the visa active, thinking that means that they won't pay any tax on any of their income from where they're UAE that they plan to set up, it is wrong.
Completely wrong. And you may find yourself in a lot of trouble with your local tax authorities if they caught up with you. If you've got an accountant, they would correct that. So definitely speak to an accountant. 100 percent not the case at all. And it's probably the biggest falsehood that is out there on the internet right now about Dubai.
The biggest false belief that people have. There are things called split years. So if you're from the UK, particularly, like, I can only talk from that. There's things called split years, which are only really relevant if you are going to work in the UAE. Or you plan on taking large sums of money out of a company that you own in the UAE.
That's only when it becomes relevant for you. It doesn't change anything during the split year from your UK income. So if you've got other business in the UK like me, I would still pay tax on that during that split year in terms of dividends. And for me, I would only then not pay dividend tax after my split year.
I then need to qualify for a full year as a UAE tax resident. So as a non UK tax resident to be able to then draw money from my UK company dividends wise and then not pay tax on that. And also the same for income that I receive from the UAE. That was just a really, really quick wrap up. I think I will end up doing a video on my circumstances a bit more to say what the, what the deal is with my circumstances, but it will.
Differ. I cannot stress that enough. It will differ to speak to an accountant, spend a few, a couple of hundred pounds to speak to an accountant or a couple of hundred dollars, whatever, to speak to an accountant who can sit down with you, go through your exact circumstances and tell you your exact situation, what you need to do to be able to qualify.
If you are looking to not pay tax in the country that you come from, if that's what you're looking to do, it would be stupid to go and pay thousands of pounds to get a visa set up. And, you know, your flights and all accommodations and stuff. And then only to find out, had you paid 200 quid, you'd have found out it's not possible for your situation.
Just because it would be too, be too much of a drain on, too much of a change in your circumstances for you and your family or whatever, to be able to qualify. Makes sense? Is that fair enough? So there you go. That's the residency process that I went through in May and June of 2023. By the time you've watched this, things could have changed.
You know, they probably haven't if it's like really close to it. But they could have changed. So you need to keep up with the times. You need to look at information that's readily available out there. Talk to actual professionals who can guide you. There are a lot of cowboys and rogues out there giving out a lot of false information.
For example, not related to the visa process particularly. But someone contacted me I think yesterday possibly two days ago from when I'm recording this and the person told me that They'd spoken to like one of these agents that I kind of mentioned in my um in the video on setting up companies They spoke to some agent who's told them a load of crap basically and he asked me if it's true Where this agent has tried to say that you cannot set up directly with the free zone companies at all And that you need someone like him who's qualified to be able to set up the company on his behalf, who they're a third party company, which is a total lie.
It's a complete and utter lie. You know, I know because I've set my company up in the UAE. So yeah, it's, there's a lot of people out there talking a lot of shit basically. And so you need to be careful, look at official sources or people who've recently gone through the process. And who's just going to tell you the truth without any agenda.
We're not trying to sign you up to anything. Some like by the service from me, you know, you can get this set up yourself or buy it from me and I'll do it for you. Now that's a load of bollocks. And please don't come to me asking if I can do it for you. Cause I'm not going to busy with my actual businesses that are real ones.
I set mine up via the FreeZone company that I set up my company with. There are probably other options out there and like I said, I think there is a way to do this a lot cheaper than I've paid to do it, but go and do the research, find out yourself. I've mentioned green and golden visas recently, like a few times throughout this video, and I recently realized that you can get them set up directly with the UAE government, which.
Is a lot cheaper. It looks like I haven't been through the process So I haven't explored it to the depth of actually applying in total I think you know put in the comments if you've done this yourself put in the comments so other people can see that it's been Done, but I think you can do it for a lot cheaper Under a thousand dirhams it that won't particularly be applicable to a lot of people So people who don't qualify for the golden visa, for example, they wouldn't you know If you're looking for a golden visa companies and invest and stuff.
I don't think Green Visa allows you to do that from what I read, but if you manage to work it out, you know, the free zone did tell me that I could, but I decided to use them anyway. And all in all, as I've kind of like mentioned a couple of times now, I'm not sure that it's worth getting the visa directly through the Freezone company.
I don't know that it makes much sense. Couldn't find the information at the time. I needed them to get my company set up, but as for the visa, it just doesn't appear that I'd need to. You need the establishment card to sponsor yourself to get your visa. Yes, that's correct. But for example, golden visas, it looks like you don't need to be sponsored for, but most people are not going to qualify.
to be quite frank for a golden visa who are applying for residence visas. The next for me will be the golden visa if I qualify for it at the end of my visa like I've mentioned and that would depend on the rules at the time without needing like the six month entry in and out restrictions. Now it's just a bit of a random tip I've added onto the end of my notes here.
Okay so if you enter the UAE and you want to get a phone sim which you may want to do because it's really expensive if you're Trying to use like data and stuff from the UK, from a UK network over in the UAE is going to cost you a ton of money. Also for calls as well. I think calls were like two pounds a minute or whatever.
If you want to get a phone sim, Virgin's really popular. You can do it at the airport and get it set up and put on your phone and whatever and set up. They do require your ID, however, to get it set up. So if you give them your passport, yeah, fine. What I didn't realize is they only give you 30 days, which you have to renew.
every 30 days to keep the number active. So what I should have done before I left, which I didn't realize I had to do, when I got back to the UK, I then had a notification on my phone a few days later saying that I need to upload my documents again to verify. Now you can upload through the phone. the, the picture of your passport to re verify your, your number.
However, they don't allow you to do it outside of the UAE, and they're not checking your location by your internet connection. It requires you to put your GPS on, so you can't fool it, like by using a VPN, which I tried to do. It doesn't work. They've deactivated my phone number, which is really annoying, because a number of like, estate agents out there that were meant to call me, only have that number.
I had that number like listed for some business stuff. So they've suspended my line and they gave me like 90 days to go and go back to the UAE to show my Emirates ID. So all I'm saying to you is basically if you do get your visa sorted out and you get your Emirates ID before you leave, if you manage to get it before you leave, go to the shop and have them scan in your Emirates ID card for your number so that it will then give you the full two years, I believe that your Emirates ID lasts for.
That's just a tip if you do happen to leave the UAE. Since you've stayed with me this long, unless you're a complete weirdo, and hadn't realized you can skip to another video, if it was helpful for you, give me a thumbs up, I'd really appreciate that. Like and subscribe, it would really help the channel and get it out to more people who are looking for this information, that aren't looking for the shit that's out there on YouTube, which is just full of...
Bollocks where people are just trying to sell you their shit Also, if you want to learn about how to set up a company in dubai, uh, click on this video here And yeah, and you can watch the process that I went through in 2023 other than that. I'm aaron henriquez Thanks for staying with me. Goodbye