Dubai’s fast-growing economy is attracting entrepreneurs and investors from all over the world, and India is no exception. Many people are looking to Dubai, either for investment opportunities or to start a new business and take advantage of the favourable business conditions and low taxation.
What do Indians thinking of moving to Dubai and investing in businesses in the emirate need to know about making the move? Our guide explains the process, including:
- Long-term investor/residency visa – an overview
- How can I get an investor visa from India to Dubai?
- Documents required for a Dubai investor visa for Indians
- How much does an Investor Visa in Dubai cost for Indians?
- How Worldwide Formations can help.
Long-term investor/residency visa – an overview
For Indian citizens looking to establish their own business or invest in a business already established in mainland Dubai, the Dubai Investor Visa, also known as the Dubai Partner visa, is a popular option.
Those who hold a Dubai Investor Visa are granted the right to live in Dubai, and they can come and go as they please for the length of the visa. They also become a UAE tax domicile, which means they cannot be taxed by their home country – although this depends on the regulations in that country.
The Dubai Investor Visa also gives the holder eligibility for a range of other services, such as applying for an Emirates ID card and a UAE driving licence, opening a bank account and other services. It also enables the holder to sponsor their close family to come to Dubai.
Indian people who want to set up or invest in a business in a Dubai free zone can also apply for a Dubai Investor Visa, and the zone they have chosen can act as their sponsor. But the application process in free zones does differ from the mainland, as do the costs – to find out more contact the relevant free zone.
There are four categories under which you can apply for a Dubai Investor Visa:
Investing in residential property
This option is open to people who invest in residential property worth more than AED 1 million, with up to 50% of the value under mortgage. Investors who jointly own properties can apply if their individual share is worth more than AED 1 million. Note that this is applicable to freehold properties only, not off-plan. The visa can be from three to five years and maintained for the time the investor owns property in Dubai.
Investing in a business
This option is open to anyone who invests in or sets up a business in mainland Dubai or a free zone. If you are setting up a company on the mainland, you may need to have a partner who is a UAE national, who will be the majority shareholder, or an agent who liaises with government departments, but this is no longer necessary for businesses engaged in certain commercial activities.
In free zones, there is no requirement for sponsors or partners, and non-UAE nationals can own 100% of the business.
To gain a visa, shareholders must own shares in a business worth more than AED 72,000.
This visa, which grants five- or 10-year residency, is for investors who meet certain criteria. People can apply for a 10-year residency if they invest more than AED 10 million through an investment fund in Dubai, set up a company with a capital of more than AED 10 million, or invest in a business with a share value larger than AED 10 million.
The five-year visa is open to investors who invest in property with a gross value of more than AED 5 million or have an existing business worth more than AED 500,000.
However, these visas are only issued to people who meet certain standards set by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA).
The retirement visa is open to those aged over 55. It lasts for five years and is open to anyone who invests in a property with a value of AED 2 million or savings of a value of AED 1 million or a monthly income of more than AED 20,000.
How can I get an investor visa from India to Dubai?
There are various steps that people from India applying for a Dubai Investor Visa are required to follow.
Firstly, you must apply for an entry permit, which can be done at the Department of Immigration, a typing centre or a Tasheel centre.
A medical fitness test is also required, and this can be done at any government health centre. You will need to put a name of a health centre on your entry permit form.
Another requirement is an Emirates ID. If you haven’t applied for an Emirates ID in the past, here is what you need to do.
First, you must submit an Emirates ID application to a Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship centre – you can get your application typed up at any Amer Centre. You will also need to supply biometric data with your application, as well as photographs and any applications for an Emirates ID from family members.
Another requirement is to purchase health insurance. There are numerous health insurance providers in Dubai offering different packages – shop around to see which best suits your circumstances.
Finally, to convert your visa into an Investor Visa, go to any Amer Centre in Dubai – they can be found in Dubai Festival City, Al Quoz, Al Twar and Al Jafiliya.
Documents required for a Dubai investor visa for Indians
Numerous documents must be submitted as part of the Dubai Investor Visa application process, whether you are setting up a new business in Dubai or investing in an existing one.
Documents required from the applicant include the Establishment Card and a photograph taken against a white background, along with Memorandum Papers that prove that the person has ownership of the business or has invested in shares, and a copy of the Trade Licence.
In addition, the sponsor’s Bank account IBAN number and Emirates ID are required.
Finally, if applicable, the applicant’s partner’s UAE visa and a copy of their passport are needed.
How much does an Investor Visa in Dubai cost for Indians?
People from India applying for the Dubai Investor Visa need to be aware of the various costs involved.
The GDRFA imposes several charges, including the entry permit, which costs AED 525 for people from outside the UAE. Stamping the visa costs about AED 870, an Emirates ID costs another AED 405 and the medical tests are charged at AED 323.
There are additional charges for the immigration establishment card, which is required as part of the Dubai Investor Visa application process.
Additional charges will need to be taken into consideration if you are setting up a business, such as for trade licences, buying/renting premises etc.
How Worldwide Formations can help
There are many incentives for people from India to come to Dubai, but the Investor Visa application process can be daunting for those who have not dealt with it before. This is where consultants such as Worldwide Formations can prove invaluable.
Worldwide Formations is vastly experienced in business setup in the UAE, and, with our local knowledge, our consultants can navigate the complexities of the Dubai Investor Visa process with skill and speed to ensure your entry into Dubai is as smooth and quick as possible.
To find out more about how Worldwide Formations can help and to obtain a personalised quote, please contact us today.