The UAE has very good economic relations with the US which is why the numbers of citizens of both countries moving from one state to another is quite important. Even so, each country has its own immigration regulations and those who want to immigrate to UAE from US must comply with the legislation of the Middle Eastern state.
Below, our lawyers in Dubai explain the main steps associated with immigration to UAE from US and the procedures an American citizen must comply with in order to obtain a visa. Furthermore, if your destination is Dubai, you can rely on our law firm for various legal services.
American citizens entering the UAE
Moving to UAE from the United States is simple, as American citizen can obtain a visa upon arrival on the airport if their stay here does not exceed 30 days. This option is available for businesspersons who come to the UAE with the intention of starting a business or meet with potential partners or clients.
If you want to set up a business in the UAE and need assistance, our law firm in Dubai is at your service for business incorporation.
Visas related to immigration to UAE from the United States
American citizens interested in relocating to the UAE can apply for various types of visas depending on their relocation reasons. Among these, we mention the following:
- work visas which are usually obtained through the UAE-based employer;
- dependent visas for those who have family members already established in the UAE;
- student visas which are available for those enrolled in UAE universities;
- investor visas which some of the most sought types of visas in the UAE;
- real estate investor visas which are available for those who want to freehold lease properties in the UAE (this is another type of investor visa).
Each type of visa is issued alongside a residence permit which is why immigration to UAE from the US is very appealing.
Should you need guidance in obtaining an investor visa with the purpose of starting a business in Dubai or any of its free zones, you can rely on our lawyers who are at your service.
Residence visas when moving to Dubai from the US
American citizens who relocate to the UAE can rely on our immigration lawyers in Dubai for obtaining the following types of residence visas:
- the residence permit for working in Dubai;
- the residence visa for retirement;
- the residence permit for remote employees or digital nomad visa;
- the residence visa for doing business in the UAE.
Each comes with its requirements that can be explained in detail by our local lawyers.
Documents required to relocate to UAE from US
The documentation that needs to be prepared in order to move to UAE from the Uinted States of America depends on the type of visa requested. Apart from the valid passport, which is required for any type of residence permit, the following documents will be needed:
- educational certificates and other documents that attest to the preparation of employees, in the case of the employment visa;
- proof of family relations (marriage certificate) in the case of family reunification visas;
- bank statements in the case of investor visas are also required;
- medical certificates;
- recent photographs.
In the case of foreign investors interested in starting businesses in Dubai and applying for visas that enable them to do so, various additional requirements will apply. Our lawyers in Dubai can offer detailed information and represent them with the authorities when it comes to registering companies in this Emirate.
How to obtain a work visa when moving to Dubai from US
Employment is one of the main ways through which a US citizen can relocate to Dubai. The procedure implies for the employer to recruit the US applicant, draft the work contract, and send a copy to the future employee.
Once the offer is accepted, the employer must start the procedure of bringing the US employee to Dubai which will reduce the pressure of the relocation procedure off the foreign citizen. The main aspect when choosing to move to Dubai from the USA based on a work visa is that under the current legislation, the immigration procedure can no longer occur under a job offer but only under a concrete employment agreement.
Even if the procedure is started by the employer, the US citizen coming to the UAE must also complete certain formalities on his/her end once the Dubai company obtains the approval of hiring him/her. The US person must collect the work visa from the UAE embassy or consulate in his region.
A work visa can be issued in a few weeks and comes with a temporary residence permit, which is one of the main advantages when choosing this type of relocation.
If you are interested in moving to Dubai from US, our lawyers are at your service for guidance on the immigration and employment legislation, thus enabling you to make a suitable decision.
Dependent visas for UAE
US citizens who live in Dubai can bring family members here by applying for dependent visas. In this case, the residence permit holders will sponsor their families in joining them.
In the case of US citizens who work in Dubai, their employers can sponsor their relatives when moving to UAE from the USA. The sponsor can be any type of company, including a free zone one, if the immigrant lives in one of Dubai’s free zones.
The main aspect to consider when moving to Dubai from US based on sponsorship is that the family member must have a specific income in order to support the incoming relative. Here are the main income thresholds currently available:
- AED 4,000 if the relatives are the wife, children, parents, or parents-in‑law;
- AED 5,500 if the relatives are siblings or other dependents;
- AED 7,000 if the relatives are brother or sisters-in-laws;
- AED 10,000 if the US citizens wants to invite other family members or friends to join them.
Compared to a few years ago, the UAE altered its immigration legislation, making it much simpler for foreign citizens to relocate here as the number of immigrants who already lived here proved very valuable to the economy.
As a matter of fact, the latest change covers the possibility for foreign citizens to immigrate to UAE and obtain permanent residency if they meet certain criteria. Our law firm in Dubai can help you if you are interested in this option and want to know if you respect one of the eligibility conditions.
The digital nomad visa for American citizens
With a virtual work visa, American citizens who are employed outside the UAE are able to live legally here. They can relocate to Dubai from the United States on their own initiative and engage in employment in accordance with the terms and conditions of the one-year visa.
When requesting a remote work visa, you must demonstrate that you earn a minimum amount of money per month working remotely for an organization outside of the UAE. The sum depends on your status.
When moving to Dubai from the US, you must have a valid passport with a minimum 6-month expiration date and health insurance that covers your residency in the United Arab Emirates in order to apply for the virtual working program.
If you are employed by a US or another foreign company, you must submit:
- proof of employment must of at least a one-year contract and a minimum monthly income of USD 5,000;
- the most recent payslip and bank statements for the last 3 months.
If you immigrate to Dubai as a business owner, you should:
- submit evidence that you have owned the business for at least a year;
- have an average monthly income of USD $5,000;
- supply bank statements of the company’s account for the past 3 months.
Feel free to address our Dubai lawyers for support in applying for this type of visa and moving to the Emirate.
How to obtain a Dubai retirement visa as a US citizen
American citizens over the age of 55 may apply for a 5-year long-term visa, if they are retired.
In order to qualify for the retirement visa, a person must:
- be 55 years of age or older at the time of retirement;
- have worked for at least 15 years both inside and outside the UAE;
- own a property or properties worth at least AED 1 million;
- have financial savings of at least AED 1 million or earn AED 20,000 per month (AED 15,000 in Dubai);
- provide bank statements for the previous 6 months.
If one meets the requirements, he or she may renew the visa after the first 5 years of residency. Moving to Dubai from the US through this type of residence permit also enters the attention of our local law firm. If you are not sure you meet the requirements, contact us for a background check.
How to renew a residence permit for Dubai
As can be read in this article, residence permits are issued for a limited duration. This is why when moving to Dubai from the US and living here for the respective timeframe, residency renewal can be relevant if you plan on staying here.
You must comply with specific conditions and submit the required documentation in order to complete the residence visa renewal process. Among these:
- the sponsor must have a valid resident card;
- for individuals who are older than 18, passing a medical exam will be required;
- if you reside in Dubai, you must also have valid health insurance.
Please be advised that the renewal of the Dubai residence card must be completed in maximum 30 days before expiry. You can rely on our lawyers for support in drafting and filing the necessary documents with the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigner’s Affairs, the authority in charge of issuing new documents.
If you plan on moving to Dubai from the USA, feel free to enquire with us before starting the application procedure. Our immigration lawyers in Dubai are at your disposal with tailored solutions.
Who can qualify for permanent residency in UAE?
The most recent program for foreign citizens, including those attracted by the idea of relocating to Dubai from US permanently was created for highly skilled persons who can add value to the country’s economy. These are:
- doctors and physicians;
These can relocate to UAE with their closest family members, who can be included in their application. What should be considered about this program is that persons interested in relocation must submit details about their qualifications and wait to be nominated by one of the Executive Councils or Rulers and Crown Princes Courts in each emirate.
The option of obtaining permanent residence by starting a business remain available for those who do not meet the criteria imposed for the categories mentioned above.
If you are interested in gaining permanent residence or citizenship by investment in UAE, you can obtain all the necessary details about the application procedure from our Dubai law firm. However, it must be noted that citizenship under this program is conditioned by investment in assets, companies, real estate.
Investor visas for US citizens immigrating to the UAE
When choosing to immigrate to UAE from US as an investor, there are two types of visas that can be obtained:
- the investor visa which enables the applicant to set up a company in any of the Emirates and their free zones;
- the property owner visa under which the lease real estate for long periods of time.
Each type of visa comes with its own requirements and our immigration lawyers in Dubai can offer detailed information on them in order for applicants to choose in accordance with their needs.
The investor visa is available for US entrepreneurs who can open companies in Dubai or one of its free zones. This type of visa has a 3-year validity period and can be renewed.
The real estate owner visa can be obtained by those who want to purchase properties and reside in Dubai, UAE, however, they should know that properties here are given on a freehold lease basis.
In 2019, the real estate investor visa has suffered some modifications, among which the most important refers to the fact that its validity has been increased from 3 to 5 years. Also, the value of the property must not be below 1 million AED.
Tailored support in moving to Dubai from USA
If you are a US citizen and are interested in relocating to the UAE, you can request the assistance of our Dubai lawyers for details like conditions, documents to prepare and finding a place to stay here. These are essential criteria to consider before moving here, but most importantly to find the best type of visa suitable to your situation.
Our lawyers can provide support in preparing the paperwork related to obtaining residency by investment and can verify all the necessary aspects of your qualifications (for example, you must have extensive experience or you must have won relevant awards) for a successful relocation.
We invite you to watch a video on this subject below:
UAE – USA economic relations
According to the UAE Embassy in the USA, economic relations between the two countries imply:
- a trade surplus of 14.5 billion USD in 2018;
- the UAE being the US’ largest export market in the Middle East with a total export value of 19.5 billion USD in 2018;
- more than 1,500 US companies based in the UAE.
For detailed information and assistance if you want to immigrate to UAE from US, do not hesitate to ask for the support of our lawyers in Dubai. You can also contact us if you want to open a company in Dubai.