Ras Al Khaimah: Country and Foreign Investment
Entry and Residence
Immigration policies in the UAE have traditionally been fairly liberal in order to cater to demand for foreign management and technical expertise as the economy diversified and boomed. Entry and residency rules have however, undergone some change in recent years to tighten up the process.
A visit visa applies to tourists who wish to spend more than 14 days in the UAE, whether it is to visit relatives or for business purposes. Citizens of the Arab Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) member states (Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia) do not need a visa. AGCC expatriate residents may obtain a non-renewable 30-day visa upon arrival.
Residents of the UK with the right to abide in the United Kingdom may obtain a free visa on arrival, which is valid for 60 days and can be renewed for an additional 30 days.
Citizens of France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Finland, Malta, Spain, Monaco, Vatican City, Iceland, Andorra, San Marino, Liechtenstein, United States (US), Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong can only obtain a one-month non-renewable visit visa on arrival.
Citizens of other countries require the sponsorship of a UAE resident (relative or friend), hotel, travel agency, or company, in order to obtain a visit visa. This type of visit visa is also known as the tourist visa. Sponsors must, however, meet a monthly income requirement and hold a valid residence visa themselves.
Citizens of Israel, or travellers with Israeli stamps on their passports, will not be permitted entry into the UAE.
The 14-day visa, also known as an Entry Service Permit must be sponsored by a UAE company or hotel and will take 2 weeks to issue.
There is also a Multiple Entry Visa, which is useful for individuals who are continuously visiting the UAE.
Individuals planning to live in the UAE must obtain a residence visa, which are normally issued by the Immigration department of the emirate of residence and provided by a sponsor (normally a person’s employer).
Those entering the UAE with family members must obtain a family visa, which are subject to a minimum monthly income requirement.
Residence visas are normally issued for 3-years and in order for it to be processed, a medical test must be undertaken and a health card obtained which should be renewed yearly. It can be issued by at Ministry of Health or else at a recognised private hospital.
A penalty charge is imposed on visitors who overstay.
Entry and residence rules are subject to unexpected change, however, and it is advised that further information is sought before travelling by contacting the Immigration Department/Ras Al Khaimah Naturalisation and Residence Department (RAK NRD), tel: +971 7 227 3333.