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UAE visas that don’t require a sponsor

Written by Kritika

The UAE is one of the preferred destinations for travel and work, and people from all over the world flock to Dubai and other world-class cities of the UAE. If you’re considering working or residing in the UAE, you’ll need one of the UAE visas. There are several options available that allow you to get a UAE visa without a sponsor.

With the new amendments introduced for new visa categories from October 3, 2022, you can now apply for a UAE visa without sponsor establishment individual, airline or hotel. The new amendments covered Golden Visa, Green Visa, a special visa for job seekers and residency permits for humanitarian cases. These visas cater to different needs and professions. From skilled employees and entrepreneurs to remote workers and students, to boost competitive nature and flexibility of the job market, for better stability in the UAE.

Here is the list of 7 UAE visas that do not require a sponsor in the UAE.

  1. Golden visa
  2. Residence visa
  3. Five-year multiple entry tourist visa
  4. Green visa
  5. Job seeker visa
  6. Visit visa (to visit relatives or friends)
  7. Visit visa (to explore business opportunities)

UAE Visas

Golden Visa – UAE Visas

This type of UAE visas is a long-term residency option that allows expats to live, work, and study in the UAE on a 10-year visa without a sponsor. Individuals who are eligible for the Golden Visa include frontline heroes (doctors and nurses), outstanding high school students and college graduates, investors, entrepreneurs, scientists, and humanitarian workers. The Golden Visa allows the visa holder to sponsor family members including spouse, children, and support staff without any limit. And there is no restriction on the maximum duration of stay outside the UAE to keep the visa valid.

Golden visa is granted to the following categories –


  • Public investment
  • Real estate investment


  • Owner of a registered successful startup
  • Previous founder of a successful start-up that was sold in or outside the UAE
  • Approved idea of a start-up

Exceptional talent

  • Culture & art
  • Digital technology
  • Investors and innovators
  • Sports

Scientists and professionals

  • Scientists
  • Engineering professionals
  • Science professionals
  • Chief executive and senior officials
  • Health professionals
  • Educational professionals
  • Business and administration professionals
  • Informational technology professionals
  • Lega, social, and cultural professionals

Outstanding students and graduates

  • Best performing students in secondary school
  • Graduates of the 100 best universities worldwide
  • Best graduates from USE universities

Humanitarian pioneers

  • Distinguished members of international and regional organisations
  • Outstanding members of associations of public benefit
  • Recipients of recognition awards in humanitarian fields
  • Distinguished volunteers and sponsors of humanitarian efforts

Frontline heroes

  • Frontline workers with extraordinary efforts in crisis like Covid-19 Pandemic

Travelling to UAE

Residence Visa – UAE Visas

These two categories of residence visa do not require a sponsor.

Remote work residence (one year visa)

The Virtual Work Visa is a one-year visa, that allows foreigners employed outside the UAE to live and work in the country under self-sponsorship. To be eligible for the Virtual Work Visa, applicants must prove that they work remotely for an organisation outside the UAE, and earn a monthly income of at least US$3,500 (AED 12,853), or its equivalent in a different currency.

Retirement residence (five-year visa)

The retirement residence visa is a long-term visa that’s issued to people who wish to spend their golden years after retirement in the UAE. You can renew the visa, which remains valid for a period of five years, upon its expiration. In addition, It allows retirees to live in the UAE without the need for a sponsor, as long as they meet the eligibility criteria.

To be eligible for the Retirement Residence Visa, retirees must meet certain requirements. This includes being 55 years or older, having a monthly income of at least AED 20,000 (or its equivalent in foreign currency). Moreover, having proof of investment in a property worth at least AED 2 million, or having a combination of these criteria.

People who obtain this visa can enjoy various benefits like – sponsoring their spouse, children, and domestic workers, and have the freedom to work part-time without the need of a work permit.

Real estate owner’s residence (two years)

The Real Estate Owners’ Residence is a type of visa that allows property owners in the UAE to stay in the country for a period of two years. This visa does not require a sponsor and is issued to people who have invested in the UAE. You need to follow certain criteria like – the property owner must have purchased a property in the UAE with a minimum value of AED 1 million (approximately $270,000 USD), and the property must be in a habitable condition.

Once issued, the Real Estate Owners’ Residence visa allows the property owner to stay in the UAE for a period of two years, and enables them to sponsor their immediate family members to join them.

Green Visa – UAE Visas

Green visa is available for five-years under these categories –

  • Freelancers

  • Skilled employees

  • Investors and partners

Applicants under these categories can get a visa on self-sponsorship.

To be eligible for the Green Visa, skilled employees must have a valid UAE employment contract, hold a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent, earn a salary of at least AED 15,000 per month, and be classified in the first, second, or third occupational level as per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE). Likewise, freelancers must have a valid UAE residence and hold a degree or diploma from a recognised academic institution. While investors must have an investment in a property worth at least AED 2 million, or have a deposit in a UAE bank of at least AED 1 million.

Five-year multiple entry tourist visa – UAE Visas

One can get a five-year multiple entry tourist visa to the UAE without a sponsor, you do need to provide a copy of a health insurance valid in the UAE during your stay as well as a copy of your bank statement, with a balance of at least $4,000 or its equivalent in other currencies in the last six months.

UAE visas

Visit visa (to visit friends or relatives) – UAE Visas

As per the new visa rules issued by the UAE government, you don’t require a sponsor to get a visa to visit friends or family in the UAE. A visit visa to visit relatives or friends in the UAE is a temporary permit that allows non-UAE residents to enter the country for a short period of time for visiting friends or family living in the UAE. However, you can obtain this visa by submitting an application to the UAE embassy in the applicant’s home country or through a sponsor in the UAE, such as a relative or a friend who is a resident or a hotel.

The duration of this visa varies depending on the applicant’s nationality and the purpose of the visit. Some nationalities are eligible for visa-free entry or visa on arrival, while others require pre-approval before entering the UAE.

Jobseekers for UAE visas

People who visit the UAE in search for a job do not require a sponsor for their visa. It is a temporary visa that allows jobseekers to come to the UAE to look for better job opportunities.  It is issued for a period of six months, during which time the individual can search for a job and attend interviews with potential employers. If the individual is successful in securing a job offer, the visa can be converted into a work visa, without the need to leave the country.

To be eligible for a job seeker visa, the applicant needs to complete certain criteria. For example, minimum educational qualifications, relevant work experience etc. The application for the visa must also be supported by a sponsor, which can be either an employer or a recruitment agency in the UAE. It is the perfect visa type for those who are looking to explore job opportunities in the UAE. Besides, It allows you to get the feel of the job market, network with potential employers, and make informed decisions about their career path. It also gives employers the chance to assess the candidate’s skills and suitability for the job before offering them a permanent position.

Visit visa (to explore business opportunities) – UAE Visas

You can apply for a visit visa to explore investment opportunities without requiring a sponsor or a host. You can apply for a single-entry visa with a validity of either 60, 90 or 120 days. Applying as a foreigner for this visa, you need to comply by the following criteria – a professional in the prospective business in his home country, financially solvent, talent, or a holder of a high qualification, and should fulfil the required financial guarantee.

FAQ about UAE Visas

Is sponsorship necessary for employment in Dubai?

To work in the UAE, your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry. Employment in the UAE typically requires sponsorship from an employer. Working on a visit or tourist visa is not permitted. Upon accepting a job offer, your employer will initiate the process of applying for a residency visa on your behalf.

What are the pathways to obtaining residency in the UAE?

Apart from work-based visas and property investment, individuals can also obtain residency in the UAE through setting up their own business. The UAE offers various entrepreneur visa programs designed to attract foreign investors and business owners. By establishing a company in the UAE and meeting certain criteria, such as minimum capital requirements and business plans, entrepreneurs can secure residency for themselves and their families.

What types of visas can be obtained without sponsorship?

Golden visa. Residence visa. Five-year multiple entry tourist visa. Green visa. Job seeker visa. Visit visa (for visiting relatives or friends). Visit visa (for exploring business opportunities).

Who is eligible to sponsor me for a UAE visa?

Prior to pursuing a Dubai Visa, you must secure a sponsor. This sponsor could include a friend or relative currently residing in Dubai, an airline, hotel, or a travel agency. Please be aware that without a sponsor, your visa applications cannot be processed.

Who qualifies for the UAE Golden Visa?

Eligible individuals for the Golden visa include investors, entrepreneurs, scientists, exceptional students and graduates, humanitarian pioneers, and frontline heroes.

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Originally published May 29, 2023 00:22:54 AM, updated May 13, 2024

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