Work, Invest, Retire: Exploring 3 Self-Sponsored UAE Residence Visas

Are you considering a move to the United Arab Emirates? Our comprehensive guide breaks down the UAE's self-sponsored residence visas, offering insights into remote work, real estate investment, and retirement options. Find your perfect fit for a life of opportunities in this dynamic country.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) offers an enticing array of self-sponsored residence visas that allow expatriates to establish a comfortable and stable life in this vibrant country. Whether you’re a digital nomad, a real estate enthusiast, or a retiree seeking a peaceful haven, the UAE has a residence visa option tailored to your needs.

In this article, we’ll delve into the three primary self-sponsored residence visas available to expatriates in the UAE, offering valuable insights and eligibility criteria for each.

Self-Sponsored Residence Visas

1. Remote Work Visa

Duration: One Year

One of the most sought-after residence visas for remote workers and digital nomads is the UAE’s Remote Work Visa. This visa enables expats to reside in the UAE while working remotely, offering a perfect blend of work and leisure. Additionally, it provides the opportunity to sponsor family members for an extended stay in the Emirates.


Eligibility Criteria:

To apply for the Remote Work Visa, you must meet the following conditions:

  • A clean criminal record.
  • Proof of employment, such as an employer’s letter, a contract, or evidence of freelance work.
  • A minimum monthly income of 12,853 Dirhams (or its equivalent in another currency).
  • A clear indication of your intended duration of stay.
  • A passport with at least six months of validity.
  • Valid health insurance covering your residency in the UAE.

2. Real Estate Investor Visa

Duration: Two- or Ten-Year Visa

For those interested in real estate investment, the UAE offers self-sponsored residence visas based on the value of your property investment. Depending on the amount invested, you can obtain a two-year Property Investor Visa or the prestigious ten-year Golden Visa.


Two-Year Residence Visa for Real Estate Investors:

To be eligible for the Property Investor Visa, you or your spouse must jointly own property valued at a minimum of Dh750,000 or its equivalent.

Golden Visa for Real Estate Investors:

The Golden Visa is accessible if you own property valued at Dh2 million or more. There are several ways to qualify for this visa, including:

  • Purchasing a home worth at least Dh2 million.
  • Obtaining a loan for property purchase from specific local banks.
  • Investing in one or more off-plan properties totalling at least Dh2 million from recognized local real estate companies.

3. UAE Retirement Visa

Duration: Five Years

For retirees aged 55 and above, the UAE offers a dedicated Retirement Visa that provides a tranquil and secure environment to enjoy your golden years.

Eligibility Criteria:

To obtain a Retirement Visa, you must fulfil the following requirements:

  • Be 55 years or older at the time of retirement.
  • Have a minimum of 15 years of work experience inside or outside the UAE.
  • Own property or properties worth no less than Dh1 million.
  • Possess financial savings of no less than Dh1 million or have a monthly income of Dh20,000 (Dh15,000 a month for Dubai).
  • Furnish bank statements for the last six months as proof of your financial stability.

How to Apply for a Self-Sponsored Residence Visa

The application process for a self-sponsored residence visa varies depending on the type of visa you are applying for. However, the general process is as follows:

  1. Complete the online application form
  2. Pay the application fee
  3. Submit the required documents, such as your passport, visa application form, and proof of meeting the visa requirements
  4. Attend a medical examination
  5. Get your visa stamped in your passport

Benefits of Having a Self-Sponsored Residence Visa in the UAE

There are many benefits to having a self-sponsored residence visa in the UAE, including:

  • You can live and work in the UAE without the need for a sponsor
  • You can sponsor your family members’ visas
  • You can enjoy tax-free living
  • You can have access to world-class healthcare and education
  • You can live in a safe and secure country


The UAE’s self-sponsored residence visas open the doors to a myriad of opportunities for expatriates, whether they are digital nomads, real estate investors, or retirees. With streamlined application processes and diverse options, the UAE continues to be an attractive destination for those seeking a new beginning in a land of endless possibilities.

So, why wait? Explore these visa options and embark on your journey to a fulfilling life in the United Arab Emirates.


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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of, he's passionate about writing.

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