News & Articles

Is Physical Presence Needed for UAE Investor or Partner Visa Processing

is physical presence needed for uae investor or partner visa processing

When setting up a business and applying for an investor or partner visa in the UAE, the requirements for physical presence can vary significantly between Free Zone and Mainland setups. Understanding these differences is crucial for potential investors to plan their travels and stay compliant with local regulations.

Free Zone Investor or Partner Visa Process

In the UAE’s Free Zones, the initial stages of obtaining a free zone company license, establishing an establishment card, and registering for the e-channel (if required) can be completed without the investor being physically present in the country. This flexibility allows international entrepreneurs to initiate their business operations remotely, which is a significant convenience.

However, once these initial steps are completed, the visa process demands the physical presence of the applicant in the UAE. The subsequent steps, which include changing visa status, undergoing a medical test, completing biometric registration, and final approval of the investor or partner visa, must be carried out in person. After the visa is approved, the physical Emirates ID, which is essential for various transactions and services in the UAE, typically takes about a week to be issued.

Mainland Investor or Partner Visa Process

For businesses established in the Mainland, the process is slightly more demanding in terms of physical presence. From the outset, including obtaining the Dubai mainland company license, establishment card, and entry permit, the presence of the applicant is required if they do not already possess an Emirates ID. This stipulation means that potential investors need to plan for an earlier arrival in the UAE compared to those setting up in a Free Zone.

Like in the Free Zones, once the preliminary documentation is secured, the visa process requires the applicant to be present in the UAE for steps such as visa status change, medical testing, biometrics, and the final visa approval. The issuance of a physical Emirates ID follows a similar timeline of approximately one week post-approval.



Whether opting for a Free Zone or Mainland setup, understanding the physical presence requirements is key to a smooth visa application process. Investors should prepare to visit the UAE when their physical presence is necessary, especially for crucial steps involving legal and medical formalities.

How Can Choose UAE Help

For entrepreneurs and investors needing assistance with navigating these processes, our services include guiding you through each step, ensuring your compliance with UAE regulations, and helping you understand when your presence is required. Whether you’re applying for a Dubai mainland license or a UAE free zone license, we’re here to help make the process as smooth as possible. Planning to establish your business in the UAE? Contact us today for expert guidance on securing your investor or partner visa, and streamline your business setup in the UAE.

What Makes Us Stand Out?

Start Your Business Journey with Us

We are Rated 5

on Google

Knowledge Center

Can't find the answer you're looking for? Don't worry we're here to help!