3 Self-Sponsored Visas to Live in the UAE Without Working

Last Updated on July 10, 2024 by Vadim

Discover how expats can reside in the UAE without local employment through these three self-sponsored visa options.

1. Remote Work Visa (One Year)

Ideal for digital nomads and remote workers.


  • Proof of remote employment outside UAE
  • Monthly income of $3,500 (Dh12,853) or equivalent
  • Valid passport (6+ months)
  • UAE health insurance coverage


  • One-year residency
  • Family sponsorship allowed

2. Real Estate Investor Visa (Two or Ten Years)

Two options based on property investment value:

Two-Year Residence Visa:

Golden Visa (10 Years):

  • Minimum property value: Dh2 million
  • Options for mortgage and off-plan purchases available

3. UAE Retirement Visa (Five Years)

For retirees aged 55 and above.


  • 15+ years work experience (in UAE or abroad)
  • Age 55+ at retirement
  • Financial criteria (choose one):
    • Property worth Dh1 million+
    • Financial savings of Dh1 million+
    • Monthly income of Dh20,000 (Dh15,000 for Dubai)

How to Apply for UAE Residency Visas

Online Applications:

  • Dubai: General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFAD) – gdrfad.gov.ae
  • Other Emirates: Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security (ICP) – smartservices.icp.gov.ae or ‘UAEICP’ mobile app

In-Person Options:

  • Amer centres (Dubai)
  • Authorized typing centers

These self-sponsored visas offer expats flexibility to live in the UAE without traditional employment, catering to remote workers, property investors, and retirees.

Further Reading

Navigating the visa process in the UAE can be complex, but having the right information at your fingertips can make a world of difference.

  1. Applying for a Newborn’s UAE Residence Visa (2024)
  2. How to Apply for a UAE Virtual Work Visa
  3. UAE Visa on Arrival for Indian Citizens: A Step-by-Step Guide
  4. Emirates Makes 14-Day Visa on Arrival in Dubai Faster for Indians
  5. UAE Visit Visa: 3 Essential Travel Documents
  6. Cancel UAE Entry Permit: A Step-by-Step Guide
  7. UAE Blue Residency Visa: Eligibility, Application, and Benefits Explained
  8. Green Visa for Professionals in Dubai: A Step-by-Step Guide
  9. UAE Green Visa for Skilled Workers: 4 Essential Criteria to Apply
  10. The UAE Golden Visa: Unlocking The Benefits
  11. How to Apply for a Golden Visa in the UAE
  12. UAE Golden Visa: Eligibility, Benefits, and Requirements Explained
  13. Six-Month UAE Entry Permit for Golden Visa Applicants
  14. Can I Get a Golden Visa Based on My Salary? Here are the Criteria for Skilled Professionals
  15. UAE Residence Visa Cancellation: A Guide for Expats
  16. UAE Residence Visa Cancellation: How to Check Your Grace Period Online
  17. UAE Family Residence Visa: Timeline, Requirements, and Cost Breakdown
  18. Dubai Visas for Indians: A Comprehensive Guide to Visa Options and Requirements
  19. Dubai Residents: How to Get a Return Permit After 6+ Months Abroad
  20. UAE Family Residence Visa: 9 Key Requirements for Sponsorship
  21. UAE Residence Visa Medical Test in 30 Minutes
  22. UAE Family Group Tourist Visas: How to Apply
  23. Three Non-Real Estate Investment Routes to UAE Golden Visa
  24. How to Resolve UAE Visa Issues
  25. 3 Self-Sponsored Visas