The Ras Al Khaimah free zone (RAKEZ) is one of the most important free zones in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It provides a number of significant benefits to the businesses that have established themselves there. Starting a company or operating in the RAK free zone involves acquiring the necessary permits and permissions, one of which is a RAK free zone visa, before you can get started.
In this post, we provide you a high-level overview of the various visa categories and the application procedure in plain English so that you are prepared to become a member of the RAK free zone.
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Types of visas for the RAK free zone
Obtaining a visa is the most important step in starting your company in the area of free zones, which includes Dubai and the rest of the United Arab Emirates. VISAS: There are two types of visas, each of which has two sub-categories inside it. The first kind of visa is a resident visa, which must be acquired by the primary party who intends to remain in the UAE or by the employees who will be working in the nation throughout their stay.
As an example, a person who want to establish a business in their own name in Dubai, or who wishes to join a corporation or firm in any position, would need one of the resident visas listed above.
The non-residence visa is the next type, and it must be acquired by family members or guests of the working resident in order to enter the country. This kind of visa is required in order for members of the family who are not employed to be able to remain lawfully in the nation.
Visas for permanent residence
1. Investor Visa – If you are investing in a business or are a stakeholder in that company, you are eligible to apply for an investor visa. These visas are available for a period of up to three years. Absence from the UAE for more than six consecutive months will result in the visa being automatically revoked. It is not necessary for an application for a free zone investor visa to purchase property in the UAE or to locate a local sponsor in the nation in order to acquire the visa.
A real estate or property visa, which allows qualified investors and their families to remain in the UAE on a temporary basis, may be obtained for them by filling out an application. For real estate visa holders, there is the option to apply for multi-entrance residence visas, which must be renewed every six months and are valid for properties in many different emirates.
2. Employment Visas – In order to operate in the United Arab Emirates, company managers, workers, and other personnel are needed to apply for employment visas. These visas, like investor visas, are valid for three years and cannot be used to travel outside of the UAE for more than six consecutive months at a time while the visa is active.
Employment visas, which are granted by the immigration department, need prior permission from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the United Arab Emirates. An employee working in a free zone company has the option of bypassing the approval process with the ministry and applying for the permission directly.
Because you do not have a complete UAE labour contract, you will not be able to work ‘onshore’ (in companies that are not based in free zones) on a free zone employment visa, despite the fact that this streamlines the procedure significantly.
Visas for non-residents
1. Family Visa – Family visas are available for dependents of investors or workers who are working in the United Arab Emirates. These are closely related to the employment status of the family member who earns a living. It is customary for them to be renewed every three years. It is also prohibited to be away from the UAE for more than six continuous months.
An immigration residency visa will be given to the applicant’s dependents, which includes parents, spouse, and children under the age of eighteen (18). One of the most important requirements for obtaining this visa is that the applicant earn between AED 4000 and AED 3000 per month and that they have secured for their own housing.
2. Visit Visas – These visas are for short-term visits by business partners, clients, family members, or anybody who is connected to the other three kinds of visa holders in a professional or familial capacity to the visa holders of the other three types of visas. A visit visa allows for a one-time visit that may last anywhere from one to three months, depending on the kind of visa.
Visas for the RAK free zone are issued in accordance with the following procedure:
The visa regulations and procedures for the Ras Al Khaimah free zone (RAKEZ) are the same as those for any other free zone in the world. Important papers must be submitted to the appropriate authorities, and necessary permissions must be obtained. For those considering applying for a free zone visa, it is recommended that you go through the short explanation of the process provided below —
1. e-Channel Service (Electronic Channel Service)
The first step is to create an account with the electronic channel provider. This is an online visa approval platform that has been developed by the authorities to ensure that the visa application procedure is as smooth as possible. It streamlines the process by eliminating redundant and repeated paperwork and making it more transparent and efficient. There is a necessary registration fee as well as a refundable deposit that must be paid.
2. Permission to Enter
The next step is to acquire an entrance permission or a work visa, depending on your situation. Permits are granted 15 days after the application is submitted, however a payment of AED 1000 may expedite the process to 7 days. The permission is valid for a period of six months. A visa applicant is required to remain in the UAE until all of the necessary procedures have been completed.
3. Modifications to one’s legal status
The procedure of updating the status of an entrance permit is required in order to activate the permit. There are three options for changing one’s status.
The in-country procedure is only available to those who reside in the United Arab Emirates. In order to do so, you must submit your passport to the immigration department, which will then be returned to you in 3-5 days once it has been stamped.
If you are not present in the UAE at the time of visa issuance, you may choose to go through the out-of-country procedure instead. Upon entering and exiting the UAE, show your printed visa to an immigration officer at the airport, who will stamp it with his or her initials.
Medical Examination and Registration with the Emirate of Dubai
An X-ray of the chest and an examination of the blood for infectious illnesses are part of the required fitness testing process. The findings are available within three working days.
It is necessary to acquire an Emirates identification card. Because biometric information such as fingerprints and eye scans are needed, you will be required to visit the ID authority. When it comes to legal issues such as establishing bank accounts or signing lease agreements, identification cards are required for verification purposes.
Call Generis Global if you need assistance with your company setup.
When it comes to operating in the UAE’s free zones, obtaining a visa is one of the most essential jobs to do. Errors or omissions made during the visa approval process may cause your company to lose valuable time and money, as well as subject it to legal attention.
The most effective method is to hire a professional agency that is familiar with the area’s geography.