Ras al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAK EZ) is among the many free trade zones located in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Free trade zones, including RAK EZ, work under their unique set of regulations, separate from the other parts of the country. RAK EZ, in particular, has its own special customs, tax, and import regimes. It caters as well to specific business categories including development, media, and finance. RAK Economic Zone is a favorite among savvy entrepreneurs and investors as it has dedicated zones for business, academic, and industrial activities.
How to Obtain a Residency Visa in Ras al Khaimah Economic Zone
As per RAK EZ’s visa policies, those who have residency visas can’t leave UAE for more than one-eighty days or six months. Otherwise, the residency visa will be immediately cancelled. To obtain a brand-new residency visa and stay in the country for an extended period of time, the old visa has to be cancelled and a new one needs to be processed. This entails additional costs.
A residency visa can be obtained from Ras al Khaimah Economic Zone in any of the following ways:
- Business setup in RAK EZ – You can get a residency visa or permit by starting a business in the free zone. Apart from the business setup in RAK EZ, you can also purchase shares from an existing company. For this option, you must own shares with a substantial value. An investor visa will be issued in such case.
- Get employed and sponsored by a RAKEZ-registered business – Long-term employee assignments within RAK EZ will require a residency visa, and there are several different detailed rules which need to be followed. A residency visa or labor card is mandatory for all nationalities except for GCC and UAE Nationals. Visa costs for employees are often shouldered by the employers themselves, including costs for Emirates ID processing and medical examination.
- Purchase property – for those who plan on spending their vacations in the UAE or are considering of pursuing business interests in the free zone or the UAE, a great solution is getting an apartment or house and lot. If you buy a residential property worth more than a million dirhams, you’ll get an investor visa apart from the opportunity to operate in a lucrative market.
Requirements for RAK EZ Work/Residency Visa
Obtaining a work/residency visa in RAK EZ for employment involves a straightforward process. Employment visas and work permits can last a year to ten years
and are processed by employers. The most important requirement for a work/residency visa Is a job offer or work contract from a business within the free economic zone.
Here is the list of the general requirements for processing the work/residency visas of employees in RAK EZ:Business setup in RAK EZ
- Job offer and employment contract
- Duly completed application form
- Emirates ID card
- Passport size photos (must be colored and the most recent)
- Valid commercial license for company processing work visa for employees
- Valid company card (original and copies)
- Original passport of the applicant of an employment visa
- Medical health check and certificate
- Ministry of Labor-issued entry permit
All forms and documents submitted to the free zone authority must be typewritten in Arabic. An employment contract must also be in Arabic. For the employment contract, three copies need to be retained. One for the employer, one for the free zone authority, and one for the employee.
Take note: it’s illegal to hire or work in UAE without the correct documents. If a new hire secured employment while on a tourist visa, visa status must be changed before employment starts. There’s no age stipulation for work contracts; however, work permits for individuals aged 65 and older will have an extra cost of AED5,000 or USD1,360 every two years. Nationals of Israel aren’t allowed in entering Ras al Khaimah or the United Arab Emirates. For Indian nationals, they’re advised on getting the specifics in acquiring their residency and entry visas.
Cost of Processing Work/Residency Visas for Employees
The cost of visa processing for employment is subject to change without prior notice at the sole discretion of RAK Economic Zone. The cost of visa also depends on a company’s category and whether a worker is skilled or unskilled. It is best to consult with experts on business setup in RAK EZ for more updated information on the costs and requirements.
In RAK EZ, employees are categorized based on their skills.
- Skill Level 1 – individuals that have bachelor’s degrees and higher qualifications belong to skill level 1. Qualified professionals include manager, doctor, engineer, teacher, accounts clerk, accountant, marketing specialist, executive secretary, quantity surveyor, pharmacist, reservation officer, administration officer, safety officer, advertising designer, computer operator, and public relations officer.
- Skill Level 2 – the individuals that are under the category, Skill Level 2, are those who are in possession of a diploma in a specific field. The category is often for people who have technical and mechanical jobs.
- Skill Level 3 – those who have high school/higher secondary qualifications. This includes sales executives, sales representatives, sales supervisors, correspondence clerks, site supervisors, customs clearing clerks, cash desk clerks, ticketing clerks, and tourist guides.
If you want to know more about the business setup in Ras al Khaimah Economic Zone, call us here in FAR Consulting Middle East today!