UPDATE: Tenancy agreements now required for UAE Residence Visa applications


Last week, we highlighted the confusion which had arisen in the UAE concerning a new documentary requirement for obtaining residence visas.

The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigner Affairs had announced that attested tenancy contracts, power and water bills would need to be submitted with any residence visa application, including renewals.  However, the Government then appeared to reverse its stance and it seemed that this extra documentation would not be necessary.

We are now able to confirm that the requirement still stands, and all UAE residence visa applications must be supported by a tenancy contract, power and water bills, although these documents do not need to be attested.

Some confusion remains in the UAE because certain immigration offices are requesting the additional documents, while others are not.  However, we would advise all applicants for a residence visa to ensure they have the extra documents when organising paperwork to be submitted.  If anyone is unclear on the documentary requirements, they should seek advice from an authorised immigration provider.



Last week, it was announced by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigner Affairs that individuals who wished to obtain or renew a residence visa for the UAE would need to support the application by providing a valid tenancy contract, along with recent power and water bills.

It was stated that the tenancy contract and bills should also be attested by the appropriate municipality and utility provider.  This announcement caused concern amongst expatriates living in the UAE who either currently hold residence visas or who wish to apply for residency on behalf of family members.

However, it now appears that this rule has been reversed, although there is still some confusion over whether this is indeed the case and we are awaiting further Government clarification on the subject.

The National reports today that “tenancy contracts and utility bills are no longer required to obtain a residence visa,” and cites the Government official Maj Gen Nasser Al Menhali as having stated yesterday “no tenancy contract is required for applying for a residence visa.”

The documents which are generally required in order to renew a residency visa are as follows; a valid passport, a residency renewal application stamped by the employer, a copy of the expiring visa, a health certificate from the preventive medicine department, a copy of the health insurance card, a copy of the employer’s commercial licence if it is a private company, a copy of the applicant’s Emirates ID card or registration receipt, and an attested marriage certificate for couples.

Newland Chase will be monitoring the situation closely and once we have confirmed whether the requirement for tenancy contracts is still valid, we will inform clients who may be affected.

Contact Newland Chase