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Obtaining Citizenship in UAE

Obtaining Citizenship in UAE

Updated on Tuesday 19th April 2016

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Obtaining-Citizenship-in-UAECitizenship in the UAE is governed by the Nationality Law which allows foreign citizens to have the right to an UAE passport only after living a certain number of years or providing excellent services to the state. Under the Nationality Law, UAE citizenship can be attained by:

  • -          birth,
  • -          descent,
  • -          marriage to an UAE citizen,
  • -          by naturalization.

Considering each way of obtaining an UAE passport is subject to different criteria it is best to verify these conditions with our lawyers in Dubai.

Obtaining UAE citizenship

One of the simplest ways of obtaining UAE citizenship is by marrying an UAE citizen. Foreigners married to Emiratis may acquire UAE citizenship if the marriage lasts for at least three years. After ten years of marriage, a foreign citizen will usually be naturalized. Another way of obtaining an UAE passport is if after years of work within a Dubai company, the employer decides to offer the employee with an indefinite work or residence permit.

Naturalization in the UAE

Even it does not grant UAE citizenship, naturalization is another way of gaining the right to live in the Emirates. In order to be naturalized, foreign citizens must fulfill certain criteria. Arab citizens must have lived in the UAE for at least 30 years before being naturalized. However, any foreigner may acquire UAE citizenship without any limitation if they have provided honorable services and if:

  • -          they legally work in one of the Emirates,
  • -          have a good reputation,
  • -          speak the Arabic language,
  • -          have no criminal record.

Children of Emirati women may apply for UAE passports once they turn the legal age of 18.

Obtaining an UAE passport

All immigration and citizenship matters are handled by the Department of Naturalization and Residency, also known as the General Directorate of Residence and Foreign Affairs. The Department issues all employment and residence visas for foreign citizens establishing in the UAE. Once become an UAE citizen one will apply for an UAE passport with the local government of the Emirate they will live in. To obtain the UAE passport they will have to lodge an application form and turn in their old passport.

For details about obtaining an UAE passport you can contact our law firm in Dubai.



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