±A - Join Our Community

Learn from the experiences of other expats and make new friends in our disccussion forums and Facebook groups

±A - Cigna

±A - Read Our Guide

The Expat Focus Guide to Moving Abroad contains everything you need to know when planning an international relocation available now, completely free

±A - Compare Quotes and Save

Insurance, FX and international movers

±A - Listen to the Podcast

The Expat Focus podcast features interviews with expats living abroad and service providers meeting their needs subscribe today!

±A - Expert Financial

From our tax, investment and FX partners

±A - ExpatFocus Partners

Expat Focus Partners

Become a Partner. Click Here.

Registration, Permits & Other Documentation

Abu Dhabi - Registration, Permits & Other Documentation

To be eligible for an entry visa to Abu Dhabi, foreigners should have a passport with a validity starting six months before their arrival to the city. Citizens of Israel are not entertained, and neither are nationals of other countries whose passports have the stamp of Israel.

To obtain an Entry Visa into Abu Dhabi, click here.

For online services for the Entry Visa, refer to www.moieserv.ae/website/index-en.html

Residence Visa

If you wish to work and live in Abu Dhabi, an application to the Immigration Department for a residence visa has to be made, endorsed by your sponsor. A residence visa is issued for three years. An application for a residence visa must be accompanied by a health card issued by the Ministry of Health. Applicants testing positive for AIDS are not granted a visa. The residence visa or work permit can be applied for here. Officially, the residence visa is issued in 25 working days, but delays running into a couple of months are common.

Identity Card

All expatriates in Abu Dhabi are required to register themselves with the Emirates Identity Authority and apply for an identity card. Foreigners should submit notarized documents with the application.

Details of the process and the application form can be downloaded here.

The ID card stores all your personal data and can be used in all dealings with the Abu Dhabi government.

Driving License

A driving license is issued to an expatriate only after his/her residence visa has been processed. Till the date the residence permit is issued, foreigners can use an International Driving License. The International Driving License cannot be used once the residence visa has been issued.

A driving test is not necessary for holders of a license from the GCC countries and any of the 32 countries listed in the "Getting There" section of this guide. To obtain a UAE license, the minimum age is 18 years. For further details, and more information on travel and vehicle registration, click here.

For all other government services and licenses, the following site may be useful: www.abudhabi.ae

A family visa can be applied for if an individual earning more than Dhs 4000 is bringing his family to Abu Dhabi. The family visa includes sponsorship for parents, spouse, sons and daughters below 18 years.

Read more about this country

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.