Ras Al Khaimah Free Zone (RAKEZ) is one of the largest in the UAE. It provides significant benefits to the businesses there. Setting up a business or working in this zone requires the acquisition of certain permits, one of which is the RAK Free Zone visa.
In this article, we will give you an overview of the visa types and the process in simple terms so that you are ready to join the RAK Free Zone. Let us observe:
- Overview of RAKEZ
- Types of visas available in RAK Free Zone
- Visas for permanent residence
- Visas for non-residents
- The application process for RAK Free Zone visas
- Offices and warehouses in the free zone
- Activities in the Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone
- License fees
- RAKEZ company formation: Step-by-step instructions
- How can Connect Group help you?
1. Overview of RAKEZ
RAKEZ stands for Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone, formed by the merger of two Free Zones – RAK Free Zone and the RAK Investment Authority – resulting in a greater zone.
It is one of the most popular free zones for business setup in the UAE. Even people who never heard of the UAE’s free zones are aware of it, and are taking interest in establishing a business there. It is not far from the RAK airport and has a seaport nearby.
2. Types of visas available in the RAK free zones
Obtaining a visa is the most important step in your business journey in Dubai and the rest of the UAE. There are two types of visas, each with two sub-categories. The first type is a Residence Visa. This visa must be obtained by the main party planning to stay in the UAE or by the workers who will be staying in the country.
A person, for example, who wishes to establish a business in their name in Dubai; or who wishes to join a company or firm in any capacity would require one of the residence visas.
On the other hand, the non-residence visa is the next category, which is obtained by family members or visitors of the working resident. They require this type of visa for non-working family members to remain legally in the country.
3. Visas for permanent residence
3.1. Investor Visa
You will need to obtain an Investor Visa if you are investing in a company or are a shareholder in that company. These visas are valid for a period of up to three years. Absence from the UAE for more than 6 months in a row will result in the visa being automatically revoked.
Hence, a free zone Investor Visa applicant does not need to purchase property in the UAE; or find a local sponsor from the country to obtain the visa. Qualified investors may apply for a real estate or property visa to allow them and their families to stay in the UAE temporarily.
Additionally, real estate visa holders may apply for multi-entry residence visas; they must be renewed every six months and are valid for property in multiple emirates.
3.2. Visas for employment
To work in the UAE, company managers, employees, and staff must apply for Employment Visas. These, like investor visas, are valid for three years; and one cannot leave the UAE for more than six months in a row for this visa to remain valid.
Prior approval from the UAE Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs is required for Employment Visas issued by the immigration department. An employee in a free zone firm can bypass the ministry’s approval and apply for the permit right away.
Although this simplifies the process, you cannot work ‘onshore’ (in firms not established in free zones) on a free zone employment visa because you do not have a full UAE labor contract.
On the other hand, Connect Group can help you create a business plan if you are a startup. In addition, we can provide you with some market entry tips that might help you.
4. Visas for non-residents
4.1. Family Visa
Family Visas are for dependents of UAE investors/employees. These are directly related to the earning family member’s employment status. Normally, they must be renewed every three years, and one cannot be absent from the UAE for more than six months in a row.
It depends on the applicant, including parents, spouses, and children under the age of 18, who will be granted a residence visa. A critical criterion for granting this visa is that the applicant must earn between AED 4000 and AED 3000 per month and have arranged for housing.
4.2. Visit Visa
These are for short-term visits by business partners, clients, family members; or anyone professionally or familiarly related to the other three types of visa holders. A visit visa allows for a single visit lasting from one to three months, depending on the visa type.
5. The application process for RAK Free Zone visas
The visa rules and procedures for Ras Al Khaimah Free Zone (RAKEZ) are the same as for any other free zone. You must submit important documents to the appropriate agencies, and you must obtain approvals. If you intend to apply for a free zone visa, the brief breakdown of the procedure provided below will be useful.
5.1. Service via e-channel
Firstly, you need to create an account with the e-channel service. This is an online visa approval platform created by the authorities to ensure a smooth visa application process. It eliminates unnecessary and repetitive paperwork while also making the process transparent and efficient. There is a mandatory registration fee as well as a refundable deposit.
5.2. Permit to enter
Secondly, you must obtain an entry permit or a Work Visa. Permits are issued 15 days after application, but payment of AED 1000 expedites delivery to 7 days. The permit is good for six months. A visa applicant must remain in the UAE until all procedures are completed.
5.3. Status modification
Thirdly, the process of status adjustment on change is required for the entry permit to be activated. There are three methods for adjusting one’s status. The in-country process is only for residents of the UAE. It entails submitting your passport to the immigration department, which will be returned to you after being stamped in 3-5 days.
Hence, if you are not in the UAE at the time the visa is issued, you can use the out-of-country process. Exit and re-enter the UAE, then show your printed visa to an immigration officer at the airport, who will stamp it.
5.4. Medical examination & Emirates ID registration
Lastly, this is a required fitness test that includes a chest X-ray and a blood test for infectious diseases. The results are available in three working days. It is necessary to obtain an Emirates ID card. Because biometric information such as fingertips and eye scans are required, you will need to visit the ID authority.
When it comes to legal matters such as opening bank accounts or signing tenancy agreements, the ID card is essential for verification.
6. Offices and warehouses in the free zone
A Ras Al Khaimah company formation is a good option for any business. However, it is especially appropriate for businesses that require warehousing facilities. RAKEZ is one of the few free zones that always has customizable warehouses and industrial land plots available for development.
You can also construct or rent prefabricated staff and labor accommodations. They provide all of the advantages that a Jebel Ali company setup provides, but on a much smaller scale. The RAK Economic Zone Authority has offices in both RAK and Abu Dhabi. In any of these Emirates, you can choose between a Flexi-desk and a smart office. Abu Dhabi will be about 2,000 AED more expensive.
7. Activities in the Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone
Ras Al Khaimah business licenses are available for a wide range of business activities, and you can be confident that you will find what you require. RAKEZ has one of the most extensive activity lists of any UAE-free zone. Activities are classified into several categories:
Some activities require a company manager to have a relevant educational degree, which must be attested by the UAE Embassy in the country of origin. Typically, such activities are associated with a professional service that necessitates specific qualifications, such as:
- Bookkeeping and accounting
- Architectural design and consulting services
- Aviation consulting firm
- Consulting in communication engineering
RAKEZ has implemented substance requirements, and many activities now fall under its purview. They will have to be registered under special circumstances, such as:
- A warehouse or a dedicated office space
- A business plan must be submitted.
- Having a company manager on a business resident visa.
8. License fees
The Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone Authority frequently conducts promotions and discount campaigns. Prices start at around 8,000 AED for a zero visa media company.
RAKEZ also offers a special product for women called Women in Power, which has prices that are 40% lower than usual. You can choose any package and any activity as a woman and simply pay less!
Aside from that, if you want to save money in the long run, you can sign up for a three-year plan. In this case, the discount will be 25%. Furthermore, all resident visas issued by the company will be free of charge. RAKEZ’s lowest license fees:
- For the Zero visas trading package, the fee will be AED 11,440.
- 1 visa individual professional package will cost AED 13,468.
- 1 visa trading/service package will cost AED 15,868.
9. RAKEZ company formation: Step-by-step instructions
Before beginning the steps outlined below, you should ideally seek the assistance of a company formation expert to guide you through the process. The RAKEZ company setup process, with the assistance of an expert, consists of four steps.
9.1. Determine your activities
The first step in establishing a RAKEZ company is to define your business activities. This zone is open to a wide range of activities, including those in education, service, commerce, media, and industry.
The RAKEZ website contains a complete list of permitted activities. The free zone accepts applications from the following industries:
- Commercial: The exchange of goods and services.
- Educational: An educational institution or consulting firm.
- E-commerce: The electronic exchange of goods and services.
- General trading: Buying and selling a variety of goods.
- Industrial: Producing, importing, packaging, and exporting goods.
- Media: Managing media-related business operations.
- Professional: For providers of professional services.
- Service: Providing services or consulting in any industry.
- Freelancer: In the media and education fields.
9.2. Decide on a name for your company
The following step is to choose a company name.
- When naming your company, keep in mind that it cannot contain any offensive or blasphemous language, nor any religious references.
- If you want to use your full name in your company name, rather than just your surname or initials, you must do so.
- Finally, make sure that the name you want to use is available for registration.
Additionally, if you want to know more about RAKEZ, you should do proper research on how to set up a business there.
9.3. Submit an application for your license
Now that you have completed the preliminary paperwork, you can submit your license application. They will ask you to provide the following information as part of the application process:
- A filled-out application form.
- Duplicate of your passport
- A photograph in color
- A business strategy.
You can apply directly to the RAKEZ managing authority, but it is beneficial to work with a company setup expert when doing so. They can ensure that your application is complete and error-free at the time of submission, ensuring a quick and smooth process.
9.4. Submit your visa applications
You will also have to apply for visas. Again, the best way to do this is with the assistance of a company formation expert. The RAKEZ visa application procedure is as follows:
- Apply for a business license.
- Apply for e-channel after receiving your establishment card.
- Submit an entry permit application through e-channel.
- Following the issuance of an entry permit, complete the medical examination and the Emirates Identity application.
- The stamping of the residency permit in the passport.
10. How can Connect Group help you?
When it comes to working in the UAE free zones, one of the most important tasks is obtaining a visa. Errors or omissions in the visa approval stage can cost your company a lot of time and attract legal scrutiny. Ras Al Khaimah Free Zone is a great place, and you must have the best assistance for setting it up.
Hence, hiring a professional agency that understands the terrain is the best option. When you work with us, you can say goodbye to all of your business setup concerns.
Would you like to contact Connect Group to obtain more information about company formation in RAFEZ? For questions and inquiries, call us at our always active phone number +971 43 316 688. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Following, you will talk to one of our representatives. We are pleased to serve you.
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