United Arab Emirates

Individual - Other issues

Last reviewed - 04 March 2022

Exchange control

There are no foreign exchange control restrictions in the United Arab Emirates that may impact cross-border remittances.

Immigration and visa rules

A visa or residency permit is required to live or work in the United Arab Emirates. Long-term visas and residency permits can be obtained on the basis of investment, ownership of a businesses, or on the basis of an employment contract with a UAE employer.

Separate rules apply for business, tourist, and other visas.

United States (US) Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)

On 17 June 2015, the United Arab Emirates signed the Model 1B Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the United States (US), which came into force on 19 February 2016 (US-UAE Model 1 IGA), with the US Internal Revenue Services (IRS) regarding the exchange of information related to US individuals and certain type of US-owned entities, with an effective date of 1 July 2014.

On 6 July 2015, the UAE Ministry of Finance (“MoF”) issued guidance notes on the requirements of the US-UAE Model 1 IGA on the implementation of FATCA (UAE FATCA Guidance Notes). The UAE FATCA Guidance Notes expand upon the UAE-US Model 1 IGA, including the definitions, implementation of the due diligence procedures, and reporting obligations.The UAE FATCA Guidance Notes do not hold the force of law.

The exchange of information is conducted on an annual basis, occurring in September of each year, between the UAE competent authority and the US IRS. UAE reporting financial institutions for FATCA purposes need to submit their FATCA returns to their relevant financial regulator (or the UAE MoF for unregulated entities) by 30 June of each year (unless otherwise informed). Filing of nil reports is required under FATCA.

Common Reporting Standard (CRS)

On 22 February 2017, the United Arab Emirates signed the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA) on Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information, and the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters (MAC) was signed on 21 April 2017.

The exchange of information is conducted on an annual basis, occurring in September of each year, between the UAE competent authority and competent authorities of jurisdictions which have agreed to exchange information with the United Arab Emirates. 

On 3 August 2020, UAE MoF issued Guidance Notes for CRS purposes (UAE CRS Guidance Notes). The UAE CRS Guidance Notes do not hold the force of law. 

UAE reporting financial institutions for CRS purposes need to submit their CRS returns to their relevant financial regulators (or the UAE MoF for unregulated entities) by 30 June of each year (unless otherwise informed). Filing of nil reports is required under the CRS.