Golden Visa/Long Term Visa for Investors & Entrepreneurs
UAE Government decided to grant investors a ten-year residency visa, as well as to grant residency visas of up to 10 years for specialists in the medical, scientific, research and technical fields, and for scientists and creative talents of culture and arts, including their spouses and children. The decision aims to maintain the position of the UAE as an optimal business environment.
The decision defines two categories for investors: Investors in a property of a value of 5 million Dirhams or more will be granted a residence for five years, and investors in public investments through a deposit, an established company, business partnership of 10 million Dirhams or more, or a total investment of not less than 10 million Dirhams in all areas mentioned as long as non-real estate investments are not less than 60per cent of the total investment, will be granted a renewable residency visa every 10 years.
Conditions to be met:
• The amount invested should be wholly owned by the investor and not loaned and should be proven by supporting documents.
• Investment retention for at least 3 years
• A standard financial liability with a financial solvency not exceeding Dh10 million
• The long-term visa could also be extended to include business partners, provided that each partner contributes Dh10 million, the spouse and the children, as well as one executive director and one advisor
• The decision allows investors to enter the country for a six-month period, multiple entry, to apply for the long-term visa requirements
The decision also includes the terms to grant long-term visa to two categories of entrepreneurs – those having a previous project with a minimum of Dh500,000, or having the approval of an accredited business incubator in the country. Entrepreneurs will be granted a five-year visa with a possibility for upgrading to an investor’s visa provided they meet the requirements.
The benefits of the entrepreneurial visa include entrepreneurs, partners, three executive directors, spouse and children. The entrepreneur is allowed entry into the country for six months, multi-entry visa period, with renewal for another six months.
1. Specialised talents and researchers in the fields of science and knowledge
The decision further extends to grant a 10-year visa for specialized talents and researchers in the fields of science and knowledge for doctors, specialists, scientists, inventors, as well as creative individuals in the field of culture and art. The visa’s advantages include the spouse and the children. All categories are required to have a valid employment contract in specialised fields of priority for the UAE, and the conditions for each category are defined as follows:
Criterion for doctors and specialists [requires at least 2 of the conditions mentioned below]
• Holder of a PhD degree from one of the top 500 universities in the world
• Holder of an award or certificates of appreciation for the work in the applicant’s jurisdiction
• Contribution to a major scientific research related to the work of the applicant
• Published articles or scientific books in distinguished publications in the field of work of the applicant
• Membership in an organisation related to the work of the applicant, which requires excellent work to accept membership
• A PhD degree in addition to 10-year professional experience in the applicant’s field of work
• Specialisation in areas of priority to the UAE (additional requirement for the doctor)
2. Creative Individuals in Culture and Art – who have been accredited by the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development
3. Inventors – who obtained a patent of value added to UAE’s economy with the approval of the Ministry of Economy
4. Exceptional Talents – Those who have exceptional talents that are documented by patents or scientific research published in world-class journals.
5. Executives – Owners of leading, well-known and internationally recognized companies, holders of high academic achievement, professional experience, and position (eg, an engineer in a rare specialty with a university degree and working in a private company in the UAE).
6. Outstanding students – The decision also includes provisions for granting a 5-year visa to outstanding students with a grade of at least 95 per cent in secondary schools in public and private schools, and a distinction of at least 3.75 GPA upon graduation from universities within and outside the country. Benefits include families of the outstanding students.
A business visa is part of the Golden Visa system under which foreigners can obtain a long-term visa for themselves and their dependents. An eligible entrepreneur is anyone who has set up a business of his own at some point of time in his career and wishes to do so again in the UAE. It aims to create an attractive environment for businesses and the UAE’s economic growth. The visa is normally valid for 5 years.
• be able to substantiate the experience as an entrepreneur
• have been a majority shareholder of a start-up or a member of its senior leadership
• be willing to relocate to the UAE and legally establish a business in one of the seven emirates
• have a business idea or a business plan that you wish to bring to life in the UAE
In addition, applicants must successfully pass the requirements of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship including a background check and health assessment. Qualifying for the business visa does not guarantee that the applicant will receive the visa. Specialised committees review the application and the attached documents and grant an approval accordingly. Once approved, the applicant will be required to follow the requirements of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship in order to be issued the visa.
Applying for business visa at AREA2071
In order to apply for a business visa, the investor’s nomination must be approved by Area2071, the incubator supported by the UAE government. Once the nomination has been approved, the investor shall be invited to apply for the visa through the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship.
Benefits of business visa
Once the visa is issued, the investor can:
• enter the country for a period of six months with a multiple-entry visa, to facilitate the procedures of establishing the business.
• nominate up to three of his business’s senior staff to obtain residency.
• all visa holders will be allowed to sponsor their dependents subject to the conditions and requirements as set out by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship.
Retirement visa for UAE residents
Retired residents over the age of 55 can get a long-term residence visa for a period of 5 years. The visa may be renewed if the eligibility criteria is met.
For a retiree to be eligible for a 5-year renewable retirement visa, he must fulfill one of the following criteria:
• invest in a property worth AED 2 million
• have financial savings of not less than AED 1 million
• have an active income of not less than AED 20,000 per month
3 years residence visa based on freehold property
Owner(s) of freehold property with a minimum value of AED 1 million is eligible for 3 years residency visa. In case the property is mortgaged, 50% of the property value or at least AED 1 million to be deposited in the local bank. Husband and wife can participate in the same property provided the value is AED 1 million or more.
Residence visa program for remote working professionals
This program was launched for overseas remote working professionals and subject to renewal every year. This program allows overseas remote working professionals to relocate and live in the emirate – along with their families – while continuing to work remotely for their overseas employer. The relocation program will be valid for a year, after which it can be renewed successively for a similar duration each time. Once in Dubai, they will be able to enjoy benefits similar to that of other residents including access to local telecoms and utilities services as well as schooling options for their children.
To be eligible for the program, individuals must fulfil the following conditions:
• Possess a passport with a minimum validity of six months.
• Have health insurance with UAE coverage validity.
• Show proof of employment from their current employer with a one-year contract validity, a minimum of $5,000 monthly salary, and must furnish the previous months’ pay-slip as well as three months of bank statements.
• If the applicant is a company owner, then they must show proof of ownership of the company for at least a year, along with an average monthly income of $5,000 supported by three months of bank statements.
UAE Citizenship for foreigners
In January 2021, the UAE Government approved amendments to the ‘Executive Regulation of the Citizenship and Passports Law’ allowing specific categories of foreigners, their spouses and children to acquire the Emirati nationality. The amendment stipulates certain conditions for each category and allows the naturalised citizen to retain his original nationality.
Categories of foreigners who can be nominated for UAE citizenship
The following categories of foreigners can be nominated for the UAE nationality:
• individuals with creative talents
• an investor must own a property in the UAE.
• a doctor or specialist must be specialized in a scientific discipline of high demand in the UAE, and must have acknowledged scientific contributions and practical experience of not less than 10 years. He/she must have a membership in a reputable organization in the field of specialization.
• a scientist is required to be an active researcher either at a university, research centre or in the private sector. He/she must have practical experience of not less than 10 years in the same field and must have contributed to the said field. He/she must also have a recommendation letter from a recognised scientific institution in the UAE.
• an inventor must have one or more patents that are approved by the UAE’s Ministry of Economy (MoE) or any other reputable international body. He/she must also have a recommendation letter from MoE.
• intellectuals and other individuals with creative talent/s should be pioneers in the field of art and culture and must have won at least one international award. A recommendation letter from related government entities is required as well.
Eligible candidates will need to:
• take the oath of allegiance and loyalty to the UAE
• commit to abide by the UAE’s laws
• inform the UAE government entity, in case of acquiring or losing any other citizenship.
• The citizenship can be withdrawn upon breach of the conditions
Requirements for acquiring nationality
Nationality shall be granted to the applicant in accordance with the following conditions:
• He/she shall renounce his/her nationality of origin or any other nationality he/she holds.
• He/she shall be proficient in Arabic.
• He/she shall have a lawful source of income.
• He/she shall hold an educational qualification.
• He/she shall be of good reputation and good conduct.
• He/she shall not have been convicted for a felony or misdemeanour involving moral turpitude or dishonesty, unless rehabilitated.
• He/she shall obtain security approval.
• He/she shall swear allegiance to the UAE.