In 2019, the United Arab Emirates implemented a new long-term visa called the “Golden Visas”.
But who is this new type of visa for and what are the conditions for getting one?
These new visas, called Golden Visas or long-term visas, were initially intended for scientists, doctors, entrepreneurs, investors, and their families in order to attract knowledge and human capital to the United Arab Emirates.
A few months later, the program was extended to doctoral students from prestigious universities, exceptional doctors, engineers in specific fields such as biotechnology and computer science, and students graduating with honors from universities accredited by the Emirates.
To date, thousands of visas have been issued to these exceptional people.
This new program was launched in 2019 with a strong message from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai. For him, these new types of visas are “our way of welcoming all those who seek to be part of the success of the United Arab Emirates.”
Usually, residents of the Emirates receive a visa for a period of 2 or 3 years according to their employment or as an immediate family member of an employee in the UAE.
But with this Golden Visa, beneficiaries can live, work, and study in the Emirates. They can also have 100% ownership of their business on the mainland without sharing it with a local sponsor. Normally, a foreigner wishing to open a mainland business must have a local sponsor who owns 51% of the shares of the company leaving the remaining 49% for the foreign investor and his associates.
These Golden Visas are issued for a period of 5 or 10 and are automatically renewable.
Eligibility for a 10-year visa
The following categories are entitled to apply for a 10-year residence visa in the UAE:
- Investors in public investments of at least AED 10 million
The investment may take many forms such as:
- A deposit of at least AED 10 million in an investment fund inside the country.
- Establishing a company in the UAE with a capital of not less than AED 10 million.
- Partnering in an existing or a new company with a share value of not less than AED10 million.
- Having a total investment of not less than AED 10 million in all areas mentioned, on condition that the investment in sectors other than real estate is not less than 60 percent of the total investment.
- Persons with specialized talents
- This includes specialized talents and researchers in the fields of science and knowledge such as doctors, specialists, scientists, and inventors, as well as creative individuals in the field of culture and art. The visa advantage extends to the spouse and children. All categories are required to have a valid employment contract in a specialized field of priority in the UAE.
Eligibility for a 5-year visa
The following categories are entitled to apply for a 5 year residence visa in the UAE:
- Investors in a property in the UAE, conditions:
- The investor must invest in a property with a gross value of not less than AED 5 million.
- The amount invested in real estate must not be on a loan basis.
- The property must be retained for at least three years.
- This category includes those having an existing project with a minimum capital of AED 500,000, or those who have the approval of an accredited business incubator in the country.
- Outstanding Students
- outstanding students with a minimum grade of 95 percent in public and private secondary schools
- university students within and outside the country having a distinction GPA of at least 3.75 upon graduation.