UAE GOLDEN VISA - THE UAE RESIDENCY PROGRAM
In 2018, the UAE launched a series of long term visa catering to business people and key workers. These special visas provide the holder with a 5-year or a 10-year residence permit. The spouse and minor children of the main applicant will also receive a resident permit. These golden visas are the best way to gain long term residency in the UAE.
UAE Dirham (AED)
Investors in public investments of at least AED10 million. The investment may take many forms, such as:
- A deposit of at least AED10 million in an investment fund inside the country
- Establishing a company in the UAE with a capital of not less than AED10 million
- Partnering in an existing or new company with a share value of not less than AED10 million
- Having a total investment of not less than AED10 million in all areas mentioned, on the condition that the investment in sectors other than real estate is not less than 60% of the total investment.
Investors in a property in the UAE:
- The investor must invest in a property of a gross value of not less than AED5 million.
- The amount invested in real estate must not be on a loan basis.
- The property must be retained for at least 3 years.
This category includes those having an existing project with a minimum capital of AED500,000, or those who have the approval of an accredited business incubator in the country.
Stage 1 Week 1
You need first to apply for nomination. Once you are nominated to apply, prepare your application and submit it.
Stage 2 Week 2-5
Your application will be reviewed by the authorized government authority within 30 days and you will receive the outcome by email.
Stage 3 Week 6
You can collect your visa at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs.
- Only requires 1 visit every 6 months
- Fast processing time of 1 month
- Investments can provide returns
- Applicants can bring their minor children, adult children can apply for a student or work visa
- Provide a police report and be of good character
- Provide a medical certificate
- Show a minimum income of 10,000 AED per months
- hold the investment for a minimum of 3 years
More about the UAE Golden Visa and Residency with the right to live tax-free in Dubai
To the joy of many expats living in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced in 2018 that they will provide long term residence permit to highly value foreigners. These permits have a length of 5 or 10 years and cater to investors, entrepreneurs, outstanding students, specialized talents and researchers. The measure was put in place to retain talent and reinforce the economy. At the same time, the UAE announced that 100% ownership in business by foreigners will be allowed starting in 2019. Up until then, foreign business people had to enter into partnership with a UAE national or have their business located in the Free Zone to retain 100% ownership.
The UAE has been a top destination for high-net-worth individuals (HNWI) from the Middle East and India to relocate to, and the new residence by investment programs (RBI) are expected to have a lot of success. Until now, property owners and Free Zone business investors had to apply for annual permits or 2-year permits that needed to be renewed and which left them with uncertainty. Now business investors can receive a 10-year permit with their investment, and property owners can obtain a 5-year permit even if both are only required to hold the investment for a minimum of 3 years. The 10-year investor resident permit could also be extended to the spouse, children, one executive director and one advisor.
Naturalization is not a straightforward process and takes at least 20 years unless you are an Arab from another emirate of the Arabic peninsula. Other Arabs can qualify after 7 years, but not many foreigners are naturalized by the UAE. The UAE passport has been growing in strength and it currently provides visa-free travel to the European Union.
Is there a UAE citizenship by investment program?
Although UAE does not yet offer citizenship by investment, the UAE has announced in 2020 that they will be looking into offering it. While it may be interesting to certain applicants, investors should note that they will be required to renounce their current citizenship and must speak Arabic to qualify. For these reasons, many investors may be better suited with some of the current citizenship by investment programs available from the Caribbean, Europe, and the South Pacific.