The Golden Visa system offers long-term residency to people belonging to certain groups. This article will explain what it is and who is eligible to apply to UAE’s Gloden Visha.
In 2019, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) implemented a new system for long-term residence visas, thereby enabling foreigners to live, work, and study in the UAE without a national sponsor and 100 per cent ownership of their business. These visas will be issued for 5 or 10 years and will be renewed automatically.
The 2019 amendment was brought about in a bid to attract new foreign residents, particularly to the emirate of Dubai, following the economic upheaval caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
what does the Golden Visa offer?
The Golden Visa system essentially offers long-term residency (5 and 10 years) to people belonging to the following groups: investors, entrepreneurs, individuals with outstanding talents the likes of researchers, medical professionals and those within the scientific and knowledge fields, and remarkable students.
The main benefit of the visa will be security as through the issuance of the Golden Visa, the UAE government has made it clear that they are committed to providing expatriates, investors and essentially everyone looking to make the UAE their home an extra reason to feel secure about their future.
How does one apply for the visa?
Anyone, who would like to apply for the Golden Visa, may do so through the website of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship — ICA (the eChannel for residency and citizenship), or the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) which works under the ministry. While ICA offers only online channels, GDRFA offers both online and offline channels.
The process is quite straightforward with candidates required to submit the necessary documents and be willing to relocate to the UAE in accordance with their business venture.
Who are eligible to apply?
Eligibility for a 5-year visa
Investors in a property in the UAE, The investor must invest in a property of a gross value of not less than AED 5 million. And the amount invested in real estate must not be on a loan basis. The property must be retained for at least three years.
Entrepreneurs, 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. The entrepreneur is allowed a multi-entry visa for six months, renewable for another six months. The long-term visa includes the spouse and children, a partner and three executives.
Outstanding Students, outstanding students with a minimum grade of 95 per cent in public and private secondary school university students within and outside the country having a distinction GPA of at least 3.75 upon graduation. The long-term visa includes families of outstanding students.
Eligibility for a 10-year visa
For the 10-year visa, investors having no less than AED 10 million worth of public investment, either in the form of an investment fund or a company, can apply. However, at least 60 per cent of the total investment must not be in the form of real estate and the invested amount must not be loaned, or in the case of assets, investors must assume full ownership.
The investor must be able to retain the investment for a minimum of three years as well. This 10-year long visa may be extended to include business partners, providing that each partner contributes AED 10 million. The long-term visa can also include the holder’s spouse and children, as well as one executive director and one advisor.
Besides entrepreneurs, individuals with specialised talent can also apply for the visa. They include doctors, researchers, scientists, investors and artists. These individuals may be granted a 10-year visa following accreditations granted by their respective departments and fields and the visa will also be extended to their spouses and children.
- Granting a visa is subject to the following conditions:
- Scientists must be accredited by Emirates Scientists Council or holders of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence.
- Creative individuals in culture and art must be accredited by the Ministry of Culture and Youth.
- Inventors must obtain a patent of value, which adds to the UAE’s economy. Patents must be approved by the Ministry of Economy.
- Exceptional talents must be documented by patents or scientific research published in a world-class journal.
- Executives must be owners of a leading and internationally recognized company or holders of high academic achievement and position.
- Doctors and specialists must meet at least two of the following conditions:
- a Ph. D. degree from one of the top 500 universities in the world (refer to ICA for information)
- an award or certificates of appreciation in the field of the applicant’s work
- contribution to major scientific research in the respective field of work
- published articles or scientific books in distinguished publications in the respective field of work
- membership in an organisation related to the field
- a Ph. D. degree, in addition to 10-year professional experience in his field
- specialisation in areas of priority to the UAE.