In May 2019, the UAE Cabinet approved 10-year residency visas for five categories of expatriates: investors, entrepreneurs, chief executives, scientists and outstanding students. The new system enables foreigners to live, work and study in the UAE without the need of a national sponsor and with 100% ownership of their business on the UAE’s mainland. These visas will be issued for 5 or 10 years and will be renewed automatically.

Eligibility for a 10 year Golden Residency Visa

The following categories are entitled to apply for a 10-year golden residency visa in the UAE.

  1. Investors in public investments of at least AED 10 million

    The investment may take many forms such as:

    • A deposit of upto Aed 10 million in an investment fund in the UAE.
    • Establishing a company in the UAE with a capital of not less than Aed 10 million
    • Partner in an existing or a new company with a share of upto Aed 10 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% of the total investment.

Issuance of 10-year visa is subject to the following conditions:

  • The investment fund must be fully owned (not funded through a loan).
  • The investment should be held for at least three years.
  • There should be a financial solvency up to AED 10 million.

Visa can be extended to include business partners, on the condition that each partner contributes Aed 10 million.

The long-term visa can include the spouse and children, as well as one executive director and one advisor.

Investors from abroad may apply for a multiple-entry permit for a six-month period.

  • Persons with specialised talents

This includes specialised talents and researchers in the fields of science and knowledge such as doctors, specialists, scientists, 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 specialised field of a priority in the UAE.

Issuance of 10-year visa for persons with specialised talents are 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 Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development.
  • Inventors must obtain a patent of value, which adds to the UAE’s economy. Patents must be approved by Ministry of Economy.
  • Exceptional talents must be documented by patents or a scientific research published in a world-class journal.
  • Executives must be owners of a leading and internationally recognized company or holders of a 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 a 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.

Eligibility for a 5-year visa

The following categories are entitled to apply for a 5-year residence visa in the UAE.

  1. Investors in a property in the UAE

Issuance of 5-year visa is subject to the following conditions:

  • The investor must invest in a property of a gross value of not less than Aed 5 million.
  • The amount invested in real estate must be fully owned (not be on loan basis).
  • The property must be retained for at least three years.
  1. 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.

  2. Outstanding Students

    This includes:

    • Outstanding students with a minimum grade of 95 per cent in public and private secondary schools
    • university students within and outside the country having a distinction GPA of at least 3.75 upon graduation.

Note: Long-term visa includes families of the outstanding students.