The UAE Golden Visa program has emerged as a game-changer, attracting foreign investors, entrepreneurs, scientists, qualified professionals, and exceptional talent from around the world. Introduced in 2019 to promote long-term residency and stimulate economic growth, the Golden Visa offers individuals the ability to live, work, and study in the UAE without restrictions, establishing a significant presence in the country. This comprehensive guide by our immigration lawyers in Dubai delves into various aspects of the UAE Golden Visa, providing valuable insights into its eligibility criteria, benefits, application process, and much more.
Salient features of the UAE Golden Visa
The following key features make the UAE Golden Visa more sought after than a normal investor or employment visa:
- Allowing multiple entries for a six-month period to facilitate residence issuance.
- A renewable long-term residence visa, valid for either 5 or 10 years.
- Exemption from the requirement of a sponsor.
- Permission to stay outside the UAE for more than the standard six-month period to maintain the validity of the residence visa.
- Ability to sponsor family members, including spouses and children of any age.
- Capability to sponsor an unlimited number of domestic helpers.
- Authorization for family members to remain in the UAE until the expiration of their permit duration if the primary holder of the Golden visa deceases.
Who can Apply for a UAE Golden Visa? Eligibility & Requirements:
The government has outlined specific criteria for obtaining a “golden visa.” Eligibility for the Golden Visa is open to residents falling within the following categories:
- Real estate investors
- Medical doctors, Scientists, Ph.D. holders, and data experts
- Executive Professionals
- Outstanding students (with the option for their families to apply)
- University graduates with a GPA of 3.8 or higher
UAE Golden Visa Eligibility for Foreign Investors
Investing in a Public investment fund can qualify foreign investors for a 10-year Golden Visa without the need for a sponsor, contingent upon:
- Providing a letter from a UAE-accredited investment fund confirming the investor’s deposit of AED two million. OR
- Presenting a valid commercial or industrial license along with a memorandum of association verifying the investor’s capital is no less than AED two million. OR
- Submitting a letter from the Federal Tax Authority, confirming the investor’s annual contribution to the government is no less than AED 250,000.
Moreover, it is required that the invested capital is wholly owned and not obtained as a loan.
UAE Golden Visa Eligibility for Real Estate Investors
If you have invested in a property or a collection of properties, you may be eligible for a UAE Golden Visa valid for 10 years, renewable under the same terms and without requiring a sponsor, contingent upon:
- Providing a letter from the land department of the respective emirate confirming ownership of one or more properties valued at no less than 2 million dirhams.
- Acquiring a property through a loan from specific local banks approved by the competent local entity.
- Effective January 24, 2024, the UAE has abolished the minimum payment requirement of AED 1 million or 50 percent of the property’s value for the property golden visa. This means that, irrespective of the downpayment amount and the property’s status (off-plan, completed, mortgaged, or not mortgaged), you can qualify for a golden visa if the property is worth AED 2 million. The final approval of the application is subject to the land department’s consideration on a case-by-case basis.
Related: Check our property lawyers services here
UAE Golden Visa Eligibility for Entrepreneurs
UAE-based foreign entrepreneurs may qualify for a 5-year Golden Visa if they own an economic project of a technical or future-oriented nature based on risk and innovation. Moreover, approval letters from each of the following entities are required:
- An auditor in the UAE confirming that the project’s value is not less than 500,000 dirhams.
- The authorities in the emirate affirming that the project is of a technical or future-oriented nature.
- An accredited business incubator in the UAE supporting the establishment of the proposed activity in the country.
UAE Golden Visa Eligibility for Doctors & Scientists
Doctors and scientists must provide the following to be eligible for the UAE Golden Visa:
- An approval letter from the Ministry of Health and Prevention in the UAE to practice the profession of medicine (for doctors).
- A letter of recommendation from the Emirates Council of Scientists or a letter from the Secretariat of the Mohammed bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence, confirming that the applicant has been awarded the Medal of Scientific Excellence (for scientists).
UAE Golden Visa Eligibility for Exceptionally Talented Individuals
If you possess exceptional specialized talent, you may be eligible for a 10-year Golden Visa by fulfilling the specified requirements for each category below:
A letter of recommendation from the Ministry of Economy, affirming that your patent contributes significant value to the country’s economy.
Creative individuals in the fields of culture and art:
An approval letter from the Department of Culture and Arts in the respective emirate.
A recommendation letter from the General Sports Authority or one of the sports councils.
UAE Golden Visa Eligibility for Executive Professionals
Individuals who are skilled workers at the first or second professional level, according to the occupational classification approved by the MoHRE can get a UAE golden visa subject to the following conditions:
- A certified copy of a university degree, accredited by the Ministry of Education, attaining a minimum of a bachelor’s degree.
- A letter of experience, demonstrating a minimum of 5 years in the same position.
- A salary certificate reflecting a minimum salary of AED 30,000.
- A valid employment contract.
UAE Golden Visa Eligibility for Outstanding Students
High School Students:
If you are a high school student who has achieved national-level excellence, securing a minimum grade of 95 per cent in a public or private secondary school, you may qualify for a 5-year Golden visa without a sponsor. This is subject to the submission of a recommendation letter from the Ministry of Education (Emirates Schools Establishment). The Golden visa duration for students is 5 years and may be extended if enrolled in a major or college with a study period exceeding five years.
Outstanding university students can obtain a 10-year Golden visa without a sponsor, provided that:
- The university is rated as either A or B class by the Ministry of Education.
- A recommendation letter from the university, an accredited graduation certificate, or an accredited academic record stating a cumulative GPA of not less than 3.5 for A-class universities and 3.8 for B-class universities is submitted.
- It has not been more than 2 years since graduation.
Outstanding Students of Foreign Universities:
Exceptional students from foreign universities may receive a 10-year Golden visa without a sponsor, under the conditions that:
- The university is ranked among the top 100 global universities according to the Ministry of Education-recognized rating system.
- The student’s cumulative GPA is not less than 3.5.
- It has not been more than 2 years since graduation.
- The graduation certificate is accredited by the Ministry of Education.
How to Apply For a UAE Golden Visa?
The procedure for applying for a UAE Golden Visa is relatively uncomplicated. Below are the steps to be followed:
- Collect the necessary documents.
- Complete the application form.
- Pay the applicable application fee.
- Submit the application to the UAE government.
The processing duration for a UAE Golden Visa can vary based on the visa category you are applying for. Nevertheless, the typical processing time ranges from 3 to 6 months.
Seek Support from Our Immigration Lawyers for the UAE Golden Visa Application
At TWS Legal Consultants, we’re here to help you secure the sought-after UAE Golden Visa with ease. As immigration lawyers in Dubai, our team is committed to guiding you through the legal process. We go beyond offering legal advice – we aim to be your reliable lawyers, ensuring you meet all criteria, helping with document collection, advising you on different options for eligibility and submitting your application to the UAE government for a Golden Visa.
With TWS, your Golden Visa journey becomes stress-free. Trust us to not only handle the legal aspects but also to support you in starting a successful chapter in the United Arab Emirates. Contact us to join hundreds of satisfied UAE Golden Visa holders who are clients of TWS Legal Consultants.