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Revised Golden Visa Rules: UAE Makes 10-Year Residence Scheme More Investor and Family-Friendly

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The UAE Announces 10-Year Residence Schema For Investors and Family

Overview

The UAE Golden Visa programme paves the path to citizenship for international talents who like to invest, work, study and excel in key sectors and speciality areas in the Emirates.

The Golden Visa is available for international investors and top global talents and provides them with visas for up to 10 years duration. The top talents include people and researchers in the fields of science and technology including doctors, specialists, scientists and inventors. The visa is also available for talents from the creative arts and sporting fields, and business owners and real estate investors in UAE can also apply for this visa. The golden visa process is however different from applying for a normal residency permit or Emarati citizenship and outsourcing a professional pro services in Dubai UAE is often seen to hasten the golden visa dream to fruition.

UAE today can boast of several high-tech and high-growth fields that can provide ample opportunities for the global top talents to grow, prosper and contribute to the welfare of mankind and the society at large through innovative industrial applications, sophisticated healthcare systems, most advanced high tech agricultural techniques, robust financial solutions and smart start-up ecosystems based on industry 4.0.

The Dubai UAE is a dream home for many global talents owing to its rich cultural heritage, diverse population, huge promise for future growth, safety and political stability and high standard of living. The emirate has also lured many reputed international business houses to come, settle and invest in Dubai company incorporation.

Lots of people have so far been awarded a golden visa and a good number of high school students securing high grades with 95% and above were granted golden visas along with their parents and siblings. Around 44,000 visas were issued in Dubai in the first year only.

What is the golden visa system?

In 2020, the UAE implemented a new system for long-term residence visas to enable and attract foreigners to live, work and study in the country without the need of a national sponsor and with 100% ownership of their business on the UAE’s mainland.

These visas are issued for 5 or 10 years and are automatically renewable on expiry.

Golden visa is granted to investors engaged in business set up in Dubai UAE, entrepreneurs, specialized talents and researchers in various fields of science, technology and knowledge and bright students with promising and innovative scientific capabilities.

The golden visa UAE eligibility criteria were simplified in April 2022 and the categories of people eligible to apply for the long-term 10-year visa have been expanded under a new set of executive regulations.

What are the benefits of this newly revised golden visa system?

The UAE Cabinet, headed by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has introduced the new set of executive regulations of the Federal Decree-Law on Entry and Residence of Foreigners for solidifying the country’s position as the most attractive to live, work, and invest.

Investors, entrepreneurs, exceptional talents, scientists and professionals, outstanding students and graduates, humanitarian pioneers, and frontline heroes, who fulfil certain eligibility parameters will qualify for the 10-year golden visas.

Besides granting the stay of the above-mentioned beneficiaries for 10 years, the new regulations provide additional benefits of Golden Visa in UAE allowing the visa holder to sponsor his/ her family members, including spouse and children regardless of their age. The new rules will also enable the visa holders to sponsor domestic support services without putting any restrictions on the numbers.

Secondly, the previous restriction on the maximum duration of stay outside the UAE for the Golden Residence to remain valid has been scrapped.

The revised visa rules allow the family members to stay in the UAE if the original holder of the Golden visa passes away, and till the expiry of the visa.

What are the different types of visas that one can apply for?

The types of golden visas one can apply for to obtain long residency status in the UAE along with the golden visa UAE eligibility criteria are mentioned below.

Golden Residence for Scientists is awarded to the highly successful scientists and researchers based on recommendations from the Emirates Scientists Council. Possession of a PhD or Master’s degree in engineering, technology, life sciences and natural sciences from the top universities across the world is mandatory including notable achievements in the field of research.

Golden Residence for Professionals is given to highly skilled workers with educational qualifications and professional experience in all disciplines and must have a valid employment contract in the UAE and should be classified in the first or second occupational level as per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation classification in line with the International Standard of Classification of Occupations ISCO by the International Labor Organization. Possession of a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent is a must with a minimum monthly salary of AED 30,000.

Golden Residence for Exceptional Talents is granted to the top talents from the fields of arts, sports, digital technology etc. and solely based on the talent of the individual irrespective of educational qualification or employment status or monthly salary or professional level. A recommendation and approval by a federal or local government entity are mandatory.

Golden Residence for Real Estate Investors is awarded to the Real estate investors if they purchase a property worth a minimum of AED 2 million. Investors are allowed to purchase the property with a loan from specific local banks.

Golden Residence for Entrepreneurs is issued when an entrepreneur is the owner or a partner in a startup registered under SME category with yearly revenue of not less than AED 1 million and the approval for the startup idea must be given by an official business incubator or the Ministry of Economy or the competent local authorities.

The owner or partner of a business project duly approved by the Ministry of Economy that has been sold at a minimum of AED 7 million is also treated as credible for Golden Residence.

Golden Visa for Outstanding Students and Graduates are meant for students with high academic performance in UAE secondary schools, and outstanding graduates from UAE universities and the top 100 universities globally fulfilling certain specific criteria such as CGPA.

The new regulations have rolled out new 5-years residence tracks to attract talented and skilled professionals, freelancers, investors and entrepreneurs. Skilled employees from the first, second or third occupational level and possessing a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent with an annual salary of AED 15,000 minimum are entitled to stay in UAE for five years. If you don’t qualify under the UAE Golden Visa for Investors, you can still reside in the UAE for five years as a freelancer or self-employed without any sponsor or employer. However, a freelancer or self-employed person must have a minimum Bachelor’s degree or specialised diploma, with an annual income of AED 360,000minimum from self-employment for the last two consecutive years.

The cost of a 10-year golden visa is roughly AED 1150 plus AED 1150 for application & issuance. The 5-year green residence schemes usually cost around AED 650 plus another AED 650 for application and issuance.

What is the procedure for applying for a golden visa?

The procedure detailing How to Apply for a UAE Golden Visa is explained below.

You need to log onto the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) smart services website and access the golden services from the menu at the top.

If you belong to any of the eligible categories of golden visa and have not been nominated so far, you need to click on the “Start Service’ under “Visa – Golden Visa – Nomination Request for Golden Residence – New Request” for accessing the online form for submitting your details and the category under which you wish to be nominated.

Unified Identification Number (UID), the six-digit number assigned to you while entering the UAE also needs to be mentioned in the form. Filling up this form may be tricky at times and seeking help and advice from a pro services in Dubai is usually recommended.

A dedicated team has now been formed with representatives from the Dubai Immigration service, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs for quick and efficient handling of all applications for golden visas and other important residency visas. Named “You are Special”, the service can be accessed 24×7 online or by calling a phone number.

THE TAKEAWAY

The recent amendments to the golden visa rules updated the entire Entry and Residence scheme including long term residence visas with simplified requirements and many additional benefits. Under these revised visa rules, no host or sponsor is now required. The objective of this new scheme is to enhance the competitiveness of the nation, attract foreign investors for Dubai company incorporation and stabilize the job market.

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