Back in 2019, the UAE’s rulers announced a series of measures aimed at further stimulating the long-term economic growth of the country.
Among these measures was a long-term residence visa, known as the Golden Visa. This new initiative allowed foreigners to live, work, and study in the UAE without a sponsor, and to own 100% of a UAE mainland business. This new style visa can be issued for five or ten years.
The scheme has been a success, attracting more foreign investment to our shores as well as giving overseas investors a way to plan for the long-term in the country.
Just like the previous visa system, when conducted with the help of an expert, obtaining a long-term visa does not have to be complicated. In this simple guide, we explain exactly what the Golden Visa is, who is eligible, and how you can get one.
Golden Visa: What is it?
The Golden Visa represents a broadening of the UAE system, removing the need for a local sponsor, extending the period of eligibility, and no longer tying it to employment.
The visa is available to certain foreign professionals, entrepreneurs in fields such as biotechnology and electronics, and holders of doctorate or other specialised degrees.
Holders of the Golden Visa are permitted to live, work, study, and form businesses in the UAE for a minimum of five or ten years. Both long-term visas can be renewed at the discretion of the local department of immigration.
Eligibility for the 5-year visa
There are three categories of foreign nationals eligible for the UAE’s five-year visa.
Investors in UAE property
To be eligible for a 5-year visa through property investment, you must invest a minimum of AED 5m in real estate. Property of this value must be held for at least three years, and any investment must be cleared funds, not a loan or mortgage.
If you are successful in your application, the term of your visa also extends to your dependants such as a spouse, children, or domestic staff.
Students achieving a minimum grade of 95% at any public or private secondary school or a distinction of 3.75 upon graduation from any university are eligible for the 5-year visa.
Holders of the 5-year student visa can also sponsor dependants for their UAE residency visas.
The 5-year visa for entrepreneurs is slightly different. Here, successful applicants must have an existing business project with a minimum capital of AED 500,000 or be approved by an accredited business incubator within the UAE.
Entrepreneur visas allow the holder multi-entry in the UAE for six months, with the option to renew for a further six months. This visa covers the holder, their dependants, a business partner, and up to three executives.
Eligibility for the 10-year visa
There are two categories of eligibility for the 10-year visa.
Investors in public investments of at least AED 10 million
To qualify this way, you must do one of the following:
- Make an investment within the UAE of at least AED 10m.
- Establish a company in the UAE with a capital of at least AED 10m.
- Partner in an existing or a new company with a share value of at least AED 10m.
- Invest at least AED 10m across all areas above.
There are a few more conditions to meet to obtain this longer term visa:
- If your investment is split across several areas, investment in sectors other than real estate must not be less than 60%.
- The funds invested must not be the proceeds of a loan.
- You must retain your investment for at least three years.
- You must prove financial solvency up to AED 10m.
This visa also covers your dependants, as well as an executive director and one advisor. It can also include business partners, but each must also contribute AED 10m towards the investment.
Persons with specialised talents
You can also qualify for the 10-year visa if you are outstanding in the fields of science and arts. This includes doctors, scientists, inventors, writers, creatives, and other specialists.
There are several ways to attest your specialised talent. This could be a PhD from one of the top 500 universities in the world, contribution to significant research in your field, receipt of prestigious awards, or works in distinguished publications.
Scientists must also be accredited by Emirates Scientists Council, and creatives by the UAE Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development. Finally, applicants in all categories must have an employment contract in a specialised field in the UAE.
Once again, this visa extends to the holder’s dependants.
Apply for your golden visa with Business Incorporation Zone
The UAE Golden Visa application process involves several steps that require an expert eye. That’s why it’s best to partner with an expert who can guide you through the process.
When you work with Business Incorporation Zone (BIZ), not only do you save time, but you also gain expertise. You can relax safe in the knowledge that your documents will be in order before they are sent to the relevant immigration department.
And we can assist you with much more than your visa application.
We are a team of company registration professionals in Dubai who are passionate about bringing the dreams of aspiring entrepreneurs and SMEs to life.
As well as handling the visa process, BIZ can assist with the opening of corporate bank accounts and advise on the most appropriate financial institution to suit your specific needs.
We also offer the full range of company setup services and can handle all government formalities, permissions, work permits and trade license applications that are required to trade in the UAE.
To find out more about the UAE’s Golden Visa, or to start your application, get in touch with the expert team at BIZ today. Call toll-free on 800 BIZ (249) or email [email protected].