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Update: A Guide to the Comprehensive Changes in the Visa System as of October 3rd 2022

October 12, 2022

Implemented by the UAE government to bolster the country’s business and investment landscape, golden and green visas allow qualified applicants to secure long-term residency without the need for a national sponsor. This enables the holder to plant their long-term goals in the UAE for investment, work and academic pursuits.

The visas are issued for a renewable period of five or 10 years based upon category and is granted to investors, entrepreneurs, individuals with exceptional talents such as researchers, medical professionals, creatives, those in sciences and exceptional students.

Umbrella Benefits

Golden Visa bearers attain 100% ownership of their business on the UAE mainland and can secure visas for dependants in most categories, along with a list of ever-expanding benefits in:

Abu Dhabi

Significant concessions on cars inclusive of priority on new releases, healthcare, property, hospitality, insurance, and banking services such as fixed-interest mortgages and exclusive savings accounts.

Dubai

Foreign residents in Dubai who have a golden visa from their home country can take a UAE driver’s test without needing extra lessons. Additionally, if the golden visa holders have a licence from one of 32 approved countries, they will automatically be eligible for a UAE driver’s licence.

Eligibility

To qualify for the golden visa, applicants must meet certain criteria, listed below. The residency visa will also extend to the families of the holders and be automatically renewed should the applicant continue to meet the required criteria thereafter.

Categories (10-Year Visa)

Investor

  • A minimum investment of AED 2 million from approved real estate companies
  • The investor retains the investment for at least three years after the visa is issued
  • The amount invested can be loaned or mortgaged from specific local banks

Creative

  • Creative individuals in culture and art must be accredited by the Culture and Arts Authority

Medical Professional

Medical professionals must meet at least two of the listed conditions:

  • A PhD degree from one of the top 500 universities in the world
  • 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 based on their respective field of work
  • Membership in an organisation related to the field
  • A PhD degree in addition to 10-year professional experience in his field
  • Specialisation in areas of priority to the UAE

Scientist

  • An accreditation from the Emirates Scientists Council or a letter from the Secretariat of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Academic Excellence as Recipient of the Medal of Scientific Excellence

Inventor

  • Must have a recommendation from the Ministry of Economy and own a patent to their invention

Coder

  • Proof of employment at a leading international technological firm
  • Graduates of software engineering, computer sciences, hardware engineering, information technology, artificial intelligence, data science, big data, and electrical engineering

Executive Director

  • A bachelor’s degree (or equivalent), attested by the UAE MoFA and Ministry of Education
  • Minimum of five years of work experience with a minimum salary of AED 50,000 per month
  • Valid employment contract in the UAE

Athlete

  • Recommendation letter from one of the sports councils or the General Authority for Sports

Educator

  • Must be specialised in one of the rare fields or specialties of priority, determined by the relevant authorities

Outstanding Student (University)

  • Students from listed universities within the UAE with a GPA of 3.8 or higher upon graduation
  • Certified university degree and academic transcript

Specialist in the Fields of Engineering & Science

  • A bachelor’s degree or higher along with a letter of equivalency of scientific degree from the Ministry of Education (in case the certificate is from outside the country)
  • Labour contract in one of the following disciplines – epidemiology and viruses, artificial intelligence, big data, computer engineering, electronics engineering, software engineering, electrical engineering, genetic engineering, biotechnology engineering

Humanitarian Aid Worker

  • Proof of charity and humanitarian aid within the UAE from the International Humanitarian City (IHC)

PhD Holders

  • Certified copy of the PhD from the Ministry of Education in one of the priority disciplines determined by the relevant authorities

Skilled Employees

  • Hold a valid contract of employment in the UAE for a job that falls under the occupational level one or two as defined by the Ministry of Human Resources Emiratisation
  • Minimum monthly salary of not less than Dh30,0000
  • A bachelor’s degree

Categories (Five-Year Visa)

The parents, spouse, and children can now be sponsored by the resident for 5 years, and the grace period after the residence visa has expired or is cancelled has been increased to 6 months from 1 month. The age limit for children to be sponsored has been increased from 18 to 25, and the age limit has been removed for unmarried daughters and children of determination.

Real Estate Investor

  • The value of investment should be a minimum of AED one million
  • The amount invested in real estate must not be on a loan basis stated through a letter in Arabic from the Real Estate Registration Department
  • The property must be retained for at least three years

Outstanding Student (High School)

  • High school students who rank top in the country 95%
  • A recommendation from the Ministry of Education

Retirement

  • Applicant must be 55 years or older
  • Minimum AED one million (fully paid, not mortgaged) of real estate property under the name of the applicant or a minimum deposit one million in any of the local banks for three years

Freelancers/Self-Employed Person

  • A freelance/self-employment permit from Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE)
  • Proof of a bachelor’s degree or specialised diploma
  • Evidence of annual income from self-employment for the previous two years for an amount not less than AED 360,000 or prove financial solvency throughout their stay in the UAE

Green Residence Visa for Skilled Employees

  • A valid employment contract that should be classified in the first, second, or third occupational level as per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE)
  • The minimum educational level must be a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, and the salary should not be less than $4,083 (AED 15,000)

Green Residence Visa for Investors or Partners

It replaces the previous residence that was valid for 2 years only

  • Requirements include approval of the investment and proof of investment
  • If the investor or partner has more than one licence, the total invested capital will be calculated. Approval of the competent local authorities is mandatory

Five Or Ten Year Visa

Investor in an Investment Fund

  • A letter in Arabic from the bank confirming that there is a deposit of AED two million which will not be broken until after 2 years

Entrepreneur

  • A five-year residency is granted to those with an existing project with a minimum capital of AED 500,000, or those who have the approval of an accredited business incubator in the UAE

New visas for visitors

  • Tourist visas will be valid for 60 days, an expansion from the current 30
  • A five-year, multi-entry tourist visa is available which allows visitors to stay up to 90 continuous days in the UAE. However, they can’t exceed 180 days in a year

Application Process

CBD have a dedicated labour & immigration team who can assist you in obtaining a golden or green visa upon conducting a feasibility study. To check your eligibility and initiate the process, email enquiries@cbdcorporateservices.com or call +971 4 551 0677