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UAE Golden Visa scheme expanded; new categories, benefits announced

golden visa

The UAE has announced substantial amendments to its Golden Visa scheme. The amendments simplify the eligibility criteria and expand the categories of beneficiaries.

Holders of the coveted visa can stay outside the UAE for as long as they need, without it affecting their residence. Previously, residents who stayed outside the UAE for six months or more lost their residency.

This long-term, 10-year residency is granted to investors, entrepreneurs, exceptional talents, scientists and professionals, outstanding students and graduates, humanitarian pioneers, and frontline heroes.

The amendments allow the Golden Visa holders to sponsor/her family members including spouses and children regardless of their age. They can sponsor an unlimited number of support services (domestic help).

Other benefits for family members allow them to stay in the UAE in the event of the death of the Golden Visa holder.

Professionals

A major expansion is introduced in this category to attract highly skilled workers with educational qualifications and professional experience in all disciplines including medicine, sciences and engineering, information technology, business and administration, education, law, culture, and social sciences.

The applicants should 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.

The minimum educational level must be a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, and the monthly salary should not be less than Dh30,000.

Exceptional talents

This residence is granted to top talents in vital fields. It is awarded based on talent only. Educational qualification, employment status, monthly salary, or professional level are no bar.

It requires the recommendation or approval of a federal or local government entity and includes talented individuals in culture, art, sports, digital technology, inventors and innovators, and other vital fields.

Real estate investors

Real estate investors can obtain Golden Residence when purchasing a property that is worth no less than Dh2 million.

As per new amendments, investors are also entitled to obtain a long-term visa when purchasing a property with a loan from specific local banks. Investors can also get the residence when buying one or more off-plan properties of no less than Dh2 million from approved local real estate companies.

Entrepreneurs

The executive regulations set flexible requirements for entrepreneurs eligible to obtain the Golden Residence. An entrepreneur should own or be a partner in a startup registered in the country in the category of small and medium enterprises and generates annual revenues of not less than Dh1 million.

In addition, obtaining approval for a startup idea from an official business incubator or from the Ministry of Economy or the competent local authorities is sufficient to obtain the Golden Residence in this category.

Moreover, if the person is a founder (one of the founders) of a previous entrepreneurial project (projects) that were sold with a total value of not less than Dh7 million, he/she will be entitled to Golden Residence. The approval of the Ministry of Economy or the competent local authorities is required for projects or ideas.

Outstanding students and graduates

This residence targets high-performing students in UAE secondary schools, and outstanding graduates from UAE universities and the best 100 universities worldwide according to specific criteria that include their academic performance (cumulative average), the year of graduation, and the university classification.

Scientists

This residence is granted to scientists and researchers with high achievements and influence in their field based on recommendations from the Emirates Scientists Council.

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