golden visa

Golden visa in UAE. How does it work?

The Golden Visa system essentially offers long-term residency (5 and 10 years) to people belonging to the following specified groups; investors, entrepreneurs, individuals with outstanding talents the likes of researchers, medical professionals, and those within the scientific and knowledge fields, and remarkable students.

The main benefit would probably be security; through the issuance of the Golden Visa, the UAE government has made it clear that they are committed to providing expatriates, investors and essentially everyone looking to make the UAE their home an extra reason to feel secure about their future.

Requirements of Golden visa vary according to each group but are contingent on the individuals’ adherence to the terms and conditions under which the Golden Visa was granted.

10-year visa eligibility requirements for different categories of individuals

Investors

  • Having no less than AED 10 million worth of public investment, either in the form of an investment fund or a company
  • At least 60 percent of the total investment must NOT be in the form of real estate
  • The invested amount must not be loaned, or in case of assets, investors must assume full ownership
  • The investor must be able to retain the investment for a minimum of three years   

This 10-year long visa may be extended to include business partners, providing that each partner contributes AED 10 million. The long-term visa can also include the holder’s spouse and children, as well as one executive director and one advisor. This visa may also be renewed.

Individuals with specialized talents

The individuals listed under the specialized talents category includes doctors, researchers, scientists, investors and artists. These individuals may be granted a 10-year visa following accreditations granted by their respective departments and fields. The visa also extends to their spouses and children.

5-year visa eligibility requirements

Real estate investors

The requirements for the 5-year visa are largely similar to those of the general investor. The only difference being the amount of investment required is set at AED 5 million. The visa also extends to their dependents. 

Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs are open to gain a 5-year residency visa in the UAE. The eligibility requirements extend to having an existing project with a minimum capital of AED 500,000, or those who have the approval of an accredited business incubator in the country.

They  are allowed a multi-entry visa for six months, renewable for another six months. The long-term visa includes the spouse and children, a partner and three executives.

Outstanding students

Exceptional high school and university students are eligible for a 5-year residency visa in the UAE.

High school students who rank top in the country -95% grades a minimum grade of and students from certain universities with a GPA of 3.75 or higher upon graduation.   

The Golden Business Visa

In addition to the aforementioned, foreign nationals who are looking to set up their business in the UAE may also apply for permanent residency (5 years) through the Golden Business Visa scheme.

What can Golden Visa offer?

The Golden Visa system essentially offers long-term residency (5 and 10 years) to people belonging to the following specified groups; investors, entrepreneurs, individuals with outstanding talents the likes of researchers, medical professionals and those within the scientific and knowledge fields, and remarkable students.

The main benefit would probably be security; through the issuance of the Golden Visa, the UAE government has made it clear that they are committed to providing expatriates, investors and essentially everyone looking to make the UAE their home an extra reason to feel secure about their future.

The “Thrive in Abu Dhabi” programme promotes long-term Golden Visas and a pathway to citizenship for international talent working, creating, studying, excelling and investing in key sectors and specialties in Abu Dhabi.

The UAE’s Golden Visa is available in Abu Dhabi for international investors and top talent from around the world, providing them with visas for up to 10 years. This includes people and researchers in the fields of science and knowledge such as doctors, specialists, scientists and inventors. It is also open to talented creative and sporting individuals, and business, start-up and real estate investors in the emirate.

Abu Dhabi boasts a number of high-growth areas that are creating opportunities for talented individuals to grow, achieve and succeed. These include creative industries, R&D, healthcare, agriculture, financial services and a thriving start-up ecosystem. 

With its unparalleled lifestyle, rich culture and diverse population, Abu Dhabi is a place to live, work and invest. A place to call home. 

When thrive, we all thrive.

Here are two types of golden visas available to investors:

  1. Investor visa – for those who invest in non-real estate projects and companies in Abu Dhabi;
  2. Real Estate Investor visa – for those who invest in real estate in Abu Dhabi;

Investor Visa

Investors in Abu Dhabi are eligible for a 10-year visa if they fulfil one or more of the following criteria:

  • A minimum AED 2 million capital deposit in an investment fund/bank account inside Abu Dhabi
  • Established a company of AED 2 million or more in Abu Dhabi or a partner in an existing or a new company with a financial contribution of at least AED 2 million
  • Own a company that regularly pays federal government taxes of AED 250,000 per year or more
  • Be a partner in a company that pays federal taxes, with a financial contribution of at least AED 250,000 in taxes per year or more

Investments must be retained for at least two years after the visa has been issued.

The Investor Visa includes visas for spouses, children, one advisor and one executive director.

The visa holder can sponsor a domestic worker, subject to relevant regulations.

Investors should provide:

  • Official bank statements of the last 6 months (bank can be in the UAE or outside the country)
  • Trade License
  • Tax Clearance Certificate

Real Estate Investor Visa

Real estate investors are eligible for a 5-year visa if they fulfil the below criteria:

  • Invest in a property of a gross value of not less than AED 2 million
  • If the property or portfolio of properties are mortgaged, a minimum cash down payment of AED 2 million of the value is required to be eligible for the visa

The investment must be retained for at least two years after the visa is issued.

The Real Estate Investor Visa includes visas for spouses and children.

The visa holder can sponsor a domestic worker, subject to relevant regulations.

Real Estate Investors should provide:

  • Proof of real estate worth AED 2 million or more for single/aggregate investment profile.
  • Proof of Mortgage Status (Mortgaged or Released).

Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs are eligible for a 5-year visa if they fulfil one or more of the below criteria:

  • An existing project with capital of at least AED 500,000
  • Approval of an accredited business incubator in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi

The Entrepreneur Visa includes visas for spouses and children.

The visa holder can sponsor employees to work in the company; these visas will be valid only while employed by the company.

The visa holder can sponsor a domestic worker, subject to relevant regulations.

Entrepreneurs should provide:

  • Proof of enterprise status (purchase of existing business worth AED 500,000 or approval from a recognised business incubator).
  • Trade License.

High School Student

Abu Dhabi offers a 5-year visa for top-performing students with promising scientific ability.

Students are eligible if they fulfil the below criteria:

  • Achieved high grades from a high school in Abu Dhabi
  • Have a recommendation from the Ministry of Education

The High School Student Visa includes visas for parents and dependent siblings.

University Graduate 

Abu Dhabi offers a 10-year visa for highly qualified university graduates.

Graduates are eligible if they fulfil the below criteria:

  • Must be a graduate of an accredited university in Abu Dhabi
  • Have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.8

The University Graduate Visa includes visas for parents, dependent siblings, spouses and children, if the graduate has the financial means to do so and is able to provide accommodation. 

Special Talent

Abu Dhabi offers a 10-year visa for talented individuals in nine categories including:

  • Doctors
  • Scientists
  • Creatives (Art and Culture)
  • Innovators
  • Executive Directors
  • Educators (in priority fields)
  • Sports
  • PhD Holders
  • Engineers

Doctors

Eligibility requirements:

  • Must be licensed to practice within medical field from the Abu Dhabi Department of Health and meet specific criteria. Further information on the criteria will be communicated as it becomes available.

The visa includes visas for spouses and children.
The visa holder can sponsor a domestic worker, subject to relevant regulations.

Scientists

Eligibility requirements:

  • Must have a recommendation from Emirates Scientists Council or be a recipient of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Distinguishment  

The visa includes visas for spouses and children.

The visa holder can sponsor a domestic worker, subject to relevant regulations.

Creatives (Art and Culture)

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must have a recommendation from one of the specialised governmental cultural agencies in Abu Dhabi

The visa includes visas for spouses and children.

The visa holder can sponsor a domestic worker, subject to relevant regulations.

Innovators

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must have a recommendation from the Ministry of Economy and own a patent that adds value to the Abu Dhabi economy

The visa includes visas for spouses and children.

The visa holder can sponsor a domestic worker, subject to relevant regulations.

Executive Directors

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must have a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent)
  • Minimum of 5 years of work experience
  • Minimum salary of AED 50,000 per month
  • Valid employment contract in Abu Dhabi

The visa includes visas for spouses and children.

The visa holder can sponsor a domestic worker, subject to relevant regulations.

Educators (in priority fields)

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be specialized in one of the rare fields or specialties of priority for the country, and  determined by the relevant authorities

The visa includes visas for spouses and children.

The visa holder can sponsor a domestic worker, subject to relevant regulations.

Sports

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must obtain a recommendation from the General Sports Authority or the Abu Dhabi Sports Council
  • Must be in one the following categories: 

    • Outstanding sports talent
    • Achieved athletic excellence
    • Holds a leadership position in international sports federations, committees or organizations
    • Specialized in sports medicine

The visa includes visas for spouses and children.

The visa holder can sponsor a domestic worker, subject to relevant regulations.

PhD Holders

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must hold a PhD in one of the priority sectors for Abu Dhabi, accredited by the Ministry of Education

The visa includes visas for spouses and children.

The visa holder can sponsor a domestic worker, subject to relevant regulations.

Engineers

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree, accredited by the Ministry of Education, in one of the following fields, and must also work in this field in Abu Dhabi:

    • Epidemiology and Virology
    • Artificial Intelligence
    • Big Data 
    • Computer Engineering
    • Electrical Engineering
    • Software Engineering
    • Electronics Engineering
    • Genetic Engineering
    • Biotechnology Engineering

The visa includes visas for spouses and children.

The visa holder can sponsor a domestic worker, subject to relevant regulations.

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