The UAE government is making a lot of efforts to develop the economy and other sectors of the country. In this, they can be helped by foreigners who have high achievements in a particular area. To attract such specialists, the United Arab Emirates launched the Golden Visa program in 2019. Having received such a document, a foreigner can live, work, and study in this state for up to 10 years.
In 2022, new UAE visa regulations will come into force, which also affect the Golden Visa. These rules add new categories of foreigners who can apply for a residence visa for Dubai and other cities in the UAE and also simplify some of the requirements for candidates.
How to apply for the UAE Golden Visa
Visa applicants must prepare all relevant documents and apply through the ICA online platform. There is also an offline option – the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs.
The applicant must pay the relevant application processing and visa preparation fees. The cost depends on the category of visa and varies from 2,800 to 3,800 UAE dirhams. For candidates who applied in another country, this amount is increased by AED 1,000.
The main advantages of the UAE Golden Visa
Entrepreneurs, scientists, high school and university students, investors, and other prominent personalities can reside in the UAE for up to 5 or 10 years. Some cities, such as Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and others, offer additional benefits to Golden Visa holders. For example, discounts on real estate, cars, special conditions for banking services, etc.
Foreigners with a Golden Visa can get comprehensive insurance of up to AED 50,000 depending on factors set by the national health insurance company. The insurance can be extended.
Under the new rules, which come into effect in September 2022, Golden Visa holders can stay outside the UAE for an unlimited amount of time (up to 6 months formerly). In addition, they can sponsor their family members who also wish to reside in the UAE.
If a foreigner has obtained a Golden Visa and can live in Dubai, they can immediately pass the driving test, provided that they have a driver’s license in their home country. This process takes place in several stages:
● Registration with RTA online or offline at recognized driving schools in Dubai.
● Vision test at one of the RTA centers.
● Registration for the theory, parking, and driving test at one of the recognized driving schools with the original driver’s license of the home country and the original UAE ID.
● Payment of required RTA fees.
If a foreigner has received a driver’s license in the US, the UK, or other 30 countries from the relevant list, one does not need to pass the exam. A foreigner only needs to pass an eye test and pay the fees.
Who is eligible for the UAE Golden Visa
The UAE investment visa can be obtained by foreigners who invest in real estate for the required amount. The value of the property must be at least AED 2,000,000. A real estate loan in some banks in the country also allows participating in the program.
Another option to get a UAE investment visa is to buy one or more properties even if the project is not yet completed. The minimum amount is also AED 2 million. The transaction must be carried out with approved local real estate companies.
An applicant can only qualify for a Golden Visa if they are the owner or partner of a start-up that has been approved by the local authorities or the Ministry of Economy. The startup must generate AED 1 million per year and be registered as a small or medium enterprise. Also, with the approval of the above authorities, businessmen of the previous entrepreneurial project, which was sold in the amount of 7 million UAE dirhams, can receive the Golden Visa.
Scientists should stand out for significant advances in their research. If the UAE Council of Scholars determines that the candidate has multiple achievements and sufficient influence in certain areas of science, he/she may be eligible for the UAE Golden Visa Program.
The applicant must have a Doctorate or Master’s degree in science, engineering, philosophy, etc. The degree must be obtained from the best universities in the world.
4) Excellent students and graduates of the best universities
UAE secondary school students and UAE university graduates with excellent results can qualify for a Golden Visa. Foreigners can also participate but only on the condition that the candidate has completed their studies at one of the top 100 universities in the world with a good academic record.
5) Professional workers
Highly skilled workers can obtain a Golden Visa if all the requirements are met:
● The candidate has a good education.
● The applicant has extensive work experience.
● The employee has entered into an employment contract with an employer in the UAE.
● The applicant must earn at least AED 30,000 per month.
● The applicant must have a Bachelor’s degree or an equivalent degree.
6) The most talented people
Applicants with special talents are not required to have a certain degree of education, minimum wage, professional work skills, etc. Such candidates need to meet only one criterion – to receive a recommendation or approval from the federal or local government. Talented people from various fields can participate: writers, athletes, musicians, inventors, artists, etc.
7) Specialists in the field of medicine
Doctors and nurses licensed by the UAE Health Regulatory Authorities will have access to participate in the program until September 2022. Also, medical workers who have made a significant contribution to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic can receive a Golden Visa.
The applicant must apply at one of the centers associated with the Federal Authority for Identification and Citizenship.
Other UAE visa requirements
Notably, the Golden Visa is not the only program that allows foreigners to reside in the United Arab Emirates. For example, a residence permit can be obtained by some specialists who work in foreign companies.
Another program is a retirement visa for foreigners over 55 years of age. To do this, you need to own real estate in this country in the amount of $550,000 or more or earn $5,500 per month and have $275,000 in a bank account.
As an expert in the field of investment immigration Zlata Erlach (Immigrant Invest company) points out, until 2021, the list of those who can obtain a UAE passport was very small https://immigrantinvest.com/blog/uae-golden-visa-en/. However, the situation looks different today. You can become a citizen of a country through investment, marriage, and naturalization, by birth, and even for certain achievements. Such serious mitigations indicate that the state government is actively working to attract specialists from all over the world.
Foreigners who travel frequently to the UAE can obtain a special visit visa. It allows them to stay in the country for 60 days. This is one of the best ways to get acquainted with the standard of living in the state of the Arabian Peninsula and, maybe, even find a job during this time and get another visa or choose an interesting property to buy and enjoy the benefits of a UAE investment visa.