What is the UAE’s Golden visa?
The UAE’s ‘Golden visa’ is a long-term residence visa which enables foreign talents to live, work or study in the UAE while enjoying exclusive benefits which include:
- an entry visa for six months with multiple entries to proceed with residence issuance
- a long-term, renewable residence visa valid for 5 or 10 years
- the privilege of not needing a sponsor
- the ability to stay outside the UAE for more than the usual period of six months in order to keep their residence visa valid
- the ability to sponsor their family members, including spouses and children regardless of their ages
- the ability to sponsor unlimited number of domestic helpers
- the permit for family members to stay in the UAE until the end of their permit duration, if the primary holder of the Golden visa passes away.
For queries regarding visas, please contact Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security (ICP) or the UAE’s embassies and consulates.
For Dubai visas, contact the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs - Dubai (GDRFAD).
Golden visa requirements
Requirements for the Golden visa depend on the type of residence, whether investor, talent, entrepreneur, etc.
Investors in public investments
If you invest in an investment fund, you may be granted a Golden Visa for a period of 10 years without a sponsor, subject to the:
- submission of a letter from an investment fund accredited in the UAE stating that the investor has a deposit of AED two million, or
- submission of a valid commercial licence or industrial licence and a memorandum of association stating that the investor’s capital is not less than AED two million
- submission of a letter from Federal Tax Authority stating that the investor pays the government no less than AED 250,000 (two hundred and fifty thousand) annually.
Additionally, you must:
- own the invested capital completely; it must not be a loan and
- provide proof of medical insurance for himself and his family (if any).
Real estate investors
If you own a property or a group of properties, you may be granted a Golden visa for a period of 5 years, renewable on the same conditions and without a sponsor subject to the:
- provision of a letter from the land department of the respective emirate stating that he owns one or more properties whose value is not less than 2 million dirhams
- purchase of a property with a loan from specific local banks approved by the competent local entity.
If you are an entrepreneur, you may get a Golden visa for a period of 5 years, if you own an economic project of a technical or future nature based on risk & innovation. In addition, you must have an approval letter from each of the following:
- an auditor in the UAE stating that the project value is not less than 500,000 dirhams
- the authorities in the emirate stating that the project is of a technical or future nature
- an accredited business incubator in the UAE to establish the proposed activity in the country.
Outstanding specialised talents
Outstanding specialised talents include:
- creative people of culture and art
- specialists in scientific fields
- doctoral degree holders and
- specialists in the fields of engineering and science.
Subjects relating to engineering and science include:
- epidemiology and viruses
- artificial intelligence
- big data
- computer engineering
- electronic engineering
- software engineering
- electrical engineering
- genetics and biotechnology engineering.
If you have an outstanding specialised talent, you may get a Golden visa for 10 years after meeting the requirements mentioned below for each category:
Doctors and scientists
- a recommendation letter from Ministry of Economy stating that your patent has an added value to the country's economy
Creative people in the fields of culture and art
- an approval letter from the department of culture and arts in the respective emirate.
- a copy of a university degree accredited by Ministry of Education with educational attainment not less than a bachelor's degree
- a letter of experience of no less than 5 years holding the same position
- a salary certificate with a salary of AED 50,000 at least
- a valid work contract.
Specialists in engineering and science
High school students
If you are a high school student and a national-level topper, (with a minimum grade of 95 per cent in public or private secondary school) you may be granted a Golden visa for 5 years without a sponsor, subject to submission of a recommendation letter from Ministry of Education (Emirates Schools Establishment).Duration of the Golden visa for students is 5 years and may be extended if he/she is enrolled in one of the majors/colleges in the country that requires a study period of more than five years.
If you are an outstanding university student, you may be granted a Golden visa for a period of 10 years without a sponsor, provided that:
- the university must be rated either A or B class by Ministry of Education
- a recommendation letter from the university or an accredited graduation certificate or an accredited academic record stating that the student’s cumulative GPA is not less than 3.5 for A class universities and 3.8 for B class universities is submitted.
it has not been more than 2 years since you graduated.
Outstanding students of foreign universities may be granted a Golden visa for a period of 10 years without a sponsor, provided that:
- The university is rated among the best 100 universities global according to the rating system recognized by Ministry of Education
- The student’s cumulative GPA is not less than 3.5
- It has not been more than 2 years since you graduated
- Graduation certificate is accredited by the Ministry of Education
Pioneers of humanitarian work
If you are a pioneer of humanitarian work, you may get a Golden visa for 10 years. You must be one amongst the following categories to qualify as a pioneer of humanitarian work:
- members and outstanding employees who have worked for international and regional organisations for a minimum of five years
- members and outstanding employees who have worked for civil associations and institutions of public interest for a minimum of five years
- individuals who have received an appreciation award from a local, regional or international organisation that focuses on humanitarian work
- funders of humanitarian work provided that the value of the support does not fall below two million UAE dirhams or its equivalent.
Frontline heroes who displayed extraordinary effort in crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic also may get the Golden visa with a recommendation from a competent authority. Frontline heroes include nurses, medical assistants, lab technicians, pharmacologists and other cadres approved by the Frontline Heroes Office.
The ‘One touch’ Golden Visa service
‘One touch’ Golden visa service is a comprehensive service designed to simplify the application and the renewal process for a Golden residence visa, saving the applicants’ time and effort.
The service will assist the applicants with their applications for the visa, issuance of other visas, regularisation of status, the issuance of residency and identity documents, and renewing all of these in one step.
Apply through the ICP website or the ICP App available on Google Play and App Store.