New UAE Golden Visa Rules and Long-Term Visas: Everything You Need to Know

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New UAE Golden Visa rules and long-term visit visas come into effect today.

The benefits of long-term visas and Golden Visas will extend to immediate family members. Children can be sponsored by the Golden Visa or Green visa holder until the age of 25 – an increase from the previous rule of 18 years – with no age limit for unmarried daughters. Children of determination are granted a residence permit, regardless of their age.

The UAE Golden Visa residency programme, which was first implemented in 2019, enabled expats to live, work, and study in the UAE without the need of a national sponsor and with 100 percent ownership of their business on the UAE’s mainland.

With the new rules, the criteria to apply for the 10-year visas have now been eased, as more people across a diverse set of professions will be offered the opportunity to apply for the Golden Visa.

The 5 yr UAE Green Residence visa – which targets exceptional talent, skilled professionals, freelancers, self-employed residents, investors, and entrepreneurs – replaces its previous two-year version.

A number of new entry permits and visas:

  • do not need a host or sponsor have been announced by the UAE Cabinet to benefit visitors, tourists, and job seekers.


UAE Golden Visa: Eligibility criteria and benefits

In addition to securing their stay in the UAE for a period of 10 years, the new rules will allow the Golden Visa holder to sponsor his/ her family members, including spouse and children regardless of their age, and to sponsor support services (domestic) labourers without limiting their number.

Furthermore, the restriction related to the maximum duration of stay outside the UAE in order to keep the Golden Residence valid has been removed.

There are other benefits for family members that allow them to stay in the UAE in the event of the death of the original holder of the Golden Residence until the end of their permit duration.

UAE Golden Visa eligibility criteria:

Under the new executive regulations, the UAE Golden Visa will grant 10-year residence to investors, entrepreneurs, exceptional talents, scientists and professionals, outstanding students and graduates, humanitarian pioneers, and frontline heroes, who meet certain eligibility parameters.

  • Golden Visa for scientists:

The UAE Golden Visa will be granted to scientists and researchers with high achievements and influence in their field based on the recommendation from the Emirates Scientists Council.

The candidate must have a PhD or a Master’s degree in the disciplines of engineering, technology, life sciences, or natural sciences from the best universities in the world, as well as substantial research achievements.

  • Golden Visa for professionals:

The UAE Cabinet has revealed a major expansion 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.

  • Golden Visa for exceptional talents:
    The UAE Golden Residence visa will be granted to top talents in vital fields. It will be awarded based on talent only regardless of the educational qualification, employment status, monthly salary, or professional level. 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 in other vital fields.
  • Golden Visa for real estate investors:

    Real estate investors can obtain Golden Residence when purchasing a property worth no less than $544,500 (AED 2 million). As per the new amendments, investors are also entitled to obtain the Golden Residence when purchasing a property with a loan from specific local banks. Investors can also obtain Golden Residence when buying one or more off-plan properties of no less than $544,500 (AED 2 million) from approved local real estate companies.

  • Golden Visa for outstanding students and graduates:

    This long-term, 10-year visa will also target high-performing students in UAE secondary schools, and outstanding graduates from UAE universities, as well as from the best 100 universities worldwide, according to specific criteria that includes their academic performance (cumulative average), the year of graduation, and the university classification.

  • Humanitarian pioneers:

    As per the UAE government, humanitarian pioneers are also eligible under the new Golden Visa rules. Such as distinguished members of international and regional organisations, outstanding members of associations of public benefit, recipients of recognition awards in humanitarian fields and distinguished volunteers and sponsors of humanitarian efforts.

  • Frontline heroes:

    Frontline workers with extraordinary efforts in crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic can also get the Golden visa under the new rules issued by the UAE government.

  • Golden Visa for entrepreneurs and startup owners:

    The new executive regulations have also set flexible requirements for entrepreneurs eligible to obtain the Golden Residence.

Additional Golden Visa eligibility criteria for entrepreneurs and startups owners includes:

  • Entrepreneurs should own or be a partner in a startup registered in the UAE under the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) category, and the registered startup must generate annual revenues of not less than $272,250 (AED 1 million).
  • Entrepreneurs or startup owners who obtain approval for a startup idea from an official business incubator, from the Ministry of Economy, or from a competent local authority will be deemed eligible to obtain the Golden Residence in this category.
  • Entrepreneurs who are founders – or one of the founders – of a previous entrepreneurial project(s) that was sold for a total of not less than $1.9 million (AED 7 million) will be entitled to the UAE Golden visa. For this category, the approval of the Ministry of Economy or competent local authorities will be required for projects or ideas.

Additional Golden Visa eligibility criteria for professionals include:

  • Applicants should have a valid employment contract in the UAE.
  • Applicants should be classified in the first or second occupational level as per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation classification, which is aligned with the International Standard of Classification of Occupations ISCO by the International Labour Organisation.
  • Applicants must have a minimum educational level and must have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent.
  • Applicants should have a monthly salary of not be less than $8,167 (AED 30,000).

UAE Green Residence visa: Benefits and eligibility criteria

As part of a slew of new rules aimed at attracting and retaining talent and skilled workers from all over the world, the UAE Cabinet has also revealed a 5 yr Green Visa which will boost flexibility of the job market and will foster a high sense of stability among UAE residents and families.

The new 5-year Green Residence visa will be aimed at exceptional talents, skilled professionals, freelancers, investors, and entrepreneurs.

Under the Green Residence visa, more benefits will be offered to facilitate the residence of family members residence.

In addition, longer flexible grace periods will extend up to 6 months to stay in the country after the residence permit is cancelled or expired.

UAE Green Residence Visa eligibility criteria:

  • Green Residence Visa for skilled employees:

    The new track provides a 5-year residency for skilled employees, without a sponsor or employer. The applicants should have a valid employment contract, and should be classified in the first, second, or third occupational level as per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. 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 freelancing and self-employment:

    In line with the growing importance of flexible work models, this track provides a 5-year residency for freelancers and self-employed individuals without requiring a sponsor or employer in the UAE. It requires applicants to obtain a freelance/self-employment permit from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. The minimum educational level should be bachelor’s degree or specialised diploma, and the annual income from self-employment for the previous two years should not be less than $98,000 (AED 360,000), or that the applicant proves financial solvency throughout his / her stay in the country.

  • Green Residence Visa for investors or partners:

    This residence permit is introduced to encourage investment, providing 5-year residency for investors establishing or participating in commercial activities. 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.

The new system provides more benefits to family members, allowing residents to easily issue residence permits for their family members, including spouse and children.

The age of children who may be sponsored has been raised to 25 years (previously 18 years), with no age limit for unmarried daughters.

Children of determination are granted a residence permit, regardless of their age.

Green Residences holders are allowed to issue residence permits for their first-degree relatives, and in all cases the residency of family members shall be the validity duration as the original residence holder.

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