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Visitors at Amer Al Twar Centre. Picture used for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/ Gulf News

Dubai: Are you interested in getting the UAE Golden Visa but don’t know where to start? The UAE recently announced an update to the country’s visa system, with new visas coming into effect from October 3. As per the announcement, the categories eligible to get a Golden Visa has also been expanded.

So, can you apply for a Golden Visa? And, if so, how? Here is all you need to know.

1. Find out if you are eligible

The first thing to do is to find out if you are eligible for the Golden Visa. As there are several categories that have been announced in the latest update in the visa system, you would first need to find out which category you can apply under. Abu Dhabi Residents Office (ADRO), which is a department dedicated to helping new residents settle into Abu Dhabi, has created an online tool that could be of help. Answer these 17 questions to find out if you are eligible for the Golden Visa. Even if you are applying for a visa from another Emirate, this tool might be a good starting point to find out about your eligibility.

Eligible categories for Golden Visa
In the updated Golden Visa scheme, the eligible categories were expanded to include the following:

1. Investors:
• Public investment
• Real estate investment

2. Entrepreneurs:
• Owners of registered successful start-ups
• Those who have an approved idea for a start-up
• Previous founders of a successful start-up that was sold inside or outside the UAE

3. Exceptional talents in the fields of:
• Culture and art
• Investors and innovators
• Sports
• Digital technology
• Other vital fields

4. Scientists and professionals
• Scientists
• Chief executives and senior officials
• Science professionals
• Engineering professionals
• Health professionals
• Education professionals
• Business and Administration professionals
• Information technology professionals
• Legal, social and cultural professionals

5. Outstanding students and graduates
• Best performing students in secondary schools
• Best graduates from UAE universities
• Graduates of best 100 universities worldwide

6. Humanitarian pioneers
• Distinguished members of international and regional organisations
• Outstanding members of associations of public benefits
• Recipients of recognition awards in humanitarian fields
• Distinguished volunteers and sponsors of humanitarian efforts

7. Frontline heroes
• Frontline workers who made extraordinary efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

2. Get your documents/recommendations ready

Once you have understood the category under which you may be eligible for the long-term visa, the next step is to find out how you can get the necessary documents in place. Certain categories may require you to get a recommendation from the relevant government department. For example, if you are applying under the category of a ‘creative professional’, you would need to get a recommendation from the Ministry of Culture and Youth or the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) if you are applying in Dubai.

If you want to get a list of all the documents you may need for your category, you can contact the Amer service in Dubai on 800 5111. Amer centresvisa applications on behalf of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai.

If you are applying for the Golden Visa in Abu Dhabi, you can reach out to ADRO on 800 555.

For all other Emirates, you can contact the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security (ICP) on 600522222.

3. Start your application

Once you have ensured that you fulfil the criteria for your category of the Golden Visa, you can then start the application process. For this step, you can choose to either do it online or by visiting an Amer centre in Dubai or an ICP customer happiness centre.

Online - Dubai

If you are applying for the visa in Dubai, GDRFA allows applicants to use their online service to start the process.

1. Visit https://www.gdrfad.gov.ae/en/services?id=71ea8dd6-56c3-11ea-0320-0050569629e8 and select the category for Golden Visa that you want to apply under.
2. Log in using your GDRFA account, if you already have one. Alternatively, you can log in using your UAE Pass.
3. Start filling out the form by providing the details of your current residency, like your residence visa number, UID number as well as your registered tenancy contract and International Bank Account (IBAN) number.
4. You will then be asked to attach all the required documents, including your passport copy, Emirates ID copy and documents supporting your eligibility for the category of Golden Visa.
5. Make the payment – you will then be asked to pay the required fees for the application.

Once you have completed the application, you will receive an SMS in case there are documents that are missing. Applicants should attach the required documents within 30 days, after which the application will be cancelled.

If your application is approved, you will be notified through SMS and email.

Fees

Residency visa fees - Dh2,790
Emirates ID fees - Dh1,070

Amer centre – Dubai

You can also apply for the Golden Visa through an Amer centre, by following these steps:

1. Head to one of the Amer Centre service branches.
2. Select the required service at the reception.
3. Submit the required documents to the service employee.
4. Pay the fees.

Once you have completed the application, you will receive an SMS in case there are documents that are missing. Applicants should attach the required documents within 30 days, after which the application will be cancelled.

If your application is approved, you will be notified through SMS and email.

Fees

Residency visa fees - Dh2,790
Emirates ID fees - Dh1,070

Online – Other Emirates

You can start the application process for your Golden Visa by following these steps:

1. Apply for the service ‘Request for Golden Visa nomination’. In Abu Dhabi, you can do so by visiting the following link: https://www.tamm.abudhabi/journeys/obtain-a-golden-visa?lang=en
For all other Emirates, you can do so by visiting the following link: https://smartservices.icp.gov.ae/echannels/web/client/guest/index.html#/goldenServicesDashboard
2. Log in and start filling out the form by providing the details of your current residency as well as your registered tenancy contract and International Bank Account (IBAN) number.
3. You will then be asked to attach all the required documents, including your passport copy, Emirates ID copy and documents supporting your eligibility for the category of Golden Visa.
4. Make the payment for the application.
Once you have completed the request, you will receive a tracking number to follow up on the request status. Once your application is approved, you will be directed to visit an ICP customer happiness centre to complete the application process.

On completing the application, you then need to wait for a notification from ICP on whether your application has been approved.

4. Get your medical fitness test completed

Once your application is approved by the concerned immigration authority, you then need to get a medical fitness test completed. To read a detailed guide on how you can get a medical fitness test done in the UAE, click here.

5. Apply for your Emirates ID

The next step is to apply for your Emirates ID, which you can do by visiting an ICP customer happiness centre. You can find an ICP customer happiness centre near you by visiting the following link: https://icp.gov.ae/en/customer-happiness-centers/