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Visitors at Amer Al Twar Centre. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/ Gulf News

Dubai: Golden Visa holders can stay outside the UAE for any amount of time, without their visa being nullified. This and other major updates to the Golden Visa scheme were introduced last year.

On April 18, 2022, the UAE government announced new entry visas and residency permits, where different types of residency options were made available to people travelling to the UAE for a visit or for long-term residence.

As part of the update on the Golden Visa, the announcement provided details on the duration of stay allowed for an individual in the UAE, while he or she completes the Golden Visa application process, as well as the number of family members and domestic workers they may be able to sponsor.

Here are all the details:

Who is eligible for the Golden Visa?

The categories covered under the Golden Residence permit have been expanded. According to amendments to the Golden Residence Scheme, here are the beneficiaries of the long-term 10-year residence permit:

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

• Culture and art
• Investors and innovators
• Sports
• Digital technology
• Other vital fields

4. Scientists and professionals

• Scientists
• Chief executive 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 with extraordinary efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic

What are the benefits of the new Golden Visa?

As per the amendments, these are the benefits of the Golden visa:

• Golden Residency holders can sponsor their family members including spouse, children and support staff without any limit.

• There is no restriction on the maximum duration of stay outside the UAE in order to keep the Golden Residency valid.

• An e-visa valid for six months will be provided, to proceed with residence issuance.

• Family members are allowed stay in the UAE in the event of death of the original holder of the Golden Visa until the end of their permit duration.

No sponsor or employer required.

10 years renewable visa.

Documents you need to apply for the Golden Visa
- Copy of your passport, visa and Emirates ID
- Passport sized photograph
- Tenancy contract
- IBAN number
- Medical Insurance card
- Medical Fitness Certificate
- Supporting documents for the category under which you are applying. For example, labour card, labour contract, recommendation letter from relevant government department/s, educational qualification etc.

Criteria for the Golden Visa

Here is a list of requirement criteria for different categories of the Golden Visa. These will help you get a better idea of the type of documents you may need to submit to prove your eligibility for the Golden Visa:

Golden Residence for Scientists

• They must be recommended by the Emirates Scientists Council.

• The candidate should have a Ph. D. or master degree in the disciplines of engineering, technology, life sciences and natural sciences from the best universities in the world.

• The candidate should have substantial research achievements.

Golden Residence for Professionals

• The applicants should have a valid employment contract in the UAE.

• Should be classified in the first or second occupational level as per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation classification.

• The minimum educational level must be a bachelor’s degree or equivalent.

• The monthly salary should not be less than Dh30,000.

Golden Residence for Exceptional Talents

• It is awarded based on talent only regardless of the educational qualification, the employment status, the monthly salary or professional level.

• It requires the recommendation or approval of a federal or local government entity.

Golden Residence for Real Estate Investors

• Real estate investors can obtain Golden Visa when purchasing a property that is worth at least Dh2 million.

• Investors are also entitled to obtain the Golden Visa when purchasing a property with a loan from specific local banks.

• Investors can also obtain Golden Visa when buying one or more off-plan properties of no less than Dh2 million from approved local real estate companies.

Golden Residence for Entrepreneurs

• An entrepreneur should own or be a partner in a start-up registered in UAE in the category of small and medium enterprises (SME), which generates annual revenues of not less than Dh1 million.

• In addition, obtaining approval for a start-up idea from an official business incubator (an organisation that helps start-ups or entrepreneurs to develop their business) or from the Ministry of Economy or the competent local authorities.

• If the person is a founder or one of the founders of a previous project that was sold with a total value of not less than Dh7 million. The approval of the Ministry of Economy or the competent local authorities is required for projects or ideas.

Golden Visa for Outstanding Students and Graduates

• Must present their academic performance, which is their cumulative average or GPA.

Year of graduation.

• The university’s classification or standing.