Back to school
Picture used for illustrative purposes. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: You have probably heard about the ten-year Golden Visa for university graduates with a Grade Point Average (GPA) above 3.8. But did you know that high school graduates can also obtain a Golden Visa?

A high school student with outstanding academic performance is eligible for a five-year Golden Visa. Not only do you obtain a five-year residency permit, but you can also sponsor your family member under this visa scheme.

If you do plan on securing a future in the UAE and want to apply for a Golden Visa as a high-school graduate in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, here are the steps you need to follow.


How to apply for a Golden Visa for high school students in Dubai

If you are a high school graduate residing in Dubai and have a valid UAE residence visa, you will need to apply for a ‘Golden Visa for Outstanding students’ through the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) Dubai, which issues visas for Dubai. You can apply through their website - or through the GDRFA customer service centre - Amer.

According to the GDRFA website, while university students are granted a 10-year Golden Visa, high-school students who qualify for the Golden Visa are granted a five-year Golden Visa.

Documents required

According to GDRFA, high school students need to provide the following documents when applying for the five-year Golden Visa:

  • A recommendation letter from the Ministry of Education.
  • Copy of the sponsored residency visa (Dubai residents only).
  • Copy of the sponsored passport.

Eligibility criteria

To qualify for the five-year Golden Visa, a high school graduate should have completed taking their final examinations and scored 95 per cent and above in a public or private secondary school.

Is the visa renewable?

According to GDRFA, the visa may be extended after five years if the student is enrolled in one of the major colleges in the country, and the course requires a study period of over five years.

Can I sponsor my family under the five-year Golden Visa?

As per GDRFA, the parents of an outstanding student, and their siblings are granted a Golden Visa for the same duration of their stay in the UAE.

How to apply for a Golden Visa for high school students in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi offers a five-year visa for students who have achieved at least 95 per cent marks in the final examination. As per Abu Dhabi’s official online government services portal – – students who have graduated from the 2020 academic year onwards are eligible to apply. Students are also required to have a recommendation letter from the Ministry of Education (in case of public schools) and the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) if they have studied in a private school.

Application process

You would first need to nominate yourself by filling out an application form. The form is available through the online service ‘Request for Golden Visa Nomination’, which can be found here:

To access this service on Tamm, you must create a UAE Pass account (link).

The website will ask you to answer certain questions as part of its qualification assessment. Once you reach the category for outstanding student, you will be required to fill in the application form and upload the necessary documents.

Once you submit the application, it needs to first be approved by the Abu Dhabi Residents Office, which is a department set up by the Abu Dhabi government to help new residents settle into Abu Dhabi. Once approved, the application is then sent to the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security (ICP), which is the authority that issues the Golden Visa.

Eligibility criteria

High school graduates are eligible if they fulfil the below criteria:

  • Achieved high grades from a high school in Abu Dhabi
  • High School Graduation certificate from an Abu Dhabi secondary school.
  • Recommendation letter from MOE, if the student was enrolled in a public school.
  • Recommendation from Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) if the student was enrolled in a private school.

Additional documents required

Along with having a recommendation letter and graduation certificate verifying your academic performance, you must also provide the following identification documents:

  • Emirates ID
  • Passport copy valid not less than six months

As per the procedure detailed on the TAMM website – after you have submitted the request for nomination, you will receive a tracking number to follow up on the request status and be notified when the request is complete, and the form has been sent to ICP for finalisation.