Expired residence visas: Deadline to leave extended to November 17
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Dubai: Have you been hearing news updates about the UAE Golden Visa over the past few months but are still not sure what the visa is all about and if you are eligible for it? Here is a round-up of all the details that have been announced regarding the long-term residence visa.

Why do I need a visa?

In order to live and work in the UAE, you need to have a visa issued either by your employer or you can apply for an investor or partner visa, if you are a businessperson. On the other hand, those who are living in the UAE but not employed can be sponsored by their family member.

Living and working in the UAE without a visa or on an incorrect visa is illegal and strictly penalised.

What is the Golden Visa?

In 2019, the UAE implemented a new system for long-term residence visas, with five- and 10-year visa options being made available for certain categories. The new system enables foreigners to live, work and study in the UAE without the need of a national sponsor and with 100 per cent ownership of their business on the UAE’s mainland.

According to the Cabinet Resolution No. 56 of 2018 Regarding the Organization of Residence Permits for Investors, Entrepreneurs and Professional Talent, Golden Visas can be granted to the following categories:

• investors

• entrepreneurs

• specialised talents and researchers in various fields of science and knowledge

• bright students with promising scientific capabilities

Within these categories, the UAE has been facilitating the Golden Visa process for various professionals, investors and entrepreneurs.

On July 10, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched the National Programme for Coders, which aims to attract 100,000 coders to the UAE, offering them a 10-year Golden Visa.

Similarly, on July 28, it was announced that all doctors licensed by a UAE health regulatory authority can apply for a 10-year visa from July 2021 to September 2022.

Eligibility for a 10-year visa

The following categories are entitled to apply for a 10-year residence visa in the UAE.

1. Investors in public investments of at least Dh10 million

The investment may take many forms such as:

• A deposit of at least Dh10 million in an investment fund inside the country

• Establishing a company in the UAE with a capital of not less than Dh10 million

• Partnering in an existing or a new company with a share value of not less than Dh10 million

• Having a total investment of not less than Dh10 million in all areas mentioned, on condition that the investment in sectors other than real estate is not less than 60 per cent of the total investment.

Conditions

Granting a visa is subject to the following conditions:

• The amount invested must not be loaned.

• The investment should be retained for at least three years.

• There should be a financial solvency up to Dh10 million.

According to the UAE government’s official website, u.ae, the visa can be extended to include business partners, on the condition that each partner contributes Dh10 million.

The long-term visa can include the spouse and children, as well as one executive director and one advisor.

Investors from abroad can also apply for a multiple-entry permit for a six-month period, to finalise their visa application process.

2. Persons with specialised talents

This includes specialised talents and researchers in the fields of science and knowledge such as doctors, specialists, scientists, inventors, as well as creative individuals in the field of culture and art. The visa advantage extends to the spouse and children. All categories are required to have a valid employment contract in a specialised field of a priority in the UAE.

Conditions

Granting a visa is subject to the following conditions:

• Scientists must be accredited by Emirates Scientists Council or holders of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence.

• Creative individuals in culture and art must be accredited by Ministry of Culture and Youth.

• Inventors must obtain a patent of value, which adds to the UAE's economy. Patents must be approved by Ministry of Economy.

• Exceptional talents must be documented by patents or a scientific research published in a world-class journal.

• Executives must be owners of a leading and internationally recognized company or holders of a high academic achievement and position.

Eligibility for a five-year visa

The following categories are entitled to apply for a five-year residence visa in the UAE.

1. Investors in a property in the UAE

Conditions:

Granting a visa is subject to the following conditions:

• The investor must invest in a property of a gross value of not less than Dh5 million.

• The amount invested in real estate must not be on loan basis.

• The property must be retained for at least three years.

2. Entrepreneurs

This category includes those having an existing project with a minimum capital of Dh500,000, or those who have the approval of an accredited business incubator in the country.

The entrepreneur is allowed a multi-entry visa for six months, renewable for another six months. The long-term visa includes the spouse and children, a partner and three executives.

3. Outstanding students

This includes:

• outstanding students with a minimum grade of 95 per cent in public and private secondary schools.

• university students within and outside the country having a distinction GPA of at least 3.75 upon graduation.

Long-term visa includes families of the outstanding students.