Malabar Haji
Kerala businessman Ibrahim Haji gets 10-year Golden Visa Image Credit: SUPPLIED

Another Indian business tycoon in the UAE, who received his 10-year permanent residency Golden Card on Monday, hailed the government for the initiative.

Kerala-born Dr P A Ibrahim Haji, Co-Chairman Malabar Group and Chairman PACE Group, received his Golden Card from Lieutenant Colonel Omar Matar Khamis Al Mezaina, Director of Establishment Department, General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, Dubai, on Monday.

“Granting the 10-year visa is a great initiative by the Government of UAE. This is yet another visionary move by the leaders to make this country an investor-friendly nation. But the best thing about the permanent residency initiative is that it benefits investors and residents alike. It is definitely going to bring a lot of investors to the UAE as a result,” said Haji, who spoke to Gulf News from India where he is currently on a holiday.

At least 400 outstanding expatriates, including business leaders, have received the Gold Card since the permanent residency was introduced earlier this year, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) announced recently.

Validity of the visa

The visa is valid as long as all terms and conditions are met for an applicant.  The Gold Card visa will be reviewed on a case-to-case basis.

How does the 10-year visa work?

Typically the UAE does not grant permanent residency visas to expatriates but the golden card is a renewable 10-year visa so the end result is the same: permanent residency in the UAE.

The visas are renewed in 10-year increments. After 10 years [the visas] are continuous for another 10-year period every 10 years. There are medical insurance and other procedures that need to be done in between but it comes without any extra conditions.

The visas are renewed as long as residents continue to satisfy the terms and conditions in which they were granted the visa.

If investors decreased in worth or their business failed within those 10 years, things would be looked at on a case-to-case basis. Golden card holders can travel freely as there is no minimum requirement for staying in the UAE. For example, if the golden card carrier leaves the UAE for longer than six months, their visa would still be valid.

Who is eligible

Doctors, investors, specialists and students (those with a grade of 95 per cent and above in general secondary and university students with a grade of 3.75 and above. Executive managers with a monthly salary of Dh30,000 and above are also eligible for the long-term visa.