UAE Golden Visa Guide 2023: Costs, Benefits, and Rules
In 2019, the UAE introduced the Golden Visa, a new program for long-term residency visas. Since then, it’s enabled expats across the globe to live, work and study in the UAE for up to ten years. But while the Golden Visa makes it easier for foreigners to start and grow a business successfully, not everyone automatically qualifies for one. Applicants need to meet specific requirements and conditions to secure a Golden Visa, and not everyone will be able to apply.
In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about the UAE Golden Visa, including how it works, who qualifies, and what the process is for application.
Golden Visa UAE – what is it?
The UAE Golden Visa gives foreigners the opportunity to acquire long-term residency visas in the UAE. With this visa, individuals can live, work and study in the UAE without a national sponsor and maintain 100% ownership of their business.
Golden Visas can be granted to investors, entrepreneurs, outstanding students, and scientific or creative specialists. The UAE currently offers a 5-year or 10-year Golden Visa. Both visas are renewed automatically, providing that the applicant meets specific requirements and conditions.
What are the benefits of getting a Golden Visa in the UAE?
The UAE introduced the Golden Visa scheme to offer additional security for those looking to make their future in the UAE. There are numerous advantages for Golden Visa holders, including:
- Long-term residency: Golden Visa holders can live, work or study in the UAE for five or ten years.
- 100% business ownership: Golden Visa holders do not need to find a national sponsor.
- Employment: Golden Visa holders can apply for jobs with any company in the UAE.
- UAE driving license: Golden Visa holders from one of 32 approved countries are automatically eligible for a UAE driver’s license.
Golden Visa UAE’s latest news and rules
All types of Golden Visa categories are now valid for 10 years.
Another expansion to the Golden Visa’s eligible categories has been announced. In addition to the general skilled professional category, the government of Abu Dhabi will allow the following types of specialists to be eligible for the Golden Visa:
- senior scholars and clerics
- elite specialists in the industry and 4th industrial revolution
- specialists in health fields
- specialists in education
Golden Visa UAE eligibility
The eligible categories for the Golden Visa UAE are as follows:
Golden Visa UAE for real estate investors
If you are a real estate investor, you should fulfill one of the following conditions to obtain a Golden Visa:
- purchase a property worth no less than AED 2 million.
- purchase a property with a loan from specified local banks.
- purchase one or more completed or off-plan properties of no less than AED 2 million from a list of approved local real estate companies.
Golden Visa UAE for entrepreneurs and startup owners
If you are a startup owner your company should be registered within the UAE and fall under the small and medium enterprises (SME) category with annual revenues of AED 1 million or above. Other conditions of Golden Visa for entrepreneurs are:
- if you are a founder or one of the founders of a previous entrepreneurial project that was sold with a total value of not less than AED 7 million (USD 19,05,850).
- the approval of the Ministry of Economy or the competent local authorities for projects or ideas.
Golden Visa UAE’s exceptional talents
Talented individuals in the field of art, culture, digital technology, sports, innovation, medicine, law, and others. Outstanding specialized talents include:
- creative people of culture and art
- specialists in scientific fields
- doctoral degree holders and
- specialists in the fields of engineering and science.
Subjects relating to engineering and science include:
- epidemiology and viruses
- artificial intelligence
- big data
- computer engineering
- electronic engineering
- software engineering
- electrical engineering
- genetics and biotechnology engineering.
Golden Visa UAE for scientists
- Individuals who have a Ph.D. or master’s degree in engineering, technology, life sciences, and natural sciences from the world’s best universities.
- must have a recommendation from the Emirates Scientists Council to avail of this Visa.
Golden Visa UAE for skilled professionals
This category includes but is not limited to, education, law, science and engineering, information technology, social sciences, and many others.
Skilled professionals should meet the following conditions:
- They hold a valid contract of employment in the UAE.
- The job must fall under the occupational level one or two as defined by the Ministry of Human Resources Emiratization.
- The minimum monthly salary is not less than AED 30,000.
- The skilled worker must have a bachelor’s degree as well.
Golden Visa UAE for students
Students with exceptional academic excellence, having obtained high scores either in UAE secondary schools or universities, are talented students who have studied at the world’s 100 best universities.
Golden Visa UAE for humanitarian pioneers
- Distinguished members of international and regional organizations.
- Outstanding members of associations of public benefit.
- Recipients of recognition awards in humanitarian fields.
- Distinguished volunteers and sponsors of humanitarian efforts.
Golden Visa UAE for doctors and nurses
Doctors and nurses, the first line of defense, a long-term residency are now eligible for obtaining UAE Golden Visa.
Golden Visa expanded categories for Abu Dhabi
The new categories are the following:
- Senior Scholars and Clerics
- Specialists in industry and the 4th industrial revolution
- Specialists in health fields
- Specialists in education
- Skilled Professionals
What is the price of a UAE Golden Visa?
The cost of the UAE Golden Visa depends on the visa category. Applying from the UAE, the Golden Visa will cost between AED 2,800 and AED 3,800. While applying from outside the country is between AED 3,800 and AED 4,800, in addition to AED 150 application fee, and about AED 1000 for a medical examination of the Emirates ID.
5-year UAE Golden Visa requirements
In order to acquire a 5-year UAE Golden Visa, applicants must meet specific criteria requirements. To apply for a Golden Visa, you must either be an investor in property, an entrepreneur, or an outstanding student.
Other conditions for a 5-year visa
Investors, entrepreneurs, and outstanding students must meet specific conditions for a 5-year Golden Visa, too.
For instance, investors in the property must invest in a property over AED 5 million and retain the property for at least three years. Entrepreneurs must have a minimum capital of AED 500,000 or approval from accredited businesses incubated in the UAE. Outstanding students must have a minimum grade of 95% from a public or private secondary school or a distinction GPA of at least 3.75 from a university.
How to get the 5-year or 10-year UAE Golden Visa: Step-by-step guide
Step 1: Apply online for a UAE Golden Visa nomination.
Step 2: Authorities take up to 30 days to review your application. You will receive an email detailing the outcome of your application.
Step 3: If your application is approved, you will need to upload the required documents to your application online.
Step 4: The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship will verify your application.
Step 5: Providing you meet all the requirements, the authorities will issue you with your 5-year or 10-year Golden Visa.
Frequently asked questions
How do you apply for a UAE Golden Visa for engineers?
Engineers can apply for the UAE Golden Visa under the category ‘specialized talent’. You will need to meet specific requirements, including holding a BA or MA from an accredited institution. Get in touch to find out more.
How do you apply for a UAE Golden Visa for doctors?
Doctors can apply for the UAE Golden Visa under the category ‘specialised talent’. Applicants will need to meet specific requirements, such as holding a Ph.D. degree. Get in touch to find out more.
Can Pakistanis get a UAE golden visa?
Yes, applicants from Pakistan are eligible to apply for a UAE golden visa. Get in touch to find out more.
Why SPC Free Zone?
SPC offers fast and easy Freezone business setups in the UAE. As one of the most centrally located and easily accessible free zones in the region, it’s the ideal ecosystem to start and grow your business successfully. Get in touch to find out more.
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