The Golden Visa: An Overview

In 2019, the United Arab Emirates, in a bid to draw in foreign residents and expand businesses in the region, implemented a new 5 or 10 year residential visa system to allow foreign owners to work, live, and study in the UAE without the need for a national sponsor. Business owners entering the Emirates under this system will be given 100% ownership of their business and profits.

This system gives residency to professionals hailing from many different industries, including entrepreneurs, investors, students, scientists, and medical professionals. The UAE has taken great steps to foster a hospitable environment for those choosing to reside in and work in the Emirates. These advanced initiatives have given the UAE the power to grow into one of the largest international markets, and a trading hub known worldwide.

Criteria for Eligibility

The Dubai Visa initiative is a very enticing prospect for most entrepreneurs, but it might not be for everyone. As with any such program, there exist criteria that applicants will have to meet for a Dubai Visa.

1. Investors

For a 10-year visa, investors must have a minimum of AED 10 million worth of public investments to apply, with no more than 60% of those investments in real estate. Additionally, investors must retain their investment for three years and may not have been loaned the original investment amount.

2. Specialized Talents

Individuals with notable talents or expertise in their given sectors, such as scientists, doctors, researchers, and artists, are eligible to receive a visa with appropriate accreditations in their respective fields. If the applicant provides significant contributions to their field or has given at least 20 years of practical field experience, they are eligible.

3. Entrepreneurs

Foreign nationals who hope to start a new business in the UAE are also eligible to apply for the 5-year permanent residency. They will need, at a minimum, investment capital of AED 500,000 and must have the approval of an officially recognized business startup center in the country. Additionally, long-term visas also cover the applicant’s immediate family, a business partner, and up to three executives.

4. Students

Students showing extraordinary aptitude, ranking in the top 95 percent of their classes, are eligible for a 5-year residency. As well, maintaining a 3.75 GPA or higher will give students eligibility for the Golden visa.

Educators applying for residency will need to be from one of the top 500 international universities and must be approved by the ministry of education.

5. Chief Executives

Chief executives applying for a Golden Visa must hold a bachelor’s degree, with a minimum of 5 years of experience in their field, and earn a salary of no less than AED 30,000. In addition, chief executives are required to carry health insurance for themselves and all their family members.

5 Year Eligibility

Most individuals with specialized talents are qualified to apply for a 5-year visa. Real estate investors, entrepreneurs, and outstanding students fall under this type, but there are a few caveats. Real estate investors will be required to hold a minimum of AED 5 million in investments. Entrepreneurs will need to have an existing project with a minimum capital of AED 500,000 to qualify.

10 Year Eligibility

A 10-year visa is a more permanent answer for those seeking residence in the Emirates. Much like the 5-year residency in the UAE, the criteria to apply for a 10-year visa requires a substantially more significant amount of public investment, and no more than 60% of those investments can lie in real estate.

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How to Apply for a Golden Visa

Golden visas give citizens from other countries the ability to live, work, conduct business, and study in the Emirates without the need for a local sponsor. Business owners operating under this visa are allowed 100% ownership of their business and face no income or corporate taxes.

golden visa dubai

Much like many of the UAE’s programs, most of the application process can be handled online through the FAIC (Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship), the ICA, or through the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA). The system is designed to ensure a streamlined and straightforward application process for applicants.

Step 1)

Apply for a nomination in your particular field. This application will need to be processed, reviewed, and approved by an authorized governmental authority within 30 days. After this period, you will receive an email detailing their decision.

Step 2)

After approval, you will be emailed a link to submit all the appropriate documentation for your visa and complete the process.

Step 3)

After submitting your documents, your application will be processed and verified by the FAIC. Once this portion is complete, you’ll receive your Golden Visa and you’ll be free to take up residence, start your new business, or choose your institution of study!

Required Documents for Golden Visa

As with any application submitted to a governing body, you will be required to submit appropriate documents to complete the process. We’ve taken a few steps to highlight some of the necessary documents you’ll need below:

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  • A copy of your passport featuring passport-sized photo
  • Bank statements from the past six months
  • Any additional documentation related to your or your business’ purpose,
    • Copy of Partnership Contract
    • The ID’s of any additional partners or investors
    • Memorandum of Association
    • Proof of accreditation from a relevant UAE authority for those with specialized talents
    • Proof of patent for investors

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The Cost of Applying for a Golden Visa

We’ve laid out the process and general benefits of applying for a Golden visa, as well as the documentation you’ll need along the way. But you’re probably wondering about the pricing? In a bid to accelerate development and make the process financially reasonable for applicants, the costs for 5 and 10 year applications are quite low.

The 5-year Dubai visa price comes in at AED 650, with 150 of that surcharge for the application and the remaining 500 for issuance. A 10-year application is, in similar fashion, AED 1,150.

Hoping to Apply for the Golden Visa? MSZ Consultancy can Help!

We specialize in all various Dubai visa types, regardless of where you choose to set up shop! Here at MSZ Consultancy, we’ve made it our purpose to help entrepreneurs and business owners navigate the waters of visa applications and business ownership in the UAE. Our experts have decades of experience in business setup across all of the Emirates and can help you! Whether you’re hoping to start a new enterprise, apply for a Dubai visa online, or take advantage of the benefits of one of the many free zones, we have the solutions to make your life easier!

Starting a business in a foreign market is not for the faint of heart! But do not fear! Our specialists are trained to provide you with insider knowledge about businesses operations in the Emirates and how to best grow your investments in the UAE market. Give us a call today at +971 52 544 1248 and let our staff help you so that you can get back to what matters most!

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