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Pyypl Team
Apr 8
4 mins

Golden Visa in the UAE: Everything You Need to Know

Everything About the UAE Golden Visa: A Complete Guide

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Known for its zero income tax and progressive living standards, the UAE has long stood out for its modernity and opportunity in the heart of the Middle East. Being a sought-after place for expats from all over the world, the UAE recently announced a long-term residency offer to entrepreneurs, investors, and exceptional talents through its recently launched Golden Visa program.  

In this guide, we're going to walk you through everything you need to know about the UAE's Golden Visa: from the application process to the benefits it brings. So, whether you're an artist hoping to be inspired by the UAE's cultural tapestry or a freelance business owner currently on a freelance visa in the UAE, let's explore how you can plant roots in this desert paradise.

What is the Golden Visa UAE?

The UAE Golden Visa is a long-term residence visa that was introduced in the UAE in 2019 as part of the country’s aim to attract skilled and talented individuals. It allows holders to live, work, and study in the UAE with 100% ownership of their visa on the UAE’s mainland. These visas are issued for 5 or 10 years and are automatically renewed. They don’t require sponsorship from a company or individual – any eligible candidate can apply and get the visa.

Eligibility Criteria

The Golden Visa is awarded to individuals in specific categories:

  1. Property Investors: If you’re eying this route, you must invest a minimum of AED 2 million in real estate in the UAE to be eligible for the Golden Visa.
  1. Entrepreneurs: If you're steering a startup or a unique business venture, the Golden Visa could be yours if you have an existing project valued at AED 500,000 or more, or if you have the endorsement of an accredited business incubator.
  1. Exceptional Talents: The UAE salutes excellence in all forms. Doctors, scientists, creatives, and other professionals with proven exceptional talent or accolades can qualify for the Golden Visa. This includes patents, scientific research, and artistic achievements recognised on a national or international level.
  1. Top Graduates: The UAE is nurturing the next generation of leaders. Outstanding students with a GPA of 3.8 or above from UAE-accredited universities are eligible, as are top graduates from the world’s 500 best universities.
  1. Scientists and Researchers: Must be accredited by the Emirates Scientists Council or holders of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence.

How to Apply for the Golden Visa

If you're considering applying for the UAE Golden Visa, it's advisable to consult with legal experts or use the official channels to ensure the accuracy of information and advice on the most current application procedures and regulations. However, below is a step-by-step guide on what the Golden Visa process looks like:

  1. Determine Eligibility: Review the criteria for the Golden Visa to ensure you meet the qualifications for investors, entrepreneurs, exceptional talents, or students.
  1. Gather Necessary Documents: Depending on your category, this may include proof of investment, business ownership, certifications, patents, or academic records.
  1. Submit an Expression of Interest: This can be done through the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) website or through the Dubai REST app for Dubai residents.
  1. Receive an Invitation to Apply: If your expression of interest is successful, you'll receive an invitation to formally apply for the Golden Visa.
  1. Formal Application: Complete the application form on the ICA website, attach all required documents, and pay the necessary fees. The fee structure includes AED 650 for the application and issuance, plus an AED 150 service fee. However, fees can vary based on visa type and whether you’re inside or outside the UAE, so please verify the current fees on the ICA website or through their customer service channels for the most up-to-date information.
  1. Medical Examination and Emirates ID Biometrics: Schedule and undergo a medical examination. Additionally, you'll need to complete biometric data capturing for your Emirates ID.
  1. Visa Issuance: Upon approval, the Golden Visa will be stamped on your passport, and you'll receive an Emirates ID that reflects your new residency status.
  1. Family Sponsorship (if applicable): If you wish to sponsor family members, submit separate applications for each, attaching proof of relationship and fulfilling any additional requirements.

For further information, you can contact the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) or visit their official website.

Advantages of the Golden Visa UAE

Below are some of the top reasons why a Golden Visa is a great option for those looking to live long-term in the UAE:

  • Residency Security: Wave goodbye to short-term visa renewals. The Golden Visa offers you a comfortable cushion of up to 10 years of residency, which you can renew to continue your journey in the UAE.
  • Family First Approach: Your loved ones are part of your success story, and the Golden Visa embraces this by allowing you to sponsor your family, so that you can build a home together in the UAE.
  • Entrepreneurial Freedom: Dream big and own it — literally. With the Golden Visa, you can get 100% ownership of your mainland business without the need for a local partner, a game-changer for global entrepreneurs and investors.
  • Flexibility in Travel: The UAE understands the global citizen's life. Thus, it doesn't bind you with mandatory stay requirements, giving you the freedom to travel and maintain a global presence.
  • Extended Perks: Beyond business and family, the Golden Visa enriches your life with conveniences like sponsoring domestic help, ease in obtaining driving licenses, and priority treatment in various government transactions.
  • Education and Health: The Golden Visa extends its benefits to cover essential services, giving you access to the UAE's world-class educational and healthcare systems.
  • Real Estate Investment: It opens doors to property investors, providing a stable environment to invest in the UAE's lucrative real estate market.

Alternate to the Golden Visa

If you’re not eligible for the golden visa, the UAE's retirement visa might be an appealing alternative for those looking to enjoy their golden years in the lap of luxury. Tailored for retirees, this visa allows individuals aged 55 and above to reside in the UAE, provided they meet certain financial criteria such as investment in property, savings, or an active income. Find out more about the retirement visa in the UAE and how to apply.

Frequetly Asked Questions

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