The United Arab Emirates Golden Residency program, or the UAE Golden Visa, is a distinguished long-term residence permit. Specific categories of foreigners can obtain a UAE Golden Visa by meeting the eligibility criteria. Eligible categories for obtaining this residency include investors, entrepreneurs, talented individuals, and specialized professionals, such as scientists, innovators, doctors, specialized software engineers, artificial intelligence experts, data scientists, and others. It also extends to outstanding intellectuals, artists, athletes, and pioneers in humanitarian work, as well as frontline crisis responders like paramedics and nurses.
The Golden Residency program, initiated by the UAE in 2019, aims to attract talented individuals and those with exceptional abilities to contribute to the country's development and create an attractive investment environment for talent and expertise. Applicants for the Golden Visa program must make a qualifying investment that contributes to the local economy. In return, the program grants all Golden Visa holders the opportunity to reside, work, study, and invest in the UAE, along with several additional benefits. The Golden Visa is a renewable residency permit that is valid for either five or ten years and does not require a sponsor.
Applicants for the UAE Golden Visa must fall into one of the eligible categories of specialized, in-demand professions. Fortunately, there are many categories for applicants to choose from. Applicants will also have several options when making their qualifying investment for the Golden Visa program. These options include investing in real estate or establishing a UAE-based company or project.
Here are the main channels through which Golden Residency can be obtained in the UAE:
Investors can obtain Golden Residency through a public investment in either an investment fund or a company. The options for this channel include:
Investors can obtain Golden Residency in the UAE by investing in real estate, which involves owning one or more properties in the country with a total value of at least 2 million Emirati Dirhams. These properties can include residential, commercial, or other types of real estate.
The Entrepreneur Visa is a sub-category of the UAE Golden Residency program issued to owners, founders, partners, and executive directors of leading innovative startup projects. Eligible applicants must fall into one of the following categories:
Golden Residency is also granted to outstanding students and graduates from the UAE and abroad. The categories of eligible students for the UAE Golden Visa program include:
This category includes individuals who excel in various vital specialties and diverse fields, such as scientists, researchers, doctors, executive managers, and specialists in business, administration, and engineering disciplines like electrical engineering, computer engineering, and communications. It also encompasses specialists in scientific fields such as genetic engineering, epidemiology, virology, astronomy, climate science, and mathematics. Additionally, it includes those specializing in the educational field and outstanding religious figures.
This category includes individuals with exceptional talents, such as innovators, inventors, individuals who excel in digital technology and artificial intelligence, and creatives in visual arts, gaming, e-sports, performing arts, crafts, design, publishing, and others. It also covers sports talents, including professional athletes or professionals in sports management or sports medicine. It can also include individuals with exceptional talents in other significant fields.
Activists in the fields of humanitarian and volunteer work can also obtain Golden Residency in the UAE if they fall under one of the following categories:
UAE Golden Residency can also be granted to individuals who work on the frontlines to address crises and disasters. This category includes nurses, paramedics, medical assistants, laboratory technicians, pharmacists, sterilization staff, crisis management staff, emergency services personnel, and security personnel. It also includes other professionals with a higher risk of infection and injury, as recognized by the Frontline Heroes Office, the body responsible for honoring and appreciating the efforts of frontline workers in the UAE.
In addition to meeting the basic eligibility criteria for the Golden Visa program, applicants must also meet specific qualifying conditions depending on the application category they fall into. For example, to obtain a Golden Residency through investment, applicants must commit to maintaining the qualifying investment for at least two years. Meanwhile, applicants from the talented and rare specialties category may need to provide a recommendation letter from the relevant authority or submit the required academic or experience certificates.
The following are the specific conditions for each category of Golden Visa applicants:
Applicants seeking to obtain Golden Residency through public investment funds, purchasing a UAE-based company, or purchasing UAE-based company shares must prove that the capital used to make the qualifying investment is not borrowed or mortgaged and belongs entirely to them.
To qualify for a UAE Golden Residency, entrepreneurs must obtain approval for their project from an accredited UAE-based business incubator (an institution that supports start-ups) or another specialized authority such as the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security, or the Ministry of Economy.
Individuals working in humanitarian and volunteer fields must hold at least a bachelor's degree or equivalent and meet the basic application requirements.
To qualify for Golden Residency, frontline workers must submit a recommendation from the relevant authorities or a nomination from the UAE Frontline Heroes Office. In addition to its role in nominating outstanding frontline heroes for Golden Residency in the UAE, the Frontline Heroes Office also organizes several initiatives to support frontline workers.
In addition to the specific requirements for each category, there are some criteria that all applicants for obtaining the UAE Golden Visa need to fulfill. The following are the basic requirements for all UAE Golden Visa applicants:
The UAE Golden Visa program allows the main applicant to include certain family members in their application. The requirements for eligible dependents vary by application category.
In general, residence permits with the same duration of stay as the Golden Visa can be issued to the following family members of the main applicant:
In addition to family members, investors can add senior employees to their application for UAE Golden Residency. Investors can include one executive director and one advisor who work for their UAE-based company.
Holders of the UAE Golden Visa enjoy several unique benefits, most of which are not available to regular residents. Some of these benefits include:
Required documents for the UAE Golden Residency will vary depending on the applicant's unique case and the specific application category they fall into. However, some essential documents are required for nearly all applicants.
These basic required documents include:
The following are the specific required documents for each application category for the UAE Golden Visa program:
Applicants under this option must provide one of the following documents:
Applicants under this option must provide one of the following documents:
Entrepreneurs and owners of startup companies typically need one or more of the following documents when applying:
Applicants typically need to provide one or more of the following documents when applying for Golden Residency in this category:
Applicants typically need the following documents depending on their specialization:
Depending on the field of talent, applicants typically need the following documents:
Applicants under this category need the following documents:
Applicants in this category typically require the following:
Individuals who meet the qualifying criteria and wish to obtain a Golden Residency permit in the United Arab Emirates can easily submit their applications through the relevant government authorities and various available channels, electronically or in person.
The authorized service channels include the official website of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, Customs, and Ports Security, as well as the UAE Identity and Citizenship Phone Application (UAEICP), Customer Happiness Centers, and approved typing offices authorized by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship in the UAE.
Those interested in obtaining Dubai Golden Visa can apply through the official website of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai. Eligible individuals can also submit their applications through the Abu Dhabi Residents Office, which issues the Abu Dhabi Golden Visa.
The application process may vary depending on the application category, the location of submission, and whether the application is submitted in person or online. However, in general, most applicants will need to follow these basic steps:
Before following the steps mentioned above, applicants from outside the UAE should apply for an entry permit. By obtaining this entry permit, they can travel to the UAE to complete the Golden Residency application procedures within the country. If approved, they will be granted a multiple-entry visa valid for a six-month stay, allowing them to proceed with their UAE Golden Visa application procedures within the UAE.
While some eligible categories, like public investors, real estate investors, and entrepreneurs, have additional specific investment requirements for Golden Residency, all applicants for the UAE Golden Residency are also required to pay the relevant fees.
Below is a breakdown of the fees required for the Golden Visa application:
Additionally, there are application processing fees that apply. The cost of this service may vary depending on the authority or institution through which the Golden Residency application is submitted. For example, when submitting a nomination for a Golden Residency through the official website of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, Customs, Ports Security, and UAEICP, the applicant will need to pay the following fees:
Applicants outside the UAE who apply for a six-month, multiple-entry permit to enter the UAE to finalize their Golden Residency application procedures will need to pay the following fees for the entry permit:
Golden Residency permits in the United Arab Emirates are issued either for 5 years or 10 years. They can be renewed for the same duration, provided the requirements and conditions for the Golden Residency visa are maintained for the duration of the residency.
The issued duration of residency (5 or 10 years) will depend on the application category and the issuing authority of the Golden Residency. For example, real estate investors are granted a renewable five-year Golden Residency, while investors in public investments are granted a renewable 10-year Golden Residency. Similarly, high school graduates usually receive a five-year Golden Residency, while university graduates are granted a 10-year Golden Residency.
It should be noted that the Abu Dhabi Residents Office recently announced that the duration of Golden Residency for all categories, without exception, has been fixed at 10 years. Therefore, all Golden Residency visas issued by Abu Dhabi will be valid for 10 years, regardless of the category.
Furthermore, according to recent amendments to the UAE's Golden Residency program, investors will not be subject to any minimum residency requirements. Instead, they will be permitted to stay abroad for any duration while still receiving all the benefits of UAE residency by investment.
Living in the United Arab Emirates offers a unique and enriching experience for individuals who choose to reside there. It's not surprising that individuals from over 200 different nationalities live and work in the UAE, which embraces and respects diversity in all its forms. One of the foremost advantages residents in the UAE enjoy is the high standard of living, characterized by advanced infrastructure, technology, luxurious and diverse residential properties, and public services known for their speed and efficiency.
Cultural diversity and tolerance are distinctive features of life in the United Arab Emirates. The country is a melting pot for people from around the world, which results in a rich and interconnected tapestry of cultures, languages, and traditions that fosters a sense of belonging among residents from various corners of the globe.
The UAE also offers a variety of living environments to suit different tastes and preferences, from iconic skyscrapers in Dubai and pristine beaches in Abu Dhabi to the unique cultural charm of Sharjah. Additionally, the country hosts unique cultural, entertainment, sports events, exhibitions, and global conferences, making it an ideal destination for visitors seeking a blend of modernity and authenticity.
The UAE has branches of several prestigious international educational and healthcare institutions. Residents and their families can access top-tier services and easily access the best international schools, universities, hospitals, and healthcare facilities without traveling abroad.
Furthermore, the UAE's favorable tax system is one of the biggest attractions for individuals and businesses to work, invest, and expand within the country. With no personal income tax and low corporate taxes, individuals and companies in the United Arab Emirates can increase their income and grow their wealth. The UAE's prominent status as one of the world's major economic centers offers investors many profitable opportunities, especially in the flourishing real estate market.
Whether the goal of moving to live in the UAE is to enjoy a high-quality life, join a culturally diverse community, access world-class education and healthcare services, or seize lucrative investment and growth opportunities, the United Arab Emirates fulfills its promises of providing all these benefits and more to its residents.
Through the Golden Residency program, investors and individuals with unique talents and expertise can expedite their path to achieving their goals and aspirations by moving to live in the UAE and benefiting from all these advantages. Furthermore, they can expand their international travel mobility and open up new prospects for a better future for themselves and their families.
No, the UAE Golden Residency program does not grant holders the right to obtain Emirati citizenship or a UAE passport. However, Golden Residency does provide holders with long-term residence permits that allow them to live, work, study, and invest in the UAE.
The UAE's Golden Residency program offers successful applicants long-term residence permits, which are available for either 5 or 10 years. Holders of Golden Residency permits can renew them for the same duration, provided they consistently meet the qualifying conditions throughout their residency. Consequently, Golden Residency holders can enjoy permanent residency in the UAE as long as they maintain their eligibility for permit renewals.
Golden Residency is a long-term residence permit in the UAE, which is available for either 5 or 10 years and is renewable. It is granted to investors and individuals with exceptional talents and specialties, offering them many benefits in the UAE.
Green Residency is also a renewable, long-term residence permit for up to 5 years. It is granted to freelancers and skilled employees and does not require a specific sponsor or employer. It also offers more advantages than those granted to standard residents but fewer than Golden Residents.
A Standard Work Residency is a basic short-term residency, typically requiring renewal every two (2) or three (3) years. Applicants must have a valid employment contract with an employer in the UAE.
You can check whether you are eligible for Golden Residency in the UAE through the website of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship and Customs and Port Security. You can also refer to the details of the eligible categories and the conditions required for each category on our website.
While there may be slight differences in the application process due to variations in the application platforms, both Dubai and Abu Dhabi Golden Residency programs offer essentially the same benefits.