Alsuwaidi & Company

Expanded Golden Visa Opportunity in the UAE

The UAE Cabinet approved the executive regulations of the Federal Decree-Law on Entry and Residence of Foreigners last month, increasing the attractivity of the UAE to live, work and invest in. The Golden Residence Scheme was initially approved in 2020 creating a 10-year renewable residency visa for select groups to attract skilled workers and entrepreneurs and to promote growth in the business sector.

The new executive regulations aim to simplify the eligibility criteria and increase the categories of beneficiaries. The benefits of this new expansion allow the visa holders to stay out of the UAE for as long as they like without affecting the visa status. Visa holders are also able to sponsor family members, including spouse and children regardless of age and support services without limit. If the visa holder were to die, the family members would be able to remain in the UAE. There is also no sponsor or employer requirement. Professionals, exceptional talents, real estate investors, entrepreneurs, outstanding students and graduates and scientists are eligible for the scheme as per the following guidelines and criteria:

Professionals: the emphasis on this category is to attract highly skilled workers with educational qualifications and professional experience in a variety of disciplines including social sciences, culture, education, law, business and administration, information technology, sciences and engineering and medicine. To be eligible the applicant must have a valid UAE employment contract with a monthly salary of no less than AED 30,000 (was previously AED 50,000), should be classified in the first or second occupational level as per MOHRE classification and must hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent.

Exceptional talents: this is only available through the recommendation or approval of a federal or local government entity for individuals in various fields such as culture, sports and digital technology, arts, inventors, innovators, and other vital fields. For this category, employment, education and salary have no bearing.

Real estate investors: these investors are eligible for a Golden Residence visa when buying a property AED 2 million or more, including whether by loan or where it involves one or more off-plan properties AED 2 million or more from approved companies.

Entrepreneurs: the executive regulations introduce flexible requirements for entrepreneurs to meet eligibility criteria. The entrepreneur should be own or be a partner in a startup registered in the UAE under the SME category and generating at least AED 1 million. Startup idea approval can be obtained from an official business incubator, the Ministry of Economy or competent local authorities. If the person is a founder or one of the founders of a previous entrepreneurial project sold for no less than AED 7 million, they will also be eligible.

Outstanding students and graduates: this is available for high achieving students in UAE secondary schools and graduates from UAE universities and the best 100 universities worldwide based on academic performance, year of graduation and university classification.

Scientists: scientists and researchers recommended by the Emirates Scientists Council who have high achievements and are influential in their field are eligible. They should hold a PhD or master’s degree in engineering, technology, life science and natural sciences from the top universities in the world as well as achievements in research.

How can we help?

The Corporate & Commercial Practice Group can provide legal advice and assistance in obtaining golden visa and other visa options available in the UAE. Please contact Suneer Kumar at suneer@alsuwaidi.ae.

Suneer Kumar leads the corporate and commercial team. He is active across sectors, including, government and quasi government, real estate, technology, and oil and gas.