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How to Get A UAE Golden Visa?

Table of Contents
Introduction

With the term golden visa frequently popping up in the media, on social networks, and in everyday conversations, you might have heard about it already—and for good reason. Golden visas offer a great opportunity for investors who want to gain residence (and sometimes even citizenship) in another country.

But how do you apply for a golden visa? We’ll explain the requirements, processes, and timelines for some of the most popular options below. While applying and understanding the tax implications of living abroad often need help from an immigration lawyer and tax professional, our guide below is a great starting point.

Benefits of Golden Visas

Here are some of the top benefits of holding a golden visa:

Expand Your Horizons: Living or spending significant time in another country lets you experience a new culture, meet new people, and even learn a different language.

Access Social Infrastructure: Golden visas often give you access to social benefits like healthcare, public schools for children, and participation in the pension system.

Travel with Ease: Having a residence permit in one country usually makes it easier to visit other countries with which it has travel agreements. Being in a centrally located country also makes travel to nearby countries quicker and more affordable.

Open Up New Economic Opportunities: With the ability to work and do business in a new country, you can access new investment opportunities, business ventures, and client bases.

Bring Family: Immediate family members, such as spouses or partners, minor children, and sometimes parents, can often apply for their own visas as dependents of a golden visa holder.

Golden Residency & Citizenship: Many countries with golden visas offer a pathway to citizenship through naturalization after living there for a certain number of years. Some, like Turkey, even offer direct citizenship by investment programs.

Tax Benefits: Some golden visas provide favorable tax treatment, such as lower tax rates or excluding foreign income from taxation.

Golden Visa Eligibility & Requirements

Each country has its own rules for golden visa eligibility, but frequently, golden visas require that you:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Be in good health
  • Have a clean criminal record
  • Make a minimum investment of a certain dollar amount, such as in the form of:
  1. Real estate
  2. Capital transfer
  3. Government bonds
  4. Capital injection into a business based out of that country
UAE/Dubai Golden Visa

Overview

Eligibility: Open to investors with a clean criminal record

Duration: 5 to 10 years, depending on immigration category

Path to naturalization: 5-10 years for permanent residence, 30 years for citizenship

Dependents: Spouses, children of any age, parents, & other family members (on a case-by-case basis) may apply as dependents

Qualifying investment requirements: At least 2 million AED (~$545,000) toward a public investment or real estate property

Notable perks: No personal income taxes

Application Process & Timeline

To apply for the UAE’s golden visa, you must:

Make a qualifying investment

  • Submit application & required documents
  • Valid passport & copy
  • Passport photos
  • Proof of qualifying investment (e.g., letter from investment fund, letter from land department confirming real estate purchase)
  • Undergo a medical exam in UAE.
  • Receive approval & collect visa.
  • The UAE processes golden visa applications very quickly — typically within seven to 10 business days.
Who Can Apply for the Golden Visa?

Under the recent changes to the UAE Residence and Entry Scheme, more individuals can now apply for a golden residence visa. The categories of eligible applicants include investors, entrepreneurs, exceptional talents, scientists and professionals, outstanding students and graduates, humanitarian pioneers, and frontline heroes.

Here’s a breakdown of each category:

1. Investors

If you are a homeowner in the UAE, you can obtain the golden visa by purchasing property worth at least Dhs2 million. This applies whether the property is off-plan, completed, or mortgaged, with no minimum down payment requirement. Additionally, you can qualify if you have made significant public investments, such as:

  • A deposit of at least Dhs2 million in a company’s capital.
  • Being a partner in a company’s capital with no less than Dhs2 million.
  • Paying Dhs250,000 annually in tax or being a partner in a company that does.

 

2. Entrepreneurs

Real estate entrepreneurs can apply for the golden visa if they meet one or more of these conditions:

  • Be a partner or owner of a start-up company registered as an SME in the UAE with annual revenues of at least Dhs1 million.
  • Have founded an entrepreneurial project sold for more than Dhs7 million.
  • Have approval for a start-up from an official business incubator.

 

3. Exceptional Talents

People with exceptional talents, such as inventors, artists, athletes, and digital technology experts, can apply for the golden visa regardless of their educational qualifications, employment status, or monthly salary. The visa requires a recommendation or approval from a federal or local government entity.

4. Scientists

Scientists and researchers with significant achievements can apply for the golden visa if they receive a recommendation from the Emirates Scientists Council. Eligible candidates should have a PhD or Master’s Degree in engineering, technology, life sciences, or natural sciences from top universities, along with substantial research achievements.

5. Professionals

Highly-skilled workers with advanced qualifications and professional experience can also apply for the golden visa. This applies to various fields, including medicine, science, engineering, IT, business, education, law, and social sciences. Applicants must have an employment contract in the UAE, be classified in the first or second occupational level by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, hold at least a Bachelor’s Degree, and have a monthly salary of Dhs30,000 or more.

6. Outstanding Students and Graduates

High achievers in the UAE’s secondary schools, graduates from UAE universities, and top students from the best 100 universities worldwide can apply for the golden visa. Requirements include high academic performance, a GPA of at least 3.5 for international graduates or 3.8 for UAE university students, and a high school average of at least 95%. Families of high school students are also eligible.

7. Humanitarian Pioneers

Individuals who have made significant contributions to humanitarian work can qualify for the golden visa. This includes:

  • Working in international or regional humanitarian organizations for at least five years.
  • Being a notable employee in a civil association or public interest institution for five years.
  • Receiving an award from a humanitarian organization.
  • Volunteering with at least five years of service or 500 hours of service.
  • Funding humanitarian work worth at least Dhs2 million.
  • Being nominated by a minister as a humanitarian pioneer.
  • Holding a relevant degree and meeting additional ministry or authority requirements.

 

8. Frontline Heroes

Healthcare staff and other frontline workers involved in extraordinary situations, like the COVID-19 pandemic, can also apply for the UAE golden visa.

Hiring GenZone for Golden Visa Procedure

Relocating to Dubai with your family requires careful planning and understanding of the legal requirements. From choosing your residency path to setting up a company and securing a golden visa, each step is crucial for a smooth transition. 

At Genzone, we provide comprehensive support to make your move as seamless as possible. If you’re ready to start the process or need more information, feel free to book a call with us.

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