Second Citizenship

January 14, 2024

Reading Time: 7 min

How to get the UAE Golden Visa

First, it is almost impossible to get UAE citizenship, even though 80% of residents are foreigners. But there are some ways to get a legal opportunity to live and work in the UAE, including the Golden Visa.

The UAE Golden Visa is an alternative name for the program giving two- or ten-year residence permits for investors, entrepreneurs, or talented and demanded specialists.

Here are some nuances and let’s observe them.

Zlata Erlach
Zlata Erlach

Answered questions about the UAE Golden Visa

Golden Visa UAE — a legal opportunity to live and work in Dubai

How to get the UAE Golden Visa

What is the Golden Visa in UAE

The UAE Golden Visa is a long-term residence visa which is granted to investors, entrepreneurs, outstanding talents and students, and highly qualified professionals. The visa is usually issued for five or ten years.

Who can apply for a UAE Golden Visa

6 UAE Golden Visa benefits

Business and tax climate. UAE residents don’t pay income and corporate taxes, but if a company has a profit of AED 375,000+, then it pays a corporate tax of 9%. Property, capital gains, gifts, inheritance aren’t taxed too. Here is VAT if your annual income exceeds AED 365,000 or around $99,373.

The UAE has Double Tax Avoidance Agreements with more than 100 countries. France, the UK, Canada, Russia, India, and China are on this list.

Healthcare. Residents have access to medical services and insurance. According to the World Bank, the UAE is one of the most popular medical tourism destinations.

Developed infrastructure. According to the International Institute for Management Development, the UAE has 12th place out of 63 countries in the World Competitiveness Ranking, ahead of Germany, Austria, and the UK. The criteria are economic performance, government and business efficiency, and infrastructure.

Freedom of movement. Residents get the right, not duty, to live in the UAE. So, you have no necessity to stay in the country permanently.

Dubai Golden Visa benefits. Holders of a Golden Visa in Dubai get the UAE Esaad Privilege Card. It is a discount program that operates in the UAE and other 92 countries worldwide. You can get up to 70% discount for various goods and services such as medical clinics, travel, online shopping, restaurants, and many more.

Abu Dhabi Golden Visa benefits. Residents of Abu Dhabi get special discounts and offers on health care and insurance, property, cars, and entertainment in Abu Dhabi. Also, the banks of the emirate provide special offers for investors holding Golden Visa: reduced mortgage fixed-interest rates and unique rates on savings accounts.

Price and requirements of the UAE Golden Visa for investors

There are two types of Golden visas for investors. And the main difference is in the degree of investment risk.

Two-year residency visa. Investors can buy properties in the Freehold Zones for AED 750,000, which is about $204,000, to get a 2-year residency visa in the UAE. If spouses register joint ownership of real estate, the threshold is AED 1,000,000, or about $272,000. Only commissioned properties are eligible to be purchased.

Ten-year Golden Visa. To apply for this visa, you should invest at least AED 2,000,000 in the company, share in the company, or put it in a deposit. Additional conditions include maintaining the investment for at least two years after obtaining a Golden Visa. Additionally, you should prove that you paid taxes for AED 250,000 annually for the last two years.

As we can see, a significant part of the costs is the number of investments. In both cases, it should be no less than AED 2,000,000, or about $544,500. But here are the associated costs:

  • $1,000+ per person — translation and notarisation of documents,

  • $400+ per person — medical insurance,

  • AED 750 per person or about $205 — medical test,

  • AED 3860 per person or about $1,043 — administrative fee for visa and card of UAE resident.

If you choose a second option, you should also pay a registration fee of AED 160,000 or about $21,800.

General requirements. In addition to fulfilment of programme conditions, an investor should meet these requirements:

  • be older than 18 years;

  • have no criminal records;

  • have no socially dangerous sicknesses, such as HIV.

And also, an investor should have a legal income.

Where else you can get a Golden Visa

The UAE Golden Visa requirements for family members

Foreigners with a residence permit can fund family members to get Golden Visas. They can add family members to the application or make it after getting their Golden Visas.

You can add to the application:

  • spouse, above 18 years old, without criminal records and socially dangerous sicknesses;

  • unmarried sons up to 25 years old, principally dependent on the investor;

  • unmarried daughters of any age;

  • children with disabilities of any age.

Household helpers, such as sitters, housekeepers and butlers, can also be included. Requirements are similar: above 18 years old, without criminal records, pregnancy and socially dangerous sicknesses.

Individual cost calculation of the UAE Golden Visa

Individual cost calculation of the UAE Golden Visa

Requirements for other categories of applicants for the UAE Golden Visa

There are specific requirements for each category of applicants for the UAE Golden Visa.

Entrepreneurs can obtain a Golden Visa if they own or partner in an innovative start-up registered as a small and medium enterprise in the UAE. The project value should be not less than AED 500,000 or around $136,000.

To apply as an entrepreneur, you need to have three approval letters:

  1. From an auditor with the statement of the start-up value.

  2. From the authorities of an emirate that proves the project is of a technical or future nature.

  3. From an accredited business incubator in the UAE with a proposal to establish the project.

Retirees. There is a unique program for applicants over 55 and proven retirees. Applicants should have an excellent financial status. It is expressed by a pension of no less than $4,100 per month, opening a bank deposit or buying a real estate in Dubai for no less than $275,000.

The deposit and real estate can be mixed, but the total amount is the same. Participants of the Retiree program can add only a spouse and children under 18 years.

Executives. An executive director with a monthly salary of at least AED 50,000 or about $13,612 can apply for a residency visa. Eligibility criteria are a Bachelor’s degree, at least five years of working experience in the same position, and a valid work contract.

Scientists. The research areas are engineering, technology, life sciences, and natural sciences. To obtain the Golden Visa, an applicant should get a recommendation from the Emirates Scientists Council. They also should provide a copy of a degree certified by the Emirati Ministry of Education and a work contract.

Doctors, inventors, artists, and athletes. These professionals are eligible to get the UAE Golden Visa as outstanding specialised talents. They need to get a recommendation letter from an according ministry or service of the country and have an employment contract in the UAE with a salary of no less than AED 30,000 or around $8,200 per month. A Bachelor’s degree is required for participation.

Students. High school students may get a 5-year Golden Visa to the UAE if their minimum grade is 95%. University students are eligible to obtain a 10-year residence visa if their cumulative GPA is 3.5 or higher, they graduated not earlier than two years ago, and their university is rated among the best 100 in the world. Both high school and university students need a recommendation letter from the Ministry of Education.

Humanitarian and medical workers. Outstanding employees who have significantly committed to humanitarian development or crisis-solving such as the Covid‑19 pandemic are allowed to get a Golden Visa.

Preachers. A new law passed in 2023 allows mosque imams, preachers, muezzins, muftis, and religious researchers to get a Dubai Golden Visa. They also will get a financial bonus on the occasion of the Islamic celebration called Eid. They need to complete at least 20 years of work for that recognition.

Applicants from 18 and above should pass a medical test and a Due Diligence check.

You can get a Dubai Golden Visa for investments; the cost of a Golden visa for ten years is AED 2,000,000

Dubai has the biggest shopping mall and the tallest building in the world

How to apply for the UAE Golden Visa

There are 6 steps to obtaining the UAE Golden Visa:

1

1 day

Pass a preliminary check

It is a provisional Due Diligence procedure. Anti Money Laundering Officer of Immigrant Invest checks information about investors. It helps to reduce the risk of rejection to 1%. We need only a copy of your passport, and it is confidential.

2

5—7 weeks

Prepare documents

An Immigrant Invest lawyer gives you a complete list of documents and helps to prepare them: translate into English and notary certify.

3

5—7 weeks

Fulfil the conditions of the program

Choose the category of the applicant and fulfil the conditions of the UAE Golden Visa program.

An investor will need to purchase real estate or finance a company or a fund.

4

5—7 days

Get a short-term visa

You get a visa for six months to visit the UAE.

5

1—5 days

Pass medical examination

The investor and their adult children pass fluorography and get a blood test in an accredited clinic. After the test, they get a health certificate.

6

5—30 days

Pass Due Diligence and fill out an application

The investor and their family submit biometrics and fill out an application to the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security or the General Directorate of Residency & Foreigners Affairs which starts the Due Diligence. The Authority may request additional information about the investor.

If you are purchasing real estate, you should personally visit the Dubai Land Department for an application.

You can fill out an application online or through an agent by a power of attorney.

After Due Diligence, you get a Golden Visa and card as a UAE resident. The documents for the Golden Visa application are:

  • a passport;

  • a photo;

  • an entry permit;

  • medical insurance.

Additional documents depend on the category of your program. It can be proof of investment — title deed for the property, certificates from the bank etc. If you apply with family or staff, you should submit the documents supporting your relations.

Discover the perks, conditions, and features of the Emirati investment program 

The UAE Golden Visa application

One of the benefits of the UAE Golden Visa is that it is convenient to get. The Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs, and Port Security responsible for issuing the visa has made an electronic service. It helps applicants to initiate the process remotely. There are two main services.

ICP. It is a website of the Authority where you can get through all the stages of application. An applicant checks eligibility for the UAE Golden Visa, fills out the questionnaire, attaches necessary documents, and pays the fees. It is possible to track the application. The iOS and Android app is called UAEICP.

GDRFAD. The service is run by the government of Dubai, so it is available for candidates who want to obtain a Dubai Golden Visa specifically. The iOS and Android app is called DubaiNow.

Prospects of obtaining UAE citizenship

It is almost impossible to get UAE citizenship. The keyword is “almost” because there are some ways to obtain citizenship in the UAE.

1. By marriage. Women married to Emirati, citizens of the UAE, can apply for a UAE passport in five years.

2. By naturalisation. Foreigners who have lived in the UAE for 30 years, with excellent Arabic, perfect reputation, and stable income, can qualify for citizenship. Getting a passport from the UAE suggests renunciation of another country’s citizenship.

3. For outstanding achievements. Scientists, artists, inventors, and specialists nominated by government agencies of the UAE can obtain the passport. But the list of their accomplishments should be genuinely extraordinary, for example, with patents or international awards.

4. By investment. The Cabinet should approve an investor with real estate in the UAE of Ministries, Princes, and the Executive Council of the Emirates.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for citizenship and residence by investment programs in the EU, the Caribbean, Asia, and the Middle East. Take advantage of our global 15-year expertise — schedule a meeting with our investment programs experts.

Will you obtain the UAE Golden Visa?

Practical Guide

Will you obtain the UAE Golden Visa?

Frequently asked questions

  • How to apply for the Golden Visa UAE?

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    For applying for the Golden Visa UAE, you should choose your program, fulfil its conditions and fill out an application online, personally or through the agent by a power of attorney.

  • How can I get a 10-year Gold visa in the UAE?

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    The UAE allows foreigners to obtain a 10-year golden visa when they invest in a property valued at 2 million AED or more, which is about $545,000. One can buy a property that is at least 50% completed.

  • Do you get a visa if you buy property in Dubai?

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    You can get a 2-year residency visa if you buy a property in Dubai for about $204,000. If an investor buys property for at least $545,000, he can get a 10-year golden visa.

  • How much does a UAE Golden Visa cost?

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    It depends on the type of program: investors pay from $204,000 for a 2-year residency visa or $545,000 for a 10-years visa.

  • Who is eligible for the UAE Golden Visa?

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    The investor program’s requirements are simple: you should buy real estate, pass a medical test and a Due Diligence check.

  • What are the benefits of the UAE Golden Visa?

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    UAE Golden Visa gives you opportunities to do business because of its low taxes. It also gives access to the healthcare system, developing infrastructure for living and resting. And you have no necessity to stay in the country permanently.

  • How to apply for a Golden Visa UAE?

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    You should fulfil the program conditions, such as investing at least AED 2,000,000, passing a medical test and Due Diligence, and applying for a visa.

  • How can I get a 10-year Gold Visa in the UAE?

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    If you apply for an investor Golden Visa, you should invest in real estate at least AED 2,000,000.

  • Do you get a visa if you buy property in Dubai?

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    You get a two-year residency visa if you buy a real estate property with a minimal value of AED 750,000.