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Second citizenship

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 five- or ten-year residence permits for investors, entrepreneurs, or talented and demanded specialists.

Here are some nuances and let’s observe them.

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

What is the Golden Visa in UAE

The UAE Golden Visa is an alternative name for the citizenship by investment program. Golden Visas are usually residence permits issued in exchange for investments in the country’s economy. 

There are two types of residence permits in the UAE, depending on the validity period: 

  1. Ten-year residence permits. Acceptable for investors, university graduates and specialists.
  2. Five-year residence permits. Acceptable for investors, entrepreneurs, retirees and students. 

This article concerns the investors’ residence permit or the UAE Golden Visa. 

Who can apply for UAE Golden Visa

UAE Golden Visa benefits

Business and tax climate. UAE residents don't pay income and corporate taxes. Property isn'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 for living and resting. The UAE is one of the most developed and still developing countries. Dubai ranks 74th out of 231 countries in the Mercer's Quality of Living Ranking 2019. The index summarises 39 factors such as economic environment, public services and transport, schools and education, etc. 

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. 

Commercial benefits. Residents of the UAE get special discounts and offers on health care and insurance, property, cars and entertainment in Abu Dhabi. 

Special offers on banking services. Banks of Abu Dhabi give suggestions 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.

Five-year Golden Visa. For this visa, you should buy a real estate property of a minimal value of AED 2,000,000 without a mortgage. Then you should maintain the investment for at least two years after issuing the Golden Visa.

AED 2,000,000
Minimum property value for obtaining the Golden Visa

If you buy a property worth more than AED 2,000,000, a mortgage is permitted for real estate property. But the value of your capital needs to be at least AED 2,000,000: if a property is worth AED 5,000,000, you should pay AED 2,000,000 of your own money, and the maximum amount of mortgage is AED 3,000,000.

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 to buy real estate, 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:   

  • 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

Portugal Golden Visa
From €250,000
Spain Golden Visa
From €500,000
Greece Golden Visa
From €250,000
Italy Golden Visa
From €250,000
Cyprus Golden Visa
From €300,000
Other countries’ Golden Visas

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

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 a start-up registered as a small and medium enterprise in the UAE. The company generates annual revenues of not less than AED 1,000,000 or around $272,000. 

Entrepreneurs also get the opportunity to obtain a Golden Visa if they receive approval for a start-up idea from an official business incubator, the Ministry of Economy, or other competent local authorities. 

CEOs of successful projects can also obtain a Golden Visa. In UAE, “successful” means “sold by the price not less than AED 7,000,000”. 

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. 

Exceptional talents, innovators and inventors should get a recommendation from a federal or local government entity. People working in culture, art, sports and digital technology fall under the category. There are no requirements about educational qualification, employment status, monthly salary or professional level. 

Scientists in engineering, technology, life sciences and natural sciences should get a recommendation from the Emirates Scientists Council. Here is a requirement about education: applicants should have a Master’s degree or PhD and have substantial research achievements.

Professionals in medicine, sciences and engineering, information technology, business and administration, education, law, culture and social sciences can obtain a Golden Visa if they have an employment contract in the UAE with a salary of no less than AED 30,000 per month and have a Bachelor’s degree. 

Best students and graduates from UAE’s universities, humanitarian pioneers, e.g. members of organisations and associations, and heroes who have shown themselves in crises can also claim the Golden Visa of UAE. 

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

You can get UAE Golden Visa for investments; the cost of a Golden visa for ten years is AED 2,000,000
Dubai have a developed infrastructure for living and resting

How to apply for the UAE Golden Visa 

There are 6 steps to obtaining the UAE Golden Visa: 

TimingStageDetails
1 dayPass a preliminary checkIt is a provisional Due Diligence procedure. Anti Money Laundering Officer of Immigrant Invest checks information about investors and evaluates refusal risks. We need only a copy of your passport, and it is confidential. 
5-7 weeksPrepare a documentsA lawyer gives you a complete list of documents and helps prepare them: translate into English and notary certify. 
5-7 weeksFulfil the program conditions Choose the category of the applicant and fulfil the conditions of the UAE Golden Visa program. 

If you are an investor, you should purchase real estate. 

If you are a retiree, you should, for example, open a bank deposit. 
5-7 daysGet a short-term visaYou get a visa for six months to visit the UAE. 
1-5 daysPass medical examinationThe investor and his adult children pass fluorography and get a blood test in an accredited clinic. After the test, they get a health certificate.    
5-30 daysPass Due Diligence and fill out an application The investor and his family submit biometrics and fill out an application in the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security or the General Directorate of Residency & Foreigners Affairs. Here is the starting Due Diligence procedure. Usually, it takes five days. But they can request additional information about the investor; in this case, the procedure can take 30 days. 

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. For the Golden Visa application, you collect: 

  • 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. 

Prospects of obtaining UAE citizenship 

As we already said, it is almost impossible to get UAE citizenship. The keyword is “almost” because there are some chances to obtain citizenship in the UAE.  

The first case is marriage. Women married to Emirati, citizens of the UAE, can apply for a UAE passport in five years. 

The second case is 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.   

The third case is 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. 

And the last one is investments. The Cabinet should approve an investor with real estate in the UAE of Ministries, Princes and the Executive Council of the Emirates. 

Frequently asked questions

How to apply for the Golden Visa UAE?

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?

There are two ways: invest or become a demanded specialist. Investors should donate at least AED 2,000,000 to the company, share in the company, or put it in a deposit. Specialists should get a job offer with a high-level salary.

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

You can get a 5-year Golden Visa if you buy a property in Dubai. If you invest in the company, share in the company, or put money in a deposit, you can get a 10-year UAE Golden Visa.

How much does a UAE Golden Visa cost?

It depends on the type of program: investors pay from $568,948 for a 5-years visa or $547,148 for a 10-years visa.

Who is eligible for the UAE Golden Visa?

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

What are the benefits of the UAE Golden Visa?

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

How to apply for a Golden Visa UAE?

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?

If you apply for an investor Golden Visa, you should place at least AED 2,000,000 in the company, share in the company, or put it in a deposit. 

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

You get a five-year Golden Visa if you buy a real estate property with a minimal value of AED 2,000,000 without a mortgage.

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How to get the UAE Golden Visa