Second Citizenship
April 8, 2024
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UAE Golden Visa for Indian citizens: a complete guide

The UAE’s expatriate population is over 88%, and Indians represent its largest part — nearly 30%. This figure is expected to go even higher.

Since 2022, the conditions for getting a 10-year residence visa have been eased. The government reduced the minimum investment to AED 2 million instead of AED 5 million and allowed more categories of people to apply. Let’s look into who can now obtain a Golden Visa in the UAE — and how to do it.

Abhay Jaiswal
Abhay Jaiswal

Explained the details of UAE Golden Visa program

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UAE Golden Visa for Indian citizens: a complete guide

What is the UAE Golden Visa?

The UAE Golden Visa is a long-term residence visa. It allows investors, entrepreneurs, highly demanded specialists, and exceptional talents to live in the United Arab Emirates with a range of exclusive benefits.

The key requirement for applicants is to invest a minimum of AED 2,000,000 in the UAE. An investor can choose between purchasing real estate, investing in an Emirates’ company, or putting money in a deposit. The visa is renewable if an applicant maintains their status as an investor or qualifies under a different category.

Although the Golden Visa can be renewed several times, this residency route does not lead directly to UAE citizenship. To apply for an Emirati passport, one has to have lived in the country for 30 years. Some may be granted citizenship for exceptional services.

The UAE citizens’ have some advantages, like subsidised education, healthcare, or incentive packages for buying houses and land.

Nevertheless, there is no need for Golden Visa holders to obtain UAE citizenship to get full access to the country’s benefits. They already have all the necessary rights to live, work, run a business, or give their children a good education. Some emirates also provide Golden Visa holders with unique offers and discounts on property, healthcare, cars, and banking services.

As India prohibits dual citizenship and requires renouncing the country’s passport before getting a new one, such long-term residence might even be a better option for Indian nationals.

If you consider acquiring foreign citizenship, Immigrant Invest offers other investment programs for Indians. Many of them allow you to apply for citizenship in 5—7 years after obtaining a residence permit.

7 benefits of UAE Golden Visa for Indians

The United Arab Emirates started the Golden Visa program in 2019. In 2022 only, the country issued nearly 78,000 Golden Visas across all categories — about 40% more than the year before.

There are at least seven significant benefits to the program. The UAE Golden Visa allows its holders to:

  1. Live, work, and study in the Emirates for up to 10 years.

  2. Move freely in and out of the country — considerable advantage, taking into account the proximity to India of just three hours via flight.

  3. Apply for the visa without having sponsors or employers who are citizens of the UAE.

  4. Stay outside the UAE longer than standard 6 months without affecting the validity of the residence visa.

  5. Sponsor spouses and children — they can remain in the UAE until the end of their permit duration, even if the primary holder passes away.

  6. Sponsor unlimited number of domestic helpers.

  7. Receive discounts and special deals from individual emirates on real estate, health insurance, medical treatment, cars, banking, and hotel services.

Abu Dhabi and Dubai offer special benefits for residents with Golden Visas. For example, Indian nationals in Dubai can take the UAE’s driving test without taking extra lessons. The Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and First Abu Dhabi Bank provide reduced fixed-interest rates for real estate Golden Visa investors.

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

Advantages of residency in the UAE

Apart from the privileges of a Golden Visa holder, residency in the UAE has its own benefits. They make the UAE a popular destination for wealthy nationals from India, as well as prominent Indian startup founders and other specialists. Here is why it is a good idea to move to the UAE.

Taxation. The UAE is famous for its tax policy. The US News & World Report ranked the Emirates third out of 85 countries for having a favourable tax environment.

The UAE deserves the honour for several reasons:

  1. Individuals in the Emirates do not pay income taxes at all, whereas India levies 30% personal tax on income over INR 1,500,000.

  2. Leases in the UAE are taxed at a fixed rate: 5% for residential property leases and 10% for commercial real estate leases.

  3. Federal corporate tax on business profits was introduced in June 2023 for the first time. A 9% tax rate applies to companies with income greater than AED 375,000 a year.

  4. Companies within UAE’s free zones do not pay corporate tax for 15–50 years after registration.

Business. Indian nationals form over 30% of the Dubai start-up community, while Indian companies create over 1 million jobs in the UAE. The country attracts foreign start-up founders and entrepreneurs due to various business incentives and a conducive business environment.

Abu Dhabi welcomes Indian tech talents to Hub71 — global tech ecosystem created to support startups at any stage. In 2023, it launched a $2 billion initiative to help Web3 start-ups and blockchain technologies from different countries, including India.

Foreigners in the UAE have complete ownership of their businesses and better access to international investors, fundraising, and future merger and acquisition opportunities. The country also provides strict intellectual property protection laws, which are critical for IP sensitive tech businesses like cryptocurrency or NFTs.

UAE golden visa for Indians: how to get in 2023

For the second year in a row, The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor ranks the UAE first in its Global Entrepreneur Index as a perfect place to run a business

High standard of living. Indian residents have access to the UAE’s healthcare system, education, and outstanding infrastructure. The country provides state-of-art medical services, implements modern technologies, and invites the best specialists from all over the world. Investor’s children can attend local schools and universities.

The UAE also offers a wide range of leisure options. Scenic beaches, world-class shopping malls, and luxurious restaurants enable foreigners to relish an exceptional lifestyle.

Safety. The UAE is considered one of the safest countries in the world for its general security, very low crime rate, and strict law enforcement. Global Finance magazine ranked it second in the Safest Countries in the World index.

Who can apply for the UAE Golden Visa?

The UAE Golden Visa is designed to encourage foreign investors and exceptional workers to come and stay in the country.

The Emirates offer long-term residence to these categories:

  • investors in real estate or business, as well as their spouses and children;

  • entrepreneurs and start-up owners;

  • scientists, researchers, elite specialists and skilled professionals in the fields of industry, health, and education;

  • imams, preachers and religious researchers;

  • exceptional talents, such as people of culture and art, innovators and inventors, athletes, talents in digital technology, and talents in other fields of importance;

  • best students and graduates from a UAE-based school or accredited university;

  • humanitarian and frontline workers.

UAE Golden Visa requirements for Indian citizens

General requirements. Regardless of the chosen program, there are several conditions for all the applicants to meet:

  • be older than 18 years;

  • have no criminal records;

  • have no socially dangerous illnesses, such as HIV, hepatitis, or tuberculosis.

Investors, entrepreneurs, creatives, and investors can move to the UAE with their family members. Spouses must meet the same general requirements.

The key criteria for adding children to the application is their age. Sons must be up to 25 years old and dependent on the main applicant. Unmarried daughters and children with disabilities can be of any age.

The UAE Golden Visa holders can also include in the application household helpers, such as housekeepers, drivers, babysitters, and others. They fall under similar requirements: be over 18 years old, have no criminal record or socially dangerous illnesses, and not be pregnant.

Real estate investors. To apply for a 10-year Golden Visa for investment in real estate, one needs to buy a property in the UAE worth at least AED 2,000,000 without a mortgage. The investor should maintain the investment for at least two years after issuing the Golden Visa.

The new changes in law have not only reduced the investment size from AED 5 million to AED 2 million but also allowed the merger of properties for securing the Golden Visa. This has made it easier for Indians to invest in multiple projects.

The revised law permits investors to get a mortgage from specific local banks if a property is worth more than AED 2,000,000. The maximum amount of a mortgage is AED 3,000,000, but the investor still needs to pay at least AED 2,000,000 of their own money.

With or without a mortgage, real estate investors need to pay a registration fee of AED 160,000 and submit bank statements to prove a monthly income of not less than AED 10,000 for the past 6 months.

How to get UAE Golden Visa for real estate investors

To obtain the UAE Golden Visa for investors, you can buy an apartment for $947,000 in this residential project on the eastern crescent of the Palm Jumeirah

Non-real estate investors. The 10-year UAE Golden Visa may be granted if an applicant invests AED 2,000,000 in a company, buys shares in a company, or puts it in a deposit. This kind of investment also needs to be maintained for at least two years after getting the visa.

Business investors should prove that they have been paying the government at least AED 250,000 in taxes annually for 2 years prior to the application. To do that, one needs to submit a letter from the Federal Tax Authority.

Entrepreneurs. To obtain the UAE Golden Visa as an entrepreneur, the applicant must meet one or more of the following three requirements:

  1. Own or be a partner in a start-up registered as a small and medium enterprise in the UAE. The company must generate at least AED 1,000,000 annually.

  2. Receive approval for a start-up idea from an accredited business incubator in the UAE, the Ministry Of Economy, or another competent local authority.

  3. Be the founder of a pioneering project that was sold for at least AED 7,000,000.

Exceptional talents. The Golden Visa in this category is based only on the individual’s talent. There are no requirements on the applicant’s educational qualifications, monthly salary, employment status, or professional status. The main condition is to get the recommendation or approval of a federal or local competent authority.

Scientists and researchers need to obtain a recommendation from the Emirates Scientists’ Council. They are also required to hold a Master’s or PhD degree in engineering, technology, life sciences, or natural sciences from one of the world’s best universities.

One of the alternative conditions is to have achievements in research and development sectors inside and outside the UAE, based on the recommendation of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology.

Skilled professionals. Indian nationals are eligible for this type of UAE Golden Visa if they hold a level 1 or level 2 role according to MOHRE’s occupational classification scheme:

  • level 1 — managers and business executives;

  • level 2 — professionals in science, engineering, health, education, business and management, information technology, law, sociology, and culture.

Apart from their role, the applicants need to be employed in the UAE with a salary of no less than AED 30,000 per month. They should also have a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent. Some professionals, like physicians, pharmacists, or teachers, are required to hold a valid Practising Licence in the UAE.

Outstanding students can apply for the Golden Visa in the Emirates within only two years after graduation. They can be from UAE high schools and universities or from one of the top 100 international universities. These students are expected to have exceptionally good academic standing.

Humanitarian and frontline workers. The golden residence permit is awarded to humanitarian workers who have made exceptional and noticeable contributions in this field, both inside and outside the UAE. They need to have a Bachelor’s degree and a recommendation from the UAE Ministry of Community Development or a local competent authority.

The key requirement for this category is to have a recommendation from the Fakhr Al Watan Office.

Individual cost calculation of the UAE Golden Visa

Individual cost calculation of the UAE Golden Visa

Required documents for getting UAE Golden Visa

Below are lists of documents that are necessary for investors and their family members. All documents must be translated into English or Arabic.

Personal documents for each applicant:

  • foreign passport;

  • birth certificate;

  • marriage certificate — for spouses;

  • certificate of non-marriage — for unmarried applicants over 18 years of age;

  • current UAE visa;

  • medical insurance;

  • Medical Fitness Certificate — for applicants over 18 years of age;

  • 1 recent personal photo;

  • certificate of no criminal record from the country of citizenship — for applicants over 18 years of age;

  • UAE Good Conduct Certificate addressed to the Dubai Land Department — for applicants over 18 years of age.

Documents confirming the fulfilment of the investment condition:

  • title deed certificate — when buying property;

  • confirmation letters from the bank and the developer — if the property was purchased with a mortgage;

  • a statement issued by an investment fund or national bank — for investors in a fixed deposit.

Documents for investors in a company or partnership:

  • a valid trade licence of the company — to prove that the company has been incorporated or of the investor’s share ownership;

  • an updated Commercial Registration Certificate — to confirm the capital paid into the company and investor’s share ownership percentage;

  • bank or investment fund letter — to show that the capital has been deposited with at least AED 2,000,000;

  • copy of the commercial register of the establishment or company — to prove that there are no precautionary or executory attachments against the company.

How to get UAE Golden Visa: step‑by‑step procedure

The UAE Golden Visa is typically issued within 2 months. Here are 6 steps to obtain the visa.

1

1 day

Pass a preliminary Due Diligence check

This provisional procedure allows us to determine possible issues, evaluate refusal risks, and raise the chances of obtaining the visa.

A Certified Anti-Money Laundering Officer of Immigrant Invest checks information about the investor and verifies their documents. The process is confidential.

2

5—7 weeks

Prepare documents

Immigrant Invest lawyers give the investor a list of documents for an application. After the investor submits the documents, the lawyers translate and notarize them, and conduct consular legalisation.

3

5—7 days

Obtain a 6-month entry visa

The investor receives a 6-month visa in order to enter the UAE. There they can apply for a Golden Visa, pass a medical checkup, and choose a property to buy.

4

5—7 weeks, at the same time with step 2

Purchase real estate

This is an important step to fulfil the program conditions. Immigrant Invest’s real estate professionals can help the investor buy a property without visiting the UAE. They will offer options to suit the investor’s goals and wishes.

After the property is chosen, the lawyers will help to conclude the purchase and register ownership.

5

1—5 days

Undergo a medical checkup

All applicants over 18 years are tested for infectious diseases, pass fluorography, and get a blood test in an accredited UAE clinic. After the tests, they get a certificate of health status.

6

5—30 days

Pass Due Diligence and get a Golden Visa

The investor and their family come to the UAE to apply for the visa and submit biometrics to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs.

The Due Diligence procedure usually takes approximately 5 days, but can last up to 30 days if additional information about the investor is required. After the application is approved, the investor and their family are granted visas.

Key takeaways

  1. The United Arab Emirates is a popular destination for Indian expats. They form almost a third of the UAE’s expatriate population. Indians are also one of the top three nationalities to buy property in the Emirates.

  2. The UAE attracts foreign residents with its high quality of life, favourable tax environment, developed business infrastructure, and outstanding safety level.

  3. The UAE Golden Visa program offers an opportunity to get a 10-year residence in the country for various categories of Indian nationals. This long-term residence visa is available for investors, entrepreneurs, talented and demanded specialists, prominent students, as well as humanitarian and frontline workers.

  4. The UAE Golden Visa holders have several considerable benefits, like being able to move in and out of the country freely, stay outside the Emirates for more than 6 months, and sponsor family members and domestic workers. They can also take advantage of discounts and special deals on real estate, cars, medical, and banking services.

  5. To apply for the UAE Golden Visa, one needs to invest AED 2,000,000 in real estate, a company, or a deposit.

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 UAE Golden Visa?

    There are 6 steps to getting the Golden Visa. First, you pass a preliminary Due Diligence check and submit the necessary documents.

    Then you get a 6-month multiple entry visa to enter the UAE. There, you need to fulfil one of the program’s requirements, pass a medical examination, and apply for the visa. After the application is approved, the applicant and their family get Golden Visas.

  • What are the advantages of UAE Golden Visa for Indians?

    The Golden Visa allows its holders to live, work, and study in the UAE for 10 years. It gives full access to the country’s developed infrastructure, healthcare, and education. Also, you do not have to stay in the country permanently — leaving the Emirates does not affect the validity of your visa.

  • Who is eligible for the UAE Golden Visa?

    The list of categories is quite long. The program is available for real estate and business investors, entrepreneurs, highly demanded specialists, exceptional talents, and more.

  • How long does it take to get UAE Golden Visa?

    The process usually takes about two months. After the preliminary preparation is done, the application consideration can take from 5 to 30 days.

  • What is UAE Golden Visa price in India?

    The price depends on the requirement that the applicant chooses to fulfil. For example, getting a Golden Visa as a real estate investor will cost AED 2,000,000. In addition to that, you need to pay a registration fee of AED 160,000.

  • How can Indians get Golden Visa in UAE?

    There are two main ways for Indian citizens to get the UAE Golden Visa. First, they can invest AED 2,000,000 in local real estate or a company. The alternative is to put the same amount of money in a deposit.

    Second, Indians can apply for a Golden Visa if they meet the requirements for one of the following categories: an owner or partner of a company with AED 1,000,000 in annual income; a skilled professional, scientist, or researcher; an outstanding student or talent; a recognised humanitarian or frontline worker.

  • How many Indians get UAE Golden Visa?

    The UAE government does not provide official data regarding the number of Indians who received the Golden Visa. According to Global Media Insight, there are 2.8 million Indian nationals in the Emirates. They make up the largest part of the country’s expat population — almost 30%. The total number of UAE Golden Visas issued in 2022 was 79,617.

  • Can an Indian get citizenship in Dubai?

    Yes, but getting citizenship in the UAE is complicated. To get the Emirati passport by naturalisation, an Indian national needs to live in the country for at least 30 years, have a good reputation, speak excellent Arabic, and have a stable income. However, an Indian typically does not have to obtain UAE citizenship to enjoy all the benefits of living in the country.

    In exceptional cases, Indian scientists, doctors, inventors, creative talents, and investors can be nominated for UAE citizenship for special merits.

    As the Constitution of India does not allow dual citizenship, an Indian national must renounce their citizenship before obtaining the UAE passport.