Long-term visas can now be obtained:
- doctors of Science in any field;
- electro technician and electrical engineers;
- developers of technologies that are related to artificial intelligence and big data;
- virologists and epidemiologists;
- graduates of approved higher education institutions with an average grade point of 3.75 or higher.
- high school graduates with a grade point average of 95 % or higher
Previously, only scientists accredited by the UAE Science Council could participate in the programme. Doctors of science had to fulfil several conditions at once, such as having 10 years of scientific or professional experience.
Together with the specialist, a long-term visa can be obtained for the spouse and minor children. The government hopes to attract talented people and professionals to the country in promising areas such as IT and medicine.
The changes came into force on December 1, 2020. After 10 years, the visa can be extended.
From July 2021, school-leavers with a grade point average of 95% or higher can qualify for the visa. Family members of the graduate will also be able to participate in the program.
Is it possible for foreigners to acquire UAE citizenship
UAE citizenship is only granted to foreigners in certain cases. Applicants face serious restrictions in doing so.
By birth. A child can only obtain citizenship if his or her father is a UAE citizen or if the child was born in a country and the parents are unknown.
Through marriage. This option is only available for women who want to marry a UAE citizen. Spouses must have lived together for at least 5 years before submitting the application.
By naturalisation. A foreigner who wants to obtain UAE citizenship by naturalisation must have lived in the country for at least 30 years. The applicant must have a good reputation and a permanent source of income in the country. He must also be fluent in Arabic. The applicant must give up his/her passport from another country.
For special merits. In exceptional cases, the government may grant citizenship for services to the country. In this case, the passport is presented personally by the government of one of the emirates.
By Investments. The UAE grants citizenship to investors by purchasing real estate in the country. The wording of the conditions is vague: the minimum value of the real estate is not specified.
The reference point is the requirement for foreigners to get a long-term UAE visa with the right to live and work in the country. For example, to get a visa for 5 years, an investor buys real estate worth 5 million dirhams, or about $1.36 million.
The candidacy of the investor must be approved by the Cabinet, the rulers, and the executive councils of the emirates. If the investor meets all the conditions, he takes an oath and receives a passport of the country.
The investor can be stripped of his citizenship if he violates any of the conditions, such as selling real estate.
Which other countries offer programmes for professionals, entrepreneurs and remote employees
The year 2020 has set a trend for residence permit programmes for professionals and entrepreneurs. But in most cases it is not a question of finding work in another country, but moving to another country to work remotely.
Antigua and Barbuda launched a similar residence permit programme in September 2020. Applicants who want to move to the Caribbean islands need to have an annual income of $50,000 or more. Application can be submitted on the website of the program, the residence permit status is issued for 2 years. We told about it in the material "Antigua and Barbuda has launched a residence permit program for entrepreneurs and remote employees”.
The Cayman Islands established a residence permit programme in October 2020, which is also designed to attract wealthy people to the country. The annual income of the program participant should be from $100,000, the amount increases depending on the number of family members. Permission to stay in the country is issued for 2 years. We talked about the programme in the material “New opportunities for wealthy people: the Cayman Islands created the GCCP programme”.
Dominica plans to launch a residence permit investment programme for entrepreneurs in the coming months. To obtain resident status, the investor will need to invest from $ 50 000 in the business of the country. In 2 years, the program participant will be able to apply for citizenship. We talked about the plans of the Caribbean state in the material "Dominica will launch a residence permit program for entrepreneurs”.
The Caribbean countries strive to attract wealthy people to compensate for losses in the tourism industry. Around 50-60% of the GDP of the Caribbean countries comes from tourism, so the influx of foreigners participating in residence permit programmes is intended to revive the economies of these countries.