Long-Term Residence Visa in the UAE: Who Can Get it And How ?
| Maureen Meyre

Long-Term Residence Visa in the UAE: Who Can Get it And How ?

In February 2019, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) cabinet enforced resolution No. 56 of May 2018 regarding the Organization of Residence Permits for Investors, Entrepreneurs and Professional Talent. The legal framework of this new law empowered the immigration authorities to issue long-term residence visas to foreigners who invest and add value to the Emirati economy. Accordingly, three, five, and ten-year visas will be granted to investors, innovators, entrepreneurs, students, individuals with specialized talents (in the domains of science, culture, or arts), and retirees who can afford to invest in the UAE’s economy. To obtain the visa, applicants will have to go through an adjudication process whereby the final decision is made by a designated committee of highly recognized Emirati professionals – the Investors’ Committee or the Entrepreneur or the Specialized Talents’ Committee. Eligible candidates will also be permitted to sponsor their families, business partners and executive directors for a period of five or ten years

The UAE has opened its doors to more foreigners, but it has done so on a selective basis by setting high requirements for would-be residents. Below are the different categories of long-term residence visas:

  • Investors visa: Applicants who own property of Dh1 million can obtain three-year visas; those who own property of Dh5 million will obtain five-year visas and those who invested Dh10 million in public spending or more will obtain ten-year visas. Along with their spouses and children, investors can sponsor partners provided they add Dh10 million to the Emirati economy through investments. Holder of ten-year visas can also sponsor one executive and an advisor.
  • Entrepreneurs visa: Applicants can apply from abroad for a renewable six-month multiple entry permit in the UAE. Successful candidates will have 6 months to change their status or renew their visa once. Holders of entrepreneurs visas are expected to invest in projects with a minimum value of Dh500,000 to receive five-year visas with the possibility of being upgraded to ten-year visas should they meet the requirements for an investor visa. Entrepreneurs can sponsor spouses, children, partners, and three executive directors.
  • Specialized talents: Researchers in the field of culture and arts may obtain ten-year visas on the condition that they obtain a patent of value and accreditation from the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development Inventors in the UAE. Only spouses and children can be sponsored.
  • Doctors and specialists: Holders of a Ph.D. degree from the top 500 universities in the world who have at least ten years of professional experience, have won awards, and/or have contributed to major publications and projects in the field of science may be granted ten-year visas. Only spouses and children can be sponsored.
  • Executives: Individuals who own internationally recognized companies with high achievements and recognized professional experience will have the right to apply for ten-year visas and sponsor their spouse and children.
  • Students: International students will be granted five-year visas contingent upon maintaining a GPA of 95% or 3.75 at the time of their graduation. Only spouses and children can be sponsored.
  • Retirees: Applicants above the age of 55 years old can apply provided they have invested in property valued at a minimum of Dh2 million and/or have an income of at least Dh20,000/month.
For further queries, please contact me at [email protected].