Golden Visas: Long-Term Residency in the UAE
May 2, 2023
By: Nofisatu Mojidi
The year 2023 has been labelled as the year of resilience, with a focus on immigration policies to alleviate the pressure on global economies caused by the shortage of skilled labour.
Concerns about the national security and political stability of the countries to which tourists are considering travelling have joined health and safety concerns as major factors in determining which destinations are chosen, even as the effects of Ukraine's conflict continue to dominate global headlines.
One of the most notable migration trends, however, has been the gradual increase in migration channels designed specifically to accommodate highly skilled individuals.
Spotlight on the UAE
In this current environment, the United Arab Emirates remains competitive thanks to its ability to attract top talent from around the world and its high levels of investment and innovation, both of which create new job opportunities.
“What you do” and “where you do it” are no longer inextricably linked in the post-COVID-19 era. The UAE has one of the most diverse populations in the world, with residents from more than 200 countries. This means that multinational corporations can tap into a diverse pool of talent, ranging from technology specialists to highly qualified service professionals. This will be necessary given the IMF's recent prediction that there will be a global shortage of more than 85 million tech workers by 2030, representing AED 31.2 trillion in lost annual revenue.
As the UAE boasts one of the world's most digitally advanced economies, the government will tap into the global shortage of tech workers by embracing innovation and enabling an ecosystem with a variety of futuristic long-term strategies across AI, blockchain, 3D printing and Internet of Things (IoT).
Moreover, the UAE has a variety of different visa options, including those for remote workers, freelancers and even the highly sought-after "golden visas,’’ which attract highly skilled professionals from all over the world.
The UAE’s Long-Term Residence Permits
Although the concept of long-term residency in the UAE is still relatively new compared to many other global residence programs, the UAE Golden Visa has gained significant momentum throughout the past few years.
During the last twelve months, we have seen the UAE’s Golden Visa emerge as one of the most coveted visa options when securing long-term residence in the Middle East. More than 152,000 UAE Golden Visas have been issued since the launch of the Golden Visa Program in 2019, giving way to a major shift in policy towards more welcoming legislation to fill open positions, attract visitors and secure long-term talent across the UAE.
The UAE has made great strides in making its Golden Visa offering very competitive by including the following benefits:
- Long-term, renewable residency valid for 10 years.
- No minimum requirement for the number of days of residency, giving frequent travellers the flexibility to spend extended periods of time out of the UAE without jeopardising their residency status.
- Residency not being tied to a specific employer.
- The ability to sponsor legal dependents, including a spouse, parents and dependent children, regardless of their ages.
- The ability to sponsor a residence permit for an unlimited number of domestic workers.
- Golden Visa holders having potential eligibility for discounts on cars, real estate, health care, health insurance, banking services, dining, spa treatments, gyms, and stays at selected hospitality destinations throughout the UAE.
- In the unfortunate event that the primary holder of the Golden Visa passes away, legal dependents being allowed to stay in the UAE until the end of their permit duration.
Long-term residency programmes in the UAE have made it possible not only for highly skilled professionals and specialists, but also for real estate investors, entrepreneurs, students and retirees to relocate to a more favourable jurisdiction and obtain full residency rights.
These rights include the right to live, work, study and receive healthcare in the country. It is becoming increasingly clear that the current surge in Golden Visa applications will continue as long as the government remains creative in offering expanded and accessible long-term visa categories.
Are you interested in obtaining long-term residency for the UAE? To determine whether you are eligible to apply, use Fragomen's FREE Long-Term Residence Assessment Eligibility Tool.
Need to know more?
For further information on long-term residency requirements, please contact Senior Private Client Manager Nofisatu Mojidi at [email protected].
This blog was published on 2 May 2023, and due to the circumstances, there are frequent changes. To keep up to date with all the latest updates on global immigration, please visit our dedicated COVID-19 site, subscribe to our alerts and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
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