How to get Golden Visa UAE 2024 – Application, Requirements, Benefits

Everything you need to know to obtain a long-term residence visa
How to get Golden Visa UAE 2024 – Application, Requirements, Benefits
Follow simple steps to get your UAE golden visa

Since it was introduced in 2019, the UAE golden visa has become popular among expatriates who intend to secure long-term residency in the United Arab Emirates.

With its expanded categories and eligibility, the UAE golden visa is expected to boost the emirates’ status as one of the most popular business hubs in the world and enhance its competitiveness for future growth and development. Here’s an easy-to-follow guide for getting a golden visa in the UAE, allowing holders to live, study or work long-term in the emirates.

What is a UAE golden visa?

The UAE golden visa is a long-term residence visa that valid for up to ten years. It was created to attract more investments into the UAE as well as entice outstanding foreign nationals to showcase their expertise and talents in the country.

This program offers many great advantages and provides holders access to world-class healthcare and education, and the ability to sponsor family members for residence visas.

Benefits of UAE golden visa

Holders of UAE golden visas  enjoy a range of exclusive benefits, including:

  • A multiple-entry visa valid for six months could lead to the issuance of a residence permit
  • A long-term visa valid for either five or ten years that can be renewed
  • No need for a sponsor, self-sponsorship is possible
  • Stay outside the UAE for longer than the usual six-month period, without having a residence visa nullified
  • Sponsorship for parents for a 10-year residency without having to pay additional deposits
  • Sponsorship for an unlimited number of domestic helpers
  • Permission for family members to remain in the UAE until the end of the permit duration in case the golden visa holder passes away

Read: Demand surges for UAE Golden Visas

Golden Visa requirements

The Golden Visa program in the UAE has a variety of categories, each with specific requirements.

For religious figures

This category is for mosque imams, preachers, muezzins, muftis, and religious researchers who have served for 20 years in the UAE. Eligibility includes recognition of their service to the community, particularly in religious guidance and education.

For real estate investors

Investors can qualify by purchasing property worth at least AED2 million, buying property with a loan from specific local banks, or investing in approved properties from local real estate companies. Key documentation includes real estate registration documents from the relevant Emirate authorities.

For public investors

Eligible applicants must invest in a UAE-accredited investment fund with a minimum deposit of AED2 million, hold a valid commercial or industrial license with investor capital of at least AED2 million, and demonstrate annual payments of no less than AED250,000 to the government. Proof of medical insurance and evidence that the capital is not loan-financed are also required.

For entrepreneurs and start-up owners

This is open to owners of SMEs with annual revenues of AED1 million or more or founders of a previously sold entrepreneurial project with a value of at least AED7 million. Necessary approvals from the Ministry of Economy or local authorities are required, along with evidence of the business’s viability and contribution to the UAE’s economy.

For executives

In this category, applicants must have an accredited university degree, a minimum of five years of experience in the same position, a salary certificate showing a monthly income of at least AED50,000, and a valid employment contract.

For exceptional talents

This category includes individuals with significant contributions in art, culture, sports, medicine, law and more. Requirements include evidence of exceptional talent and recognition by relevant federal or local government entities.

For specialists in science and engineering

This requires a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in specific fields like epidemiology, AI, big data, and various engineering disciplines. A valid employment contract in the UAE is also necessary.

For scientists

This category accommodates scientists and researchers with a Ph.D. or Master’s degree from top engineering, technology, life sciences, or natural sciences universities. Additionally, a recommendation from the Emirates Scientists Council or a similar body is required.

For doctors and nurses

This recognizes the contributions of medical professionals, especially those involved in crisis management, like the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, it needs an approval letter from the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention.

For skilled professionals

This is applicable to professionals in diverse fields. Requirements include a valid UAE employment contract, a job classified under level one or two by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, a minimum monthly salary of AED30,000, and a bachelor’s degree.

For exceptional coders

This aims to attract top talent in coding and programming worldwide. Eligibility extends to experts working for leading tech companies or graduates in relevant fields such as software engineering, information technology, AI and data science.

For students

Top-performing students in UAE schools and universities are also eligible for the Golden Visa program. Criteria include high grades and recommendations from educational institutions. University student applicants must also attend top-rated institutions with high GPA scores.

For humanitarian pioneers

This is open to those with significant contributions to humanitarian work, including employees of international/regional organizations and public interest associations and individuals who have received appreciation awards or have made substantial financial contributions to humanitarian causes.

Golden Visa expanded categories for Abu Dhabi

Specific to Abu Dhabi, these categories cater to senior scholars, clerics and specialists in various fields. Requirements include being employed in the UAE, holding a position classified by MoHRE, having at least a bachelor’s degree, a minimum salary of AED30,000, and a valid practicing license if required.

How to apply for a golden visa

The requirements for a golden visa depend vary according to different categories. Eligible applicants can apply for the golden visa through the General Directorate of Residence and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) website or the ICP Smart Services platform. The process is pretty straightforward. You simply need to follow the following steps:

Step 1: Open the GDRFA website or the ICP Smart Services platform

Apply for the golden visa using either the GDRFA website or ICP platform. While the GDRFA allows for both online and offline applications, ICP Smart Services can only be used for online applications.

Note: If you wish to apply offline at the GDRFA, just visit any licensed typing centers, where, for a small service fee, a professional familiar with the golden visa process can facilitate your application. You will be notified accordingly, once your application is approved.

Step 2: Fill out the application form

Once on the platform, click on Golden Services (Golden Residency Services) from the service list. You’ll be asked for personal information. It is essential to provide accurate and comprehensive information.

Step 3: Submit the required documents

Documents you need to submit will depend on the category you are applying for – as an entrepreneur or an inventor, example. Choosing the right category will also help increase your chances of getting approved for the golden visa.

Step 4: Pay the required fees

The price for the six-month entry permit is AED 1,250. This cost includes the AED 1,000 issuance fee, AED 100 application fee, AED 100 smart services fee, AED 28 electronic services fee, and AED 22 for ICP.

Note: All fees are approximate and valid at the time of writing. Fees are subject to change.

Step 5: Submit the application

Once ready, submit the application. Just to make sure you are on the right track, you will be asked to review all the information and requirements you supplied. Here is your chance to double-check everything to avoid any potential issues or delays.

Frequently Asked Questions

I intend to get a golden visa as an investor. What are the requirements?

  • Submit a letter from a UAE-accredited investment stating you have a deposit of AED2 million. Alternatively, you can submit a valid commercial license or industrial license and a memorandum of the association stating that your capital is not less than AED2 million. Please note that the golden visa applicant must own the investment capital and that it was not obtained through a loan.

What if I want to invest in real estate?

  • You are eligible for a golden visa, valid for 5 years if you are an owner of real estate in the UAE. All you need to do is provide a letter from the land department of the emirate where you are a property owner confirming your land ownership. The property’s value must not be less than AED2 million.

Can you specify some of the professions recognized as outstanding talent?

  • Doctors
  • Scientists
  • Inventors
  • Specialists in scientific fields
  • Athletes
  • Doctoral degree holders
  • Specialists in the fields of engineering and science
  • Artists (Culture and Performing Arts)
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