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  • Writer's pictureJenny Hunt

Explore the Updated UAE Golden Visa Requirements. Unlock new investment opportunities.

Updated 28th January 2024. (First published: 9th June 2022 under the title: Can YOU apply for a Golden Visa in the UAE?)


UAE Golden Visa Simplified: Reduced Requirements for Real Estate Investors - 2024

Good news for would-be investors aiming to secure UAE residency by investment! The UAE has revised its Golden Visa rules for real estate investors. Previously, those looking to obtain a 10-year visa by investing in UAE property had to demonstrate a minimum down payment of AED1 million. However, the down payment requirement has now been completely eliminated. To qualify for a Golden Visa through property investment in the UAE, the property must have a minimum value of AED2 million. This revision simplifies the requirements and opens up long-term residency in the UAE for even more aspiring residents.



get your uae golden visa with gateway group start your application today

If the strong economy, zero income tax and modern infrastructure of Abu Dhabi and Dubai are appealing and you have been thinking about investing, living and working in the UAE, then you will likely have come across the coveted Golden Visa as a residency option for foreigners. But, what is it and are you eligible?


The UAE's Golden Residence Scheme grants 10-year residency visas to certain investors, highly-skilled and exceptionally talented foreigners who meet the predetermined criteria. In essence, the scheme covers four categories:

  1. Investors

  2. Entrepreneurs

  3. Students

  4. Special Talents.


Launched in 2019, the purpose of the golden visa is to provide an extended residency option for expats in the UAE who are either investing in the country or excelling in and contributing to the country's key sectors, including: creative industries, science and research, healthcare, agriculture, financial services and start-ups.


The UAE golden visa regulations were amended in 2022 to simplify the eligibility criteria, expand the categories of beneficiaries, provide more flexibility and be more family-friendly.


Key changes to the UAE golden residence scheme - 2022

  1. Golden visa holders can sponsor immediate family members, including spouse and children regardless of their age.

  2. Golden visa holders can sponsor an unlimited number of domestic support helpers, eg maids, drivers etc…

  3. There are no restrictions on the time limit golden visa holders can stay outside of the UAE. Previously, golden visa holders were required to re-enter the UAE at least every six months to maintain the validity of their visa.

  4. In the event of the death of the main golden visa holder, family members can remain in the UAE until the expiry of their residence visa.

  5. Mortgaged properties and off-plan properties are now allowed for real-estate investors providing the minimum capital investment is AED2 million. Updated 25th January 2024: As per the 2024 golden visa update, the minimum capital requirements have been removed for real estate investors' eligibility to apply for a golden visa. Golden visa applications for mortgaged and off plan properties are evaluated on a case-to-case basis, requiring proof of the property's value from the developer or lender.


Are you eligible for a UAE golden visa? Check the updated requirements.

Check through the sections below to see if you meet the criteria to apply for a UAE golden visa.


UAE INVESTORS

Investors

This is a UAE golden visa for investors in commercial activities - business owners and company shareholders. This option allows for the investor to apply for a visa for themselves, their spouse, their children, one advisor and one executive director.


Criteria:

The investor must demonstrate one of the following investments with a minimum value of AED2 million:

Deposit

Provide a statement issued by an investment fund in the UAE proving the deposit of at least AED2m; an undertaking by the investor to serve notice in the event of cashing/withdrawing the deposit; and, a letter of guarantee from the investment fund in the UAE stating the deposit will continue for two years.

Company

Provide a copy of the company's trade licence, Memorandum of Association, proof there is no legal case against the company or investor, and a letter from company's bank in the UAE proving the investor's capital in the company of at least AED2m.

Share in a company

As per the requirements for 'Company' above.

And

• Must maintain the investment for at least two years after the issuance of the Golden Visa

Or

• Must provide evidence of paying taxes of at least AED250,000 annually, for the two years prior to the Golden Visa application.


 

UAE Real Estate Investors

This is a golden visa for investors in real estate. This option allows for the investor to apply for a visa for themselves, their spouse and their children.


Criteria:

  • The investor must demonstrate ownership of a property/properties/off-plan property in the UAE from an approved developer with a minimum value of AED2 million

  • The real estate investor must maintain the investment for at least two years after the issuance of the Golden Visa


Updated 25th January 2024: Property owners are no longer required invest a minimum down payment of AED1 million, as had previously be required, to be eligible to apply for a UAE golden visa.

 

UAE ENTREPRENEURS

This is a UAE golden visa for partners and owners in a startup registered in the UAE in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) category. This option allows for the entrepreneur to apply for a visa for themselves, their spouse and their children.


Criteria:

  • Revenues over AED1 million per annum.

Or

  • Approval for a startup idea from an official business incubator, the Ministry of Economy, or competent local authority

Or

  • Founder of a previous entrepreneurial project that was sold for over AED7 million.


 


UAE STUDENTS

This is a UAE golden visa for outstanding high school students in the UAE and graduates from UAE universities / the best 100 universities worldwide meeting specific criteria that including their academic performance (cumulative average), year of graduation and university classification. This option allows for the student to apply for a visa for themselves, their parents and their dependent siblings.


 


UAE SPECIAL TALENTS

Exceptional talents

This is a UAE golden visa for talented individuals in vital fields in the UAE, including culture, art, sports, digital technology, inventors and innovators.


Criteria:

  • Recommendation by a competent government entity.

  • This visa is based purely on the person's talent, regardless of their educational qualification, employment status, monthly salary or professional level.


Scientists

This is a UAE golden visa for high achievers and influencers in their field.


Criteria:

  • Recommendation by the Emirates Scientists Council.

  • Must have a PhD or Masters degree in engineering, technology, life sciences or natural sciences from one of the best universities in the world

  • Must demonstrate substantial research achievements.


Professionals

This is a UAE golden visa for highly skilled workers.


Criteria:

  • Must have a Bachelors degree

  • Must demonstrate experience (all disciplines, including medicine, sciences and engineering, information technology, business and administration, education, law, culture and social sciences)

  • Must have a monthly salary of AED30,000 or more

  • Must have and a valid UAE employment contract classified in the first or second occupational levels of the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE), which is aligned with the International Standard of Classification of Occupations (ISCO) by the International Labour Organisation.


 


Not eligible for a Golden Visa? What other UAE visas options?

Don't worry if you don't meet the criteria for applying for a UAE golden visa, there are plenty of other visas which you might be suitable for, including a selection of five-year visas, called Green visas, and two-year visas, which are standard employment visas in the UAE provided by employers on both the mainland and in free zones. (Until October 2022, free zone visas had previously been valid for three years.) To find out about these other UAE residency visas, read our article: UAE's 10 Residency Options.



Get Your UAE Golden Visa with Gateway Group. It's quick, easy and hassle-free.

qr code for uae golden visa applications scan to contact awais chughtai the general manager at gateway group

Embark on your UAE Golden Visa journey with ease through Gateway Group. As golden visa specialists, we understand the significance of this opportunity for your personal and professional life.


A quick, straightforward, and stress-free golden visa application process – that's our commitment to you.


Scan the QR code to send a Whattsapp message to Gateway Group's General Manager, Awais Chughtai, to start your golden visa application today.




 

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Written by Jenny Hunt

Founder, Gateway Group, Abu Dhabi & Dubai, United Arab Emirates

FORBES' Top 100 Most Influential Women in the Middle East


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