Over the past few months, the UAE inhabitants have been overwhelmed by the news about the new Gold Card residence visa implemented by the UAE Government. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum – Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and ruler of the Emirate of Dubai defined Gold Card visa as “a permanent residency for investors and exceptional workers in the fields of health, engineering, science and art”.
So who is entitled to have a long-term visa? Let’s take a look at the criteria:
The first category is focused on investors who invest in public sector investments. It requires a deposit of not less than 10 million dirhams via deposit or through new company formations. Their non-real estate investments shouldn’t be less than 60% of the total investments and investors should hold full ownership of the invested amount and should prove that they reserve rights of investments for three years as a minimum.
The second category consists of specialized talents and researchers in the fields of science and knowledge. This category includes doctors, specialists, scientists, inventors or creative individuals engaged in the field of culture and art. The applicants should be specialized in a field of priority in UAE and have a valid employment contract.
The above two categories are entitled to a 10-year residence visa, which is extended to their spouses as well as dependent children. Also, the Gold Card allows its holders to remain outside the country for longer periods and does not require them to re-enter the country every 6 months.
Aside from the ten-year residency, there is also an option to get a five-year residency visa for expats. This is primarily awarded to property investors with a gross value of investment not less than AED 5 million, the amount should be fully owned by investors and not on loan basis with retention of minimum 3 years. The visa is also given to entrepreneurs who are having a previous or existing project with a minimum capital of AED 500,000 in a specific field in UAE or has the approval of an accredited business incubator in the country. The 5-year residency visa is also extended to outstanding Students who got at least 95% in a secondary school in the public and private schools, with a distinction of 3.75 GPA upon graduation from any university whether inside the country or abroad.
The applicants under these three categories are granted a five-year renewable residency visa which extended to their families as well.
The introduction of the Gold Card initiative is a big step forward for the UAE Government. The leaders of the nation proved once again that they care about the country’s economy by being open and supportive of innovations, FDI and company formations in various fields and are concerned about the comfort and wellbeing of the expat residents.
Associate Consultant, EEG