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UAE Golden Visa (2023 Guide for Investors and Entrepreneurs)

What Is The UAE Golden Visa?

The UAE Golden Visa allows foreign nationals to live, work and study in the UAE while enjoying all the benefits of being a permanent resident. The UAE’s future-focused federal government is looking to attract talented individuals and investors to sustain the nation’s impressive economic growth and innovation.

It is a long-term residence visa that can be granted for 5 or 10 years with the possibility of renewal. You do not need an employer to sponsor you. Moreover, during the application process, you will receive a six-month entry visa that you can use multiple times to visit the UAE for administrative reasons.

 

Why The UAE Golden Visa?

The United Arab Emirates is a confederation of ultra-glamorous city-states nestled between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Dubai, the most populous of the Emirates, boasts the tallest building in the world, a man-made palm frond that stretches out into the sea, and some of the best luxury hotels in the world.

Dubai is also the easiest city in the world to live in without speaking the local language, and the UAE, as a whole, ranks very highly in safety and security. One survey showed that 98.5% of women feel safe in their communities, higher than anywhere else in the world. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are also tech and tourism hubs with thriving ex-pat communities. The federal government also does not impose income tax on individuals.

Therefore, if you are dreaming of making the UAE your home, High Net Worth Immigration has all the information you need to acquire a sought-after UAE Golden Visa. In particular, if you are a property investor or an entrepreneur, this guide will provide you with all the necessary details to help you decide if the UAE Golden Visa is the right choice for you.

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UAE Golden Visa Benefits and Perks


The UAE Golden Visa boasts an extremely attractive package of benefits for those who qualify. One of the primary benefits of the visa is that you can be absent from the country for periods of more than six months, which is usually a requirement for sustaining your residency.

The other benefits included are:

  • No sponsor or employer is required;

  • You can sponsor your spouse and dependents with no stipulations about age;
  • You receive a long-term visa with the opportunity for renewal;
  • You can sponsor as many domestic staff as you require;
  • All dependents are protected by a right to remain until the end of the residency period, even if the original visa holder is deceased;
  • Successful applicants are eligible for exclusive healthcare packages.
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UAE Golden Visa Requirements


There are several different routes to qualify for the UAE Golden Visa, and therefore the requirements vary depending on the type of application you wish to make. All channels require adequate supporting evidence from accredited bodies to validate your application. This ranges from academic credentials to proof of patents to company valuations.

Who Is Eligible for a Golden Visa in the UAE?


1. Investors

 

 

Residency by investment can be achieved in the UAE through two different routes. Investors can choose a Public Investment or a Real Estate Investment, each of which has different requirements and benefits.

Click here to read out article on Top Five Reasons Why UAE Property Market is Worth Investing.

Those who are able to make a Public Investment are eligible for a 10-year Golden Visa on submission of proof of an investment in an investment fund of at least 2 Million AED (around USD 545,000), proof of a ‘commercial or industrial license’ showing the investment capital to be at least 2 Million AED, or evidence of an agreement that the investor will pay the government at least 250,000 AED annually (around $68,000).

If you wish to qualify through a Real Estate Investment, your visa length depends on your investment level. You can receive a 2-year visa for a minimum investment of 750,000 AED (around USD 204,000) with the ability to renew. To obtain a 5-year Golden Visa, applicants must own a property or a group of properties with a collective value of at least 2 Million AED.

 

2. Entrepreneurs

 

 

To acquire a 5-year Golden Visa as an entrepreneur, you must be the owner or part owner of a start-up company within the UAE. You must prove that the company is dedicated to innovation and worth at least 500,000 AED. To support your application, you must supply the following documents:

  • A letter of approval from an auditor within the UAE stating the value of the company;
  • A letter of approval from the relevant government departments of the UAE stating that the business model is innovative enough for it to be eligible;


3. Exceptional Talents

 

 

The exceptional talents category includes a wide range of eligible pursuits and occupations, including athletes, artists, engineers, business individuals, doctors, and more. You must seek approval from a relevant approved body within the UAE. 

Inventors, for example, can apply to the Ministry of Economy for supporting documentation, and artists can apply to the Department of Culture and Arts in the relevant Emirate. Those who are successful in their applications will receive a 10-Year Golden Visa.

 

4. Scientists and Professionals

 

 

Scientists and professionals (including doctors) are eligible to apply for a 10-Year Golden Visa under the umbrella of exceptional talents providing they receive a letter of approval from either the Ministry of Health and Prevention, which allows doctors to practice in the UAE or an endorsement from the Emirates Council of Scientists. 

 

 

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5. Outstanding Students and Graduates

 

 

The UAE also accepts applications for the Golden Visa from current students or recent graduates who demonstrate outstanding academic performance.

High school students can apply for a 5-Year Golden Visa if they have a 95% academic average in public or private schools. Applicants require a letter of recommendation from the Ministry of Education. They are eligible for visa extensions if they continue their education in the UAE and enroll in a course that will exceed the original 5-year period.

University students can apply for a 10-Year Golden Visa if they currently attend or are recent graduates of (within two years) a university graded either A or B by the UAE Ministry of Education. Applicants must provide an academic transcript with proof of a 3.5 or 3.8 average for universities in either the A or B categories, respectively, and a letter of recommendation from their university.

 

6. Humanitarian Pioneers

 

 

Humanitarian pioneers are eligible for a 10-Year Golden Visa. Applicants can use work experience, awards or accreditations from humanitarian organizations, or evidence of a significant financial contribution (no less than 2 million AED) to the sector as proof of eligibility. Applicants must prove that they have worked in the industry, either internationally or regionally, for at least five years.

 

7. Frontline Heroes

 

 

The category of frontline heroes includes healthcare professionals and other crisis workers who have demonstrated extraordinary contributions to the public good in times of hardship, such as during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

 

 

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Are Family Members Included in the UAE Golden Visa?

The UAE Golden Visa allows successful applicants to sponsor their family members. This pertains to spouses and any number of children of any age. In the case of the principal applicant’s death, the UAE visa remains valid for dependent applicants until the end of its duration.

Under the UAE Golden Visa rules, you can also sponsor an unlimited number of domestic helpers.

How to Get the UAE Golden Visa?

To get the UAE Golden Visa, we recommend you work with a specialist company such as High Net Worth Immigration, as we can guide you every step of the way. It is our business to make the process as streamlined and stress-free as possible.

 

 

10-year Golden Visa in UAE vs. 5-year Golden Visa in UAE

 

The length of your UAE Golden Visa depends on the category in which you qualify. Your visa can be renewed as long as you continue to meet the requirements.

 

What Is The Processing Time For The UAE Golden Visa?

 

The visa processing time is between 72 hours and four weeks, depending on your circumstances and whether you have all the necessary documentation.

 

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What Documents Are Required?

 

The Golden Visa requirements vary according to the type of residency, such as an investor, talent, entrepreneur, and so forth. For example, if you invest in a public investment fund, you may be awarded a Golden Visa for ten years without needing a sponsor.

 

For an investor, this is dependent on the following:

  1. Presentation of a letter from a United Arab Emirates-accredited investment fund verifying the investor's AED 2 million deposit;

  2. Submission of business or industrial license, as well as a memorandum of association declaring that the initial capital is at least AED 2 million;

  3. Investment of at least AED 250,000 every year, as shown by a letter from the Federal Tax Authority;

  4. Lastly, you must own the invested capital so it cannot be a loan, and you also have to produce evidence of medical insurance for yourself and your family (if any).

A UAE Golden Visa may be issued to a property or portfolio owner for a period of 5 years, renewed under the same terms and without a sponsor, provided they meet the following requirements:

  1. Proof of property ownership of at least 2 million AED (US$ 545,000), as documented by a letter from the relevant Emirati land authority;

  2. Purchase of real estate using financing from a specific local bank recognized as trustworthy by the relevant municipal entity.

 

Entrepreneurs may be granted a Golden Visa for five years, while specialized talents in the different fields of science and knowledge can be issued a visa for ten years. Additionally, you must get a letter of approval from each of the following:

  1. A UAE auditor confirming that the project's worth is more than 500,000 AED (US$136,145);
  2. Emirate's officials indicating that the initiative is of a technological or futuristic nature;
  3. A UAE-accredited business incubator to launch the planned activity in the nation.


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UAE Golden Visa Costs

 

Like others, the cost of the UAE Golden Visa depends on your situation and chosen application route. For instance, athletes, creative specialists, executive directors, investors, scientists, outstanding students, and doctors would all pay:

  • Golden Visa 10 years
    Residency fees: between AED 2,800 to AED 4,800, depending if you are currently in the UAE or not;
    ID fees and medical examination: approx. AED 1,000 + additional administrative costs.
  • Golden Visa 5 years
    Residency fees: approx. AED 2,280;
    ID fees and medical examination: AED 575 + additional administrative costs.

 

However, a retired foreigner may be given a Golden Residence Visa for five years without needing a sponsor, with the possibility of renewal. A bank letter with a deposit value or income of AED 15,000 or real estate ownership of AED 1 million would be required.

The cost of a Golden Visa for Retired Foreigners is as follows:

  • Golden Visa 5 years
    Residency fees: AED 2,280;
    ID fees: AED 575.

An entrepreneur who owns an economic project of a technical or future nature based on risk and innovation can be granted a Golden Residence Visa for five years with an approval letter from Dubai Future Foundation.

Golden Visa cost for entrepreneurs:

  • Golden Visa 5 years
    Residency fees: AED 2,280;
    ID fees: AED 575.

Furthermore, as with any other Golden Visa, you will be required to provide standard documents, including:

  • Passport;
  • Personal photo;
  • Certificate of medical insurance;
  • The accessibility of a digital copy of the title deed certificate;
  • Marriage certificate;
  • Emirates ID.

 

Note: The fees are accurate at the time of posting the article; however, our service fees are applicable on top of the administrative fees listed above.

 

UAE Golden Visa Tax Considerations

 

In the United Arab Emirates, residents are not required to pay taxes on their income, capital gains, inheritance, gifts, or properties. In addition, there is no tax on corporate profits; however, starting in 2023, a 9% tax will be imposed on companies that earn a profit of AED 375,000 (US$102,000) or more.

 

Alternatives to UAE Golden Visa

 

The United Arab Emirates' capital, Abu Dhabi, has been named the safest city in the world for six years in a row and is an excellent location for living, working, and investing due to the city's unrivalled way of life, extensive cultural offerings, and diversified population.

Abu Dhabi’s Golden Visa is an option for investors and entrepreneurs looking for a long-term visa to enjoy the advantages of the UAE.

The Abu Dhabi Golden Visa is offered to people from across the world who have exceptional skills and are working, learning, excelling, or investing in critical industries. There are many high-growth sectors in Abu Dhabi, which provide possibilities for bright people to develop their careers, accomplish their goals, and be successful in the emirate.

Investors and entrepreneurs may apply for permanent residence in Abu Dhabi via the Golden Visa, which has a validity period of up to 10 years and provides a variety of visa choices for professions such as inventors, real estate investors, entrepreneurs, and more.

 

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Abu Dhabi Golden Visa for Investors

 

For investors, Abu Dhabi has two options: the standard investor visa and a real estate investor visa.

Non-Real Estate Investors

Abu Dhabi Golden Visa for investors is for ten years and is ideal for those who engage in non-real estate projects, and businesses in Abu Dhabi are eligible for the Golden Visa program, which provides residency for investors and their families, as well as one adviser and one executive director.

Criteria 

Non-real estate investors require either a deposit or a business with a minimum worth of AED 2 million.

The other option is proof of AED 250,000 tax payment per year for the two years before the application. For instance, the investor must provide documentation of paying AED 250,000 per year if they control 25% of a firm that pays AED 1,000,000 in taxes to qualify for the visa.

Requirements 

For a fixed deposit: 

A declaration from a UAE-licensed investment fund or national bank confirming a two-year deposit of at least AED 2 million.

Investors in a company or partnership

 

  • A valid firm trade license to prove incorporation or share ownership;
  • Commercial Registration Certificate (CRC) showing current paid-in capital and ownership stakes by each investor;
  • A letter from a bank or investment fund certifying that at least AED 2 million has been placed as capital or the value of the share in the firm;
  • A copy of the firm's or business's commercial register shows that neither the company nor the investor's stake in the company is subject to any legally mandated proportions for corporate investors.

 

Investors with tax settlement evidence

 

  • A legitimate business trade license to demonstrate that the firm has been formed or the investor's share ownership;
  • A CRC proves the amount of money invested in the firm and the percentage of ownership held by each investor;
  • Tax Return Form demonstrating that taxes totalling at least AED 250,000 were paid in the two years before the visa application;
  • Tax receipts for taxes that have been settled.

 

Real Estate Investors

 

The Abu Dhabi Real Estate Investor Golden Visa is for 5 years and is suitable if you want to invest in or own property in Abu Dhabi. The visa extends to the principal applicant’s spouse and children.

Criteria

Investors are eligible, provided they meet the following requirements: 

  • Must own real estate that has been acquired for a minimum of AED 2 million;
  • Must keep the investment for at least two years after receiving the Golden Visa.

 

Requirements

One of the following is required to prove full ownership of a property: 

  1. A purchase agreement for a real estate unit with a value of at least AED 2 million must be recorded with the Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) or another competent body in charge of real estate registration in the UAE;

  2. Real Estate Unit Value Certificate provided by the DMT or any other authorized organization in charge of real estate registration in the UAE.

 

For mortgaged real estate: 

Real Estate Unit Value Certificate from DMT or another UAE real estate registration authority. In addition, you are required to provide a search certificate from the DMT or other UAE real estate registration authority stating that the property is not susceptible to judicial seizure and is worth at least AED 2 million.

 
Off-Plan real estate:

A purchase agreement from a developer on the authorized list attesting to the landlord's details, the property's condition, and the unit's purchase price. On top of evidence indicating no less than AED 2 million in payments have been paid to the real estate developer.

 

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Abu Dhabi Golden Visa for Entrepreneurs

 

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) named the UAE first in its Global Entrepreneurship Index 2022. If you wish to relocate your business to Abu Dhabi, you may sponsor yourself, your family, and your workers with a long-term visa for 10 years.

You are eligible if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are an owner or partner who has secured authorization from an authorized business incubator, the Ministry of Economy, ICP, or a competent local government to launch the planned activity in the UAE for the idea of a pioneering company initiative.
  • A pioneering business project owner or partner in a Ministry of Economy, ICP, or competent local authority-approved sector. The business initiative must be categorized as an SME with a minimum annual turnover of AED 1 million.

  • To have started, or to have been a founder of, a prior pioneering project(s) that, with the consent of the Ministry of Economy or ICP or a relevant local government, sold for a total of no less than AED 7 million.


Requirements

 

A trade license, financial or social certificates (required by Hub71 and Ma'an, respectively), audited financial statements for the past two years, company profile/deck, LinkedIn profile, and nomination issued by a business incubator in the UAE are all required for an owner or partner in a pioneering project.

For entrepreneurs with a viable pioneering project concept, a nomination letter for a business incubator, the founders' LinkedIn profiles, overview decks of their firm ideas, acceptance letters from incubators, venture studios, or accelerator programs, and trade licenses (if available).

Lastly, for a founder (or founders) of a previous pioneering project, a nomination issued by a business incubator in the UAE, trade license of an earlier project, founders/co-founders’ LinkedIn profiles, proof of company being sold for AED 7 million and new owner full name or LinkedIn profile (if applicable).

 

Conclusion

 

An innovation hub, booming cultural and entertainment landscape, and home to one of the most stunning buildings in the world, UAE is regarded as a top destination not only for tourists but also for investors, entrepreneurs, and highly affluent individuals and their families.

Do not miss this unique opportunity and apply for one of the most sought-after Golden Visas in the world with the help of the High Net Worth Immigration team!

 

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FAQ About UAE Golden Visa

A: There are several ways to obtain a UAE Golden Visa, including investing in an investment fund, owning a property or a group of properties, establishing a new company in the UAE with a minimum capital of AED 10 million, and having a specialized talent, such as being a doctor, investor, specialist, scientist, or possessing talent in the field of culture and art.

A: Yes, after 30 years of residence in the UAE, foreigners can seek citizenship via naturalization. In addition to speaking Arabic, they must have a clean reputation and a steady income in the UAE. Likewise, individuals can apply for UAE citizenship after 7 years of marriage to a UAE citizen. On rare occasions, foreign nationals can receive a UAE passport from the heads of the Emirates with UAE government approval.

A: No, the UAE Golden Visa lets foreigners live, work, and study in the UAE. The long-term visa can be obtained for five or ten years and renewed. After 30 years of residency, naturalization is one way to get UAE citizenship, allowing living in all seven emirates, including Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Similarly, foreign nationals who marry a UAE citizen and live in marriage for more than seven years can apply for a UAE passport.

A: Depending on the specifics of your situation and whether or not you have all of the required papers and documentation, the processing period for the UAE Golden Visa can take anywhere from 72 hours to 4 weeks.

A: The UAE Golden Visa is a long-term residence visa that allows international talents, investors, and entrepreneurs to live, work, or study in the UAE. The renewable residence visa is valid for 5 or 10 years depending on the type of residency, whether investor, talent, entrepreneur, etc.

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Vicky Katsarova, CEO

“My world travels and my own immigration experiences have given me a deep understanding and clear insight into each of our clients’ specific requirements, aspirations and concerns. It is this intense personal association with client expectations and needs that helps to set our company and our service apart.”

what is the UAE Golden Visa

At High Net Worth Immigration, we have hands-on experience with numerous residency-by-investment and citizenship-by-investment schemes. Talk to our team today, and let’s make your dreams come true!

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