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UAE Golden Visa by Investment: A Complete Guide

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has emerged as one of the top global destinations for investment and expansion thanks to its strategic location, business-friendly policies, world-class infrastructure, and tax incentives.

The UAE government introduced the Golden Visa program in 2019 to encourage foreign investment and attract global talent. The long-term residency scheme offers investors, entrepreneurs, specialised professionals, students, and others invaluable benefits and privileges.

This article provides a comprehensive guide to obtaining the UAE Golden Visa through investment, including the different investment options, eligibility criteria, application process, fees, and more.

Residence by Investment

The UAE Golden Visa is a long-term residency scheme launched by the UAE federal government in 2019 to attract foreign investment and global talent.

It allows eligible individuals to live, work and study in the UAE without requiring a national sponsor for up to 5 or 10 years. The visa also includes benefits like 100% ownership of their business on the UAE mainland, easy access to educational and healthcare services, and more.

The program contains various pathways to obtaining the Golden Visa, including:

  • Investment in real estate or public funds
  • Establishing/participating in an entrepreneurial project
  • Specialised talents like doctors, engineers, scientists etc.
  • Outstanding students and graduates
  • Frontline heroes
  • Humanitarian pioneers.

UAE Golden Visa Benefits

The UAE Golden Visa program offers a wide range of benefits for investors that make it an attractive residency option, including:

  • Benefits of an entry visa for six months with multiple entries to proceed with residence issuance
  • Get renewable 5 or 10-year residency with the potential for citizenship.
  • Reside in the UAE without requiring a national sponsor.
  • Access special discounts on flights, hotels, restaurants, and more.
  • Sponsor visas for family members without age restrictions.
  • Sponsor domestic workers without restrictions.
  • Own properties and businesses without restrictions.
  • Travel in and out of the UAE without impacting residence status.
  • Remain in the UAE after the death of the main visa holder.
  • Shift residence status easily to other emirates like Dubai.
  • Access world-class healthcare and education services.

Golden Visa UAE Eligibility

Foreign nationals can obtain the UAE Golden Visa through three main investment channels – public funds, real estate, and entrepreneurship.

The eligibility criteria, application process and privileges differ slightly across the three routes.

  1. Public Investment Option

The first option is public investment into government-approved investment funds or business establishments. Applicants must fulfil one of the following alternatives:

  • Deposit AED 2 million into an approved investment fund in the UAE.
  • valid commercial or industrial license and memorandum of association stating that the investor’s capital is not less than AED 2 million
  • letter from the Federal Tax Authority stating that the investor pays the government no less than AED 250,000 annually

Additional needs

  • Capital invested should be owned by the applicant, not borrowed or loaned.
  • Medical insurance with UAE coverage for applicants and dependents.
  1. Real Estate Investment Option

Investing in UAE real estate is the second route to getting a UAE Golden Visa. To qualify, you must fulfill the following criteria:

  • Purchase a UAE property worth at least AED 2 million.
  • Property can include land, commercial units, or residential property on the UAE mainland.
  • The loan from a UAE bank is permitted for a maximum of 50% property value.

After fulfilling the real estate route, you can get a renewable 5-year residency visa and be able to sponsor family dependents like children, spouses or domestic helpers.

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  1. Entrepreneur Golden Visa

The UAE also offers Golden Visas to entrepreneurs establishing or participating in new startups or SMEs. Here are the avenues to secure the 5 residency:

  • Start an innovative startup in the technology, design or relevant sector valued at AED 500,000 or more.
  • the authorities in the emirate stating that the project is of a technical or future nature
  • an accredited business incubator in the UAE to establish the proposed activity in the country.

UAE Golden Visa Price

Aside from the base investment amount, investors must pay visa application fees.

Government Fees. The standard processing fee for all Golden Visa categories except for investors in land or the public sector is 2,800 AED. This covers the basic government expenses for reviewing the application.

 If an application is rejected, the applicant receives a 60% refund of 1,680 AED. On top of the processing fee, applicants must also pay for a mandatory medical examination and Emirates ID, which cost approximately 1,000 AED. 

It is important to note that Golden Visa holders must also hold UAE health insurance to meet residency rules. A primary health insurance plan can be obtained for around 800 AED annually. The entire immigration department reviews each Golden Visa application, and a decision is provided within 30-72 days on average from the initial submission.

3-year Investor Visa Dubai

Dubai’s 3-year investor visa is available to those who: 

  • Start a company with a minimum capital of AED 72,000
  • Have a share in a company with a minimum capital of AED 72,000
  • Invest in a property worth AED 1 million or more

10-year Golden Visa UAE Cost

The following is a breakdown of the fees required for the Golden Visa application:

  • To obtain a 10-year Golden Residency permit:
    • Residency fees: AED 2,790
    • ID fees: AED 1,070

Application processing fees may vary depending on the authority or institution. For example, when submitting a nomination for a Golden Residency through the official website of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, Customs, Ports Security, and UAEICP, the applicant will need to pay the following fees:

  • Electronic service fees: AED 28
  • ICP fees: AED 22
  • Smart services fees: AED 100

To obtain a five-year Golden Residency permit:

  • Residency fees: AED 2,280
  • ID fees: AED 575

You need to pay the above expenses for a 5-year Golden visa residency. 

Investor Visa Dubai 750 000

The 2-Year Investor Visa is offered by the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It allows foreigners to live, work, study, and invest in the UAE without a national sponsor. 

To qualify for the 2-Year Investor Visa, you must: 

  • Invest at least AED 750,000 in establishing a new company or buying shares in an already-existing company
  • Own a ready and not under-construction property in the UAE with a minimum value of AED 750,000
  • If the property is mortgaged, provide a bank NOC that shows the total paid amount and the remaining amount

You can apply for a visa both inside and outside of the UAE. You can apply for the Property Investor Visa at the Dubai Land Department’s (DLD) Cube Centre.  The 2-Year Investor Visa is a renewable residence permit allowing real estate investors to sponsor their spouses and children. 

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UAE Golden Visa: New Rules

In 2023, the UAE made several changes to its Golden Visa rules: 

  1. Eligibility

The Golden Visa is now available to recent graduates from the top 100 universities worldwide, as recognised by the UAE Ministry of Education. Applicants must have a minimum cumulative average of 3.5 and have completed their studies within the last two years.

  1. Validity

The validity of all types of Golden Visas has been increased to 10 years.

  1. Grace period

The grace period for visa expiry or cancellation has been extended to 6 months for Golden Visa holders and their families.

  1. Sponsorship

Visa holders can sponsor family members and support services laborers without limit. This includes spouses and children of any age.

  1. Eligible categories

The government of Abu Dhabi has expanded the eligible categories to include senior scholars and clerics.

Minimum Investment in Dubai for Residency

To get a UAE residence visa, you must invest at least AED 2,000,000 (about $545,000). This investment can be in real estate or the public sector. The investment can be joint with your spouse or a company, but your investment must be at least AED 2 million. 

The investment can be made with a mortgage from a UAE bank, with a 50% down payment. The property must be kept for at least two years

Application Process for UAE Golden Visa

If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can submit your Golden Visa application through the following channels:

Online Application

  1. To begin the application process, visit the ICP smart services website.
  2. Navigate to the services list and select Golden Visa Services.
  3. Fill out the application form.
  4. Submit the required documents.
  5. Pay the fees.
  6. You will receive your application via email.

Authorized Typing Centers

  • Visit an approved typing centre to submit documents.
  • The Center will upload papers online and apply.

Personal Submission

  • Visit the nearest ICA customer happiness centre.
  • Submit original documents to the centre representative.
  • The application will be uploaded and submitted online by the centre.

Required Documents

The documents required for UAE Golden Visa mainly include:

  • Passport copy
  • Passport photo
  • Previous UAE visas
  • Emirates ID application copy
  • Proof of health insurance coverage
  • Investment proof documents

The exact requirements differ slightly across the three investment routes. For instance, real estate investors must show property purchases or ownership documents.

Places to Apply for a Golden Visa

You can apply for a golden visa through several online channels, such as:

  • ICP official website 
  • Abu Dhabi Residents Office
  • The GDRFAD website 
  • UAEICP phone application 
  • Customer happiness centres 
  • Authorised typing centres 

Processing Time

Once submitted, the application enters the government review process, which generally takes:

  • Instant approval – Within 48 hours
  • With Nomination — upto 30 days

After approval, a residency visa is granted, and an Emirates ID is issued within working 3 days.

Renewal Process and Validity

The Golden Visa holders need to renew their residency based on the initial duration granted, ranging from 5 years to 10 years for investors.

Around 2 months before expiry, investors can renew their Golden Visas by:

  • Maintaining the investment for one additional year from the renewal request date or showing further investment.
  • Clear payment of all outstanding regulatory fees and taxes.
  • Pass medical examination and Emirates ID renewal.

After fulfilling the original eligibility criteria, investors can indefinitely renew their long-term visas.

Conclusion

The UAE Golden Visa offers foreign investors and business owners the opportunity to expand into Dubai and other emirates while enjoying exclusive privileges of long-term residency. Investing into an actively managed fund, purchasing property or establishing your own startup can serve as gateways to build your life in the UAE.

So if you have been contemplating new residency options abroad, the UAE investment visa presents the perfect choice to reside and grow in the Middle East’s land of opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the minimum investment for UAE Golden Visa?

The minimum investment is AED 2 million in real estate or public funds. It ranges from AED 500,000 to AED 1 million for startups and SMEs.

Can I buy property in installments for a Golden Visa?

You can make a down payment of 10–25% of the property’s value and then use a developer’s installment plan to pay the rest. However, you must prove you have the required equity to qualify for a Golden Visa.

How much does a real estate Golden Visa cost in Dubai?

The total fee for a 5-year Dubai real estate Golden Visa is approximately AED 3005.

What are the fees for a 10-year Golden Visa?

The total fees for a 10-year investor Golden Visa is around AED 4010.

Can I get UAE citizenship with a Golden Visa?

The UAE doesn’t offer citizenship by investment, but it does offer a long-term residency visa called the Golden Visa. Expats can’t get UAE citizenship through the Golden Visa route, but they can apply for citizenship by naturalisation after 30 years of living there.

Is Golden Visa Dubai worth it?

Dubai real estate investors can reap the benefits of the UAE Golden Visa. Property purchases in the UAE are a sound investment. In 2022, apartment prices increased by 8.5% and villa prices increased by 13%. The UAE does not levy income tax, so property owners do not have to pay taxes on rental income. Additionally, there are no gift or inheritance taxes.

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