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What Is The Best Way To Get A UAE Golden Visa?

Introduction

The United Arab Emirates’ golden visa is one of the most coveted long-term residency visas globally. Introduced in 2019, this 5 or 10-year visa offers tremendous lifestyle, business, and financial benefits for expats and investors looking to make the UAE their second home.

If you meet the eligibility criteria set out by the UAE government, securing a golden visa can provide stability, security, and ease of living and doing business in the Emirates. This blog post explains everything you need to get a UAE golden visa.

What is the UAE Golden Visa?

The UAE Golden Visa is a long-term residence visa given by the UAE government on a renewable basis to investors, entrepreneurs, professionals, talented individuals and exceptional students. It allows visa holders to live, work and study in the UAE without requiring a national sponsor.

Key Benefits Include

● Entry multiple entry visa validity for 6 months
● 5, or 10 renewable residencies, specific to visa category
● 100% ownership of business without needing an Emirati partner
● Sponsor visas for family and domestic staff
● Ability to stay outside UAE for over 6 months without affecting residency

In essence, the Golden Visa gives unprecedented flexibility and ease-of-living that expats have never experienced before in the UAE. It is a gateway to launch businesses, buy property and reside hassle-free for over a decade.

Why Does the UAE Want to Attract More Golden Visa Immigrants?

The UAE Government wants to bring in more global talents, investors and high net worth families via Golden Visas due to the below strategic reasons:

Supports the UAE Vision 2040

It accelerates growth in priority sectors like technology, space, renewables etc which are central to UAE’s Vision 2040 goals.

Aids Post-Pandemic Recovery

Attracting liquidity, investments and human capital boosts the pace of economic revival post-COVID-19.

Upgrades Population Diversity

Brings in talented youth and entrepreneurs from different backgrounds, adding to population diversity.

Boosts Real Estate & Investment Markets

Incentivizes more foreign direct investments, injects funds into capital markets and uplifts demand for properties.

Enhances Soft Power & Global Image

Positions Dubai and UAE as the land of opportunities improving brand rankings and soft influence.

So streamlining approvals via Goldens Visas supports UAE leadership’s broader vision.

Golden Visa Requirements

Golden Visa CategoryRequirementsDuration
Investors In Public InvestmentsLetter from investment fund stating AED 2 million deposit
Commercial/industrial license stating capital not less than AED 2 million
Letter from FTA stating paying government AED 250,000 annually
Own invested capital completely; not a loan Medical insurance for self and family
10 years
Real Estate InvestorsLetter from the land department stating owning
property/properties worth AED 2 million
Purchased property with loan from a local bank
5 years, renewable
EntrepreneursAuditor letter stating project value AED 500,000+5 years
Outstanding Specialized TalentsSee Individual Categories Below
DoctorsApproval from MOH to practice medicine10 years
ScientistsRecommendation from Emirates Council of Scientists Award of Scientific Excellence Medal10 years
InventorsRecommendation from MOE for a patent with an economic value10 years
Creative PeopleApproval from the Department of Culture and Arts10 years
ExecutivesA copy of an accredited university degree
A letter showing at least 5 years of experience in the same position
A salary certificate of a minimum of AED 50,000
A valid work contract
10 years
AthletesRecommendation from GSA or Sports Council10 years
Engineers/scientistsDegree, work contract
Including category:
Epidemiology and viruses
Artificial Intelligence Big Data
Computer Engineering
Electronic Engineering
Software Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Genetics and Biotechnology Engineering
10 years
Outstanding studentssee individual categories below
High schoolMinimum 95% grades
Recommendation from MOE
5 years
UniversityA/B rated university
GPA 3.5/3.8
Max 2 years gap after graduation is allowed
10 years
Foreign universityTop 100 university
GPA 3.5
Max 2 years after graduation
10 years
Pioneers of humanitarian work5 years with international/regional organization
5 years with civil association/institution Appreciation award from relevant org Funding of AED 2 million+
10 years
Frontline heroesRecommendation for extraordinary COVID-19 effortsDuration not specified

Best Ways To Get A UAE Golden Visa

Now let’s explore the easiest options foreign nationals have to procure the coveted long term residency:

  • Invest in UAE Real Estate

The simplest way to obtain a renewable 5-year Golden Visa is to purchase UAE property worth AED 2 million or higher. This can be through a single purchase or cumulative. Whether located in Dubai, Abu Dhabi or other emirates, the visa eligibility starts once you cross the price threshold.

Additionally, bank mortgages or loans can be used to fund up to 85% of property purchases, provided they are from specific UAE banks approved by respective emirate realty regulators like RERA.

With Dubai real estate prices recovering from a Covid dip and attractive payment plans, acquiring Golden Visas by house buying also makes good financial sense. Quick approvals after verification make property investment popular.

  • Invest in Approved Public Funds

Another major route to Golden Visas is parking AED 2 million or above in approved UAE public funds or investment vehicles. These vehicles cover VC funds, stocks, bonds, investment portfolios, mutual funds, index funds, etc.

By showing audited proof-of-investment and tax records displaying AED 250,000+ in annual earnings, applicants become eligible for a renewable 10-year Golden Visa. Easy liquidation combined with steady returns makes funds a winner.

  • Launch/Invest in Private Business Venture

Founding or co-founding an innovative private business venture worth AED 500,000 in a UAE free zone with approvals can also land investors a 5-year renewable Golden Visa. Documentation needs are higher but rewards are manifold too.

With UAE striving to be a start-up hub, visas for entrepreneurs are gaining traction. Business costs are lower while digital infrastructure keeps improving. Dubai Internet City and Abu Dhabi Global Market lead options.

  • Specialized Talents/Achievements

Beyond big investments, outstanding intellectuals have a direct path to UAE Permanent Residency too. These include:

● Doctors & Healthcare Experts
● Engineers & Scientific Researchers
● Award-Winning Artists, Authors & Creative Talents
● Renowned Athletes & Sports Coaches
● Reputed Corporate Leadership Experts
● Highly Successful Students & Graduates

Those with PhD degrees, published journals, patented inventions, trophy accomplishments and corporate success can prove credentials to quality. Government review processes validate authenticity before issuing approval.

The major advantage for talents is up to 10 years visa duration. Moreover, family dependents automatically receive residency without needing separate applications.

  • Exceptional Humanitarian Contributions

The final route open for Golden Visas is through exceptional contributions to human welfare – both by individuals as well as foundations.

This covers global philanthropy experts, administrators in government/charity bodies or associations and campaign managers striving for community service.

By highlighting past projects, social impact and awards certifications, applicants can make their case for approval. Assessment boards weigh continuity, selflessness, and scalability aspects before making a decision.

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How To Get A UAE Golden Visa?

A UAE golden visa is a long-term residency visa valid for 5 or 10 years. It offers tremendous benefits like security, stability, and ease of living and business in the UAE. If you meet the eligibility criteria, here is how you can apply for this coveted visa:

Applying Through The Federal Authority For Identity And Citizenship (ICA)

The ICA offers a fully online application process for golden visas. To apply:

  • Visit the ICA website and select your preferred golden visa type
  • Fill out the online application form
  • Upload scanned copies of all required documents
  • Pay the visa fees online
  • Non-UAE residents must first apply for a 6-month entry permit, which can be extended by another 6 months to complete the golden visa application

Applying Through The General Directorate Of Residency And Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA)

The GDRFA allows both online and in-person applications. To apply:

Online Application

  • Visit the official GDRFA Dubai website.
  • Select ‘Investor Residency Visa (Golden Visa)’.
  • Select ‘Start Service’ and log in.
  • Provide essential information and submit necessary documents.
  • Pay the service charge.
  • The respective authority will review the application and notify applicants of the next steps.

Offline Application

  • Visit a licensed typing center near your location in the UAE
  • The professionals at the center will assist with the following:
  • Filling out the application form
  • Collecting all required supporting documents
  • Processing the submission to the correct GDRFA based on the emirate
  • The typing centre acts as the intermediary, liaising directly with GDRFA
  • They handle the standardised offline application process on your behalf
  • Upon approval or rejection, you will receive a notification from the centre
  • If approved, the typing centre releases the original Emirates ID/entry permit
  • This provides an assisted option for those unable or unwilling to apply online themselves
  • Licensed typing centres offer an alternative pathway to initiate the paperwork and channel the offline Golden Visa submission process.

Conclusion

The UAE’s golden visa program has transformed residency rights for long-term expats and foreign nationals. By outlining eligibility rules, application procedures via ICA/GDRFA, requirements, fees, and processing times, this blog aims to act as a comprehensive guide for golden visa applicants.

Whether you are an investor, entrepreneur, specialized talent, real estate buyer, outstanding student or other golden visa category applicant, following the step-by-step application process can help secure your 5 or 10-year UAE residency.

With its far-reaching lifestyle and financial and business benefits, the golden visa offers lucrative long-term prospects for living and working in the UAE. We hope this blog has clarified how to apply for and obtain your virtual gold card.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the easiest way to get a UAE Golden Visa?

The easiest route is to purchase UAE property worth AED 2 million or more. This makes you eligible for a renewable 5-year Golden Visa instantly.

What is the cheapest category to apply under for Golden Visas?

The investor categories offer the lowest cost paths. Buying property or investing in funds worth AED 2 million allows you to get long-term visas starting from around AED 6,000 visa fees.

How long is the Golden Visa valid for?

The tenure length varies across categories. Investors get 5-year visas while professionals and outstanding talents get 5 to 10-year visas based on their credentials and contributions.

Does everyone need a sponsor to apply?

No, one of the biggest benefits of Golden Visas is not requiring a UAE sponsor or guarantor. It enables foreign nationals to self-sponsor themselves.

Can I buy properties on loan to meet eligibility criteria?

Yes, taking mortgages or loans from approved UAE banks can fund part of the AED 2 million plus property purchase. The property has to be fully owned by you.

Is my family also eligible for Golden Visas?

Once your Golden Visa is approved, core family members like spouses and children can be sponsored easily for 5/10-year durations. There is no age limit for kids, either.

Should I still maintain UAE health insurance after getting a golden visa?

Yes, maintaining adequate UAE health insurance even after getting Golden Visas is highly recommended to protect you and your loved ones from medical emergencies or treatments. 

s it renewable after expiry?

Yes, most Golden Visas are auto-renewable once or multiple times for 5 or 10 years after paying the prevailing renewal fees.

Is the Golden Visa a pathway to UAE citizenship?

While not guaranteed, it improves prospects for expatriate investors and talents to qualify for citizenship eventually.

How much funds should I show to apply?

If applying directly under the investors/high net worth individuals route, its recommended to showcase adequate liquid funds, investments or money trail proving you can sustain yourself and your dependents financially while residing in UAE long-term.

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