An upscale lifestyle, tax-free environment, abundant professional and entrepreneurial opportunities – these are some of the reasons why a lot of people dream of moving to Dubai. However, it’s a known fact that the emirate doesn’t offer permanent residency. This means that even if you own a property and company in Dubai, you won’t be able to call it your ‘forever home’. However, things have changed to an extent ever since the government has announced golden and silver visas.
Let’s find out about these two visa categories:
It is a long-term residency visa that was announced last year by the honourable Prime Minister & Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid. It was implemented to create an investment-friendly environment in the emirate. Experts believe that the implementation of this program will help draw more talent to Dubai, which, eventually, will help to grow its economy further. It is also believed that this programme is designed to reward the loyalty of long-term residents. Awarding them the golden card will encourage them to continue investing in the emirate.
It isn’t exactly a permanent residency visa. However, the fact that it is renewable after 10 years, allows golden card holders to call Dubai their second home. There will be no travel restrictions, such as a mandatory visit to Dubai within 6 months of leaving, or any other conditions for the visa to remain valid or be renewed.
Eligibility to Obtain Golden Card
People belonging to these five categories are eligible to obtain a golden visa:
- Chief Executives
- Outstanding Students
Each individual belonging to any of the aforementioned categorised needs to fulfil eligibility criteria to be awarded the golden card.
Requirements for Foreign Investors
Foreign investors have to meet at least one of these conditions to get the golden visa:
- Minimum deposit of AED 10 million in a UAE investment fund. It should be a fully-owned investment fund for which they must have valid proof. It should be held for a minimum period of 3 years.
- Ownership of a business firm with a minimum capital of AED 10 million. If it’s a partnership firm, their share must be equal to AED 10 million.
- Other than that, complete insurance documents about themselves and their dependents or family must be provided.
Requirements for Entrepreneurs
- They should have a successful project with a value of AED 500,000 or higher in a certified field.
- They should have obtained approval as a business incubator and founder of the project.
Requirements for Specialists and Scientists
Scientists, professors, art and culture specialists are eligible to get this visa under the following conditions:
- A professor from one of the top 500 universities in the world, approved by the Ministry of Education is eligible to apply.
- A specialist who has received an award of appreciation in their specialty can apply.
- Those scientists can apply who have proven contributions in major research or studies
- PhD holders with 20 years of practical experience can apply for the golden visa
- Art and culture specialists can apply, subject to approval from the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development
Requirements for Chief Executives
- A chief executive applying for the golden visa must have a bachelor’s or equivalent degree.
- They should have a minimum salary of AED 30,000 and a valid contract in the country
- Their experience should span more than 5 years
Other than the golden visa, there’s also a silver visa available for expats. The duration of this type of visa is 5 years and it is also a renewable visa. It is suitable for foreign nationality holders, entrepreneurs and investors in the country.
Eligibility to Obtain Silver Visa
People belonging to these three categories are eligible to obtain a silver visa:
- Outstanding Students
Requirements for Investors
It is mandatory for the investors to have invested in a property that should have a gross value of over AED 5 million. The minimum possession time of this property must be at least 3 years. And they shouldn’t have taken a loan to make this investment.
Requirement for Entrepreneurs
An entrepreneur can apply for a silver visa provided they own a project having a capital of AED 500,000 or more.
Requirement for Outstanding Students
Outstanding students who have obtained a minimum grade of 95% can apply for this visa. Students of both private and public secondary schools are eligible to apply. For university students, the minimum requirement is a 3.75 GPA.