Golden Card: Permanent Residency for UAE Expats

The ‘Golden Card’ is one of the most searched terms on google, ever since the UAE government announced the scheme. The permanent residency scheme is something interesting that has garnered attention of people from across the globe. The programme, which is open to investors and “exceptional talents” such as doctors, engineers, scientists, students and artists, was unveiled by UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum.

“Throughout history, the UAE opened its door to millions of people looking to pursue their dreams and better their lives. The Golden Card is our way to welcome all those seeking to be a part of the UAE’s success story and making it a second home,” said Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid.

The first group to avail the scheme consists of 6,800 investors from 70 countries. Their investments total 100 billion dirhams (USD 27 billion). These golden card holders and their families are promised of unprecedented benefits and it also offers high level of security.

UAE wants these exceptional talents to be permanent partners going hand in hand with the country in its journey. “All residents in the UAE are our brothers and part of our great family in the UAE,” said Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid.

The expected positive outcomes of the recent initiative are greater foreign investment which will stimulate the local economy and increased competitiveness that will reaffirm the country’s position as a global incubator.

UAE has always been known as an expat-friendly country that has extended its arms to countless expats aspiring to establish their base here. The Golden card is yet another move by the government to embrace people who look forward to being a part of UAE.

Eligibility for a 5-year visa without a sponsor

Individuals who have invested in a property in the UAE, entrepreneurs and outstanding students can apply for a 5-year visa without a sponsor.

The gross value of the property in which the person has invested should not be less than AED 5 million and it must be retained for a minimum three years. The amount invested in real estate should not be on loan basis.

Entrepreneurs who have an existing project with a minimum capital of AED 500,000, or those with approval from an accredited business incubator, can apply for the visa. A multi- entry visa for six months will be granted to the entrepreneur, which can be renewed for another six more months, if required.

Outstanding students should have secured at least 95 percent in public and private secondary schools and in the case of university students, they must have a distinction GPA of at least 3.75 upon graduation. Families of the outstanding students are also included in the long-term visa policy.

Executives with a minimum salary of Dh30,000 and a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent and five years of work experience, can also avail the golden visa.

Long-term residency visa will not only benefit investors and specialized talents, it will also add value to the economy of the country.


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