In 2019, the UAE introduced the Golden Visa, a residence permit for investors, entrepreneurs, scientists, professionals and exceptional talents. Initially, the visa required an investment of AED 5 million to 10 million. However, in 2022, the UAE government approved new conditions for obtaining a Golden Visa, which reduced the investment amount, eliminated restrictions on the duration of stay in other countries, and allowed investors to purchase off-plan properties and take a mortgage. In this article, we will explore the benefits of the UAE residency visa, how to obtain it, and the requirements.
Benefits of the UAE Residency Visa
Moving to the UAE or Creating a Safe Haven
The UAE is one of the wealthiest and most developed countries worldwide. Investors and their families can move to the UAE and visit the country anytime they wish. Residing in the UAE is not obligatory, but investors with a residency visa may visit UAE once or twice a year to maintain their status.
Income, capital gains, inheritance, gifts and properties are exempt from taxation in the UAE. Also, there is still no tax on corporate profit, but from 2023 it will be 9% if a company generates a profit of AED 375,000+. The UAE corporate tax will be lower than in many other countries.
Opening a Bank Account in the UAE
Investors with a residence permit may open accounts in the UAE banks in dollars, euros, dirhams, or other currencies. An account is suitable for savings and international transfers.
Getting a Driver’s Licence
A resident must obtain a UAE driver’s license to drive a car there. Usually, passing an exam is required, but citizens of the US, the UK, Germany, Australia, Turkey, Spain, India and some other countries may just exchange their licence.
Access to the UAE Healthcare and Educational Systems
Foreigners with the UAE residency visas can be treated in the country’s clinics. The UAE is a world medical tourism centre; specialists in dentistry, orthopaedics, dermatology, and reproduction are in great demand. Investor’s children may attend schools and universities in the UAE. Some international schools work there in the country, and the higher education programmes are mainly in English.
An Opportunity to Get UAE Citizenship
Foreigners may apply for UAE citizenship by naturalisation after living in the country for 30 years. But some persons may be granted citizenship for exceptional services. The UAE passport allows you to visit 176 countries visa-free; this list includes the Schengen states, the UK and Canada.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) introduced new conditions for obtaining a 10-year residence visa through real estate investment, allowing investors to take advantage of the benefits of the UAE residency visa. Following are the eligibility requirements for investors, their spouses, and children to obtain a 10-year residence visa.
Investor Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible for the 10-year UAE residency visa, the investor must be:
- Over 18 years old
- Capable of confirming the legality of their income
- Free of any criminal record
- Without any socially dangerous diseases, such as HIV or tuberculosis
Spouse Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible for the 10-year UAE residency visa, the spouse of the investor must be:
- Over 18 years old
- Free of any criminal record
- Without any socially dangerous diseases
Children Eligibility Requirements
Children of the investor may also be included in the application for the 10-year UAE residency visa. The eligibility requirements for children are as follows:
- Unmarried sons under 25 years old
- Unmarried daughters of any age
- Without any socially dangerous diseases, if a child is over 18 years old
Step-by-step procedure for obtaining a UAE residence visa by investment in real estate
Step 1: Consultation with an Authorized Agency
The first step in obtaining a UAE residence visa by investment in real estate is to consult with an authorized agency. The agency will provide information about the program and requirements, help the investor choose the appropriate investment option and assist with the application process.
Step 2: Choose Investment Option
The investor needs to choose between the two investment options for obtaining the residence visa: a 10-year visa with a minimum investment of AED 2,000,000 or a 2-year visa with a minimum investment of AED 750,000.
Step 3: Conduct Due Diligence
Before proceeding with the investment, the investor should conduct Due Diligence on the property and the developer. This step is crucial to ensure that the investment is secure, the property has a clear title, and the developer is reputable.
Step 4: Reserve Property
Once the investor has chosen the investment option and conducted Due Diligence, the next step is to reserve the property. The investor needs to sign a reservation agreement and pay the reservation fee, which is usually 10% of the property value.
Step 5: Sign the Sales Agreement
After reserving the property, the investor needs to sign the sales agreement with the developer. The agreement should include all the terms and conditions, payment plan, and delivery date of the property.
Step 6: Make Payment
The investor needs to make the payment for the property as per the payment plan mentioned in the sales agreement. If the investor is taking a mortgage, they should make a down payment of 50%.
Step 7: Apply for the Residence Visa
Once the investor has made the payment, they can apply for the residence visa. The investor needs to provide the required documents, including a copy of the sales agreement, proof of payment, and medical certificate.
Step 8: Visa Issuance
The UAE government will review the application and issue the residence visa. The investor will need to collect the visa from the relevant authorities in the UAE.
Step 9: Register the Property
The final step is to register the property with the relevant authorities in the UAE. The investor will need to provide the original sales agreement, proof of payment, and other relevant documents.
Alternate Options of Getting UAE Golden Residence Visa Without investing in Real Estate
There are various other types of residence visas available in the UAE apart from investment in real estate. In this section, we will explore the different types of visas available for business owners, freelancers, and employees of Emirati companies.
Foreigners can open companies in special Free Zones and outside of them by obtaining a license to register a business in the UAE. The founders of such companies are eligible for a residence visa for three years. This visa can be extended to 5-10 years by investing at least $136,000 in the business or getting approval from a business incubator. This visa type is an excellent option for entrepreneurs who are looking to set up a business in the UAE.
Freelancers and remote workers can also get residence visas in the UAE. They can obtain a visa by getting a freelancer’s license in a free zone to qualify for a 3-year residence visa. Another option for freelancers is to conclude an employment agreement outside the UAE and earn more than $5,000 a month to qualify for a 1-year residence visa. The expenses for obtaining a visa are usually lower for freelancers compared to business owners.
Employees of Emirati Companies
A registered Emirati company can get residence visas for new employees by receiving quotas and work permits. The minimum cost of one visa is AED 6,000 or approximately $1,630. This option is beneficial for individuals who have already secured a job in a company based in the UAE.
The UAE offers a Golden Visa for investors, entrepreneurs, scientists, professionals, and exceptional talents. The investment requirement for the visa has been reduced, and investors can purchase off-plan properties and take a mortgage. The benefits of the visa include tax optimization, access to healthcare and education systems, the opportunity to open bank accounts, and the possibility of applying for UAE citizenship. Investors can obtain a 10-year residence visa through real estate investment for AED 2,000,000 or a 2-year visa for AED 750,000. The costs associated with obtaining a visa include the purchase of real estate, registration fees, state fees, medical checkups, health insurance, translation of documents, notarization, and consular legalization. Investors, their spouses, and children must meet specific eligibility requirements to obtain the visa.