The UAE Cabinet, in an announcement released last November 24 (Saturday), has approved a more drawn-out visa scheme for investors, entrepreneurs, academics, students, as well as individuals with “specialized talents.”
The statement maintains that the new visa will promote establishment of businesses and develop an attractive and conducive environment for such activities in the country. The initiative will strengthen the UAE’s position as an optimal business environment in the region and in the world, as shared in a report by Gulf News.
Long-term Visa Scheme for Investors Approved by UAE Cabinet
According to the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the new scheme follows the government’s direction when it announced sweeping reforms, allowing 100 percent foreign ownership in companies and long-term residence permits for skilled and creative employment sectors.
The new scheme will include 10-year residency visas, which include visas for spouses and children of the grantee. Furthermore, the decision also encloses provisions for issuing 5-year visa grants to outstanding students.
Along with the announcement of the approved new scheme are the terms and conditions for obtaining the long-term visas, which are as follows: Eligible applicants for the long-term visa scheme are investors, entrepreneurs, and outstanding students, as well as individuals with “specialized talents,” such as doctors and researchers in the fields of science and knowledge.
There are two categories applicable to investors – the first applies to those with an investment property worth AED 5 million or more, for which they will be granted residency status for up to five years.
Meanwhile, investors with public investments in the form of a deposit, an established company, or a business partnership of not less than AED 10 million can apply for residency of up to 10 years.
Furthermore, those with investments of not less than AED 10 million in all the above areas identified (as long as non-real estate investments are not lower than 60 percent of the total amount) are also eligible to apply in the new scheme.
The decision underscores the following points for both categories:
- That the amount invested must wholly come from the applicant, and not through any loan, with sufficiently supporting documents, investment retention for at least three (3) years and a standard financial liability with a financial solvency of not more than AED 10 million.
- The visa may also be extended to business partners, on the condition that each partner contributes AED 10 million, the spouse and children, as well as an adviser and an executive director.
- Investors are also allowed to enter the country within a six-month period, multiple times, for the purpose of committing to the requirements of the long-term visa.
Entrepreneurs classified in any of the two categories specified below may apply for a 5-year residency visa:
- Those involved in a project with a minimum of AED 500,000, or
- Those having the approval of an accredited business incubator in the country.
Grantees under this category may upgrade to the investor’s visa as long as they meet the above set requirements. The entrepreneur visa includes entrepreneurs, partners, three executive directors, spouse and children.
Similar to the investor’s visa, entrepreneurs are allowed to enter the country for a period of 6 months, multiple times, with renewal for another 6 months.
For specialized talents such as doctors, specialists, scientists, artists and the like, a 10-year residency visa may be applied for, provided that they have a valid employment contract in a specialized field of priority in the UAE. The benefits extend to the applicant’s spouse and children.
There are several conditions that apply to this category, such as holding a PhD from any of the top 500 universities in the world, or having published articles or scientific books in “renowned publications” in their field.
Students who have received a grade of at least 95 percent in secondary school, and a GPA of not lower than 3.75 or its equivalent from the university, may apply for a five-year visa. Their families will also be included in the visa grant.