Moving to Dubai: How to Get a UAE Golden Visa

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In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), immigrants make up an estimated 88.1% of the population, and many of them live in major cities like Dubai. If you’re considering making Dubai your home, a residence visa is typically required. However, there are several types of residence visas, and some make living in Dubai long-term easier than others — particularly the golden visa. If you’re wondering what the UAE golden visa is, who should get one, and how it helps, here’s what you need to know.

What Is a UAE Golden Visa?

According to the UAE government website, the golden visa program is a specific type of long-term residence visa that’s valid for up to 10 years. It’s available to foreign talents – such as entrepreneurs, investors, and specific outstanding students, graduates, or professionals – and allows them to live, work, and study in the country while receiving some exclusive benefits.

Some of the exclusive benefits include:

  • No sponsorship required
  • The ability to stay outside of the UAE for longer than the usual six-month period
  • Family member sponsorship capabilities
  • Ability to apply for health insurance

In Dubai, there are also some additional benefits. For example, immigrants from the U.S. with a valid driver’s license are automatically eligible for a UAE license.

Golden visas are renewable, allowing the recipient to renew the visa to remain in Dubai, suggesting they meet the renewal criteria.

Who Should Get a UAE Golden Visa?

Generally, it’s worth applying for a UAE golden visa if a person meets the eligibility requirements and is planning on staying in the UAE for an extended period. Along with additional benefits, the golden visa has one of the longest validity periods, limiting the need for renewal.

The golden visa requirements in the UAE do vary. There are separate rules for investors, entrepreneurs, specialized talent (doctors, scientists, engineers, and others), students, humanitarian pioneers, and frontline heroes. As a result, it’s wise to examine the categories to determine which is the best fit and review the eligibility requirements from there. There’s also a web portal that can help aspiring immigrants assess their eligibility.

How a UAE Golden Visa Helps With Dubai Residency

With a UAE golden visa, remaining a resident of Dubai is far easier. While they don’t automatically allow a person to remain in Dubai permanently without renewals, golden visas are designed for long-term stays. Additionally, golden visa holders do get specific rights — like the ability to work and buy property — which helps immigrants reside in Dubai with fewer challenges.

What Does the Application Process Look Like?

Generally, the application process for a UAE golden visa is straightforward, and most people can complete it online using the government platform. Applicants begin by requesting nomination, providing personal details, and selecting the application category that seems like the best fit.

At that point, applicants need to provide supporting documentation, such as passports, related travel documents, proof of investment, professional credentials, academic transcripts, or anything else that’s requested to show eligibility. Then, applicants review their applications, pay the associated fee with a credit card, and formally submit the request.

Processing times can vary, but it’s common to get a response within 30 days. If approved, additional instructions are set to complete the visa process, and the visa becomes available once those steps are handled.