The UAE has recently launched a permanent residency scheme for investors and exceptional doctors, engineers, scientists, and artists called the "Golden Card".

Earlier this year, the UAE Cabinet enforced Cabinet Decree No. 56 of 2018 regarding the Organization of Residence Permits for Investors, Entrepreneurs and people with specialized talents. The legal framework of this new law empowered the immigration authorities to issue long-term residence visas to foreigners who invest and add value to the Emirati economy.

The new system enables foreigners to live, work and study in the UAE without the need of a national sponsor and with 100 percent ownership of their business in the UAE's mainland. These visas will be issued for 5 or 10 years and will be renewed automatically.

To obtain the visa, applicants will have to go through an adjudication process whereby the final decision is made by a designated committee of highly recognized Emirati professionals.

Accordingly, the categories for long-term residence visa are as follows:

Category Requirements Residency 6-month multiple entry visa?
Investors Public investments worth AED 10 Million (with full ownership) with at least 60% non-real estate investments. 10-year renewable- Extended to: (Spouse, Children, 1 Executive Director, and 1 Advisor) YES
Real-Estate Investors Real Estate investments worth at least AED 5 Million with full ownership and proof of reservation of rights of investments for at least 3 years. 5-year- Extended to: (Spouse, Children, 1 Executive Director and 1 Advisor) YES
Entrepreneurs Previous project with a minimum of AED 500,000/- or approval of an accredited business incubator in the UAE. 5-year visa- with the possibility of upgrading to an Investor's visa- Extended to:(Partners, 3 Executive Directors, Spouse, and Children) YES, with renewal for another 6 months
Specialized Talents Specialized talents and researchers in a priority field of science and knowledge with a valid employment contract (e.g. scientists, inventors, creative individuals) 10-year renewable- Extended to: (Spouse and Children) NO
Doctors and Specialists Ph.D. degree from the top 500 universities in the world, minimum 10-year professional experience, awards and/or significantly contributed to the field of science. 10-year renewable- Extended to: (Spouse and Children) NO
Executives Own well known and internationally recognized companies, with high academic achievement and recognized the professional experience 10-year renewable- Extended to: (Spouse and Children) NO
Outstanding Students International students with at least 95% in secondary school and minimum of 3.75 GOA from any university 5-year renewable Extended to: (Their families) NO

How Can TLG Help?

The TLG Corporate Division would be pleased to discuss and assess the applicability of the long-term/permanent residence visa to the specific circumstances of the applicant and would be glad to assist and support in the application and registration process at the respective authorities.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.