UAE Cabinet approves long-term visas for certain expats, lists conditions
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UAE Cabinet approves long-term visas for certain expats, lists conditions

UAE Cabinet approves long-term visas for certain expats, lists conditions

Long term visas will be granted to investors, entrepreneurs, specialists in the medical, scientific, research and technical fields and outstanding students

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The UAE Cabinet has approved the long-term visa system for expatriates announced by the country earlier this year, while also confirming the criteria that need to be met, official news agency WAM reported.

The UAE announced that it would grant five or 10-year residency visas to investors, entrepreneurs, specialists in the medical, scientific, research and technical fields, and ‘outstanding’ students to “facilitate business and create an attractive and encouraging investment environment” in the country.

The visa benefits also extend to the wider family (spouse and children).

Read: UAE Cabinet approves 10-year visas, will allow 100% foreign ownership by year-end


The decision defines two categories for investors:

* Investors in a property of a value of Dhs5m or more will be granted a residence for five years.

* Those making public investments through a deposit, an established company or a business partnership worth Dhs10m or more, or a total investment of not less than Dhs10m in all the areas mentioned as long as non-real estate investments are not less than 60 per cent of the total investment, will be granted a renewable residency visa every 10 years.

The Cabinet decision outlines the following conditions for both categories:

* The amount invested shall be wholly owned by the investor and not loaned, and should be proven by supporting documents

* Investment retention for at least three years

* A standard financial liability with a financial solvency not exceeding Dhs10m

The long-term visa could also be extended to include business partners (provided that each partner contributes Dhs10m), the spouse and children, as well as one executive director and one advisor.

The decision allows investors to enter the country on a six-month multiple entry visa.


Long-term visas will be granted to two categories of entrepreneurs:

* Those having a previous project with a minimum of Dhs500,000

* Those who have the approval of an accredited business incubator in the country

Entrepreneurs will be granted a five-year visa with a possibility for upgrading to an investor’s visa provided they meet the requirements.

The visa will be extended to partners, three executive directors, spouse and children.

The entrepreneur is allowed entry into the country for six months on a multi-entry visa, with renewal for another six months.

Also read: UAE announces new visa rules for residents, jobseekers and tourists

Specialists and researchers

The Cabinet has approved granting 10-year visas for those with specialised talents and researchers in the fields of science and knowledge including doctors, specialists, scientists, inventors, and creative individuals in the field of culture and art.

The visa will be extended to the spouse and children.

All categories are required to have a valid employment contract in a specialised field considered a priority for the UAE, and the conditions for each category include –

* Doctors and specialists (at least two of the conditions mentioned below must be met)

– Holder of a PhD degree from one of the top 500 universities in the world

– Holder of an award or certificates of appreciation for the work in the applicant’s jurisdiction

– Contribution to a major scientific research related to the work of the applicant

– Published articles or scientific books in distinguished publications in the field of work of the applicant

– Membership in an organisation related to the work of the applicant, which requires excellent work to accept membership

– PhD degree in addition to 10-year professional experience in the applicant’s field of work

– Specialisation in areas of priority to the UAE (additional requirement for doctors)

– Scientists must be accredited by the Emirates Scientists Council

– Holders of the Mohammed bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence

* Creative individuals in culture and art

– They must be accredited by the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development

* Inventors

– They must obtain a patent of value to the UAE’s economy with the approval of the Ministry of Economy

* Exceptional talents

– Those who have exceptional talents that are documented by patents or scientific research published in world-class journals

* Executives

– They must be owners of leading, well-known and internationally recognised companies

– Holders of high academic achievement, professional experience, and position (eg, an engineer in a rare specialty with a university degree and working in a private company in the UAE)

The inclusion of this category aims at maintaining current competencies and attract new competencies, the WAM report stated.

Outstanding students

A five-year visa will be granted to outstanding students with a grade of at least 95 per cent in public and private schools, and a distinction of at least 3.75 GPA upon graduation from universities within and outside the country.

The visa will also be extended to the families of the students.

Also read: UAE’s new visa rules for visitors, students, widows, divorcees take effect on Oct 21

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