The UAE’s Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) revealed that it received about 6,000 applications from investors and entrepreneurs for long-term residency visas during the first week of its launch.
Earlier this month, the ICA announced that it had begun implementing the decision, which was first announced by the UAE cabinet last year.
Under the scheme, entrepreneurs and their families will be provided with a five-year renewable residency visa.
While the ICA will be in charge of issuing the residency visas, business incubator HUB71 in Abu Dhabi and Dubai Future Foundation’s Area 2071 will nominate entrepreneurs for receiving the benefits.
To be eligible for the visa, entrepreneurs should have a former business that is worth a minimum of Dhs500,000 or which has the approval of an accredited business incubator in the country.
They also have to arrange individual (and family) insurance coverage for the entire period of the residency.
The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship can also grant a five-year visa to three executive directors working for the entrepreneur, provided they commit to working exclusively for the entrepreneur during the period of the visa.
Entrepreneurs will be allowed entry into the country on a six-month multi-entry visa as part of support provided to them to complete procedures to set up their business, the statement added.
Last year, 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).
In January, the government also granted the first batch of long-term visas to 20 scientists who were the winners and finalists of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence.
Those granted the 10-year visas primarily included professors working at Khalifa University and UAE University as well other academics and researchers.