Many people aspire to live in the United Arab Emirates, particularly in Dubai. Infinite business opportunities, tax-free earnings, beautiful technologically-advanced living accommodation, superb eateries, sun, sand, and sea – a paradise for many. No wonder expats from all over the world are clamoring to get residency in the UAE, especially with the cost of living and political climates heating up in so many areas.
Naturally, immigration laws are strict and anyone seeking residency has to fulfill certain criteria. However, in 2019 the UAE brought in the Golden Visa system that makes it easier for people to get a permit to move there, plus the security of knowing they have a guaranteed five or ten-year visa that is renewable.
How can you emigrate to Dubai?
Those wishing to emigrate to Dubai have several options available to them:
- Obtain an employment visa
Anyone securing employment from a Dubai-registered company should be able to obtain a three-year visa that can normally be extended on a rolling basis. In this case, the employer acts as the sponsor and applies for the visa on the employee’s behalf.
To begin, the employer must apply for a foreign citizen’s entry visa after submitting its business license and obtaining approval for the hiring of a foreigner. This lasts for two months and gives time for the employment visa application to be made.
- Apply for a family visa
Expats can also act as sponsors for family members, once they’ve obtained their own residential visa. The UAE requires evidence of a monthly income above 3,000 AED ($800) if their accommodation is provided by their employer and over 4,000 AED ($1,090) if living in their own property. This makes the bar to entry low.
The sponsor must also provide their own residence visa when making the application, plus a security deposit payment.
- Get a business visa when opening an onshore company
To qualify for an investment visa, a foreign national must show evidence of sufficient funds that allow them to either make a heavy investment in a Dubai-based company or start a business themselves. This can either be a business where they have a UAE-national as a majority shareholder, or owned entirely by them founded in a UAE free zone. (We recommend IFZA Dubai for this – click here to learn more about how we help people like you emigrate to Dubai with the formation of a company in a free zone.)
- You can purchase property
To get residency through the investment program, the minimum investment in real estate is 1 million AED ($272,250). This has to be the purchase value and the property must be residential. Further, the authorities will need proof of an income of a minimum of 10,000 AED ($2,720) per month.
- You can apply for a Golden Visa
We’ll dive into what this entails below.
What is a Golden Visa?
The Golden Visa program was designed to allow foreign nationals to live, work, and study in the UAE – without the need for a national sponsor. It also allows holders to own 100% of a business based in the Emirates.
A Golden Visa is issued for a ten-year period which in normal circumstances can be renewed one or more times. Other forms of residency visas are generally for much shorter periods – commonly two to three years.
This visa is not to be confused with citizenship. Emirati citizenship is usually only granted to people nominated by officials of the government or royal court. Generally, for a foreigner to be considered for this privilege, requires residency for at least 30 years. The exceptions are children born to foreign nationals in the UAE are automatically given citizenship and women married to UAE citizens can apply after just three years.
Who can get a Golden Visa?
Applicants are drawn from certain groups, in particular:
- Business owners
- Scientific researchers and inventors
- Medical professionals
- Students with remarkable talents
- Creative people involved with culture and the arts
Investors will need to show that they are willing to invest 10 million AED ($2.7 million), either in a UAE-based investment fund, a new company, partnering with an existing business, or a combination of those (though not more than 40% can be in real estate).
Specialists in all fields will also need to prove they have an employment contract in that area located in the UAE.
Golden Visas can be granted to students who have shown beyond average aptitude in their education. For instance, pupils from private or public schools that have achieved 95% or more in their high school certificate, and university students who have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.75 or beyond. Student visas last five years and are technically called UAE Green Residence visas, though they otherwise conform to the Golden Visa program.
Doctors and specialists who wish to apply for a Golden Visa have to have a Ph.D. from one of the top 500 universities and have been working in their field of expertise for at least 10 years. They should also be recognized by their peers, have published important papers, and be able to contribute to priority areas in the UAE.
Coders need to have shown a high level of ingenuity and have worked within leading tech companies. Particularly in the fields of information technology, artificial intelligence, healthcare, engineering, education, social sciences, and similar.
The Golden Visa program welcomes applications from professionals of all types. It is designed to encourage highly skilled workers in many fields – healthcare, business, education, engineering, and science. As in other cases, applicants will need to demonstrate a high level of expertise in their particular specialty. A good degree and a monthly income of 30,000 AED ($8,150) are more or less mandatory.
Anyone who owns properties outright in the UAE valued in excess of 2 million AED ($545,000) can apply for a five-year Golden Visa.
Retired foreign nationals who are 55 years old or more can apply provided they have an investment portfolio of 1 million AED ($272,250) or greater and a monthly income of at least 15,000 AED.
Entrepreneurs can also apply for a five-year Golden Visa so long as they own or are partners in a company that has an annual revenue of 1 million AED ($272,250) or more, or have previously sold a company they founded or helped to found for more than 7 million AED ($1.9 million).
In all cases, successful Golden Visa applications allow their spouse and children to also apply and get a visa.
How we can help you?
Application for a Golden Visa is made through the UAE’s Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship website. First, you apply to be nominated, and you should receive confirmation within 30 days. This allows you to upload the appropriate documents after which you should be granted your visa within a few weeks.
If applying from outside the UAE, you will first be given a six-month visa – that allows you to settle in Dubai and gives you the time to qualify for the Golden Visa.
The cost involved depends on the details of the visa, but from within the UAE, you should expect it to cost between 2,800 and 3,800 AED ($760 – $1000), while from outside, it is around 1000 AED ($270) more expensive.
A Golden Visa provides many benefits:
- Discounts on cars, property, healthcare, hospitality, and insurance
- Reduced mortgage rates in some instances
- Special offers on restaurants, gym membership, hospitality, and more
- Reduced cost of health insurance
- The security of a long-term visa
The application process is straightforward but complex. That is where Global Success Consulting can help. We take over the heavy lifting and allow you to get on with your busy life. The benefits of a Golden Visa for investors are particularly exciting. We can help take care of all the paperwork and with the relationships we have built up over time, can make the whole process painless for you.
Global Success Consulting can assist you with not just the visa but guide you through the purchase of real estate, and selection of banks, and provide all the services you need for the successful immigration to Dubai of yourself and your family.
Don’t leave anything to chance with your move. Trust the experts who have the most experience and the best connections to provide you with the best service. Click here to learn more or to contact us today.