Considering the unification of the UAE’s seven emirates 42 years ago, the UAE has made its imprint as the world leading tourism destination for leisure and business travelers; Grateful to the continuous major infrastructure developments not only helped put the UAE on the map but helped serve these markets.
To preserve its norm, the UAE Cabinet has approved earlier this year the long-term visa system for key professional workers to live in the UAE to facilitate business and create an attractive and encouraging investment environment in the country.
The favoured expatriates are investors, entrepreneurs, specialized talents, researchers - extending the benefits to their spouses and children. Good news eh?
Unlike the existing long term visa, this new visa system is remarkable as "10 years residence visa" for investors, specialized talents(medical professionals) and "5 years residence visa" for outstanding students and entrepreneurs.
Prior to obtaining these long-term visas for all the above-mentioned categories as well as outstanding students, the criteria that need to be met are listed below:
A. INVESTORS (10-year visa, two categories)
1. Investors with a property value of Dh5 million or more will be granted a residence for 5 years.
2. Investors in public investments through a deposit, an established company, business partnership of Dh10 million or more, or a total investment of not less than Dh10 million in all areas mentioned as long as non-real estate investments ( not less than 60 percent of the total investment) will be granted a renewable 10 years residency visa.
Conditions (both categories):
a. The amount invested shall be wholly owned by the investor and not loaned and should be proven by supporting documents.
b. Investment retention for at least three years.
c. A standard financial liability with financial solvency not exceeding Dh10 million.
d. The long-term visa could also be extended to include business partners, provided that each partner contributes Dh10 million, the spouse and the children, as well as one executive director and one advisor.
However, this decision allows investors to enter the country for a six-month period, multiple entries, to apply for the long-term visa requirements.
B. OUTSTANDING STUDENTS
Term: A 5-year visa to outstanding students including the families
a. A grade of at least 95 percent in public secondary schools both public and private schools
b. A distinction of at least 3.75 GPA upon graduation from universities within and outside the country
Term: A 5-year visa with a possibility for upgrading from entrepreneur to an investor's visa provided they meet the requirements. This also includes the terms to grant a long-term visa to two categories of entrepreneurs
1. having a previous project with a minimum of Dh500,000
2. having the approval of an accredited business incubator in the country.
The benefits of the entrepreneurial visa include entrepreneurs, partners, three executive directors, spouse, and children. The entrepreneur is allowed enter into the country for six months, multi-entry visa period, with renewal for another six months.
D. SPECIALISED TALENTS (10-year visa)
Term: provisions for granting a 10-year visa for specialized talents and researchers in the fields of science and knowledge for doctors, specialists, scientists, inventors. As well as creative individuals in the field of culture and art. The visa's advantages include the spouse and the children.
All categories are required to have a valid employment contract in a specialized in fields of priority for the UAE,
Conditions for each category are defined as follows:
- To be accredited by the Emirates Scientists Council
- Holders of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence.
>Creative individuals in culture and art
- Accredited by the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development
- Obtain a patent of value added to UAE's economy with the approval of the Ministry of Economy
- Those who have exceptional talents that are documented by patents or scientific research published in world-class journals
- Owners of leading, well-known and internationally recognized companies
- Holders of high academic achievement, professional experience, and position (Example, 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 criterion for doctors and specialists
Requires at least 2 of the conditions mentioned below:
1. A holder of a Ph.D. degree from one of the top 500 universities in the world
2. A holder of an award or certificates of appreciation for the work in the applicant's jurisdiction
3. Contribution to major scientific research related to the work of the applicant
4. Published articles or scientific books in distinguished publications in the field of work of the applicant
5. Membership in an organization related to the work of the applicant, which requires excellent work to accept membership
6. A Ph.D. degree in addition to 10-year professional experience in the applicant's field of work.
7. Specialization in areas of priority to the UAE (additional requirement for the doctor)
This new accord attracts talents in all vital sectors of the national economy to stay longer in order to make the UAE competitive as it tries to shift to a knowledge-based economy and away from a reliance on the oil and gas sector.