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Investment Citizenship

UAE Golden Visa Ultimate Guide: UAE Citizenship by Investment

Updated: 25 July 2022

In February 2021, the United Arab Emirates made significant changes to the UAE citizenship law. The government will allow qualifying investors and people with special talents to be naturalized, along with their families.

In this article, we’ll answer your questions on how to get UAE citizenship and check out the requirements.

What You Will Find in This Article

Brief Summary: UAE Citizenship by Investment and Talent

UAE citizenship by investment was announced in 2021. It’s a major change to the GCC tradition of never granting citizenship, but only granting residence permits and visas to foreign nationals.  Since its introduction, the scheme has been welcomed by many investors and talents who are wondering how to get Dubai citizenship

The United Arab Emirates aims to attract special talents, as well as investors that can contribute to the UAE economy.  The UAE cabinet, executive councils, and local courts will be the authorities to nominate eligibility for UAE citizenship.

Vice-President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum stated that the law has been amended to “aim to attract talents that contribute to their development journey”. 

What Is UAE Golden Visa?

UAE Golden Visa, which is also known as Dubai Golden Visa, is a long-term residency visa that allows investors and talented foreigners to live, work, and/or study in the country.

The benefits of Golden Visa UAE include but are not limited to the following:

  • Dubai Golden Visa is a self-sponsored visa since no sponsorship from an employer is required
  • With Golden Visa UAE, you’re able to extend your stay outside the UAE beyond the typical six-month limit in order to maintain the validity of your residence visa
  • You’re able to include your spouse and children, regardless of their ages

Who Is the Golden Visa UAE for?

UAE Golden Visas target various types of individuals who want to get residency in the UAE, including:

  • Investors
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Exceptional talents
  • Scientists and professionals
  • Outstanding students and graduates
  • Humanitarian pioneers
  • Frontline heroes

In the following section, you can find the information regarding the eligibility criteria for Dubai Golden Visa.

Eligibility for UAE Citizenship by Investment or Talent

UAE long-term residence visa is available under two time-frames: 10-year and 5-year. See the below table for eligible categories for UAE Golden Visas.

UAE Golden Visa Category
InvestorsPublic investment
Real estate investment
EntrepreneursOwner of a registered startup
Approved idea of a startup
Founder of a startup that was sold outside or inside the UAE
Exceptional talentsCulture & Art
Inventors & Innovators
Sports
Digital technology
Scientists & ProfessionalsScientists
Chief Executives & Senior Officials
Science Professionals
Engineering Professionals
Health Professionals
Education Professionals
Business and Administration Professionals
Information Technology Professionals
Legal, Social, and Cultural Professionals
Outstanding Students & GraduatesBest performing secondary school students
Best graduates from UAE universities
Graduates of the best 100 universities worldwide
Humanitarian Pioneers Renowned members of international and regional organizations and associations of public benefit
Recipients of awards in humanitarian fields
Volunteers and sponsors of humanitarian efforts
Frontline HeroesFrontline workers that show extraordinary efforts in crises, such as pandemics

Eligibility for a 10-Year UAE Residence Visa

A 10-year UAE visa is available for investors and special talents. We’ve explained them separately in the below sections.

1. 10-Year UAE Residence Visa for Investors

If you’d like to make an application as an investor, you’re ready to make a public investment of at least AED10 million.

Investment Methods

  • A minimum deposit of AED10 million in a local investment fund
  • Forming a business with a minimum capital of AED10 million in the UAE
  • Making a partnership with an existing or a new company with a share value of a minimum of AED10 million
  • Making an investment of a minimum of AED10 million in all methods mentioned above; the condition is that the investment in sectors other than real estate is not less than 60 percent of the total investment.

Requirements

  • You’re required to prove that you have sufficient funds and aren’t getting a loan to make the investment
  • You commit to keep keep the investment for a minimum of three years
  • You have financial competence of up to AED10 million

Your visa can be extended to include your business partners. The condition is that if each partner contributes AED10 million.

Family Members and Colleagues

UAE long-term visa can include your spouse and children. You can also extend your visa to one executive director and one advisor. International investors are also eligible to apply for a multiple-entry permit for a six-month period.

2. 10-Year UAE Residence Visa for Special Talents

Specialists and researchers in the disciplines of science and knowledge, such as doctors, scientists, and inventors, as well as creative individuals in the fields of culture and art, are eligible. The spouse and children are also eligible. A legitimate job contract in a specialized field of priority in the UAE is required for all categories.

Requirements

  • If you’re a scientist, you’re required to be accredited by the Emirates Scientists Council. Accreditation from the holders of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence is accepted too
  • If you’re a creative person in culture and art, you’re required to be accredited by the Ministry of Culture and Youth
  • If you’re an investor, you’re required to get a patent of value that adds to the country’s economy. Also, note that patents are to be approved by the Ministry of Economy.
  • If you’re an exceptional talent, you need to submit patents or your scientific research that has been published in a world-class journal
  • If you’re an executive, you must own an internationally recognized company, or you must hold a high academic achievement
  • If you’re a doctor or a specialist, you need to meet at least two conditions we’ve listed below:
    →Hold a Ph.D. degree from the world’s top 500 universities
    →Have an award or certificates of appreciation
    →Have contributed to major scientific research
    →Have published articles or books
    →Be a member of an organization in your field
    →Have 10-year professional experience
    →Be specialized in areas of priority to the UAE

Eligibility for a 5-year UAE Residence Visa

A 5-year UAE visa is available for investors, entrepreneurs, and outstanding students. We’ve explained them separately in the below sections.

1. 5-Year UAE Residence Visa for Investors

If you’d like to make an application as an investor, you’re ready to make a property investment. The gross value of the property is required to be a minimum of AED5 million.

Requirements

  • You’re required to keep the property for at least three years
  • You’re not allowed to take a loan to make the investment

2. 5-Year UAE Residence Visa for Entrepreneurs

If you’re an entrepreneur with an existing project with a capital of  AED500,000 or have been approved by an accredited business incubator in the UAE, you might be eligible. You can extend your visa to your spouse, children, partner, and three executives.

Under this category, you’re going to be granted a multi-entry visa for six months, which is renewable for another six months. 

3. 5-Year UAE Residence Visa for Students

If you’re an outstanding student, you can be eligible for this scheme.

Requirements

The requirement is that you’ve got a minimum grade of 95 percent in public and private secondary schools. University students, within UAE and from outside, can be eligible too if they have a distinction GPA of at least 3.75 upon graduation.

You can extend your visa to your family. 

Benefits of the UAE Citizenship by Investment

You might be unaware, but there are many benefits of United Arab Emirates citizenship. We’ve listed some of the main benefits below:

Live, Work, and Study in the UAE

The UAE citizenship gives you and your family the right to live, work, and study in the Emirates. 

Family Reunification

As an applicant, you’re allowed to add your spouse and children to the program. 

Register Assets without Restrictions

The United Arab Emirates allows you to register your assets without the restrictions that are faced by foreigners and expats.

Open Bank Accounts and Establish Companies in the UAE

As in any country, there is a lot of red tape and bureaucracy for foreigners to open a bank account or start a company in the UAE.  This is not the case for UAE citizens, it becomes a straightforward process. You can easily do these when you become a UAE citizen.

Visa-Free Travel With a UAE Passport

A United Arab Emirates passport will get you into these countries, including the European Schengen states, without the need for a visa:

AlbaniaAndorraAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaAustria
BarbadosBelarusBelgiumBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBrazil
BahamasBruneiColombiaDominican RepublicFinlandGuatemala
BulgariaBurkina FasoCanadaChadChileChina
Costa RicaCroatiaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDominica
EcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEstoniaEswatiniFiji
FranceGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGreeceGrenada
HaitiHondurasHungaryIcelandIndonesiaIreland
JapanJordanKazakhstanSouth KoreaKyrgyzstanLatvia
ItalyLebanonMaltaMoroccoPhilippinesSan Marino
LiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacedoniaMalaysiaMali
MauritiusMexicoMicronesiaMoldovaMonacoMontenegro
NauruNetherlandsNew ZealandNicaraguaNorwayPanama
PolandPortugalRomaniaSaint Kitts & NevisSaint LuciaSaint Vincent & the Grenadines
São Tomé and PríncipeSerbiaSeychellesSingaporeSlovakiaSlovenia
Solomon IslandsTunisiaPalestineSpainSudanSweden
UkraineUruguaySwedenSwitzerlandThailandTonga
VanuatuVatican CityKosovoNorthern Cyprus

How To Apply for Golden Visa UAE 

Note that the application process for UAE Golden Visas is very straightforward and simple. 

Step 1. Get Your Entry Visa to the UAE

If you need a visa to enter the UAE, you can get an entry visa before you submit your official application. Your application will be examined by the authority, and if approved, you will be issued a multiple-entry visa good for six months.

Step 2. Complete Your Investment

Complete your investment before submitting your application with all required supporting documentation. 

Step 3. Start Your Application

Once you complete your investment, you can start your application. The application can either be made in Abu Dhabi or Dubai. You can also start your application online through the designated portal.

After you complete this process, you’ll receive a text message and an email regarding the status of your application. 

If there required documents are missing from the application, you’ll be given 30 days to provide them; otherwise, your application will be canceled.

In case there are no missing documents in the application, you’ll be notified of the approval and the approved application will be sent by e-mail.

Golden Visa UAE Fees

UAE Golden Visas fees differ depending on the type of service and visa category that you’ve chosen to use.

  • If you’re making your application from the UAE the costs will range from AED2,800 to AED3,800
  • The fee for those who apply from outside of the UAE ranges from AED3,800 to AED4,800.

Golden Visa UAE Validity

Holders of the UAE Golden Visa are free to stay outside the country for as long as necessary without fear of losing their residency. This means you don’t have to live in UAE to maintain your residence permit.

Tax Consequences of UAE Citizenship

One of the main reasons why many expats choose to live in the United Arab Emirates is the country’s tax structure, or rather, the lack of taxes. Employees do not pay income tax, and there is no system for corporation or inheritance taxes, among other things.

The UAE does not impose an income tax. Therefore, as there is no applicable individual tax in the UAE, there is no requirement for an income tax return. The same rules also apply to UAE residents who are independent contractors and self-employed.

More than 130 countries have double tax treaties with the United Arab Emirates. These countries include the following:

AlgeriaArmeniaAustriaAzerbaijanBelarus
BelgiumBosnia and HerzegovinaBulgariaCanadaChina
Czech RepublicEgyptEstoniaFinlandFrance
GeorgiaGermanyIndiaIndonesiaIreland
ItalyKazakhstanRepublic of KoreaLatviaLebanon
LuxembourgMalaysiaMaltaMauritiusMontenegro
MoroccoMozambique The NetherlandsNew ZealandPakistan
PanamaPhilippinesPolandPortugalRomania
SerbiaSeychellesSingaporeSpainSri Lanka
SudanSwitzerlandSyriaTajikistanThailand
TunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanUkraineUzbekistan
VenezuelaVietnamYemen

Inheritance Tax

There is no inheritance tax system. But in the absence of a will, inheritance is handled in accordance with Islamic Shari’a law.

Capital Gains Tax

Unless they are obtained from sales of a corporation that is required to pay income tax or banking tax, capital gains are generally exempt from taxation in the United Arab Emirates.

Dual Citizenship UAE

According to the new citizenship law in the UAE, those who are granted UAE citizenship will be allowed to keep their existing citizenship.  Accordingly, the UAE allows for dual citizenship, you just need to check with your country of origin.

Eligibility Conditions for the UAE Citizenship by Investment or Talent

The requirements for each nomination category are listed below:

  • If you’re an investor, you must own a property in the UAE.
  • If you’re a doctor or specialist, you must specialize in a scientific field with significant demand in the UAE, have recognized scientific achievements, and have at least 10 years of practical experience. Also, you must be a member of an organization with a solid reputation in the area of specialization.
  • If you’re a scientist, you must be engaged in research, whether it is at a university, a research facility, or a private company. Also, you must have at least 10 years of relevant experience in the field and must have made contributions. Additionally, you need a letter of recommendation from a UAE-based scientific organization.
  • In you’re an inventor, you must have a patent that has been authorized by the UAE Ministry of Economy (MoE) or another respected international organization, and an inventor must possess one or more of these patents. Additionally, a letter of recommendation from the MoE is required.
  • If you’re an intellectual, you’re required to have made significant contributions to the fields of art and culture and must have received at least one major international honor. 

If you’re eligible, you’ll also need to take the UAE oath of allegiance. You’ll also commit to abide by the country’s laws.

Get Golden Visa: Who We Are and How We Can Help You

Get Golden Visa is a full-service investment immigration agency.  We provide end-to-end solutions on residence and citizenship by investment programs in numerous countries worldwide.

We have legal professionals, as well as licensed real estate professionals within our team.

We work with clients from all around the world, interested in obtaining Citizenship by Investment or in making real estate investments across many geographies.

Contact us and talk to one of our experienced team members to help you with any and all your questions.

Alternatives to Golden Visa UAE

Many European countries have their respective citizenship or residency programs. 

See below some of the most renowned Residency or Citizenship by Investment programs are:

Portugal Golden Visa

The Portuguese Golden Visa program allows you to make a qualifying investment in Portugal, in exchange for a resident permit.  The program allows you and your families to live and work in Portugal and travel across Schengen countries without a visa.  At the end of five years, you become eligible for citizenship in Portugal.

Spain Golden Visa

The Spain Golden visa was launched in 2013.  In exchange for a qualifying investment in Spain, you and your family get the right to live and work in Spain, and travel visa-free across Schengen countries.

Greece Golden Visa

The Greece Golden Visa program is one of the most popular as well as an affordable one. All EU and non-EU residents can apply for the permanent residency program in Greece and benefit from the living and traveling rights it offers.

Malta Citizenship by Investment 

The Maltese citizenship by investment program was renewed in 2021. It is easy to get a European passport through investment in Malta.

Lastly, wherever you apply, make sure to hire personal legal assistance to guide you through the process. Moreover, refer to Get Golden Visa for more valuable information.

Good luck in advance with acquiring your second citizenship.

Turkey Citizenship by Investment 

Turkey citizenship by investment program allows investors to invest in a real estate property in Turkey worth above $400,000 and obtain a Turkish passport.  It’s one of the quickest citizenship by investment schemes in the world and doesn’t involve donations.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dubai Citizenship by Investment

What is UAE Golden Visa?

UAE Golden Visa which is also known as Dubai Golden Visa is a program that offers residency that leads to citizenship. It aims at investors, special talents, and successful students.

What are UAE Golden Visa requirements?

Golden Visa UAE application requirements differ depending on your profile. If you’re an investor the minimum investment amount for a 5-year residence permit is AED5 million. If you’re under the special talent category, the requirements range from accreditation to certificates.

Can I buy Dubai citizenship?

Buying citizenship directly isn’t possible. However, you can opt to buy property in UAE as an investor which can lead to citizenship. Some professions can also become eligible if they can prove their qualifications. Additionally, you must swear allegiance to the UAE.

 

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