Investment Citizenship

UAE Citizenship by Investment: The Definitive Guide 2021

Updated: 13 October 2021

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.

What You Will Find in This Article

Brief summary: Citizenship by Investment UAE

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. 

The United Arab Emirates aims to attract special talent, 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”. 

Eligibility for UAE Citizenship by Investment or Talent

UAE long-term residence visa is available under two time-frames: 10-year and 5-year.

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.

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.

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 which 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 researches that have 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.

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

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. 

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 for You and Your Family

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 an UAE citizen.

Visa-Free Access to 167 Countries 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:

Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Eswatini, Fiji, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, São Tomé and Príncipe, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tonga, Tunisia, Ukraine, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Vatican City, Kosovo, Northern Cyprus, Palestine, South Ossetia, and Transnistria.

Tax Consequences of Citizenship in the UAE

The United Arab Emirates has one of the most attractive tax schemes in the world.

No income tax is collected from individuals, and filing a tax return is not required. Furthermore, foreign income from outside the UAE is not taxed by the UAE. It doesn’t get much better than that.

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.

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 is 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 $250,000 and obtain a Turkish passport.  It’s one of the quickest citizenship by investment schemes in the world and doesn’t involve donations.

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