His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has launched the 'Golden Card' scheme to grant permanent residency benefits to investors, entrepreneurs, specialised talents, researchers, and outstanding students. The first batch of Golden Card permanent residence holders will be 6,800 investors whose investments total Dh100 billion

The Golden Card offers unprecedented benefits to the cardholders and their families while creating an attractive environment for business and growth. The UAE Cabinet's decision to enforce a Gold Card for permanent residency, now allows expats to look at Dubai as a home rather than a temporary plan.

It previously pledged to open up the visa system to allow five and 10-year visas for sought-after professionals and academics and for long-term investors.

The permanent residency programme set out goes one step further than that and is closer to the Green Card system offered by the United States


The newly implemented long-term UAE resident visa for expatriates is aiming to strengthen the historical symbiosis between the UAE and its expatriate population. However, this is restricted to five new job categories such as investors, entrepreneurs, researchers, specialised professionals, creative talents of culture and arts and outstanding students.

The new system will allow expatriates to live, work and/or invest and study in the UAE without having a national sponsor, and with 100 per cent ownership of their businesses in the UAE.

The long-term residency visas for expatriates from five selected categories has come into force, enabling them to stay in the UAE for up to 10 years, implementing the UAE Cabinet Decision No. 56 for the year 2018. It allows long-term stay in the country to investors, real estate investors, entrepreneurs, talented people like doctors, researchers, innovators and outstanding students.

Applicants under all the above-mentioned five categories will be granted a renewable residency visa and are permitted to sponsor their spouses and children.


There will be two categories for investors: those purchasing property worth Dhs5 million or more will be granted residency for five years. Those involved in public investments through a deposit, an established company, a business partnership of Dhs10 million or more, or a total investment of at least Dhs10 million (as long as real estate makes up no more than 40 per cent of the total investment) will be granted a renewable residence visa every 10 years.

The decision also allows investors to enter the country for a six-month period, with multiple entry, while they are in the process of applying for their long-term visa. The visa can also be extended to include business partners (as long as each partner contributes Dhs10 Million), spouses and children, as well as one executive director and one advisor.


Entrepreneurs who have a prior project worth a minimum of Dhs500,000, or those who have the approval of an accredited business incubator in the country will be granted a five-year visa with the possibility of upgrading to an investor's visa.

Entrepreneurs will also be allowed to enter the country for six months, with multiple entry, with renewal for another six months. The entrepreneurial visa can include partners and up to three executive directors, as well as spouses and children.


Specialists and researchers in medicine, science, and other fields, as well as creatives in culture and art, will have the opportunity to apply for a 10-year visa. The visa will include spouses and children.

Applicants will be required to have a valid employment contract in a field of priority for the UAE. There will be a number of further requirements they will need to meet, such as holding a PhD from one of the top 500 universities in the world, or having published articles or scientific books in "distinguished publications" in their field.


Students who earned a grade of at least 95 per cent in secondary school, and a GPA of at least 3.75 upon graduation from university will be eligible for a five-year visa. Their families will also be included on the visa.


The authorities has announced that the 5 year long term visa, which will be issued for AED 650 (AED 150 for application and AED 500 for issuance)


The long-term UAE residence visa with 10 years validity will be stamped on your passport for AED 1,150 (AED 150 for application and AED 1000 for issuance)

We are happy to offer our expertise on UAE resident visa, setting up Offshore Company, Free Zone Company, Onshore Company (Limited Liability Company & Professional License Company), Branch Company, Representative Company, Re-domiciliation of Companies in UAE.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.