UAE golden visa

UAE golden visa: how to apply?

The UAE golden visa is one of the most sought-after documents in town right now.

Essentially, it’s your ticket to a ten-year residency in Dubai – and it’s not as hard to get your hands on as you might think.

Until now, the visa has been given to residents who have made outstanding contributions to the country, are highly skilled in certain fields, or work in key industries.

The UAE golden visa is one of the most sought-after documents in town right now.

Essentially, it’s your ticket to a ten-year residency in Dubai – and it’s not as hard to get your hands on as you might think.

Until now, the visa has been given to residents who have made outstanding contributions to the country, are highly skilled in certain fields, or work in key industries.

What is a UAE golden visa?

In 2019, ten-year UAE golden visas were announced for select residents. Exactly as it sounds, if you have a UAE golden visa, you have residency in the UAE for 10 years. This residency is not tied to a particular employer and doesn’t need to be renewed every two to three years. Result.

UAE golden visas enable expats to live, work and study in the UAE without the need for a national sponsor and with 100 percent ownership of their business on the UAE’s mainland.

UAE golden visa

Who can apply for the golden visa?

Under the recent changes to the UAE Residence and Entry Scheme, more individuals can now apply for a golden residence visa. Hurrah!

From October 3, people falling into these categories can apply: investors, entrepreneurs, exceptional talents, scientists and professionals, outstanding students and graduates, humanitarian pioneers and frontline heroes.

More information on each category is below:


Are you a home owner in the UAE? Real estate investors can obtain the UAE golden visa if they purchase a property or off-plan deal worth at least Dhs2million.


It is possible for real estate entrepreneurs to apply for and obtain a UAE golden visa once one or more of the following three conditions are fulfilled:

  • The applicant must be a partner or own a start-up company registered as a small and medium enterprise (SME) within the UAE. The company must generate annual revenues of no less than Dhs 1 million.
  • The entrepreneur must have founded an entrepreneurial project that was sold for more than Dhs 7 million.
  • The applicant has approval for a start-up from an official business incubator.
Exceptional talents

People with exceptional talents, such as inventors, innovators, and talents in vital fields such as culture, art, sports and digital technology can apply for and obtain a UAE golden visa regardless of their educational qualification, employment status, monthly salary or professional level.

The visa requires a recommendation or approval from a federal or local government entity.


Scientists and researchers with high achievements and influence in their field can apply for a golden visa should they receive a recommendation from the Emirates Scientists Council.

In this category, potential golden visa candidates should have a PhD or a Master’s Degree in the areas of engineering, technology, life sciences and natural sciences from the best universities in the world, as well as substantial research achievements.


Professionals or highly-skilled workers with high educational qualifications and professional experience can also apply for the golden visa. This category applies across many disciplines, such as medicine, science and engineering, information technology, business and administration, education, law, culture and social sciences.

The application is subject to having an employment contract in the UAE, and classification in the first or second occupational level as per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. The applicant must also hold a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree and their salary must be Dhs30,000 (per month) or above.

Outstanding students and graduates

Outstanding and high achievers in the UAE’s secondary school system, as well as outstanding graduates from the UAE’s universities, are eligible to apply. This also extends to high achievers graduating from the best 100 universities worldwide.

There several stipulations including; academic performance/cumulative grade average, year of graduation and the university classification.

Students from top universities worldwide with a GPA of 3.8 and above are eligible to apply for the golden visa. High school students who have obtained an average rate of at least 95 per cent in the high school certificate from public or private schools are also eligible. Those students’ families will also be included in the visa.

Humanitarian pioneers

Humanitarian pioneers are able to apply for the UAE golden visa. Humanitarian pioneers are counted as distinguished members of international or regional charitable organisations, or those who are members of associations of public benefit.

Recipients of awards in the humanitarian and charitable sectors are also eligible and recognised volunteers who help with humanitarian, crisis and charitable efforts.

Front line heroes

Healthcare staff and any other frontline workers helping in extraordinary circumstances such as the COVID-19 pandemic may also apply for the UAE golden visa.

How do I apply for a UAE golden visa?

Do you fall into one of the above categories? Congratulations – you could be on your way to getting a UAE golden visa.

Still unsure about how you might fit into these categories? The easiest way to find out if you might be eligible to apply is to use this UAE government eligibility tool.

Then, head to the golden services section on the same website to request a nomination.

What benefits and perks do I get with the golden visa?

It’s not just a ten-year residency that you’ll benefit from with a golden visa.

There are a number of benefits and perks that aren’t currently available to holders of the standard UAE residency visa.

In total, the benefits include:

1.Extended residency rights

Anyone with a golden residency for themselves and their dependent has a UAE residents visa for up to ten years, while a standard residency visa requires renewal every two to three years.

2.Self-sponsored work or stay

UAE golden visa holders can remain living, working and studying in the country for the entirety of their visa, with or without gaining local or other employment. The holder can work for themselves, or another company (local or otherwise) without the need for individual sponsorship. Unlike the standard residency visa, the UAE golden visa permits holders to remain in the country long-term without employment.

3.Ability to sponsor dependents and unlimited domestic helpers

The UAE golden visa allows for the individual holder to sponsor their family members, including spouse and children (regardless of dependents’ age).

Should the main holder of the UAE golden visa pass away during the term of the ten-year visa, their family members are allowed to remain on said UAE golden visa residency until the time of natural conclusion of the visa.

Holders of this visa type may also employ and support an unlimited number of domestic helpers. The UAE golden visa does not limit the number of employed and sponsored support.

4.Extended time outside the UAE

It’s possible for UAE golden visa holders to spend extended periods of time outside the UAE without impacting their eligibility or the validity of the visa.

On the standard residents’ visa, your visa would be nullified upon spending more than six months outside the jurisdiction.

5.Exclusive health-care packages

In late July it was announced that UAE golden visa holders would be eligible for special health care and health insurance packages. These exclusive health insurance plans will start from just under Dhs2400. The plans will cover claims of up to Dhs20,000,000. Three levels of cover will be available; Core Silver, Enhanced Gold and Premier.

Available to any UAE golden visa holders and their dependents who currently do not have an existing health insurance plan, these health insurance plans will be subject to annual renewal. To learn more about these exclusive health insurance packages, click right here.

Dubai Police Esaad privilege card

In a statement made in late July, it was announced that UAE golden visa holders would now be eligible to the Esaad privilege card issued by the Dubai Police.

The Esaad Card was established in 2017 by Dubai Police to offer holders discounts in shops, education, health, housing, restaurants, theme parks, hotels and more. There are exclusive discounts across 7,237 brands and businesses in the UAE and 92 countries worldwide.

How long does the UAE golden visa last and can it be renewed?

We think you know by now, but the golden visa lasts for ten years. It can be renewed, permitting the residence holder still meets the original requirements of the visa.

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