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Top 13 Golden Visa Benefits in the UAE

May 2, 2024 | Living in Dubai

The UAE Golden Visa is a transformative long-term residency program designed to offer unparalleled benefits for foreign talents, investors, and their families. It extends beyond the usual visa perks to include unique advantages such as property ownership rights, no requirement for a local sponsor, access to world-class healthcare and education, and tax-related benefits. This strategic initiative is tailored to attract skilled professionals and contribute to the UAE’s dynamic growth and global standing.

Let’s delve into the top 13 UAE Golden Visa benefits and explore how receiving a Golden Visa in the UAE can revolutionise your living and working experience in the UAE.

The Top 13 Golden Visa Benefits in the UAE

1. Long-Term Residency (10 Years)

The UAE Golden Visa provides up to 10 years of residency, significantly longer than standard visa options. This extended duration offers a solid foundation for long-term personal and professional development, which is crucial for establishing deeper roots in the UAE. It opens up extensive opportunities for career advancement and business growth that are typically unattainable with shorter visa terms.

Moreover, this prolonged residency allows individuals and their families to integrate more thoroughly into the UAE’s community and cultural life. By fostering a stronger sense of belonging and a deeper understanding of local customs and traditions, the Golden Visa enhances the overall living experience in the country, making it a highly attractive option for potential residents.

2. Property Ownership Rights

A significant benefit for UAE Golden Visa holders is the streamlined process of property ownership within the country. While foreign nationals can own property in designated areas, Golden Visa holders enjoy the ease of purchasing and managing properties in these prime locations. The UAE’s dynamic global business and tourism sectors contribute to a high-demand real estate market, making investment in property here particularly appealing. Though general mortgage terms apply, the stability provided by the long-term visa may positively influence lending decisions. This arrangement makes it easier for Golden Visa holders to expand their property portfolios and leverage the robust real estate market in the UAE.

3. No Sponsor Required

A standout benefit of the UAE Golden Visa is that it doesn’t require a local sponsor, which sets it apart from many other visa types in the country. This independence is particularly transformative for entrepreneurs and investors, as it grants them full autonomy over their business operations without the usual requirement of a local partnership. This autonomy significantly simplifies the process of establishing and managing businesses, offering entrepreneurs and investors flexibility and ease that greatly enhances their operational capabilities within the UAE’s dynamic business landscape.

4. Family and Domestic Workers Inclusion

A key feature of the UAE Golden Visa is the ability to sponsor family members, including spouses, children, and in some instances, parents and siblings. This capability ensures that families can reside together in the UAE, eliminating the need for separate visa applications for each member. Such inclusivity is a significant advantage, reinforcing family bonds and providing a profound sense of security and belonging within the UAE.

Additionally, Golden Visa holders can sponsor their domestic staff, including housemaids, drivers, and other domestic workers. This extension of sponsorship facilitates a comprehensive and comfortable family living environment. Visa holders are required to comply with the UAE’s regulatory standards, ensuring they provide proper accommodation and fair salaries to their sponsored staff in accordance with local employment laws.

5. No Tax on Personal Income

A significant benefit of residing in the UAE, including for Golden Visa holders, is the absence of personal income tax. This nationwide policy exempts all residents from paying tax on income earned from employment, investments, or other personal sources. Additionally, the UAE has introduced a very competitive corporate tax rate (12.5%) which is set to be one of the lowest globally, which applies to businesses operating within the country. This low corporate tax further enhances the financial advantages of living and conducting business in the UAE, making it an even more attractive destination for international business professionals and investors.

6. Access to Employment and Business Opportunities

The UAE Golden Visa provides unparalleled access to employment and business opportunities, marking a significant advantage for entrepreneurs and talented professionals. The UAE is celebrated for its world-class infrastructure and amenities, including advanced technology ecosystems, state-of-the-art healthcare facilities, and modern transportation networks. These attributes create an environment that is exceptionally conducive to business and professional growth.

Additionally, the ease of setting up a business, combined with the UAE’s strategic geographical location at the crossroads of major global trade routes, positions it as a prime destination for international entrepreneurs and professionals. This access fosters numerous possibilities for career advancement and business expansion within a highly competitive and innovative global market.

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7. Multiple Entry Visa

Furthermore, the UAE Golden Visa Program facilitates seamless global mobility by offering multiple entry privileges. This allows professionals to travel in and out of the country without the need to apply for a new visa each time they depart. Such flexibility is particularly advantageous for entrepreneurs and talented individuals who need to maintain global connections. It also simplifies travel for their families, enabling them to sustain ties with their home countries and explore new destinations without the inconvenience of frequent visa applications. This ease of movement makes the UAE an ideal hub for those with international lifestyles and business activities.

8. Exemption from Employment Restrictions

One of the distinctive benefits of the UAE Golden Visa is the exemption from traditional employment restrictions that typically apply to other visa categories. This exemption provides Golden Visa holders unparalleled flexibility in the job market, allowing them to change employers or pursue multiple job opportunities simultaneously without jeopardising their visa status. This flexibility is particularly advantageous for professionals seeking to enhance their careers through varied experiences and those wishing to supplement their income through additional employment.

Furthermore, this exemption facilitates easier entrepreneurship, as Golden Visa holders can start their own businesses while maintaining employment elsewhere. This dual capacity is particularly beneficial in fostering a dynamic professional environment where individuals can simultaneously explore business ventures and employment, enhancing their professional growth and economic stability in the UAE.

9. Access to Healthcare

The UAE Golden Visa grants families access to an exceptional healthcare system, which significantly contributes to the high quality of life offered in the country. Beneficiaries enjoy state-of-the-art medical facilities equipped with the latest technology and staffed by world-class health professionals. This access ensures that residents have a variety of advanced treatment options, providing them with peace of mind about their health and well-being.

10. Access to Education

The UAE Golden Visa offers substantial benefits for families with children, particularly through enhanced access to educational opportunities. This includes potential discounts on higher education, making it more economically viable for families to access top-tier educational facilities. Beneficiaries of the visa have the opportunity to attend international university branches in Dubai, where students can explore diverse academic disciplines and obtain globally recognised degrees. This educational incentive underscores the UAE’s commitment to promoting educational excellence and equipping families with the necessary resources for their children’s academic development and future success.

11. Esaad Privilege Card

An exclusive perk for certain categories of UAE Golden Visa holders in Dubai is the complimentary Esaad Privilege Card. This card is a gateway to a variety of special benefits and discounts that enhance both financial and lifestyle experiences. Holders can enjoy substantial savings across several sectors, including automotive, real estate, healthcare, hospitality, health insurance, and banking services.

For instance, cardholders may receive reduced rates on luxury vehicle purchases, preferential pricing on property transactions, lower health insurance premiums, and discounts at numerous hotels and leisure facilities. The inclusion of the Esaad Privilege Card significantly boosts the value of the UAE Golden Visa, offering a suite of advantages that contribute to a more cost-effective and enriched lifestyle in Dubai.

12. Safe and Secure Environment

A significant benefit of the UAE Golden Visa is the opportunity to live in a safe and secure environment. The UAE is renowned for its high safety standards and low crime rates, which provide residents with peace of mind and a secure living atmosphere. Global Finance ranked it the second safest country to live in in 2023.

13. Access to Premier Leisure and Entertainment

The opportunity to live in the UAE means you will have access to premier leisure and entertainment options. The UAE has a wealth of world-class leisure and entertainment facilities, including luxury shopping malls, exquisite dining options, cultural festivals, and sporting events. Access to high-quality leisure activities not only enhances the quality of life for residents but also makes the UAE an attractive destination for families and individuals looking for a balanced, fulfilling lifestyle.

A captivating image captures the grandeur of Dubai Mall in Dubai, showcasing its extravagant water feature.

UAE Golden Visa Requirements

To be eligible for the coveted Golden Visa in the UAE, you must fall into one of these 13 categories.

1. Investors in Public Investments

To qualify for a 10-year renewable visa, one must either:

  • Provide certification from an accredited investment fund of a minimum AED 2 million deposit or
  • Present a commercial or industrial license and memorandum of association confirming a capital investment of at least AED 2 million.
  • An annual contribution of at least AED 250,000 to the government, confirmed by the Federal Tax Authority, is required.
  • Proof of full ownership of the investment without any loans, along with valid medical insurance for oneself and dependents, is necessary.

2. Real Estate Investors 

Eligibility for a 5-year renewable visa requires:

  • A confirmation from the land department in the respective emirate of property ownership worth at least AED 2 million.
  • Documentation is needed if the property was financed through an approved local bank loan.

3. Entrepreneurs

To secure a 5-year renewable visa, you must:

  • Own an innovative, risk-based technical or economic project.
  • Obtain verification from a UAE auditor that the project value is at least AED 500.
  • Provide letters from the relevant UAE authorities and an accredited business incubator to confirm the project’s innovative nature and establish the business in the UAE.

4. Doctors and Scientists

For a 10-year renewable visa:

  • Doctors must have authorization from the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention.
  • Scientists need a recommendation from the Emirates Council of Scientists or an award from the Mohammed bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence.

5. Inventors

A 10-year visa requires:

  • A recommendation from the Ministry of Economy demonstrating that the patent significantly benefits the UAE economy.

6. Creative Professionals in Culture and Art

For a 10-year visa, you need:

  • Approval from the local Department of Culture and Arts.

7. Executive Directors

Applicants must show:

  • An accredited higher education degree.
  • A five-year experience letter in a managerial role.
  • Proof of earning at least AED 50,000 and a valid work contract.

8. Athletes

A 10-year visa requires:

  • A recommendation from the General Sports Authority or a local sports council.

9. Engineering and Science Specialists

A 10-year visa requires:

  • A certified degree and a work contract.

10. High School Students

A 5-year visa, extendable for university studies, requires:

  • A 95% grade in secondary school.
  • A recommendation from the Ministry of Education.

11. University Students

For a 10-year visa, you must:

  • Graduate from a top 100 global university.
  • Maintain a minimum 3.5 GPA.
  • Have a recent graduation within two years.

12. Humanitarian Work Pioneers

A 10-year visa requires:

  • At least five years with a notable humanitarian organization.
  • An appreciation award and a minimum of AED 2 million in funding for humanitarian efforts.

13. Frontline Heroes

To receive the 10-year visa, you must:

  • Be recognised for exceptional crisis management efforts (e.g., during COVID-19), this category requires a confirmation from the Frontline Heroes office.

Golden Visa Fees

Residence permit: AED 1100

Additional fees include:

Knowledge dirham: AED 10

Innovation dirham: AED 10

In-country fee: AED 500

Delivery fee: AED 20

For more details on your eligibility for the Golden Visa, click here.

UAE Cityscape in golden light.

The UAE Golden Visa: Unlocking Opportunities

The UAE Golden Visa Program is a significant initiative for investors, entrepreneurs, professionals, and their families, offering tangible benefits that position the UAE as an ideal residency destination. It provides not just long-term residency but also access to exceptional infrastructure, investment opportunities, and a favourable business environment. The program extends to cover essential aspects of life, such as quality education and healthcare, while also including family-inclusive policies and exclusive perks like the Esaad Privilege Card.

For those aiming to build a future in a dynamic and thriving environment, the UAE Golden Visa is a practical choice. It offers a pathway to not only reside in the UAE but also to leverage the opportunities and lifestyle it offers.

Contact us at Virtuzone if you want help getting your Golden Visa in the UAE. Our team will evalusate your profile and eligibility for the Golden Visa and guide you through the complete process and all the requirements involved.

FAQ’s

What is a UAE Golden Visa?

The UAE Golden Visa is a long-term residence visa that allows foreign talents to live, work, and study in the UAE with full ownership of their business on the mainland. These visas are usually valid for 5 or 10 years and are automatically renewable.

How Does the Golden Visa Benefit Family Members?

Golden Visa holders can sponsor their family members, including spouses and children, regardless of their ages. It ensures that families can live together in the UAE.

Can Golden Visa Holders Travel Outside the UAE?

Yes, one of the significant benefits of the Golden Visa is that it allows holders to easily travel in and out of the UAE without the risk of losing their visa status, provided they return to the UAE at least once every six months.

How Long Does It Take to Process a Golden Visa Application in the UAE?

The processing time can vary, but it generally takes a few weeks. Applicants must ensure that all required documentation is correctly submitted to avoid delays.

What are the Differences Between a 5-year and 10-year Golden Visa?

The main difference lies in the eligibility criteria and the investment amount. A 10-year visa typically requires a higher investment threshold and is aimed at investors and individuals with significant contributions to key sectors, while a 5-year visa is more accessible to entrepreneurs and professionals.

Can You Switch From a Regular Visa to a Golden Visa?

Yes, individuals who meet the eligibility criteria can apply to switch their current residency status to a Golden Visa, subject to approval by the UAE immigration authorities.

Does Holding a Golden Visa Lead to UAE Citizenship?

The Golden Visa program provides long-term residency but not a direct route to citizenship. UAE citizenship laws are quite strict and generally require personal contributions of an exceptional nature to the country, among other specific criteria. Citizenship decisions are typically made through nominations and require approval from the highest levels of government.

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