Overseas property

UAE visa schemes for foreigners

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The United Arab Emirates is renowned for its dynamic economy, vibrant culture, and luxurious lifestyle, attracting individuals from around the globe. The country offers a variety of residency schemes catering to different needs and preferences. In this article, we’ll delve into 10 distinct types of residency schemes available in the UAE.

Investor Visa (Golden Visa)

The UAE’s Golden Visa is designed for investors, entrepreneurs, and high-net-worth individuals. It grants long-term residency to those who invest a substantial amount in real estate, business, or specific sectors contributing to the country’s economic development:

  • investors in public investments;
  • real estate investors;
  • entrepreneurs;
  • outstanding specialised talents;
  • inventors;
  • creative people in the fields of culture and art.

Investors in public investments

Investing in an investment fund may grant a Golden Visa for a period of 10 years without a sponsor, subject to the following:

  • deposit of two million dirhams;
  • submission of a valid commercial licence or industrial licence and a memorandum of association with the capital of not less than two million dirhams;
  • annual payments to the UAE government of no less than 250,000 dirhams (around 68,000 US dollars).

Real estate investors

Ownership of a property or a group of properties may grant one a renewable Golden Visa for a period of five years. The investor must state that they own one or more properties worth not less than 2 million dirhams.

Retirement Visa

Perfect for those looking to retire in the UAE, this visa allows individuals over a certain age to reside in the country post-retirement. Retired foreigners can apply for a long-term visa of 5 years. For a retiree to be eligible for the retirement visa, he/she must:

  • have worked for not less than 15 years inside or outside the UAE, or be 55 years old or more at the time of retirement.
  • own a property or properties worth no less than 1 million dirhams or
  • have financial savings of no less than 1 million dirhams or
  • have a monthly income of 15,000 dirhams (around 4,000 US dollars).

Skilled professionals Visa

Also known as «Green Visa», this scheme targets individuals with specialised skills and expertise in fields such as medicine, engineering, science, and technology. The UAE government encourages professionals to contribute to the country’s growth by offering long-term residency.

The UAE Green Visa for skilled professionals allows its holder to sponsor himself/herself for 5 years, eliminating the need for a UAE national or employer to sponsor his/her visa. Freelancers, self-employed, and skilled employees can apply for a Green Visa. The applicants must get a permit or be classified by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

Student Visa

Students pursuing higher education in the UAE can apply for a student visa. This residency scheme facilitates international students in obtaining an extended stay during their academic pursuits.

A student can stay in the UAE for studying, either under the sponsorship of their parents, who should be a resident of the UAE or under the sponsorship of the accredited university or college they are studying at. A student visa is given for a duration of one year, at a time, renewable for a similar period upon proof of continuation of a study.

Artists and Creatives Visa

Recognizing the importance of culture and art, the UAE offers residency for artists and creatives. This visa is tailored for individuals who contribute significantly to the cultural landscape of the country.

Also known as a Cultural Visa, the Creative Visa is offered to professionals who are endorsed by the Department of Culture and Tourism.

Dubai’s Cultural Visa is designed to facilitate the entry of individuals contributing to the cultural landscape of the city. Whether you are an artist, performer, writer, or involved in other cultural endeavours, this visa allows you to participate in and enrich Dubai’s cultural scene.

Freelance Visa

Recognizing the rise of the gig economy, the UAE offers a Freelance Visa, allowing individuals to work as freelancers in various industries. This initiative attracts a diverse pool of talent, promoting a dynamic work environment.

Dubai now offers two types of freelance visas:

  • «Green» Freelance Visa for 5 years;
  • A freelance visa with a licence registered in the free zone.

To apply for the Green Visa, you must obtain a freelance permit from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation and hold a university degree. Annual income from self-employment for the previous two years must be at least 360,000 dirhams (98,010 US dollars).

The traditional way for a freelancer to move to the UAE is to register as a freelancer in the UAE Free Zone (Freezone) and obtain a special licence. With a licence, a freelancer can work in the free zone and provide services to individuals or companies.

Family sponsorship Visa

Residents in the UAE can sponsor their family members, providing them with the opportunity to live in the country. This scheme strengthens family bonds and encourages stability within the expatriate community.

If one has a family member who is a UAE resident, they may sponsor your residence visa. This often applies to spouses, sons under 18 years old, daughters of any age, if not married, and the resident’s parents.

The sponsoring individual should meet specific criteria, including a minimum income level of at least 1,090 US dollars a month for male sponsors and 2,722 US dollars for female sponsors.

Humanitarian and Sports Visa

The UAE welcomes individuals contributing to humanitarian causes and sports development. This residency scheme facilitates the stay of individuals making a positive impact on society through charitable work or sports-related activities.

The UAE’s diverse range of residency schemes reflects its commitment to attracting talent, fostering economic growth, and building a cosmopolitan society. Whether you’re an investor, professional, artist, or retiree, there’s a residency scheme tailored to meet your specific needs in this dynamic and thriving nation.

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