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Long term visa system approved in the UAE

12 December 2018

An exciting decision by the UAE cabinet provides eligibility for a residency visa of up to ten years for international investors, entrepreneurs, specialised talent and researchers and outstanding students, commencing in January 2019.

The long term visa system permits residency for the children and spouses of those who are eligible. In addition, the investor and entrepreneur visa also permits residency for business partners, executive directors and advisors. This is a positive development that will provide an attractive investment environment and promote growth and expansion in the UAE. The written decision and its exact terms should be published in January 2019, the categories are as follows.


Investor Visa

The decision defines two categories of investors as follows:

  • Investors who invest AED 5 million or more in property will qualify for a residency visa for up to five years;
  • Investors who invest AED 5 million or more in a public investment will qualify for a residency visa for up to five years; and
  • Investors who invest AED 10 million or more in a public investment will qualify for a residency visa for up to 10 years.


Entrepreneur Visa

Entrepreneurs are now eligible for a five-year residency visa if they meet the following requirements:

  • Have a project with a minimum of AED 500,000; or
  • Have an approved/accredited business incubator in the UAE.

A ten year visa may be granted at a later stage if the relevant requirements are met.


Specialised Talent and Researcher Visa

Specialised talents and researchers are also eligible for a visa of up to ten years in the fields of science and knowledge for doctors, specialists, scientists, and inventors. The individual must have a valid employment contract within the relevant field. Those who are eligible must meet at least two of the specific requirements, such as holding a PhD degree from one of the top 500 universities in the world, holding an award or certificate of appreciation for work carried out in the UAE, contributing to a major scientific project in the UAE, holding the Mohammed in Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence, being accredited by the Emirates Scientists Council, being a member of a relevant organisation and/or having specialisation in areas of priority to the UAE, amongst others.


Executives Visas

Owners of an internationally recognised and leading company that also have high academic achievement and professional experience within a relevant field are also eligible for a long term visa.


Outstanding Student Visa

Students who achieve 95% or above at secondary school in addition to a distinction of at least 3.75 GPA upon graduation at university (inside and outside of the UAE) are eligible for a five-year visa.

Further Reading

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