The UAE’s Latest Long-Term Visa Reforms in 2019
In most cases, you can get a visa only with a national sponsor. Usually, the UAE’s Government issues the visa for 1, 2, or 3-years period. However, in 2019 UAE visa legislation was significantly modified. So, due to recent changes in visa legislation, certain categories of expatriates can apply for the visa without a sponsor. Moreover, the Government extended visa duration up to 5 and 10 years.
To clarify, foreigners may get the 5 or 10-years residence visa under sponsorship of their company’s name, property or talent. Of course, they get this right to live and work in the UAE if they comply with the granting visa conditions we will discuss later in this post.
How to get a 10-years visa in the UAE
There are two expatriate categories who can apply for a 10-years UAE residence visa:
- Large investors
- Talented persons
To become large investor and be granted the visa, you need to invest your money in the UAE economy. The amount of investment is determined at the level of AED 10 million and more. In addition, the UAE Government issued a comprehensive list of investment forms you must comply with to be eligible for the visa:
In addition, as a 10-year residence visa applicant, you must meet certain conditions about the investment period, and financial solvency. First, you must invest your own, not borrowed money. Second, you must retain the investment for 3 years and longer. At last, you must prove your financial solvency up to AED 10 million.
Another expatriate category eligible for a 10-year residence visa is talented persons. The UAE Government expects these talents to contribute into country development and prosperity. Therefore, the Government identified a list of talents that correspond to priority fields of the country:
As it comes with large investors, there are certain conditions for granting the visa to talents mentioned above. Although these conditions are specified depending on the category of talent, the basic principle here is to provide some evidence of their exceptionalism. However, the most important condition issued for all talent categories is a valid employment contract in the field the UAE economy is interested in.
How to get a 5-years visa in the UAE
There are two important visa categories that grant you a privilege of living in the UAE for a period of 5 years:
- 5-years retirement visa
- 5-year investor visa
The most interesting feature of these visa types is that you can get it by investing in property inside the country. Having invested in real estate, you can rent it out and get passive rental income. In this case, it is wise to hire a property management company to get rid of all rental bothers.
5-years retirement visa
Since 5-years retirement visa is a visa granted to retired expatriate residents who are 55 years old and older. As it comes from the visa’s name, its holder have right to live in the UAE for a period of 5 years.
To get this splendid opportunity, a retiree must comply with one of three criteria:
- Invest AED 2 million and more in a property in a freehold area
- Have financial savings of AED 1 million and more
- Earn no less than AED 20,000 per month.
5-years investor visa
To qualify for 5-years investor visa, you must invest AED 5 million and more in the UAE’s real estate in a freehold area on certain conditions:
- Invest your own, not borrowed money
- Invest in ready and conditioned but not in off-plan or under construction property
- Retain the property for 3 year and longer
The rules don’t specify the type of real estate. So, it can be residential property as well as commercial one. Moreover, the last bullet point doesn’t exclude the possibility to sell your property before the mentioned period on condition purchasing another one of the same or more value.
On 21st May the UAE Government made another step in its visa system development by launching a “Golden Visa” system. This way it treats investors, entrepreneurs, and exceptional talents for in their significant contribution to the UAE economy at present and in future.
It is worth to mention the UAE Golden visa, in fact, is a renewable long-term visa. It could be issued for 5 or 10-years period:
- Investors in business of AED 10 million and more (10 years)
- Talented persons, including executives with salary of AED 30,000 (10 years)
- Entrepreneurs with business incubator projects of AED 0.5 million and more (5 years)
- Investors in real estate of AED 5 million and more (5 years).
However, this visa is automatically prolonged if you still meet the criteria. To clarify, if you don’t withdraw your money out of The UAE economy, the visa enables you to enjoy so-called permanent residency. This long-term permit to live and work in the UAE is one of advantages you get as you don’t have to bother yourself with visa renewal every 1, 2, or 3 years.
Another benefit the Government avails to Golden Visa holders is absolute freedom in their moving and staying abroad. A standard UAE residence visa is valid only if you don’t exceed 6-months period of staying in another country. In other words, if you leave the UAE for more than six months, the UAE authorities will nullify your visa. In contrast, with the Golden Visa, you can stay abroad as long as you wish.
So, with this new Golden Visa rules in pace, working in the UAE, running a business here, and investing in its real estate becomes even more inviting. If you consider the real estate investment to be attractive, please refer to BSO, an expert in property management market.