22 May 2019
UAE: New Long Stay Residency Visas for Investors and Entrepreneurs
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has introduced long-term residency visas for expatriates in five categories, in some cases permitting them to reside in the UAE for up to 10 years. The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (FAIC) announced the move on 1 May 2019, following the UAE Cabinet’s approval of the long-term visa system last November.
General investors and highly qualified professionals, such as doctors, researchers and innovators, will be eligible for a 10-year visa. Real estate investors, entrepreneurs, and outstanding students will be eligible for a five-year visa. Applicants under all the five categories will be eligible for a renewable residency visa, and will also be permitted to sponsor their spouses and children.
For entrepreneurs to be eligible for the five-year visa, they should have a former business that is worth a minimum of AED500,000 (US$136,000), or have the approval of an accredited business incubator in the country. The entrepreneur must also have insurance coverage for his or her family for the entire period of the residency.
The FAIC can also grant a five-year visa to three executive directors working for the entrepreneur, provided they commit to working exclusively for the entrepreneur during the period of the visa. In the set-up stages, entrepreneurs will be allowed entry into the country on an extendable, six-month multi-entry visa to complete setting up their business.
For foreign real estate investors, they must have a demonstrable, three-year full ownership rights of UAE property worth at least AED5 million (US$1.36 million) to qualify for a five-year visa. They will also be eligible to apply for a five-year visa for one executive director and one advisor. General investors will need to fully own at least AED10 million (US$2.7 million) in local investments, of which non-real estate assets must account for at least 60% of the total, and have been held for a minimum of three years.
More information on visa application procedures is available on the FAIC website.