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Everything you need to know about golden visas in the UAE

2024 Guide to Golden Visas in the UAE

When it comes to living and working in the UAE, many foreigners want to get the necessary documents to stay for a long time. The UAE recently implemented a system called golden visas, where expatriates were granted long-term residence visas that allowed them to work, live and study in the UAE without worrying so much about immigration procedures.

Therefore, many foreigners investors, workers and students want to know how to get this document that will give them the chance to have a high-quality of life in the UAE.

In this article, you’re going to learn about UAE golden visa and how people can apply to get it. You can also clear some common doubts about this process so you can be sure if you’re eligible and what the process is to get it. Let’s observe:

Everything you need to know about golden visa in the UAE

The UAE has been a top destination for millions of foreign investors, workers and students that want to have an opportunity in this place so they can thrive and have a great quality of life.

However, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the UAE (and the entire world) experienced an economic upheaval that forced them to implement new policies to attract foreign investors to boost the economy.

For this reason, the UAE authorities introduced a 2019 amendment that consisted in a system to grant long-term residence visas to people who meet certain conditions. In fact, the UAE government awarded golden visas to thousands of people in the UAE because they fulfilled the conditions of an exceptional status.

What is a golden visa?

Golden visas are a new system that gives foreigners the opportunity to get a long-term residence visa. Any foreigner that meets the eligibility criteria can apply and get the visa without needing a national sponsor. In addition, if you’re an investor you can have 100% ownership of your business on your Mainland Company.

Some of the advantages you can get with a golden visa are the following:

  • Long-term residency: 5 or 10 years depending on your eligibility
  • Security about your future in the UAE
  • Visa renewal for a further decade (if apply)

Who is Eligible to apply for the visa?

Once everyone knows how valuable golden visas are, everyone is interested in getting this document to live in the UAE. Since it’s a system put in place to retain talent and reinforce the economy, not everyone can get this document.

Let’s observe who are eligible to get this document:

  • Business investors
  • Real Estate investors
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Bright students
  • Individuals with specialized talents
  • Researchers in various fields

People can apply online in some circumstances, and in other, they get nominated by government bodies or senior Emiratis. Depending on the category, the individual can get a 5 or 10-year visa. Thus, it’s important to know in which one you classify.

What are the conditions and requirements to apply?

If you belong to one of the categories of people that are eligible for golden visa, you must learn about the conditions and requirements you need to apply.

Let’s observe the following:

Business Investor

A business investor can apply for a 10-year visa in the UAE. They should be investors in public investments of at least AED 10 million. This investment can take the form of the following:

  • AED 10 million deposit (at least) in an investment fund in the UAE
  • Establish a company in the UAE with an AED 10 million capital (not less)
  • Be a partner of an existing company with an AED 10 million share value (not less)
  • Total investment of AED 10 million in areas previously mentioned. However, they should have an investment of no less than 60% in areas other than real estate

Regarding the conditions, we have the following:

  • Investment shouldn’t be loaned
  • Investment must be retained for 3 years (minimum)
  • Financial solvency of AED 10 million

The business investor can get the visa for him or her, as well as for the spouse and children, one executive director and one advisor. If you’re an investor from abroad, you need your entry visa.

Real Estate Investors

Individuals who are investors of a property in the UAE can get a 5-year residence visa. They must meet the following:

  • Investment in a property of AED 5 million of gross value (not less)
  • Investment shouldn’t be loaned
  • Property has to be retained for 3 years (minimum)


Individuals who have an existing project of AED 500,000 as minimum capital or those that received the approval of an accredited business incubator in the UAE can apply for a 5-year residence visa.

Once the application is approved, the entrepreneur can get the visa for him or her, spouse and children, three executives and a business partner. If you’re an entrepreneur from abroad you can also apply for a multi-entry visa.

Bright students

Outstanding students can get a 5-years residence visa for themselves and their family. They must comply with the following:

  • 95% of minimum grade in a private or public secondary school
  • GPA of at least 3.75 for university students

Individuals with specialized talents

Specialized talents include people who work in the field of science as well as in the field of culture and art. They must fulfill the following conditions:

  • Scientists: have the accreditation of the Emirates Scientists Council or hold the Medal for Scientific Excellent
  • Creative individuals (culture and art): have the accreditation of the Ministry of Culture and Youth
  • Inventors: Patent of value approved by the Ministry of Economy
  • Doctors and specialists: Ph.D. degree/award of appreciation/research contribution/published articles/membership in an organization.
  • Executives: owners of a company recognized internationally/holder of high academic achievement
  • Exceptional talents: patent or a publication of scientific research

Which benefits does the golden visa provide?

Essentially, golden visas offer long-term residency, which is a major benefit for people that see the UAE as the place where they want to leave.

A normal residence visa grants the holder 2 or 3 years of residency, which means that people new to renew it every time. Whereas with a golden visa you won’t have to worry about renewal for a long time and you won’t need to focus on immigration procedures.

However, there are many more benefits you can get with this document. These are the following:

  • Fast processing time: within weeks of your application, if approved, you will receive your visa. It could be said that the processing time is of 1 month.
  • Outstanding students can get visa for themselves and their family (parents and siblings)
  • Applicants can receive a visa for their minor children and spouse; and their adult children can apply for a work visa.
  • Investments can provide returns
  • A golden visa holder has the security of a great future as this is the goal of the UAE government.

What is the application process?

After learning about the conditions people need to fulfill for golden visas, the next step is learning about the application process.

However, it will depend on the category and if you’re nominated or not. Exceptional students won’t have the same process as any other individual. Let’s observe the following:

  • Register in the ICA website (UAE’s Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship)
  • Apply for nomination: the authorities will review your application and within 30 days you’ll receive an email with a notification if you have been approved or not.
  • Upload your documents: If your nomination has been approved, you will receive an email with a link where you have to upload the necessary documents
  • Get your visa: once the application has been reviewed, if the ICA approves it you can get your visa.

For individuals that are currently living in the UAE, they will receive a one-month visa, which is temporary. This is because they will have to convert their temporary visa into the residency period, and for this process they only have this period.

What is the process for bright students?

Outstanding students can apply through the Emirates School Establishment. If they meet the requirements they will get the Golden Residency, and this includes the student’s parents and siblings.

How can you get the entry visa if you’re outside of the UAE?

If the individual is living abroad, he or she needs an entry visa to enter the UAE to complete the procedures to obtain the golden residency. So, anyone can apply to get this document through ICA website.

The individual will have to apply by providing personal information, attaching necessary documents and paying the fee. Depending on the category, the individual will receive a type of visa. Let’s observe the following:

  • Talented individuals: 6-month single entry visa
  • Business investor: 6-month multi-entry visa
  • Entrepreneurs and bright students: 6-months multi-entry visa

Keep in mind that during the validity period of your entry visa, you’re going to have to complete all the necessary steps to convert it to the residence visa.

And, if you’re a talented individual, you only have a single entry, so be sure to have everything ready to complete the process.

What are the common doubts regarding the golden visa?

If you still have some doubts about golden visas, you have to continue reading. Here we have some of the most common questions people have about this process. Let’s observe the following:

  • Is the golden visa process the same of a normal residence visa?

The process for applying to a golden visa, whether you’re a business investor, entrepreneur, student or any other that meets the eligibility criteria isn’t the same as for a normal residence visa.

  • Am I qualified to work in the UAE with a golden visa?

People who want to work in the UAE need to have either a work permit or a business license. However, the UAE Government issued work permits to people who hold a golden residency.

  • Can I apply from abroad?

If you’re currently outside of the UAE, you can apply for the golden visa. But you need to apply first for a multi-entry visa by filling an online form and paying a fee. Then, you can enter the UAE and settle.

  • Are golden visas the same as an Emirati Citizenship?

An Emirati Citizenship isn’t the same as a golden visa. The Emirati Citizenship is granted to those that have been nominated by the government or royal court officials.

How can Connect Group help you with Visa Services?

Here in Connect Group we offer you everything you need to know to get golden visas. Our team of specialists can assist you to get the necessary documents to enter the UAE and explore the possibilities you have to settle in this marvelous place.

Whether you need assistance with the process or you’re looking for answer your inquiries, you can get an outstanding service with our network of experts. You can fulfill your dream of working and living in the UAE with a long-term residence visa, you just have to contact us to get a solution adapted to your requirements.

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