The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has approved an amendment to its UAE residence visa laws allowing foreign university students to bring their families with them to the UAE, as long as they can afford suitable accommodation and have the financial means to support them.
The amendment is the latest addition to a recent spate of changes to UAE residence visa laws introduced by the UAE Cabinet in a bid to attract new foreign residents, particularly to the emirate of Dubai, following the economic upheaval caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
One/ Five Year UAE residence Visa For Students
The UAE has become a regional educational hub with more than 77 universities and tens of thousands of students annually. The new rule allows expat students to bring and sponsor their families whenever they have the financial capability.
A student visa of one year is issued to expatriate students who are over 18 years and residing in the UAE and is sponsored by a parent or accredited university. Under the long-term residency scheme or ‘gold’ visa, outstanding students can apply to get a long-term visa of 5 years.
Virtual Working Programme for UAE residence Visas
Under the Virtual Working Programme, you may relocate to Dubai (from outside the UAE) and continue working for the organisation you are already working for, remotely.
Who is the Virtual Working Programme for?
Virtual working program is ideal for people who live and work outside the UAE, start-ups and entrepreneurs and who meet the eligibility criteria. If your application to live in Dubai is approved by the UAE’s authorities, you can bring your family along as well!
Duration of Virtual Working Program in the UAE
The programme is valid for one year, renewable upon re-application.
How to apply for the virtual working program in the UAE?
Applicants will need to submit the following documents to start the process:
- Health insurance with UAE coverage
- Passport copy, where the passport is valid for at least six months
- Proof of Employment from current employer with a one-year contract validity, a minimum of US$5,000 (Dh18,365) monthly salary, last month’s pay slip and three preceding months’ bank statements.
- For entrepreneurs – proof of ownership of company for one year or more, with average monthly income of US$5,000 (Dh18,365) and last three months’ bank statements.
- Email these documents to Dubai Tourism.Once the documents are received, a department representative will contact the applicant to take the process further.
- Fees – $287 (Dh1,054) per person, along with medical insurance and processing fees.
UAE residence Visa for Retirees
Five-year renewable retirement residency visa is available to those above 55 years of age and who meet the eligibility criteria. The visa is available to you, your spouse and your children.
Eligibility criteria for retirement Visas in the UAE
You must be at least 55 years of age
You must have valid medical insurance covering the UAE. Find out about health insurance packages created specifically for retirees here.
Financial Capacity for retirements Visas in the UAE
The applicant must meet one of the following financial criteria:
- Property Value: To own a property in the country that is not mortgaged and is worth no less than Dh2 million OR
- Cash Savings: To have a bank deposit in the UAE of no less than Dh1 million OR
- Minimum income: To provide a proof that you have a monthly income of no less than Dh20,000 or of an equivalent other currency OR
- Combination of Property value and Savings: To combine points 1 and 2 so that the sum of the bank deposit and market price of the property value is no less than Dh2 million.
- Free from Criminal Records
Documents required for retirement visas in the UAE
Depending on the eligibility route you wish to use, ensure that you have the required supporting evidence attached in your response email.
- If you wish to apply using the ‘Property value’ route, you must attach a copy of your property title deed.
- If, on the other hand, you prefer to apply based on cash savings, then a letter from the bank stating the value of the deposit is required.
- In the case of the third option – minimum income – a bank statement for the past six months and evidence of source of income is required as proof.
- If you wish to use the fourth option – Combination of Property value and Savings – then a combination of proofs mentioned above to a minimum sum of Dh2 million is needed.
Where to apply for Retirement Visas in the UAE?
When your above documents are ready, you would need to email them on [email protected] along with the following documents:
- Passport copy of applicant, spouse and children (if applicable).
- Marriage certificate copy (if sponsoring the spouse)
- Current copy of visa (If applicant is a resident of UAE)
- Copy of Emirates ID’s of applicant (if applicant is a current resident in UAE)
- Eligibility evidence copy (as explained above).
- Copy of a valid Health insurance policy covering UAE (policies for spouse and children if applicable)
- Current home address (Building number, street number, area, city, country)
- Mobile number and email address on which you wish to be contacted on.
The application will then be forwarded to Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD) for processing.
When can I expect a response?
Once the application is sent, the individual would receive a confirmation on their application status within three working days.
Golden visa – Long-term UAE residence visas
In 2019, the UAE implemented a new system for long-term residence visas. The new system enables foreigners to live, work and study in the UAE without the need of a national sponsor and with 100 per cent ownership of their business on the UAE’s mainland. These visas will be issued for 5 or 10 years and will be renewed automatically.
Who is eligible for Golden Residence Visa in the UAE?
Cabinet Resolution No. 56 of 2018 Regarding the Organisation of Residence Permits for Investors, Entrepreneurs and Professional Talent regulates granting golden visas to:
- Special talents and researchers in various fields of science and knowledge
- Bright students with promising scientific capabilities
Eligibility for a 10-year UAE residence Visa
The following categories are entitled to apply for a 10-year residence visa in the UAE.The investment may take many forms such as:
- Investors in public investments of at least Dh10 million.
- A deposit of at least Dh10 million in an investment fund inside the country
- Establishing a company in the UAE with a capital of not less than Dh10 million
- Partnering in an existing or a new company with a share value of not less than Dh10 million
- Having a total investment of not less than Dh10 million in all areas mentioned, on condition that the investment in sectors other than real estate is not less than 60 per cent of the total investment.
Conditions for granting a Golden Residence Visa in the UAE
Granting a golden visa in the UAE is subject to the following conditions:
- The amount invested must not be loaned.
- The investment should be retained for at least three years.
- There should be a financial solvency (the ability of a person, business or organisation to pay their debts and have cash to pay for future needs) up to Dh10 million.
Golden Visas can be extended to include business partners, on the condition that each partner contributes Dh10 million.The long-term visa can include the spouse and children, as well as one executive director and one advisor.
Golden Visa for “Special”talents
Special talents eligible for golden visa in the UAE include researchers in the fields of science and knowledge such as doctors, specialists, scientists, inventors, as well as creative individuals in the field of culture and art. The visa advantage extends to the spouse and children. All categories are required to have a valid employment contract in a specialised field of a priority in the UAE.
Conditions for granting a Golden Visa for special Talents
Granting a Special Talent golden visa is subject to the following conditions:
- Scientists must be accredited by Emirates Scientists Council or holders of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence.
- Creative individuals in culture and art must be accredited by Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development.
- Inventors must obtain a patent of value, which adds to the UAE’s economy. Patents must be approved by Ministry of Economy.
- Exceptional talents must be documented by patents or a scientific research published in a world-class journal.
- Executives must be owners of a leading and internationally recognized company or holders of a high academic achievement and position.
Doctors and specialists nominating for special talent golden visa must meet at least two of the following conditions:
- A Ph. D. degree from one of the top 500 universities in the world.
- An award or certificates of appreciation in the field of the applicant’s work
- Contribution to a major scientific research in the respective field of work
- Published articles or scientific books in distinguished publications in the respective field of work
- Membership in an organisation related to the field
- A Ph. D. degree, in addition to 10-year professional experience in their field
- Specialisation in areas of priority to the UAE.
Five-year UAE residence Visa
The following categories are entitled to apply for a five-year UAE residence visa:
1. Investors in a property in the UAE
Granting a five year UAE residence visa for investors is subject to the following conditions:
a. The investor must invest in a property of a gross value of not less than Dh5 million.
b. The amount invested in real estate must not be on loan basis.
c. The property must be retained for at least three years.
This category includes those having an existing project with a minimum capital of Dh500,000, or those who have the approval of an accredited business incubator in the country.
The entrepreneur is allowed a multi-entry visa for six months, renewable for another six months. The long-term visa includes the spouse and children, a partner and three executives.
3. Outstanding Students
Outstanding students are defined as one who meets the following:
- Hold a minimum grade of 95 per cent in public and private secondary schools
- University students within and outside the country having a distinction GPA of at least 3.75 upon graduation.
Long-term visa includes families of the outstanding students.