The United Arab Emirates will soon start granting foreigners that wish to live in any of its seven emirates, with long-stay visas.

The Arab world’s second-largest economy plans to issue long-term visas valid from five to ten years, to:

  • investors
  • entrepreneurs
  • scientists, doctors and researchers
  • outstanding students

Reportedly, such a move has been undertaken in a bid to support the economy of the country and real estate market, which are hurt by the recent low oil prices.

The visas are renewable, and grant their holder with the right to bring their spouse and children to the UAE. Still, they do not provide a path to the UAE citizenship.

UAE Visa for Investors

According to the size of their investment, foreign investors in the UAE will be eligible for an up to ten-year residency visa.

  • 5-year residency visas will be granted to those capable of investing a minimum of Dh5 million in the UAE.
  • 10-year residency visas will be granted to those who hold an investment through a deposit in an established company or a business partnership worth Dh10m or more.

Investor visa holders will be able to bring their spouse, children, one executive director and one adviser on a long-term visa to the UAE.

UAE Visa for Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs will be granted with 5-year residency visas if they meet one of the following criteria:

  • they have a previous project worth a minimum of Dh500,000
  • they have an approval of an accredited business incubator in the UAE

The holders of UAE entrepreneur long-term visas can switch to an investor visa later, given they meet the requirements. The scheme also permits the spouse and children of the entrepreneur, three executive directors and business partners to apply and obtain a long-term visa.

UAE Visa for Scientists, doctors and researchers

This category of foreigners will be granted with an UAE 10-year residency visa if they fulfill the following conditions:

  • They have a valid employment contract in a specialized field considered a priority for the UAE
  • They fulfill least two of the following conditions:
    • a PhD degree from one of the world’s top 500 universities
    • an award or certificate of appreciation for their work
    • a contribution to major scientific research
    • published articles or scientific books in distinguished publications
    • membership of an organization which requires excellence to qualify
    • a PhD degree, in addition to 10-year professional experience in the applicant’s field of work.

They too, are permitted to bring their spouse and children on long-term visas.

UAE Visa for Outstanding students

A 5-year residency visa will be granted to every outstanding student that meets the following requirements:

  • has a grade of at least 95 per cent in school
  • has a grade point average of at least 3.75 on graduation from universities in the UAE and abroad

So far, the UAE has granted foreigners with visas valid for only a few years, and have depended on the main visa holder in each family remaining employed.

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