From business owners and investors to scientific specialists, remote workers and retirees, Dubai offers a range of visa options to suit different requirements.
Virtual Working Programme
Whether in reaction to ongoing challenges or as part of more permanent shifts by businesses around the world, remote working is becoming an increasingly popular option for maintaining productivity, and where better than Dubai, where year-round sunshine, a dynamic lifestyle, safe and secure environment and robust digital infrastructure make it the ideal option for relocation.
This initiative allows you to be employed in your home country but able to live in Dubai.
The virtual working programme is valid for 1 year and costs US$287 plus medical insurance with valid UAE coverage and processing fee per person. The programme grants access to all the standard services that residents benefit from, including telecoms, utilities, and schooling, connecting professionals to a global hub and a skilled workforce, composed of 200+ nationalities.
To be eligible for the Virtual Working Programme, applicants must have:
Passport with 6-month validity
Health insurance with UAE coverage validity.
Proof of Employment from a current employer with a one-year contract validity, a minimum of US$5,000 per month salary, last month's payslip and 3 preceding months’ bank statements.
Or, if a company owner, then proof of ownership of the company for one year or more, with an average monthly income of US$5,000 per month and 3 preceding months’ bank statements.
The Golden Visa programme offers 10 and 5-year visas for investors, entrepreneurs, specialised talents and researchers in various fields of science and knowledge, as well as bright students with promising scientific capabilities.
10-year visa – Investors
Investment may take a number of forms including:
A deposit of at least AED10 million (US$2.7 million) in an investment fund inside the country
Establishing a company in the UAE with a capital of not less than AED10 million (US$2.7 million)
Partnering in an existing or a new company with a share value of not less than AED10 million (US$2.7 million)
Having a total investment of not less than AED10 million (US$2.7 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.
The long-term visa can include the spouse and children, as well as one executive director and one advisor, and can also be extended to include business partners, on the condition that each partner contributes AED 10 million (US$2.7 million).
10-year visa - Specialised Talents
This includes specialised talents and 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 and all categories are required to have a valid employment contract in a specialised priority field in the UAE. A range of criteria and requirements apply to these, including accreditation from relevant government entities, academic qualifications and patents, depending on the area of expertise.
5-year visa - Property Investors
Granting a visa is subject to the following conditions:
The investor must invest in a property of a gross value of not less than AED5 million (US$1.4 million).
The amount invested in real estate must not be on loan basis.
The property must be retained for at least three years.
5-year visa - Entrepreneurs
This category includes those having an existing project with a minimum capital of AED500,000 (US$136,129), or those who have the approval of an accredited business incubator in the UAE.
Be able to substantiate their experience as an entrepreneur
Have been a majority shareholder of a startup or a member of its senior leadership.
Be willing to relocate to the UAE and legally establish a business in one of the Emirates.
Have a business idea or business plan that they wish to bring to life in the UAE.
5-year visa - Outstanding Students
outstanding students with a minimum grade of 95 per cent in public and private secondary schools
university students within and outside the country having a distinction GPA of at least 3.75 upon graduation.
Long-term visa includes families of the outstanding students.
Successful Golden Visa applications are initially given a six-month visa with which they can enter the UAE, explore the opportunities, and settle. During this period, they are required to convert their temporary visa into the residency permit.
The first such scheme in the region for foreigners aged 55 and above, the Retire in Dubai programme provides expatriates who have reached retirement age and retirees worldwide the opportunity to enjoy a one-of-a-kind lifestyle in Dubai. Retired expatriates, their spouses and dependents can qualify for a 5-year residency visa with the possibility of renewal, as long as the retiree continues to meet the eligibility criteria.
To be eligible for the Retirement Visa, you must be older than 55 years and fulfil one of the following financial requirements:
AED 20,000 (approx. US$ 5,500) monthly income
AED 1 million (approx. US$ 275,000) in cash savings
AED 2 million (approx. US$ 550,000) property in Dubai
Other work visas
Beyond these special visas and residency programmes, Dubai continues to offer a wide range of working visas that can be obtained by your employer if you get a job here or your company relocates here. The duration and validity of this are subject to the terms of your employment contract and your employer will work with various government entities and/or freezones to ensure you can easily move to Dubai. For more information, contact your employer or select the relevant service on the GDRFAD portal.
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