What is the Retirement Visa?

The Retirement Visa is a 5 year, renewable visa to live in the UAE. Eligible applicants must be above 55 years old, meet certain financial criteria (see below) and must be retired. A retiree is defined as someone who has worked in the past, and has a letter of retirement/end of service letter from their previous employer to prove this (a housewife would not qualify as a retiree; however, a housewife may be a dependent of the primary applicant, who is a retiree).

What is an end of service letter?

The end of service letter is required for all applicants who are applying on the basis of salary (AED 20,000 monthly) or savings (AED 1 million) financial criteria, to prove that they are qualified retirees who have worked in the past.
Local applicants: An end of service letter from their last employer, which should validate that they are a retiree and specify the number of years of service.
International applicants: A letter from their social services or an equivalent entity detailing that the applicant is retired, and attested by the UAE embassy in the state in which the letter has been issued. This then has to be translated via a legal firm to Arabic and attested by the law firm. The letter will require to be attested one last time via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs office in the UAE before submitting application.

What is the cost of the Retirement Visa application?

There is an upfront, non-refundable visa application handling fee of USD 25 (approx. AED 92) per applicant and dependent, that must be paid to our official partner, Al Rais Travel Agencies LLC, who will check the submission for accuracy and completeness.
Thereafter, if the application is approved by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigner Affairs (GDRFA) or Dubai Land Department (DLD), the applicant must pay AED 2,214.25 per applicant and dependent. The breakdown of this amount is as follows:

  • Retirement Visa cost: AED 888.75
  • Retirement Visa cost: AED 888.75
  • Emirates ID: AED 572.50
Note that this does not include the cost of health insurance, which is mandatory.

As a holder of a Retiree Visa, am I allowed to work in the UAE?

Retirees are currently not permitted to work without a temporary work permit. At this stage, such a permit is issued only for short term engagements / advisory work for the Government of Dubai.
Visa application

What are the requirements I must fulfil to apply for the visa?

You can find all the details on our visa information page. Click here to view.

How old do I need to be to apply for the visa?

You must be at least 55 years old to apply for the retirement visa.

What are the financial requirements?

The applicant has to fulfill one of the following criteria:

  • Option 1: AED 20,000 (approx. USD 5,500) Monthly Income OR
  • Option 2: AED 1 million (approx. USD 275,000) savings OR
  • Option 3: AED 2 million (approx. USD 550,000) property OR
  • Option 4: A combination of Options 2 and 3 valued at least AED 2 million (approx. USD 550,000)

Do I have to fulfil all three options of income, savings and property?

Fuilfilling just one of the financial criteria will suffice. However, you can also mix the options of savings and property to reach a joint value of AED 2 million.

For Option 1 (AED 20,000 salary), what qualifies as eligible income streams, and what is the corresponding supporting documentation required?

At this stage, GDRFA is only considering income from pension schemes or social services.
2 documents required:

1. Proof of income letter: A letter which includes the name of the beneficiary and date of pension commencement from:
A. The relevant entity which details the monthly income to be equal to or greater than AED 20,000 monthly or AED 240,000 annually.
B. Your previous employer stating that you receive no less than AED 20,000 monthly retirement income from your former place of work.
2. Bank Statement:
Minimum deposit of AED 20,000 from the pension scheme/social service in your account on a monthly basis for the last 6 months (stamped by the bank). If you are unable to satisfy this explicit requirement, submit your documentation and we will consider your case.

For Option 2 (AED 1m savings), what are the terms and conditions, and what is the corresponding supporting documentation required?

For applicants who apply via the Savings route (AED 1 million), it is required that the AED 1 million be secured in a 3 year fixed deposit in a bank based in the UAE. Applicants must obtain a stamped letter to that regard from the bank, addressed to GDRFA in Arabic (both Arabic and English on the same letter is acceptable).

Can I qualify on the grounds that my son / daughter, who has AED 1 million in his/her bank account, adds me as a joint account holder?

No. The bank account with your savings must solely belong to you or your spouse.

If I qualify on the grounds of having savings of AED 1 million, can I access these funds?

No. The AED 1 million must be secured in a 3 year fixed deposit account.

What asset types (e.g. stock portfolio, national bonds, fixed deposits) can be considered as part of the AED 1 million?

Your savings must be cash. Alternate forms of investment will not count towards the financial eligibility criteria.

For Option 3 (AED 2m property), what are the terms and conditions, and what is the corresponding supporting documentation required?

For applicants that apply via the Property route, please note that the property must:

  • Have a minimum value of AED 2 million as per the title deed
  • Not be mortgaged
  • Not be off-plan
  • Located in Dubai

Please provide a copy of the title deed(s).

Health Insurance

Can my property be mortgaged?

The property must be fully paid, with no outstanding mortgage. If property is mortgaged, then the cash invested in the property should be at least AED 2 million.

If my property has appreciated since purchase, can you consider the current market value (via a property valuator) instead of the title deed?

In case that the current value of the property exceeds the value as per the title deed, please contact the Dubai Land Department Cube Centre. Such applications will handled on a case-by-case basis.

Can I qualify under the AED 2 million property criteria and subsequently sell my property?

If you qualify under the AED 2 million property criteria, the property is effectively 'locked' for a period of three years by the Dubai Land Department, during which time you will not be able to sell the property without relinquishing your Retirement Visa.
If you wish to sell the property and purchase another one in order to retain your visa status, please contact the Dubai Land Department.

Can I have multiple properties that add up to the required AED 2 million?

Yes, we will consider the sum of your property value, as per the title deeds.
Dependents & Sponsors

Do all sorts of properties qualify – residential, commercial, empty plot, etc.?

Yes, all sorts of properties will be accepted.

Will you consider properties in other emirates (e.g. Abu Dhabi)?

We can only consider properties that are located in Dubai.

Will you accept a property title deed for a leasehold property or are only freehold properties allowed?

Both leasehold and freehold properties are acceptable.

Is the AED 2 million property criteria applicable for an off-plan property or are only ready properties considered?

Off plan properties will not be accepted under the financial eligibility criteria.

Can I apply for the Retirement Visa if I currently reside in another emirate or country, but own AED 2 million property in Dubai?

Applicants may be based anywhere in the world. However, please note that once your documentation is approved, you (and anyone you may be sponsoring) must visit Dubai to complete the application process, before you are issued the Retirement Visa.

I would like to qualify using the AED 2 million eligibility criteria. Should the property be in my name or can it be in the name of a family member?

The property can only be in your name or in the name of your spouse in order to realise the full value of the property.

I would like to qualify using the AED 2 million eligibility criteria but I co-own the property with someone else. Can you elaborate on how you will assess my situation?

If the property is co-owned by multiple parties, then your share of the ownership of the property, as per the title deed, must be at least AED 2 million – except in the case that the property is co-owned only by the applicant and his/her spouse, in which case, the full property value may be assumed. The co-owner may be anyone (i.e. does not need to be a relative).

For Option 4 (combination of AED 2m property and AED 1m savings), what are the terms and conditions, and what is the corresponding supporting documentation required?

The property value as per the title deed must be at least AED 1 million and less than AED 2 million. The differential (AED 2 million minus the value as per the title deed) must be secured in a 3 year fixed deposit account in a bank based in Dubai. Applicants must submit the title deed and a stamped letter from the bank, addressed to DLD, stating that the amount is in a 3 year fixed deposit.

In case my supporting documents are in another language (for example, bank statement or salary certificate), what do I need to do?

Please ensure all documents are translated and attested for a faster processing of documentation. However, if you are unable to complete this process, submit the translated document with the original, and upon your arrival in Dubai, these documents are to be translated and authorised locally.

Can my friends, children, colleagues (third-party) submit on behalf of me?

At present, third-party submissions will not be accepted. You may submit your application only for yourself and your spouse/children.

How long is the application process?

Once you've been notified that your application is complete, the application process may take up to 15 working days.

Can I sponsor my children on my visa?

Yes, you are able to sponsor your children on the visa. There is no restriction on the number of children you can sponsor or their age/marital status.

Are dependents (spouse and children) required to obtain the medical insurance to receive their visa?

Yes. Any sponsored member of the family must have valid health insurance with coverage in the UAE.

As a holder of a Retirement Visa, who am I allowed to sponsor and is there a limit to the number of people that I can sponsor?

The retiree may sponsor his/her spouse and children, with no limit to the number of children under sponsorship. The retiree may not sponsor his/her parents or other family members.

Can I sponsor domestic help?

Yes you may sponsor domestic help (e.g. maids, drivers, etc.). Sponsorship of domestic help is subject to compliance with Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) regulations and is independent from the Retirement Visa.

I am not yet 55 years old. Can I apply now or must I wait until I am 55 years before I submit my application.

Due to the relatively short visa processing time, we encourage you to apply only once you are 55 years of age.

Do I require health insurance in order to apply for the visa? When must I purchase my health insurance plan?

You can commence your application without having a medical insurance coverage in hand. Upon approval of your documentation, you will be invited to conduct a medical test. Thereafter, you are required to purchase a medical insurance plan that suits you in order to complete the application requirements.

At the time of applying for a 5-year visa, do I only have to purchase (and provide documentation for) healthcare insurance for the first year?

Yes, although the Retirement Visa is valid for 5 years, once your visa has been approved you only need to provide evidence that you have purchased health insurance for one year from the time of your approval. Please note that, as per UAE law, it is mandatory for residents to have valid health insurance, so you will need to renew your health insurance prior to expiry.

Do local health insurance providers cover COVID-19 expenses?

Dependent on the type of health insurance you purchase, some costs related to treatments are included, while tests may not. Please consult your health insurance provider for more information.

Do I have to purchase health insurance from one of the partners listed on the website? Can I just opt for basic health insurance?

You may purchase any insurance from any provider, as long as they have coverage in the UAE. You are free to opt for the basic plan if you prefer, but we advise that you select a plan that has adequate coverage and benefits.

I have an international insurance from my home country covering the UAE, can this be used to apply for this Programme?

One of the requirements of the Dubai Health Authority is that the health insurance is purchased from a provider that is based in Dubai. In using an international insurance company, the insurance must be purchased from a branch/office that is based in Dubai. This will streamline the overall process for payment, and reimbursement for treatments may be faster in comparison to international health insurance. If you insist on using your existing health insurance that was purchased abroad (which has coverage in Dubai), please provide a letter from them stating that the package is in line with the requirements of the Dubai Health Authority. Please click here to explore the different options provided specially for this programme.

Will the health insurance I purchase locally cover me overseas?

Our partners have a wide range of health insurance packages catering to different needs and covering different geographies. International coverage is dependent on the type of health insurance scheme you purchase.

Do I have multiple entry to the UAE?

Yes, as a holder of the retirement visa, you are regarded as a resident of the UAE and therefore are able to leave and enter the UAE at your convenience during the period of 5 years. There is no requirement to stay in the UAE for a minimum number of days per year.

Can I live with my family once I have been granted the Retirement Visa?

Yes, you may live with your family in their home, if it is large enough to accommodate you as per the guidelines established by the Dubai Land Department.