UAE’s Renewable Residence Visa or “Golden Card”

In February 2019, the UAE’s cabinet enforced the Cabinet Resolution No. 56 of 2018 Regarding the Organization of Residence Permits for Investors, Entrepreneurs and Professional Talent. This was coined the “Golden Card” by HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

It is an automatically renewable residence visa for those contributing to the Emirati economy, be it by way of investments, or exceptional professionals or talents. Persons for this residency may be eligible through investments, academic excellence, or distinguished professionals and talents. These eligible persons are later adjudged finally in the hands of the designated committee of recognised Emirati professionals – the Investors’ Committee, or the Entrepreneur, or the Special Talents Committee. The applicants have to undergo application procedures including medical examination and biometrics registration.

Clarity on regulations and implementation is awaited but it’s a move that was not only long awaited but in the right direction for the UAE.

The applicants have to undergo application procedures including medical examination and biometrics registration.
Requirements for eligibility
  • Investors: this residence visa may be obtained by those investing into the UAE’s economy (or property) with a value of at least half a million AED. For property investments of 1 million AED, 2 years of residency is granted. At 5 million AED in property investments result in a 5-year residency however this amount must be fully owned by the investor (i.e. not a loan). Should the investment be valued at 10 million AED by way of public deposit or business partnership or company, these persons are eligible for a 10-year visa. Holders of this visa may sponsor one executive and an advisor.
  • Entrepreneurs: Applicants of this visa have a renewable 6- month multiple entry permit to the UAE. Upon successful investment in projects of a minimal value of 500,000 they may receive 5-year visas with a possibility of being upgraded to a 10-year once they obtain an investor visa.
  • Distinguished Talents: HH Sheikh Mohammed also stated that exceptional workers in the fields of health, engineering, science and art are eligible to the residency which is extended to the spouse and the children of the card holder. Talents may obtain a 10-year visa if either they obtain a patent of value and accreditation from the Ministry of Culture and knowledge Development Inventors in the UAE. Different distinguished talents have their own criteria as set out below;
    • Scientists: must be accredited by Emirates Scientists Council or holders of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence, or if their scientific research is published in a world class journal.
    • Creative persons: must be accredited by Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development.
    • Inventors: must obtain a patent of value which adds to the UAE’s economy. These patents must be approved by Ministry of Economy.
    • Students: must have obtained at least 95% in secondary school and a distinction of 3.75 GPA upon graduation from any university whether inside or outside of the UAE. These applicants are granted a 5-year renewable residency visa for themselves and for their families.
    • Executives: must be owners of leading and internationally recognised company or holders of high academic achievements and position.
    • Doctors & Specialists: must meet at least two of the following conditions:
      • A Ph. D. degree from one of the top 500 universities in the world (refer to ICA for information);
      • An award or certificate of appreciation in the field of the applicant’s work;
      • Published articles or scientific books in distinguished publications in the respective field of work;
      • A membership in an organisation related to the field;
      • A Ph. D. degree, in addition to 10-year professional experience in his field;
      • Specialisation in areas of priority to the UAE

The following diagram summarises the required criteria for the eligible persons:




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