UAE Residency by Investment: The Definitive Guide for 2022

UAE Residency by Investment

The United Arab Emirates’ population is made up of about 90-percent ex-pats and 10-percent natives. Surrounded by a desert are oases of skyscrapers and vast cities. People from around the world descend on the UAE to strike it rich with their business dreams.

Unique is probably the best way to describe the UAE. Shrugging off its stoic Middle East business practices, the UAE is focused on leading the Middle East to global business dominance.

Our government has created incredible investment opportunities through foreign investment schemes. Business in the UAE is growing at a rate of double digits year-on-year – and its economy isn’t showing any signs of slowing down despite the COVID-19 fall-out.

The United Arab Emirates are transforming this region into an ever greener investor’s paradise – and a fantastic country to settle in with your family with UAE citizenship and long-term residence visa opportunities.

To become a UAE resident – and a UAE citizen – starting a business in the UAE is the fast possible process to achieve this for you and your family. It might seem a daunting prospect to complete the applications, trade licenses, trade zone approvals, visas, and business certificates – and it is. The good news is that Trade License Zone offers the easiest process for you to gain the UAE government’s stamp of approval to live and work in the UAE.

What Makes the UAE So Attractive to Investors?

The allure of Dubai and Abu Dhabi for foreign nationals is easy to understand. Your startup has the best chances of becoming the next internationally recognized company to hit it big on the global market.

In fact, Dubai is the largest employer of scientific and technical jobs in the world. Existing business and startups with strong investment programs backed by the government and its trade zone structures.

Businesspeople and residents alike benefit from the government’s zero-percent tax on corporate and personal incomes. They also subsidize fuel, education and healthcare while offering exciting real estate incentives, pension and other retirement benefits from 49 years of age. New UAE citizens are also not required to renounce any previous citizenship, allowing them to hold dual citizenship.

Foreign nationals are now eligible to create a free zone company with full foreign ownership rights. What this means is that the days of requiring a UAE native business partner is over – total investment by an ex-pat now means full ownership. Long-term residence visas and residence permits are now available to match the complete foreign ownership of companies through new investor visa classes.

The UAE’s economy has already experienced a boom since these new laws came into effect earlier in 2021. These new UAE investment visa schemes, investor visa, and long term visa categories are just what was needed to enhance investor confidence in the UAE.

The UAE Investment Visa Guide

In February 2021, the United Arab Emirates made significant changes to the UAE citizenship law. The government will allow qualifying investors, people with exceptional talents, and students with a high academic achievement record to be naturalized. Family members are also included with the applicant.

Eligibility for the UAE’s Investor Visa

The UAE widest sweeping change in recent times was to their UAE citizenship laws. There are four new types of UAE visa classes: investors, entrepreneurs, people with specialized talents, and students with high academic achievement.

UAE citizenship through investment aims to attract foreign nationals that will drive the country’s economy forward. Strict eligibility and application rules apply for the UAE’s investor visa and UAE citizenship requirements. Getting a golden visa (a long-term residence visa of 10 years) is pretty tough; it is the dream of all ex-pats here.

For UAE Citizenship, only the UAE cabinet, executive councils, and local courts can nominate applicants for eligibility.

These UAE investor visas and UAE citizenships are available as UAE long-term residence visas. The government has divided these into two time-frames: 5-year and 10-year visas.

The UAE’s 10-Year Residence Visa Requirements

The long term residence visa everyone wants is the 10-year investment visa (also known as the golden visa). This new visa category offers extended opportunities to investors and also to their spouse and children.

Trade License Zone can work with you to ensure all paperwork is present and correct before submitting your application. This can help to avoid delays and rejection.

Investment Options:

To be eligible for these long-term residence permits, the following categories need to have strictly adhered to:

  • Investors are required to make a public investment of at least AED 10 million into an investment fund inside the UAE to qualify for their UAE residence visa.
  • Investments in real estate must not exceed 60-percent of the total investment amount.
  • Starting a business with a minimum capital investment of AED 10 million in the UAE’s trade zones.
  • Investors may create a partnership with an existing or new business with a share value of at least AED 10 million.

Investor Visa Requirements:

The UAE has laid out the following qualifying criteria for their new 10-year residence visa:

  • Proof of sufficient funds – loans are not counted towards the investment amount.
  • Investors are required to hold their investment for at least 3 years.

On the UAE’s 10-year residence visa, an applicant’s spouse and children are included. This can also be extended to one executive director and one advisor for their business interests in the UAE. Investors are also eligible for a multiple entry permit for 6 months at a time.

10-Year Residence Visa for Special Talents

As we’ve mentioned, the 10-year residence visa is also available for people with exceptional talents. These are defined as specialists and researchers with scientific excellence (and with scientific research published), such as doctors, scientists, inventors, and creative individuals in the fields of art and culture. Spouses and children of applicants are also eligible. While this visa type doesn’t require a minimum capital of AED 10 million, this golden visa does require a valid employment contract in a specialized field of priority.

The UAE’s 5-Year Residence Visa Requirements

As with the 10-year (golden visa), the UAE’s 5-year residence visa is open to investors, entrepreneurs, and students with high academic achievement.

Trade License Zone’s highly experienced specialists can assist you with every step of your application, from documentation to fees, licenses, and more.

Investment Options:

Eligibility for the 5-year investor visa can be achieved with a real estate investment with a minimum gross value of AED 5 million.

Investor Visa Requirements:

  • Investors must hold their property for a minimum of three years.
  • Applicants’ investment amounts must not include loans.

Entrepreneurs are also eligible for this 5-year visa. An entrepreneur with an existing company in the UAE with a capital of AED 500,000 or an entrepreneur with an existing project approved by a government-accredited business incubator in the UAE can apply for a 5-year residence visa. This visa can also be extended to the entrepreneur’s spouse and children, as well as three business executives.

As we’ve mentioned, a 5-year visa is also available for an outstanding student. This requirement asks for a minimum grade of 95-percent in a public/private school and a university student with a distinction GPA of at least 3.75 at graduation.

The Application Process

While the UAE government has simplified and streamlined the visa application process, you’ll still be required to submit reams of paperwork and liaise with numerous government bodies. We at Trade License Zone are specialists in this process. Our staff are available to assist you with each step of the process and will provide you with a single point of contact from the start of the application to its successful completion.

For individuals seeking a UAE residence visa as an investor, special talent, entrepreneur or outstanding student, the UAE grants applicants a six-month multi-entry visa in order to complete all the necessary requirements for these visa categories.

Of course, you might want to start the application process before you actually arrive in the UAE. By partnering with Trade License Zone, we will guide you from registering your application, opening a bank account, obtaining your Dubai investor visa, to assisting you with business partners, and more.

One of the strictest requirements is a medical examination to show that you are medically fit and free from communicable diseases. You’ll also undergo a security check when you apply for your Emirates ID card.

If you are applying for a real estate investment residence permit you’ll need to submit the title deed, the deal’s sale and purchase contracts, a copy of the property owner’s passport, and the applicant’s visa.

If you are an outstanding student or person of specialized talents you’ll need to show documents proving your skills and achievements.

Only once your documents are completed and the requirements are ticked off the list, will your application be processed. Turnaround time is usually around three weeks, but it can take up to six weeks.

A residence visa will only be issued to the applicant once they’ve completed all the requirements and are already in the UAE.

Renewal Process with Trade License Zone

Residence permits can be renewed. Renewal applications must be submitted within 30 days of the expiration of residence permits. If the expiration date is exceeded, the UAE government charges daily fees for staying in the country – so be sure to complete your residence permit renewal on time. It takes up to 3 weeks for residence visas to be renewed.

The process of renewing and the dubai investor visa application has been simplified. However, navigating the process without any complications or delays requires in-depth knowledge of the UAE and its many regulations.

As we’ve mentioned, the fastest route to securing a UAE residence visa or golden visa is by starting a company in the UAE. That’s why it’s always advisable to acquire the services of a Dubai business setup company that can not only advise on the process but also seek out the most suitable license and setup type for your business, based on your needs and your budget.

By making use of business setup services, you also gain peace of mind that your license and visa applications are free from errors and omissions – both of which can lead to delays and rejection. Of course, we’ll help you with every step of the Dubai investor visa application process, too.

When you work with the experts at Trade License Zone, all you need to provide is some basic documentation and a little information about the nature of your business. Then, sit back and let the experts take care of the rest – managing your license and visa applications, communicating with all relevant departments and authorities, and reporting back when you’re ready to start trading. It really is that simple.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can my spouse and children also be allowed in the UAE on my UAE residence visa?

A: Yes, all residential permits allow for you to bring your spouse and children. Of course, there is paperwork and registration for this, but Trade License Zone will manage all aspects of the process for you.

Q: Do I still require a UAE national as a business partner for investing in a startup or a business in the UAE?

A: Before 2021, a company’s share profile required a UAE national to carry a 51-percent ownership stake of all foreign-owned businesses in the UAE. This business rule was changed, allowing foreign nationals to 100-percent ownership rights without a UAE national business partner.

Q: Will the UAE government relax their “golden visa” requirements?

A: It is unlikely to do so in the near future. This change in visa categories si the first such in the history of the Middle East. The “golden visa” and UAE citizenship will transform the landscape of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the rest of the Emirates.

Contact us to get a personalized quotation based on your business activity