How to get a UAE golden visa – The ultimate guide

UAE Golden Visa
January 17, 2024

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United Arab Emirates is an epitome of industrial progress and business growth in the world. So, many foreigners want to get a UAE golden visa to reap the rewards of this prosperous country. UAE’s government is making rapid changes regarding visa and tax procedures in the corporate sector in 2024.

The regulating bodies in the UAE are introducing several new policies in this regard. Accordingly, some of them have gone into implementation and a few are still to enforce in the coming years. The sole reason for these changes in laws is to increase the investment rate and boost the economy of the UAE.

Along with many modifications, UAE’s authorities have come up with the “golden visa”, a step ahead of the “green visa”. This valuable step is taken keeping in view the ease for investors and attracting the entrepreneurs. Subsequently, the sponsors can make a long-term investment plan in Dubai.

It is “time to switch from green to golden visa” for investors to have a lasting stay in the UAE. Golden card, a permanent residency for expats in the UAE is now a reality. Therefore, hundreds of expatriate business leaders are given 10-year residency visas under the government’s new golden visa scheme.

Defining the UAE golden visa

What is UAE golden visa?

The golden visa program is must-have for people desiring to stay in the UAE alone or with families for longer. Also, known as golden card, it’s a great opportunity for foreigners doing investment, and professionals to live, and work there. An initiative to hold a 5 or 10-year visa is desirable for expatriates demanding a comfortable environment in the UAE.

Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum made the announcement on twitter on Tuesday, 21st May 2019.

The permanent residency “Golden card” will be granted to exceptional talents and everyone who positively contributes to the success story of the UAE. We want them to be permanent partners in our journey. Residents are an indispensable part of our country.

Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum — Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai

Reasons for launching UAE’s golden visa

Why is UAE giving golden visa?

UAE is rewarding the long-term foreign residents who are greatly contributing to its development for their loyalty. This announcement is creating an interesting new paradigm for foreigners here. UAE is super smart and progressive, and is boosting the attractiveness of the emirate for top global talent and investment.

Encouraging them to stay for longer periods of time means continuous investments. For the last 30 years, UAE has undergone rapid pace of development. So, the idea of belonging has increasingly become more and more important.

The move is huge milestone for the UAE and for the property market. Over the last few years, there are continuous measures taken to develop property market further which in turn adds longevity to the UAE. First with 5 year visa, then 10 year visas, then now with permanent residency option.

Louie Alsop — CEO of Alsop

Now with permanent residency option, expats living in the UAE can call the country their home. Visa rule changes are directly and immediately driving the office and residential market. Therefore, more business owners are likely to buy office spaces in the UAE rather than just rent them out.

Owning your own home also becomes a lot more attractive. If you know you can stay here for a decade and not just two years as it was in the past. This could also lead to increased property sales.

I felt honored. This country always respects genuine business people. This is my home now and I would love to live here forever.

Balvinder Sahni — Founder and Chairman of RSG Group

Since, its launch in 2019 till 2022, total number of golden visas was 151,666. Whereas, 150,000 golden visas were given in the first half of 2023. Due to Brexit, the appeal of Dubai is increasing as a retirement destination for British expatriates.

Benefits of the UAE golden visa

Which are the benefits of the UAE golden visa?

The UAE golden visa program provides these perks to the people investing in the Gulf region’s marvel.

  • Extended visa validity for 5 or 10 years
  • Self-sponsorship
  • Fully owned business in UAE mainland
  • Opportunity to sponsor your family
  • Permission to exit and enter UAE multiple times
  • Staying outside the UAE does not invalidate the golden residence
  • In case of a Golden visa holder’s death, the family members can stay in UAE as long as they have residence permits

Eligibility criteria for the UAE golden visa

Who is eligible for the UAE golden visa?

Now, we come to the point of which persons are eligible for the UAE golden visa.

Let’s discuss these categories of people eligible for the UAE golden visa.

Foreign investors

Expat investors are eligible to get a UAE golden visa if they fulfill any of these requirements.

  • A deposit of up to AED 10 million in an investment fund in the UAE
  • Owner of a company with AED 10 million in capital
  • Partner in a company with a share of up to AED 10 million

However, they need to meet these conditions.

  • Investors should fully own the investment fund, instead of funding through a loan.
  • They must hold investment for a minimum of 3 years.
  • Investors should also provide an insurance document for themselves and their family.


Nowadays, as entrepreneurship is thriving in the UAE, so entrepreneurs are eligible if they meet these requirements.

  • Own a successful project with a value of AED 500,000 or more in a certified field of UAE
  • Should provide the approval as certified business incubator who is owner of the project
  • Need to submit detailed health insurance for themselves and family

Chief executives

To become eligible to get a UAE golden visa, chief executives have to fulfill these requirements.

  • They hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent
  • Should have 5 or more years of experience
  • Earn a minimum of AED 30,000 or more salary with valid contract in the UAE
  • Have to provide detailed health insurance for themselves and family

Specialists, professionals, and scientists

For eligibility to get a UAE golden visa, specialists need to meet any of these requirements.

  • Individuals who have done PhD and have 20 years’ practical experience in their field
  • Professors from any one of the top 500 international universities, approved by the Ministry of Education
  • Specialists who have got an award or certificate of appreciation in their current specialty
  • Scientists with significant contributions to major studies or research
  • Individuals who specialize in fields that UAE considers important

Graduates and outstanding students

Meeting these requirements makes graduates and students eligible to get a UAE golden visa for 5 years.

  • Graduates with a grade point average of minimum 3.75 on graduation from universities in the UAE or abroad
  • Academically strong students with an average of at least 95% result in the school
  • The move expects to attract best international students to the UAE

Process to apply for the UAE golden visa

How to apply for the UAE golden visa?

Next, you need to know the process to apply for a UAE golden visa. There are two ways to apply for the golden visa. In both ways, you have several steps to follow.

Moving forward, we take a look on these methods and the steps required for them.

Steps for in-person visa application

The first way is to file your application for golden visa in-person. For this purpose, you have to visit the GDFRA (General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs) offices. Eligible candidates can apply for a UAE golden visa using the following manual steps there.

  • Step 1: Visit one of the service offices of the GDFRA centres.
  • Step 2: Select the category for Investment and fulfill the application form.
  • Step 3: Submit the mandatory documents to the facilitating officer.
  • Step 4: Pay the fee charges for the visa service.
  • Step 5: Submit your application form.

Steps for online visa application

The other way is to get through UAE online visa services for foreigners. People meeting the eligibility requirements can apply for the UAE Golden Visa by logging into the ICA official website. Or they can use the online application system of GDRFA.

Here are the series of steps for online application submission for the UAE Golden Visa in 2024.

  • Step 1: Install the GDRFA-Dubai application through the verified smart stores. Apple store or Play store.
  • Step 2:  Register a new user account (in case of no user account).
  • Step 3:  Now choose your service category. At this step, you are required to choose the category that best describes your reason to stay in UAE.
  • Step 4:  You are required to attach the required documents asked in the application form.
  • Step 5: Deposit the fee in any mentioned bank and attach the deposited fee slip along with documents.
  • Step 6: Submit the application request and the process is good to go.

To get the candidate updated with the visa approval process, the online system will send notifications as well as text messages. Online applicants will receive emails or text messages to update them on the status of their applications. They also get informed in case there is some missing document that needs to be submitted within 30 days.


People want to make their stay in UAE as successful as possible. Also, they seek to set and grow their business in the mainland or free zones of Dubai. For this purpose, they can consult professional business consulting specialists.

UAE golden visa is one opportunity that they can count on. Our team of consultants will find for you the best possible options in terms of the work categories. While helping you in documentation, they will deliver you the finest way out to get the golden visa in UAE.

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