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Full Guide to UAE Golden Visas

Updated: May 11, 2023

The UAE's Golden Visa program is probably the world's most straightforward and liberal long-term residence visa program out there.

In this article, we are covering in depth what types of golden visas are available, how to qualify, and how to apply for them.

There are consultants and agencies charging clients up to $15,000 to arrange a UAE Golden visa for them. In reality, the Golden Visa process is straightforward and can be completed by yourself in just a few hours. In fact, in order to receive a Golden Visa, you have to apply in person. An agency cannot help you much here, and the only service they are providing is reading out the information from this article we give you for free.

At The Dubai Navigator, we assist clients with legal strategies that allow you to relocate your residence and or business to Dubai and the UAE. We also develop broader property and equity investment strategies that avoid global taxation, and craft advanced estate plans that protect your global assets. Our strategies are holistic, developed by seasoned, post-graduate finance experts, and are designed to be cost-effective and accessible.

What is the UAE Golden Visa?

A UAE Golden Visa allows eligible individuals to stay for up to 10 years at a time in the country. Contrary to the standard Dubai property visa or the retirement visa, you are allowed to work in the UAE on a Golden Visa, as long as you or your employer applies for a separate UAE work permit.

UAE Golden Visas allow you to reside in the country for up to 10 years

Golden Visa Types

Golden Visas can be broadly categorized into the (Dubai) Property Golden Visa and Professional Golden Visas. These different visa sub-types are administered by different government agencies.

The Dubai Property Golden Visa requires a minimum investment of AED 2,000,000 (USD 545,000) in Dubai property. The investment amount may be spread out over several properties, and up to 50% of the amount may be mortgaged.

The Professional Golden Visas can be obtained in any emirate and are issued for professionals from a variety of backgrounds, including:

  • Entrepreneurs

  • Exceptional Talents

  • Scientists & Professionals

  • Outstanding Students & Graduates

  • Humanitarian Pioneers

  • Frontline Heroes

There is also a non-property investor Golden Visa, which requires a minimum investment fund balance of AED 2mill, as we discuss in our article on investor visas.

The exact requirements for professional Golden Visas change constantly. Contact us for an up-to-date consultation.

Sponsoring Family Members and House Staff

As a Golden Visa holder, you may sponsor dependent family members including a spouse, parents, and both underage and (unmarried) adult children. Dependent family visas have the same validity as the main golden visa.

You may also sponsor domestic staff such as a maid or driver.

How to Apply for a Golden Visa

The Golden Visa application process depends on whether you intend to apply for your Golden Visa in Dubai or Abu Dhabi, and whether you intend to get a Property Golden Visa or a standard (Professional) Golden Visa.

The emirate of your Golden Visa (Dubai or Abu Dhabi) should depend on the location of your qualifying investment. If you are a professional, you may apply in either emirate.

The location of your visa decides where you need to get health insurance, your driving license, and register your car. Aside from these factors, you may live anyway in the UAE irrespective of the kind of visa you hold.

The Dubai Property Golden Visa

In order to apply for a Dubai Property Golden Visa, you need to visit one of two Dubai Land Department (DLD) service centers. The prospective visa holder needs to visit in person. The service centers are:

For the application, you need the following documents:

  1. Passport

  2. An electronic copy of the property's title deed certificate

  3. A personal photo

  4. Valid health insurance (may be submitted after the application)

  5. Original Emirates ID (if any)

  6. Copy of latest visa in the UAE (if any)

The Dubai Land Department will verify your property ownership in its centralized database.

The following fees need to be paid on the spot (as of April 2023):

Main Golden Visa (Total: 9734.75 AED)

  1. Medical Check: 700 AED

  2. Emirates ID: 1153 AED (10 Years)

  3. New visa: 2706.75 AED (10 Years)

  4. DLD Fees: 4020 AED

  5. Administrative fees: 1155 AED

Family (Dependent) Visa (5718.5 AED)

  1. New Visa Fees: 5399.75 AED

  2. File Opening for Dependent Visa: 318.75 AED

The application including medical check can be performed in just a few hours on site.

All other (Dubai) Golden Visas

All other Dubai Golden visas, including non-property investment or wealth-based golden visas need to be applied for through the government's AMER service centers. These are located all over the city.

Even better, you may submit your initial application via the AMER website. Afterward, you just need to visit an AMER branch for a medical examination. That's it.

Your (new) Emirates Identity card will be sent straight to your home address.

Abu Dhabi Golden Visas

Abu Dhabi Golden visas need to be applied for through the Abu Dhabi Residents Office.

The agency manages all types of Golden Visas, including property investor and professional Golden Visas.

The available visa types are identical to Dubai, and have the same qualification requirements.

If you need additional support specifically when it comes to developing a comprehensive tax strategy involving your business and home country, investing tax-free in property or equity, or drafting an international estate plan that protects your global assets and is executable, we are here for you. Give us a call for free!

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