All you need to know about UAE's Golden Visa changes

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The UAE has expanded the eligibility criteria and categories of benefits for Golden visa holders.

It's part of a host of changes approved by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Monday.

It will now allow investors, entrepreneurs, exceptional talents, scientists and professionals, outstanding students and graduates, humanitarian pioneers and frontline workers to apply for the 10-year long-term residence permits. 

Golden Residence holders will be able to sponsor their family members, including spouses and children regardless of age, and any number of domestic workers.

And, if the original Golden visa holder dies, their family will be allowed to continue their stay in the UAE until the permit duration. 

The six-month limit on days spent outside the UAE to maintain the validity of the Golden Residence has also been scrapped. 

Eligibility criteria for Golden Residency expanded 

Scientists and researchers, on recommendation from the Emirates Scientists Council, are now eligible for the 10-year residency. The candidates should hold a PhD or master's degree in engineering, technology, life sciences and natural sciences from the top universities in the world, and have substantial research achievements to show.

Highly skilled workers with educational qualifications and professional experience in disciplines, including medicine, sciences and engineering, information technology, business and administration, education, law, culture and social sciences are also eligible. The applicants should have a valid employment contract in the UAE, and should be classified in the first or second occupational level as per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation classification. They must have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, and the monthly salary should not be less than AED 30,000.

Exceptional talents in vital fields like culture, art, sports, digital technology, inventors and innovators will also be eligible regardless of educational qualification, employment status, monthly salary or professional level. Applicants will require the recommendation or approval of a federal or local government entity.

Real estate investors can obtain Golden Residence when purchasing a property worth no less than AED 2 million with a loan from specific local banks. Investors who buy one or more off-plan properties of no less than AED 2 million from approved local real estate companies are also eligible.

Entrepreneurs who own or are a partner in a startup registered in the country in the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) category and generates annual revenues of not less than AED1 million can apply. In addition, obtaining approval for a startup idea from an official business incubator or from the Ministry of Economy or the competent local authorities can also obtain the Golden Residence. Moreover, if the person is a founder (one of the founders) of a previous entrepreneurial project(s) that was sold for a total of not less than AED 7 million, they will be entitled to the Golden Residence provided they get an approval from the Ministry of Economy or the competent local authorities.

Outstanding Students in UAE secondary schools, and outstanding graduates from UAE universities and the best 100 universities worldwide.

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