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Dubai Residence Visas for Investors

For a long time, the real estate sector has been one of the key growth drivers in Dubai's economy, playing a prominent role in its development.

Dubai residence visas for investors

For a long time, the real estate sector has been one of the key growth drivers in Dubai’s economy, playing a prominent role in its development. The emirate’s government has consistently introduced and executed various strategic initiatives and projects to enhance this sector, thereby fostering investor confidence and attracting foreign investments.

In line with this commitment, the United Arab Emirates government launched an innovative program in 2019 known as the “Golden Visa,” which allows real estate investors and their families to obtain long-term residency visas. This program encompasses four types of visas: a 3-year Investor Visa, a 5-year Green Residency Visa, a 10-year Golden Residency Visa, and a Retirement Residency Visa.

We will now delve into the details of these key visas, highlighting the essential criteria, associated costs, as well as the application process and follow-up procedures.


Investor Visas in the United Arab Emirates

The previously popular investor visa in the United Arab Emirates was the 5-year Golden Visa, which could be obtained by purchasing ready residential properties worth 5 million Emirati Dirhams (approximately 1.36 million US dollars) or more. However, recent amendments to the visa regulations in the UAE, effective since October 3, 2022, have brought about significant changes.

The minimum requirement for obtaining the Golden Visa has been reduced to 2 million Emirati Dirhams (approximately 545,000 US dollars), making investors who invest in properties at or above this threshold eligible for this visa. Furthermore, if your real estate investment reaches 750,000 Emirati Dirhams (approximately 205,000 US dollars) or more, you become eligible for an Investor Visa valid for 3 years under the Residency Program managed by the Dubai Land and Property Department.

All these visas can be renewed an unlimited number of times and can be extended to immediate family members, including spouse and children. Below is a summary of the requirements and benefits of the available options for potential investors:


5 year Golden Visa:

  • Real estate investment of 2 million Emirati Dirhams or more.
  • Possibility of unlimited renewals.
  • Includes spouse and children.


3 year Investor Visa (Residency Program):

  • Real estate investment of 750,000 Emirati Dirhams or more.
  • Possibility of unlimited renewals.
  • Includes spouse and children.

These amendments aim to facilitate and enhance investment opportunities in the United Arab Emirates, attracting new investors from around the world.


3 year residency visa

You can obtain a 3-year residency visa in Dubai by purchasing a completed residential property worth no less than 750,000 Emirati Dirhams. Upon making this investment, you will have the opportunity to apply for an investor visa valid for 3 years. Once you obtain the visa, you can apply for a UAE identity card, which is required for opening a local bank account, obtaining a driving license, and more.

If you own a mortgaged property, you can still apply for an investor visa if you invest a minimum of 750,000 Emirati Dirhams, along with providing a bank statement.

This opportunity is also available for expatriates who own between 1 and 3 residential properties with a total value of no less than 750,000 Emirati Dirhams, allowing them to apply for an investor visa.

If the property was purchased through a loan, you must pay 50% of its value or a minimum of 750,000 Emirati Dirhams upon application, along with providing a no-objection certificate and a bank statement for the mortgage.

You can submit your application online through the DLD Vault website or the Dubai REST application. After your application is approved, you will be required to pay the necessary fees at the Cube Center in the main office of the Dubai Land Department. Obtaining this type of visa will cost you no less than 15,000 Emirati Dirhams (approximately 4,100 US Dollars), and the process takes around 3 to 5 working days. Your visa will remain valid as long as you remain the owner of the property.

Note: Holders of the 3-year visa should not spend more than 6 months per year outside the UAE.


A five-year Green Visa

The Green Visa represents an entirely new category of residence permits, allowing expatriates to sponsor themselves and their families without the need for assistance from employers or Emirati citizens. Eligible categories for this visa include investors establishing businesses or engaging in commercial activities, as well as freelancers and skilled professionals.

The Green Visa holders are permitted to stay in the United Arab Emirates for a grace period of up to six months after the expiration or cancellation of their residency. Other advantages of the Green Visa include the ability to sponsor children under the age of 25, unmarried daughters, and disabled children without any age restrictions.


Investors must fulfill the following requirements to obtain the Green Visa:

  • Obtain authorization from the relevant local authorities.
  • Confirm and approve the investment (in cases of multiple licenses, the total invested capital will be considered).
  • If applying for a freelance work visa, you need to provide a freelance work permit from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization, along with a bachelor’s degree and proof of annual freelance income for the last two years, totaling no less than AED 360,000 (USD 98,000).

Note: It is also possible to obtain a freelance work visa in the UAE, which requires the sponsorship of the employer for a period of three years.

According to Arabian Business, the cost of applying for a Green Visa is AED 335.75 (USD 91.41). In case of a change of status within the UAE, additional fees of AED 650 (USD 176.97) will apply.


Golden Visa for a 10-year

Golden Visa for a 10-year duration is granted. If you already own a property of a specified value, you can also apply for the Golden Visa. All acquired assets must remain in the applicant’s possession for at least 3 years. If necessary, properties for the Golden Visa can be purchased through loans from selected local banks.

The investor visa allows holders a 10-year residency with the ability to sponsor their families, including children of any age, as well as local employees and appoint advisors and executives. Furthermore, as per recent amendments, family members are permitted to stay in the UAE for the entire duration of the Golden Visa, even in the event of the primary visa holder’s demise. Previously, regulations stipulated a maximum allowance of 180 days for external residency, but now, Golden Residency visas remain valid even if you are outside the country for over 6 months. Obtaining this type of visa takes 7 to 10 business days.

Additionally, holders of the Golden Visa can apply for the Happiness Card, which offers attractive discounts on goods and services from over 7000 brands in 92 countries around the world, including the United Arab Emirates.

Note that when purchasing a property under construction, investors can also qualify for a 10-year residency visa, but only after the completion of the property. This requirement applies to 3-year investor visas as well.


Retirement Visa for Elderly Investors

This category of visas aims to attract elderly investors aged 55 and above, granting them a residency for a period of five years. Applicants for this type of visa are required to have valid medical insurance in the United Arab Emirates at the time of application. Applicants are also asked to meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Having a monthly income of AED 20,000 (equivalent to $5,400 USD).
  2. Providing a minimum of AED 1 million (equivalent to $272,000 USD).
  3. Purchasing a local property worth at least AED 2 million using personal funds only.

This type of visa can be renewed every five years, as long as all the aforementioned conditions are met. Holders of this visa are allowed to work during retirement and can also sponsor their spouses and school or college-going children.

Note: The minimum qualifying monthly income for a retirement visa in Dubai is AED 15,000 (equivalent to $4,000 USD).


Additional Requirements:

Each visa among the aforementioned visas requires the applicant to own a property valued at no less than 750,000 Emirati Dirhams. These properties include completed hotel apartments available for freehold ownership, houses, villas, offices, hotel apartments, warehouses, and residential apartments. Properties under dispute, leased, or under construction are not eligible for investor visas.

In case of joint investment between spouses, they can still apply for an investor visa, provided that a authenticated marriage certificate is attached to their application.


Documents to be submitted during the application process:

In addition to the aforementioned documents, each applicant must submit the following set of documents:

  1. Property ownership deed.
  2. Copy of passport.
  3. Copy of their current visa, if applicable.
  4. Certificate of good conduct and behavior.
  5. Health insurance.
  6. Bank statement for the last 6 months.

Prior to contacting the authorities, it is advisable to communicate with your visa consultant and ensure that you have a complete set of relevant documents before initiating the process.


The process of applying for an investor residency visa in Dubai is as follows:

Firstly, the investor should undertake the following steps:

  1. Visit the Dubai Land Department (DLD) and provide the following documents: passport, property ownership deed, a copy of the current visa page if available, and a request for a reference letter. Subsequently, the reference letter must be submitted to the Dubai Police.
  2. Based on the reference letter, the visa applicant must obtain a Good Conduct and Behavior Certificate from the Dubai Police.
  3. Afterward, the applicant should proceed to the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) and submit an application to obtain a commercial license.
  4. Once the economic license is issued by the DED, the applicant should go to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) and submit an application to obtain a specific type of residency visa.

In summary, the investor in Dubai needs to follow these steps to apply for a residency visa.


What about the fees?

 The average cost of a 3-year investor visa starts at 15,000 UAE Dirhams. Here is a breakdown of the fees:

  1. Criminal Records Certificate – 220 UAE Dirhams (approximately 59 US Dollars).
  2. Various Administrative Fees – 420 UAE Dirhams (approximately 114 US Dollars).
  3. Application Fees – 3,000 UAE Dirhams (approximately 816 US Dollars).
  4. Entry Permit – 1,000 UAE Dirhams (approximately 272 US Dollars).
  5. Economic Development Department License – 8,500 UAE Dirhams (approximately 2,300 US Dollars).
  6. UAE Identity Card and Health Insurance – 2,500 UAE Dirhams (approximately 680 US Dollars).


When applying for a Golden Visa or Retirement Visa, you should take into consideration the following:

  1. Medical Insurance for High-Level Individuals – 753 UAE Dirhams (approximately 205 US Dollars).
  2. UAE Identity Card Processing – 573 UAE Dirhams (approximately 156 US Dollars).
  3. New Visa Fees – 2,230 UAE Dirhams (approximately 606 US Dollars).
  4. Administrative Charges – 100 UAE Dirhams (approximately 27 US Dollars).

The total amount for these expenses is 3,700 UAE Dirhams (approximately 1,010 US Dollars). Extending the contract and sponsoring spouses or dependents will incur additional costs ranging from 4,000 to 7,000 UAE Dirhams (approximately 1,090 to 1,900 US Dollars).


How can we assist you?

Our highly qualified brokers, part of the Kyan Real Estate Group, are ready to help you obtain a long-term visa through the purchase of a completed residential property.

We are here to alleviate unnecessary stress, as we will take care of all transaction details, from negotiating with the seller and completing the paperwork in accordance with local laws, to registering the property with the relevant authorities.

Furthermore, our real estate agents will guide you through your rights and responsibilities as a potential buyer and owner of the property, ensuring your protection against all types of risks.


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