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    How to get Permanent Residency in the UAE

    Posted by admin Posted in Blog

    Jun 16 2024 at 7:16pm

    UAE permanent residency

    The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a thriving hub for expatriates, offering a high standard of living, a favourable business environment, and a vibrant cultural scene. Securing permanent residency in the UAE is a coveted status for many, as it opens doors to numerous opportunities and benefits.

    Our comprehensive guide shows you how to obtain permanent residency in the UAE, including the required steps, eligibility criteria, documents, and associated benefits.

    Understanding permanent residency in the UAE

    Permanent residency in the UAE, often referred to as the UAE Golden Visa, is a long-term residence visa that allows foreigners to live, work, and study in the country without the need for a national sponsor. This visa is granted for a period of five or ten years and is renewable. It is designed to attract investors, entrepreneurs, specialised talents, researchers, and outstanding students, thereby contributing to the UAE’s economic growth and development.

    Types of permanent residency visas

    There are several categories under which an individual can apply for permanent residency in the UAE:

    Investors: Individuals who make significant investments in the UAE, such as in real estate or business, may be eligible for a long-term visa.

    Entrepreneurs: Founders of start-ups or individuals with innovative business ideas can apply for permanent residency.

    Specialised Talents and Researchers: Highly skilled professionals in fields such as science, technology, and medicine are encouraged to apply.

    Outstanding Students and Graduates: Exceptional students with outstanding academic performance can also obtain a long-term visa.

    Each category has specific requirements and criteria that applicants must meet to be considered for permanent residency.

    Why pursue permanent residency in the UAE?

    Obtaining permanent residency in the UAE offers numerous advantages, including:

    Stability and security: Enjoy the peace of mind that comes with long-term residency and the ability to plan for the future.

    Business opportunities: Leverage the UAE’s strategic location and business-friendly environment to expand and grow your ventures.

    Quality of life: Benefit from the UAE’s world-class infrastructure, healthcare, and education systems.

    Tax benefits: The UAE offers a favourable tax regime, including no personal income tax, making it an attractive destination for professionals and entrepreneurs.

    With these advantages in mind, many individuals are eager to embark on the journey to secure permanent residency in the UAE.

    In the following sections, we will delve deeper into the step-by-step process, eligibility criteria, necessary documents, and the specific benefits associated with obtaining permanent residency in this dynamic and prosperous country.

    How to get permanent residency in the UAE: step-by-step

    Obtaining permanent residency in the UAE involves a systematic process that requires careful preparation and attention to detail. This step-by-step guide will help you navigate the process efficiently.

    Step 1: Determine your eligibility

    Before initiating the application process, it is crucial to ascertain your eligibility for the UAE’s permanent residency program. Eligibility depends on the category under which you plan to apply, such as investor, entrepreneur, specialised talent, researcher, or outstanding student. Each category has specific requirements, and you are required to meet all the criteria.

    Step 2: Gather the required documents

    Collect all necessary documents to support your application. The documents you will need vary based on your category but generally include:

    • A valid passport
    • Recent photographs
    • Proof of investment or business ownership (for investors and entrepreneurs)
    • Academic qualifications (for outstanding students and researchers)
    • Proof of professional experience and expertise (for specialised talents)
    • Health insurance

    Step 3: Submit your application

    Applications for permanent residency in the UAE can typically be submitted online through the official portals of relevant authorities, such as the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) or the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA). Our team will guide you through this process.

    After submitting your application, it will be reviewed by the relevant authorities. This process may take several weeks to a few months, depending on the complexity of your case and the volume of applications being processed. During this period, the authorities may request additional information or documents, so be prepared to provide any further details promptly.

    Step 4: Receive Your Visa

    Once your application is approved, you will receive a notification via email or through the portal. You will then need to:

    Visit the GDRFA or ICA office: Depending on your location and the instructions provided, you may need to visit the respective office to complete the final formalities.

    Undergo medical examination: A medical examination is mandatory to ensure you meet the health standards required for residency.

    Receive your residency permit: Upon successful completion of all formalities, you will be issued your residency permit.

    Step 5: Renewal and compliance

    Permanent residency in the UAE is typically issued for 5 or 10 years and is renewable. To ensure continuous residency, you must:

    Maintain eligibility: Ensure you continue to meet the criteria under which your residency was granted.

    Comply with laws: Abide by all UAE laws and regulations.

    Renew efficiently: To avoid legal complications, apply for renewal before your current residency permit expires.

    By following these steps meticulously, you can secure permanent residency in the UAE, allowing you to enjoy the numerous benefits and opportunities that come with living in this dynamic and prosperous nation.

    Eligibility criteria to apply for permanent residency in the UAE

    To apply for permanent residency in the UAE, applicants must meet specific eligibility criteria based on the category under which they are applying. Here’s a detailed look at the requirements for each category:


    Investors are a key focus for the UAE’s permanent residency program. The criteria for investors include:

    Real estate investment: Ownership of property in the UAE valued at AED 5 million or more.

    Business investment: Establishment of a business with a capital investment of at least AED 10 million. The investment should not be loaned, and the invested amount should be retained for at least three years.

    Additional requirements for investors:

    A minimum of 60% of the total investment should be in non-real estate sectors.

    Comprehensive health insurance.


    Entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas or startups can also apply for permanent residency. The criteria include:

    Existing project: Ownership of a project with a minimum capital of AED 500,000.

    Business approval: Approval of the business by an accredited business incubator in the UAE.

    Financial capacity: Proof of sufficient funds to support the business and personal expenses.

    Health insurance covering the entrepreneur and their family.

    Commitment to reside in the UAE for a minimum period each year.

    Specialised Talents and Researchers

    Highly skilled professionals and researchers in fields such as science, technology, and medicine are encouraged to apply. The eligibility criteria include:

    Academic qualifications: A PhD or equivalent from one of the top 500 universities in the world.

    Professional experience: Significant professional experience in a specialised field.

    Research contributions: Published articles or scientific research in reputable journals.

    Awards and recognition: Internationally recognised awards or patents in the applicant’s field of expertise.

    Employment contract in the UAE in a specialised field.

    Health insurance coverage.

    Outstanding Students and Graduates

    The UAE also offers permanent residency to outstanding students and recent graduates who have demonstrated exceptional academic achievements. The criteria include:

    Academic Performance: Exceptional grades, typically a GPA of 3.8 or above.

    Reputed Institutions: Graduation from one of the top universities globally or within the UAE.

    Recommendations: Letters of recommendation from academic institutions.

    Additional requirements for outstanding students and graduates:

    Proof of continued residence in the UAE post-graduation.

    Health insurance coverage.

    General Requirements

    In addition to the category-specific criteria, all applicants must meet general requirements, including:

    Clean criminal record: Applicants must not have a criminal record.

    Medical fitness: Applicants must pass a medical fitness test conducted in the UAE.

    Health insurance: Comprehensive health insurance coverage for the applicant and their dependents.

    By meeting these eligibility criteria, applicants can apply for the UAE’s permanent residency program, gaining access to the various benefits and opportunities available in this thriving nation.

    Why work with Worldwide Formations?

    When it comes to setting up a business in the UAE, having the right support is invaluable. Established in 2008, Worldwide Formations offers comprehensive solutions tailored to your unique needs. As a trusted provider to clients from over 90 countries, we have the expertise and experience to guide you through the process of setting up your venture in the UAE.

    As an officially registered agent across major UAE free zones, Worldwide Formations can support company setups, mainland and offshore structures, and offer visa and second citizenship support. Our services go beyond just licensing and setup. We connect our global client base of over 10,000 to a wide range of B2B solutions through our network of esteemed partners. Contact us today, and let us help you fulfil your residency ambitions.

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