UAE Cabinet To Launch New Long-term Visa Scheme

The inability to acquire long-term visas has for many years, been one of the primary dissuaders for long term settling in the region by investors, entrepreneurs and students alike. The UAE government is not only aware of this but has now actively taken a stand to combat this issue with their plan to activate a new long-term visa scheme of different eligibility.

According to Gulf News, the decision to launch this new visa scheme is a direct attempt at maintaining and further improving the UAE’s position as a prime corporate locale and place of living for ex-pats. The new system, with visa spans of 5 and 10 years can be automatically renewed and allow foreigners to live, work, invest and/or study in the UAE without having a national sponsor, and with 100 per cent ownership of their businesses (Gulf News).

Below is an extensive breakdown detailing the 5 different kinds of long-term visas that will become available in the UAE, the number of years that they are valid for, the conditions that need to be met in order to hold these visas as well as their benefits:


Type of Visa


of Years




  •  Public investment of Dh 10 million or more via deposit or company
  • Minimum of 60% of total investments need to be non-real-estate
  • Investors should hold full ownership of said investments or prove that they reserve rights to these investments for a minimum of 3 years
  • Asset should be free of any incumbencies that detriment the investments’ financial value
  • 10-year visa is renewable
  • Can also include partners on this visa (under the condition that each partner should invest Dh10 million)
  • 10-year visa for spouse and children
  • 10-year visa for one executive director and one advisor
  • 6-month validity entry visa with permits for multiple travels
Real Estate Investors 5
  • Total real estate investment of Dh5 million or more
  • Investor should hold full ownership or prove rights to these investments for a minimum of 3 years.
  • Assets should be free of any incumbencies that detriment the investments’ financial value
  • 5-year renewable residency visa
  • 5-year visa for spouse and children
  • 5-year visa for one executive director and one advisor
  • 6-month validity entry visa with permits for multiple travels
Entrepreneurs 5
  • Owning a project with a minimum value of Dh 500,000 with accreditation certificates from the government
  • 5-year visa for spouse and children
  • 5-year visa for 3 executive directors
  • 6-month validity entry visa with permits for multiple travels that can be extendable for another 6 months
  • Possibility to upgrade to investor visa if conditions are met


Specialized Talents:
Researchers, Scientists, Doctors or innovators
  • Valid work contract mentioning specialization in these fields of work that are of priority to the UAE
  • Also goes out to creative individuals in the field of culture and arts (accredited by the ministry of knowledge)
  • Subject to further conditions
  • Innovators must obtain a patent of value added to the UAE’s Economy with the approval of the ministry of Economy
  • Doctors and scientists must hold a PhD degree from one of the top 500 universities in the world + 10 years of professional experience
  • 10-year renewable visa
  • 10-year visa for spouse and children
Outstanding Students 5
  • Should score a grade of 95 % or more in secondary school with a distinction of 3.75 GPA upon graduation from any local or international university
  • 5-year renewable visa
  • 5-year renewable visa for their families


A Forward-thinking Nation

In the same meeting where the long-term visa scheme was approved, The UAE Cabinet, chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, also approved the National Space Strategy for 2030 for the country, with projects in space research, science manufacturing, servicing as well as testing (Khaleej Times). The Space Strategy is yet another exemplification of how the UAE has always been a forward-thinking and visionary nation. Online e-services for many governmental entities, the adaption of regulations to accommodate startups, SME’s and promote entrepreneurship, Expo 2020, increased accessibility and availability of residency options, emphasis on societal and community happiness through the appointment of a minister of state for happiness; are just some of the many initiatives that the UAE has adopted to incentivize professionalism, excellence, and innovation whilst remaining tolerant of those wishing to make the UAE their home.

Current Residency Offerings

It should be noted that the long-term visa scheme that has recently come to life, is the development of an array of offerings and regulations that already exist in the UAE. Property Investor Visas, for example, offer individuals a 3-year visa that is renewable, extendable to family members (i.e. spouses and children) and eligible for UAE driver’s license, Emirates ID and UAE bank account (To learn more about property investor visas click here); all this in exchange for an investment of AED 1 million or more in a property in the UAE. Various Free zone companies also offer individuals a residency option that includes all the aforementioned benefits in addition to genuinely cost-effective company incorporations.

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Author: Philip Smith
Philip Smith, LL.B. (Hons.): Founder & Principal of Your POA – The Leading Power of Attorney Company in Dubai and the UAE

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