UAE Starts Issuing Permanent Residency Golden Card

Over the past few years, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has rapidly emerged as one of the most popular jurisdictions across the globe for residency between high net worth individuals (HNWIs) and even becoming a preferred alternative to traditional jurisdictions like the UK, Switzerland, Monaco, and Singapore.

With no taxes applied on people, on their income tax, property and capital gains taxes, or net worth taxes, the administrative needs and low processing costs, coupled with political stability, perfect accessibility, and sunny weather all around, the UAE is indeed a beautiful proposition as a residency jurisdiction.

For those who are not in the UAE on an employment contract, there are two other ways for obtaining the UAE residence permit: either through investment in real estate (property residence visa) or through the registration of a company.

The Vice President, Prime Minister, and the Ruler of UAE announced on Tuesday about the permanent residency scheme for expatriates known as the ‘Golden Card’. ‘This initiative will see permanent residency granted to “exceptional” professionals’, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum informed on Twitter. He said that about 6,800 would get benefit from this scheme under the first round of applications.

Sheikh Mohammed said that they launched a new “Golden Card” system for granting permanent residency to investors and exceptional doctors, engineers, scientists, and artists. He also added that residents are an indispensable part of their country.

The move will have a very positive impact on the local property market, opined Lewis Allsopp, CEO of Allsopp & Allsopp. He said that most ex-pats have a money-making mindset when they come to Dubai with a short-term plan and focus before moving back to their home country. The decision of the UAE Cabinet for enforcing a Golden Card for issuing the permanent residency in UAE now allows ex-pats to look at Dubai as a home rather than a temporary plan.

He also added that the Golden Card would further the stability of the UAE by encouraging more distinguished professionals to the land. The property market will get huge benefits from this step in strengthening the economy.

The recent announcement comes after the UAE announced last year that it would grant five or 10-year residency visas to investors, professionals, specialists in the medical, scientific, research, and technical fields, and ‘outstanding’ aspirants for facilitating business and creating an attractive and encouraging investment environment in the country. It has already initiated issuing longer-term visas to scientists as well as entrepreneurs and investors.

The move of the UAE also comes soon after Saudi Arabia implemented a ‘green card’-style residency scheme for ex-pats. The particular residency scheme focuses on attracting wealthy and high-skilled ex-pats and will grant the individual permit holders’ residency without the requirement for a Saudi sponsor.

Under the law, the holder of such a permit holder will have family status, can recruit workers, own and lease property and transport in the kingdom, obtain visit visas for relatives, can freely enter and exit the country, and will also have the utilization of designated queues at airports.

The fee for Permanent residency in UAE has been fixed at SAR800, 000 ($213,333), the local daily Saudi Gazette reported. A one-year temporary permit will cost ex-pats SAR100, 000 ($26,666) according to sources.

There are various sections under the Residency Golden Card; for instance, general investors would be eligible to receive 10-year visas, whereas real estate investors would get 5-year visas. Innovators and talented individuals like scientists, researchers, etc. would be eligible for receiving 10-year visas as well.

The new scheme expects for stimulating the economy of the UAE, which has been primarily dependent on oil and tourism. It’s also likely to raise the competitiveness of the nation as a global incubator. It should note here that the Indian community forms about 30 % of the total population of UAE of approximately nine million. The said launch of the ‘ Permanent residency in UAE Golden Card’ scheme could attract more Indian investors or businessmen and professionals like engineers, scientists, students, professionals, freelancers, and artists to the Gulf nation.