Retirement visa in Dubai: Cost, eligibility; all you need to know

Expat residents who have retired and are above the age of 55 can apply for the 5-year long-term visa

by

Supreeta Balasubramanian

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Published: Tue 14 Nov 2023, 2:29 PM

Last updated: Fri 17 Nov 2023, 3:56 PM

In November 2021, the UAE government introduced amendments to the law, allowing expat residents to stay in the country after retirement.

Residents who have retired and are above the age of 55 can apply for a 5-year long-term visa. They can also sponsor their spouses and children.


Here is all you need to know about the visa:

Who is eligible?

The following criteria must be fulfilled for a resident to be eligible for the retirement visa, according to Visit Dubai:


  • He/she should have worked for not less than 15 years inside or outside the UAE, or be 55 years old or more at the time of retirement
  • One of the four following options should be fulfilled:
  1. A minimum yearly income of Dh180,000 or Dh15,000 monthly income
  2. Dh1 million savings in a 3-year fixed deposit
  3. Dh1 million in property
  4. A minimum investment of Dh500,000 each in a 3-year fixed deposit and property (totalling up to a minimum of Dh1 million)

How to apply

The first step is to choose your option. If you are going via the savings option, you will be dealing with the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA). For property-based applications, the relevant authority is the Dubai Land Department (DLD).

For the GDRFA, you need to go the website https://smart.gdrfad.gov.ae, select the ‘Individuals’ login option, and register to start a new application. You can follow the prompts on the screen and submit the online form.

For the DLD, however, the applicant must visit the real estate regulating agency’s office in person to proceed with the application.

Documents required

All the four options require the following documents:

1. Passport copy of applicant and dependents – spouse and children

2. Marriage certificate copy – if you are sponsoring your spouse

3. Copy of current visa of applicant and dependents – if you are a UAE resident

4. Copy of Emirates IDs of applicant and dependents – if you are a UAE resident

The additional documents required depend on the option you choose.

For Option 1, the income-based application, you need:

  • Proof of income: This document must include the name of the beneficiary and date of commencement. It can be a letter from the relevant entity which provides the source of income (such as a pension scheme), or a letter from your previous employer if they are continuing to provide monthly retirement income, or supporting documents to display you have a sustainable income
  • 6-month bank statement: The statement must show a minimum deposit of Dh15,000 monthly or Dh180,000 yearly from your source of income, it must be from a Dubai-based bank, and it must be stamped by the bank as well.

For Option 2, the savings-based application, you need:

  • Proof of retirement: This is to prove to the authorities that you have been employed in the past and are a qualified retiree. This could be an end-of-service letter from your last employer, which confirms that you are a retiree and specifies the number of years you have worked, or it could be a letter from a social service entity detailing that you are retired.
  • Proof of savings: This is a stamped bank letter in Arabic from a UAE-based bank. The letter should state that the Dh1 million in savings are in a 3-year fixed deposit in a bank located in UAE, and must be addressed to GDRFA.

For Option 3, the property-based application, you need:

  • Copy of title deed: The title deed must show that the property is located in Dubai, that it has a minimum value of Dh1 million, and that it is in the name of the applicant (not the spouse).

If the property is owned by a company, the applicant must have 100% ownership of the company. In the case of shared ownership, the applicant's share should be at least Dh1 million.

If unmortgaged, the property must be fully paid, and if mortgaged, the payment to date should be a minimum of Dh1 million. It cannot be an off-plan property.

You can put forward multiple properties with a combined value of Dh1 million, as long as they meet all the criteria.

For Option 4, the property-and-savings-based application, you need:

  • Copy of title deed: The property must be located in Dubai and title deed issued by DLD. It must have a minimum value of Dh500,000. The other criteria are the same as above.
  • Proof of savings: This is a stamped bank letter in Arabic from a UAE-based bank detailing the balance amount, which means if property value is Dh500,000, then the statement should show savings of at least Dh500,000 so the total amounts to Dh1 million. The letter should state that the Dh500,000 million in savings are in a 3-year fixed deposit in a bank located in UAE, and must be addressed to GDRFA.

How much does it cost?

If your application is approved by the GDRFA or DLD, a total of Dh3,714.75 per applicant must be paid. The amount covers all the visa-related expenses, including entry permit, visa status adjustment, residency stamping, Emirates ID, medical examination and management fees.

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