Now, non-residents can apply for 10-year UAE visa
Executives with a monthly salary of Dh30,000 and above are also eligible for the long-term visa.
Foreign investors, businessmen and individuals with "exceptional talents and skills" can apply for the 10-year Gold Card residency scheme as long as they meet the requirements set by the government, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) announced on Tuesday.
The prospective investor must meet any of these requirements:
(1) Make a deposit of not less than Dh10 million in an investment fund in the UAE;
(2) Establish a company with a capital of Dh10 million or be a partner in a company with a capital of not less than Dh10 million. The total share in the partnership should not be less than 60 per cent of total company capital. Foreigners can also in a real estate with a property value of not less than Dh5 million.
This came as the GDRFA-Dubai revealed that 400 expats of the 6,800 applicants have received the Gold Card since the permanent residency scheme was rolled out last month.
The long-term visa holders can remain outside the country for as long as they wish. "They can freely come in and out of the country at their will. They are exempted from the rule which states that residents cannot be outside the UAE for more than six consecutive months," Major-General Mohammed Al Marri, director-general of the GDRFA-Dubai, said.
He clarified that the Gold Card has to be renewed every 10 years. "This is because medical insurance and other procedures have to be done," the officer explained to the media in the presence of around 100 businessmen who were the initial recipients of the visa.
Explaining the conditions to be met for applying for the scheme, he said the amount invested should be wholly-owned by the investor and not a loan from any financial institutions. The applicant is required to provide proof that he has held the amount for at least three years.
The applicant's financial liability should not be more than his total assets of Dh10 million. Likewise, the applicant is required to have a comprehensive health insurance for himself and immediate family members.
The permanent residency initiative has identified the first 6,800 qualified expats from over 70 countries to benefit from the scheme's unprecedented benefits. The current investments of these residents are estimated at Dh100 billion.
The benefits of the permanent residency also include the spouse and children of the cardholder to ensure cohesive social ties.
The visa is valid as long as all terms and conditions are met, noted Al Marri. "If the business falters in the future, the Gold Card visa will be reviewed and renewed on a case-to-case basis.
Other long-term visa categories
Aside from the Gold Card, there are other categories with lesser periods of validity for expats. Doctors, investors, specialists and students (those with a grade of 95 per cent and above in general secondary and university students with a grade of 3.75 and above), and executive managers with a monthly salary of Dh30,000 and above are eligible for this.
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