Dubai (UAE) residency program

United Arab Emirates: General Information

OVERVIEW

The United Arab Emirates, or UAE, is a federation of Middle Eastern states, located in the Arabian peninsula, bordering the Persian Gulf, Oman, and Saudi Arabia. It is made up of the seven Emirates, each with its own politics, law, and economy; Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sarja and Umm al-Qaywayn

Although its capital is Abu Dhabi, the most populated city is Dubai, which is one of the most well-known cities in the world. The UAE is a hot spot for expats, as it offers many different residence by investment options. This is especially true after recent changes to their residence program in 2018 where longer-term options became available, for 5- and 10-year permits.

The UAE has been rated as one of the best countries to live for high-net-worth individuals. It has created a culture and atmosphere that is luxurious and highly attractive to foreign nationals. This includes technologically-advanced lifestyles, fine dining, and luxury real estate, all making the UAE a world-leading lifestyle.

These selling points, along with one of the world’s fastest-growing economies as a financial hub, and investor-friendly policies, make the UAE an attractive contender for residency by investment programs.

 

Fast Facts:

Location: 25° N & 55° E | Arabian Peninsula

Capital: Abu Dhabi

Size: 93,600 km2

Population: 10.1 million

Currency: United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED)

Government: Constitutional Monarchy

Economy: Oil & Gas | Financial Services | Open Market

Language: Arabic

Religion: Islam

 

United Arab Emirates Residence by Investment Program

Outside of employment, outstanding profession, student visas, or retirement visas, long-term residency in the UAE is available to any foreign national who invest in the UAE. There are various schemes to qualify, investments can be done in the public sector, in businesses, or in real estate. It is particularly attractive because, while the investor has the right to reside anywhere in the seven Emirates, they can also travel back and forth as they please, with minimal physical presence requirements.

To gain residency by investment in the UAE, one must apply to the local authority. The Dubai Investor Residence Visa gives numerous other rights to the investor as well. The holder of the Dubai Investor Residence Visa can potentially become tax resident the UAE, have the ability to be eligible for a Emirate ID card, UAE driving license, and can open a bank account, amongst other benefits. This residency permit also allows the investor to sponsor their family, including their spouse, children, and parents, to enter and reside in the UAE.

Summary of Main Advantages for Cayman Islands Residency Program

BUSINESS ADVANTAGES

FAMILY ADVANTAGES

PERSONAL FREEDOM

Summary of Main Benefits of UAE residency 

  • Ability to open a bank account 
  • Gain access to financial facilities 
  • Ability to apply for driving license 
  • Ability to access health services 
  • Ability to register children in school (private schools are available) 
  • Ability to travel visa free to certain destinations

 

Important Considerations

  • There is no permanent residency visa, only five and ten year long-term visas, which means that every couple of years, you must renew the visa.
  • If the investor does not visit the UAE once every 180 days (6 months), the visa can be revoked
  • Only in rare cases does the UAE grant citizenship. Therefore, it is unlikely that applying for residency will pave the path for citizenship in the UAE
  • To that effect, the UAE does not allow dual citizenship

 

Requirements for UAE Residency Application

There are several eligibility criteria for a residence permit (or golden visa) in the UAE, including:

  • Applicant must be at least 18 years old
  • Applicant must have no criminal record
  • Applicant must be in good health (must undergo medical exam)
  • Minimum salary requirement: Applicant must have sufficient financial means, including proof of a monthly income of at least AED 10,000 (~US$ 2,722)

 

Routes to the Dubai Investor Visa (UAE Residency)

The United Arab Emirate offers several investment options to achieve their Dubai Investor Visa program. These include:

 

Public Investment

  • This option includes a public investment of at least AED 10 million (~US$2.72 million). This investment can be made several ways:
    • A deposit in an investment fund in UAE of at least AED 10 million
    • Establishing a company in the UAE with capital of at least AED 10 million
    • Partnering in a new or established company with share value of at least AED 10 million
    • Having a combined total investment in any of these areas of at least AED 10 million
  • The investment must be kept for a minimum of three years.
  • This type of investment leads to a 10-year renewable visa. This visa type can include dependent visas for your spouse and children, as well as one executive director, one advisor, and even a business partner (provided they also contribute AED 10 million). This 

 

Real Estate Investment

  • This option includes the purchase of a property in a freehold area which is designated by the UAE. These properties are most residential.
  • This investment must be for at least AED 1 million. Although this property can be under joint ownership, or you can combine more than one qualifying property, your personal investment must be of at least this much.
  • This type of permit will be valid for only three years, but can be renewed as long as the requirement is maintained.
  • You can also choose to make a real estate investment of AED 5 million in order to gain a 5-year residence permit.
  • Real estate investments to not permit the investor to work in the country
  • Physical presence is required at least once every 180 days

 

Company Incorporation and Investment

  • This option is applicable to those who invest in or start their own business in a free zone. There are currently over 2,100 types of business licenses offered. Recently, changes have been made to allow 100% foreign ownership of the company, without requiring a UAE partner.
  • The investor must own shares in the existing company, or establish a company with a capital investment of at least AED 72,000 (US$24,600)
  • This type of investment leads to a 5-year visa, with the option to renew

 

Procedure for Residency Application

One can expect that the visa application process for residency to include some of the following:

  1. Clients contact JH Marlin
  2. Initial due diligence checks are performed to determine eligibility
  3. Client agreement is signed, and retainer is paid
  4. Applicants choose the qualifying investment option best suited to them with the help of our team
  5. Files are prepared and required documents are collected
  6. Before applying, you must complete your investment obligations
  7. If you cannot enter the UAE without a visa, you must obtain an entry permit. You can apply through the Federal Authorities for Identity and Citizenship’s Channels framework, with the required documentation. You will receive a six-month multiple entry visa
  8. You will apply to Dubai as the local authority upon arrival in the UAE
  9. Once the application is accepted, an appointment will be scheduled to provide biometrics and to receive the residency permit

 

Documents Required for UAE Residency Application

  • Original and certified copy of valid passport
  • Entry visa
  • 3 passport-size pictures
  • Bank statements (past 6 months)
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Proof of registration of real estate (ie. title deeds)
  • Medical certificate 
  • Police clearance certificate
  • Proof of income
  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage Certificate (if applicable)
  • Divorce certificate (if applicable)

Note: a detailed list of documents and steps can be provided to you given once we know your particular case. 

Cryptocurrency businesses are choosing Dubai 

Many expats are choosing Dubai for the high quality of life, political stability, safety, banking opportunities and facility of doing business. Dubai is one of the top markets in the world. While the weather is not always ideal given that it is very hot and the cost of living is expensive, many top crypto investors have relocated themselves and their business to the UAE.