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UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Further Details of Long-Term Visa Scheme

On 24 November 208, the UAE cabinet approved new long-term residence visas, and announced further details of the qualifying requirements for certain key professionals, investors and entrepreneurs. Currently, residence visas are valid for up to three years.

The government announced the new visas on 20 May 2018, and implementation is now expected early in 2019.

Who will qualify?


  • Investors in a property worth at least AED 5 million can obtain a five-year visa;
  • Investors in public investments (not property) through a deposit, an established company a business partnership of at least AED 10 million or a total deposit of at least AED 10 million can obtain a ten-year visa.
  • The amount invested must be wholly owned by the investor (not a loan) and invested for at least three years.
  • Dependents of the investor, as well as one executive director and one adviser, are also eligible for a long-term visa.
  • Investors can enter the country multiple times over a six-month period to apply for the long-term visa.


  • A five-year multiple-entry visa will be available for entrepreneurs either having a previous project of at least AED 500,000 or the approval of an accredited UAE business incubator.
  • An upgrade to an investor visa may be possible. Dependents, a business partner and three executive directors are also eligible for long-term visas.

Key Professionals

  • A ten-year visa is available for specialists in medicine, science and research subject to certain conditions.
  • Creative individuals in the field of culture and art may be eligible for a ten-year visa if they are accredited by the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, or hold a patent which adds value to the UAE economy.
  • In this category, a contract of employment will be required in the specialist field.
  • Doctors and scientists must either have a PhD from one of the world’s top 500 universities, an award or certificate of appreciation or a PhD with ten years of professional experience, or have published articles, or made a contribution to major scientific research, or be accredited by the Emirates Scientists Council.
  • Dependents may be eligible for a long-term visa.

Outstanding Students

  • Students with a 95% grade in secondary school and a grade point average of 3.75 on graduating university may qualify for a five-year visa.

Action Items

  • Employers who may benefit from the new long-term visas are advised to contact their immigration specialist for the latest information.

This news alert was prepared using information provided by Executive Expatriate Relocations.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2019 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.