The UAE’s introduction of a 10-year “golden visa” to investors, entrepreneurs, and company owners last year was reportedly an instant success: Sheikh Mohammed announced yesterday that “6,800 investors and residents, worth an estimated Dh100 billion, and from 70 countries, were chosen to receive the visa,” according to The National.
Initially, the visa was made available to foreigners who deposited at least AED10 million in a UAE-based investment fund, owned at least AED 10 million in shares of a local company, and entrepreneurs whose ventures were in a “certified field” and were valued at a minimum of AED 500,000.
The visa was also open to executives who received a minimum monthly remuneration of AED 30,000, as well as outstanding scientists and students.
Now, the UAE government is extending the welcome under the golden visa to all doctors, computer engineers, and a wide range of scientists as well, no longer requiring the highly skilled to be “exceptional”.
UAE Golden Visa will also include UAE-based physicians as well as engineers in the fields of computer science, electronics, programming, electricity and biotechnology.
— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) November 15, 2020
Though the program expansion was announced yesterday, it will not take effect until in December.
The UAE is not alone in its region in offering long-term visas to skilled professionals. Last year, Saudi Arabia also introduced a “golden visa”, starting at €187,000 for permanent residency and with one-year renewable residencies are available from €23,000. A similar but more limited scheme also exists in Qatar.
Christian Henrik Nesheim is the founder and editor of Investment Migration Insider, the #1 magazine – online or offline – for residency and citizenship by investment. He is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, documentary producer, and writer on the subject of investment migration, whose work is cited in the Economist, Bloomberg, Fortune, Forbes, Newsweek, and Business Insider. Norwegian by birth, Christian has spent the last 16 years in the United States, China, Spain, and Portugal.