What is this UAE residency about?
The United Arab Emirates (UAE), the fastest growing economy in the Middle East region, has long attracted a wide pool of talent from the region and beyond, thanks to its livability and business-friendly environment. In spite of such attractive factors, one could only previously consider a residency in the UAE by way of employment, or through a sponsor.
In recent times, the Emirati government has introduced and implemented numerous changes to this effect, allowing greater flexibility and means of obtaining a residency in this lively country. The recent spate of news and wide-ranging terminology such as “Golden Card” visa, Permanent Residency, and 5-year or 10-year residency visa, no doubt, adds to the confusion regarding the whole issue.
In this article, we will explore the recently introduced long-term residency programs in the UAE, and how you can obtain a UAE residency visa that best suits your circumstances.
Why bother with a UAE residency?
The UAE has long enjoyed significant appeal to investors and entrepreneurs because of its relatively low tax base, and the benefits of a strong and stable political environment and economy. Most entrepreneurs are interested in the UAE for business and investment purposes, but it is well worth noting and bringing to your attention regarding the attraction of a residency in the UAE.
Despite the longstanding non-requirements for having physical presence in the UAE to take advantage of certain structures, a UAE residency allows individuals to utilize one aspect to maximize the advantages of the other. This can manifest in various ways, such as the requirement and provision of a Tax Residency Certificate (TRC), or to provide an increased substance, by way of residency, for greater and easier access to the stable and growing financial system and domestic markets.
I have an existing RAKICC company. Can I avail of a residency visa under this entity?
Unfortunately, you cannot directly obtain a residency visa through this structure. Contact us today for clarifications on your available options.
What types of UAE residency are available?
Traditionally, one obtains a residency in the UAE by way of employment or having a sponsor, for your right to reside in the country. An individual’s employment to an entity, thus, is the linking and defining factor of one’s ability to legally reside within the country. This can manifest by way of being employed, or forming your own company and sponsoring your residency through the company which you have incorporated.
In the last few months, the UAE government has unveiled various initiatives aimed at attracting and retaining talent and investment in country, introducing longer-term residency and permanent residency as well. Apart from the most commonly provided options of 2 or 3 years renewable residency visas, the new additions to the UAE residency offerings have a validity of 5 years or 10 years, renewable as well.
There are also specific provisions for certain instances, which don’t require the individuals to be inside the country every 183 days to prevent voiding the terms of the permit, akin to a permanent residency program.
Which types of UAE residency are suitable for me?
There are a multitude of specifics related to the criteria for the recently introduced long-term visas, but the overarching benchmark is for public investments of no less than AED 10 million as the basis for being eligible for consideration. Investments in property are allowed if investments in other sectors are not less than 60% of the overall total investment value of at least AED 10 million.
However, if a potential investor is only interested in the property sector, the investment must be no less than AED 1 million for a completed property, and paid for in full by the applicant.
Entrepreneurs with an existing business valued at no less than AED 500,000 may also be considered for a 5-year visa. Apart from the aforementioned investor-specific criteria, the UAE government also unveiled programs for specialized talents and researchers in the field of science and knowledge.
Notwithstanding the above, individuals can also avail for the standard residency visas open to all. This includes the 2-year or 3-year visas most commonly associated with the setup of your business in the UAE, be it a mainland company or a free zone company.