22 January 2019; Dubai, UAE:
The Cabinet of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced that the issuance of long-term residence permits for investors, outstanding students, foreign nationals with exceptional talents, and similarly-situated foreign nationals, as determined by the UAE government, will begin on 3 February 2019.
Categories of applicants
A five-year residence permit will be available to the following categories of foreign nationals:
• Investors in the UAE real estate market;
• Entrepreneurs and up to three executives working for the qualifying entrepreneur;
• Exceptional students; and
• Spouses and children of the above listed investors and entrepreneurs as well as family members of the exceptional students.
A ten-year residence permit will be available to the following categories of foreign nationals:
• Investors in general investment projects;
• An executive or an advisor working for the qualifying investor who incorporates a company in the UAE;
• Physicians and specialists;
• Creative individuals in culture and arts;
• Exceptional talents;
• Specialists in educational fields of priority;
• Executives with existing employment contracts in the UAE; and
• Spouses and children of the above-listed categories.
Residence permit applicants will receive a six-month entry permit that will allow them to enter the UAE and complete any outstanding procedures related to their projects. For investors and entrepreneurs, the entry permit will be multiple entry, and investors will be eligible to renew it once for an additional six-month period.
Sponsorship of domestic workers
Foreign nationals in the “investors” category will be eligible to sponsor residence permits for up to three domestic workers, depending on the size of the family. The remaining categories will be allowed to sponsor only one domestic worker.
Though the general conditions for granting long-term permits are established in the law, it is expected that the adjudication process will involve a degree of discretion as the final decision will be made by a newly-formed Investors’ Committee (for investors) and Entrepreneur and Specialized Talents’ Committee (for the remaining categories of applicants). Both committees will submit their recommendations to the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, which will endorse the visas.
Foreign nationals will be required to continue fulfilling the respective visa conditions throughout the validity of their residence permits.