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UAE
April 1, 2024
4 min

UAE Golden Visa for Americans: Requirements and Key advantages

Kenley Henderson

The UAE residency permit offers US citizens various benefits that cater to their lifestyle and financial goals. Investors purchase real estate in the UAE for AED 2 million ($545,000) to get a 10-year Golden Visa.

We’ll delve into everything you need to know about the UAE Golden Visa for US citizens — from investment opportunities in real estate and startups to pathways designed for professionals, students, retirees, and medical practitioners. We’ll also discuss the advantages that make living in the UAE even more appealing.

UAE Golden Visa for Americans: Requirements and Key advantages

UAE Golden Visa for Americans: Requirements and Key advantages

UAE Golden Visa statistics

The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai announced that 79,617 Golden Visas were issued in 2022 across all categories, a significant increase from around 40,000 in 2021.

Dubai retained itself as the leading hub for residence by investment for the second year, as over 150,000 Golden Visas have been issued since its launch in 2019.

The UAE Golden Visa residency programme was first implemented in 2019. It enabled expats to live, work, and study in the UAE without a national sponsor and with 100% ownership of their business on the UAE’s mainland.

UAE Golden Visa Benefits

The UAE Golden Visa is a fantastic opportunity for wealthy US citizens to enjoy the benefits of living, working, and studying in the country with 10-year renewable options.

Key benefits of holding a UAE Golden Visa:

  • the UAE Golden Visa program offers flexibility regarding eligibility criteria, catering to various groups such as entrepreneurs, property owners, and doctors of all nationalities and ages. The UAE Golden Visa’s flexibility in terms of eligibility makes it a desirable option for those wishing to reside in the country over an extended period;

  • profitable real estate. Foreign nationals who invest in properties worth at least AED 2 million are eligible for this prestigious residence permit. The real estate market in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, two major cities within the UAE, offer lucrative opportunities that cater specifically to foreign investors interested in acquiring premium assets;

  • backup strategy. In the UAE, one of the most affluent nations in the world, expatriates are welcome to live. They can also enter the nation anytime, even if the borders are closed due to an epidemic, political unrest, or economic problems;

  • tax exemptions. In some instances, golden visa holders may be exempt from paying taxes on income generated within the United Arab Emirates, making it an attractive option for those looking to minimise their tax liabilities;

  • sponsorship rights. With long-term residency comes sponsorship rights, allowing golden visa holders to sponsor family members' visas and provide them with access to education and healthcare facilities in Dubai or Abu Dhabi;

  • driving licences without tests. Unlike foreign residents who need to take additional lessons before being eligible for the test, golden visa holders can directly apply and take the exam without any other requirements.

Path to UAE citizenship after golden visa

The Golden Visa route does not lead to citizenship. You can attempt to petition for citizenship in 30 years after many golden visa renewals. However, there are no assurances.

European investment programmes are available if you want to obtain a second passport. In all of them, you must first get residency before applying for citizenship five to seven years later.

Countries where investor with golden visa can apply for passport

The country

🇨🇾 Cyprus Golden Visa

Minimal investment

€300,000+

Residency obtaining time

3 months

Second passport

In 5 years

The country

🇬🇷 Greece Golden Visa

Minimal investment

€250,000+

Residency obtaining time

2—6 months

Second passport

In 7 years

The country

🇵🇹 Portugal Golden Visa

Minimal investment

€250,000+

Residency obtaining time

6—8 months

Second passport

In 5 years

Who can apply for the UAE Golden Visa

You are eligible for a UAE Golden Visa if you fall under one of the following categories of possible applicants:

  1. Investors in real estate or government projects and services.

  2. Entrepreneurs who own a registered startup, have their startup idea approved or are previous founders of a successful project.

  3. Exceptional talents are people who work in culture, art, sports, or digital technology, inventors and innovators. They do not have to prove their educational qualification, employment status, monthly salary or professional level.

  4. Scientists in engineering, technology, or life and natural sciences with a Master’s or PhD and substantial research achievements.

  5. Professionals in medicine, sciences and engineering, information technology, business and administration, education, law, or culture and social sciences. They need a Bachelor’s degree and an employment contract in the UAE with a salary of over AED 30,000 ($8,170).

  6. Outstanding students and graduates are the best-performing students in secondary schools, the best graduates from UAE universities, or graduates of the best 100 universities worldwide.

  7. Humanitarian pioneers are distinguished members of international and regional organisations, outstanding members of public benefits associations, recipients of recognition awards in humanitarian fields, or prominent volunteers and sponsors of humanitarian efforts.

  8. Frontline heroes who have shown themselves in a crisis such as Covid‑19.

Startup Investor Eligibility: Your Path to a UAE Golden Visa

The UAE government has set sights on attracting top talent and fostering innovation within technology sectors.

As part of this strategy, they plan on granting 100,000 golden visas, specifically targeting exceptional computer programmers worldwide.

Criteria for startup investments:

  • an investment of at least AED 1 million (about $272,000) in an existing or new business venture is required;

  • your startup should focus on innovative technologies or have a significant social impact;

  • a comprehensive business plan outlining your company’s objectives and growth strategies is essential.

Benefits offered by tech-focused initiatives:

  • tax advantages such as no income tax and low corporate taxes make it attractive for foreign investors;

  • the strategic location between East and West economies allows easy access to global markets.

Real Estate Investment Pathway

If you’re a US citizen looking for a UAE Golden Visa, purchasing a property worth at least AED 2 million (about $545,000) is your ticket to a 10-year residency visa in this luxurious destination.

Luxury apartments and villas are popular among investors seeking long-term residency through the UAE Golden Visa program.

Commercial properties can also help you meet the eligibility criteria while providing potential income-generating opportunities. New developments in sought-after areas like DAMAC Hills and Bluewaters Island Residences are also ideal options.

UAE Golden Visa by real estate investment

$545,000 serves as the minimum investment amount. A 50% down payment is required for an investor to obtain a mortgage at a UAE bank

Opportunities for Professionals and Students

The UAE Golden Visa system is designed not only for wealthy investors but also for talented individuals in various fields.

Eligibility criteria vary depending on your profession, so let’s explore some examples:

  1. Business partners. If you’re a business partner or investor in an eligible company, you can apply for this visa too.

  2. Specialists. Engineers, scientists, artists, and other specialists with exceptional skills are welcome to join the UAE community through this program.

  3. Talented students. Top-performing university students have access to long-term residency options as well.

  4. Nurses & doctors. Medical professionals play a crucial role in society; hence they are granted long-term residency under this initiative.

To make the most out of these opportunities, it’s essential to understand how each category works.

If you’re a student or medical professional looking forward to benefiting from the UAE Golden Visa program, follow these steps:

  1. Determine which category best suits your profile.

  2. Gather all required documents.

  3. Contact relevant authorities (such as universities or medical institutions) to support your application.

  4. Submit your application and wait for the approval.

The UAE Golden Visa is a fantastic opportunity for talented individuals from various fields to enjoy the benefits of living, working, and studying in this vibrant country.

Retiree Residency Options In Dubai

Explore retirement options in Dubai — one of the world’s most vibrant cities with UAE Golden Visa opportunities.

Dubai offers retirees a luxurious lifestyle with numerous benefits:

  • tax-free living — no personal income tax on pensions or investment returns;

  • an excellent healthcare system with top-notch facilities and medical professionals;

  • a safe environment with low crime rates and high-quality infrastructure;

  • a diverse expat community fostering cultural exchange and friendships from around the globe.

Requirements for retiree residency

Option 1

A minimum yearly income of $49,000

Option 2

$275,000 savings in a 3-year fixed deposit

Option 3

$275,000 property purchase

Option 4

1 and 2 options combination

Required documents for applying for the UAE Golden Visa

  1. Passport.

  2. Birth certificate.

  3. Certificate of no criminal record from the country of citizenship.

  4. Medical insurance.

  5. Medical Fitness Certificate.

  6. UAE Good Conduct certificate addressed to the Dubai Land Department.

  7. Current UAE visa.

  8. 1 photo per applicant.

How to Apply for a UAE Golden Visa from the US

Applying for a UAE Golden Visa from the US will take about 2 months. Before they are submitted, the documents must be translated, notarised and legalised by the consulate.

It is a step-by-step guide on how to get a UAE Residence Visa by investing in real estate.

1

Preliminary Due Diligence check

The applicants undergo an initial check to identify possible issues and raise the chances of obtaining a visa. The process is entirely confidential. A Certified Anti-Money Laundering Officer verifies the investor’s documents.

2

Preparing the documents

The investor prepares all of the documents that are required for application. Before they are submitted, the documents must be translated, notarised and legalised by the consulate.

3

Getting a short-term visa

The applicant receives a 6-month visa to enter the UAE, see the properties they plan to buy, pass a medical checkup and apply for a Golden Visa.

4

Buying real estate

The investor chooses the property they want to purchase, buys it and registers ownership. For this step, the investor’s presence in the UAE is not required, so the lawyer can act on their behalf.

5

Medical checkup

The investor and their family come to the Emirates to pass a medical examination in a UAE clinic. They get a blood test to check for infectious diseases and undergo fluorography. After that, they receive a health certificate.

6

Due Diligence and receipt of the UAE Golden Visa

The last step is to apply for the Golden Visa and submit biometrics to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs. This is when the Due Diligence procedure starts.

In most cases, the application processing takes five to seven days. However, some additional information about the investor can be requested, and in this case, the procedure can take up to 30 days. After the application is approved, the investor and their family obtain Golden Visas.

Conclusion

The UAE Golden Visa program offers a range of pathways for US citizens to obtain long-term residency in the country. Whether you’re a wealthy investor, startup entrepreneur, medical professional, or retiree looking for a new lifestyle opportunity, options offer tax advantages and other benefits.

To obtain a 10-year Golden Visa, investors spend AED 2 million ($545,000) in real estate in the United Arab Emirates.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What Is the Dubai Golden Visa for US Citizens?

    The Dubai Golden Visa is a long-term residency program the UAE government offers to attract foreign investors, entrepreneurs, and professionals. US citizens can apply for this visa if they meet specific eligibility criteria, such as investing in real estate or starting a business in the country.

  • Is the UAE Golden Visa Worth it?

    The worth of the UAE Golden Visa depends on individual circumstances and goals. It offers various benefits like tax advantages, access to world-class infrastructure, and opportunities for business growth. It can be an attractive option for those seeking long-term residency while expanding their investments or professional career in the region.

  • What Is the Benefit of the UAE Golden Visa?

    The main benefits of holding a UAE Golden Visa include 10-year renewable residency status, no requirement to have local sponsors, tax advantages for foreign residents, easier access to public services and facilities within the country, and increased investment opportunities across various sectors.

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