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Last reviewed on July 6, 2024

UAE Golden Visa

Residency visa for living in the United Arab Emirates, doing business and optimising taxes

UAE Golden Visa

Since 2019, the UAE has been running the Golden Visa program: residence permits for investors, entrepreneurs, skilled professionals, scientists, and exceptional talents. In 2022, the UAE Golden Visa conditions became more favourable, with the minimum investment threshold reduced.

Two UAE investment visa types are available now. A 10-year Golden Visa is issued to investors who purchase real estate for at least AED 2 million, or approximately $545,000. A 2-year residence visa is issued for purchasing real estate worth at least AED 750,000, or roughly $204,000.

Foreigners who want an investor visa in Dubai or other emirates choose a property in one of the so-called Freehold Areas of the UAE. There is no difference between the Dubai Golden Visa and the UAE Golden Visa.

AED 750,000

Minimum investment

2+ months

Processing time

2 or 10 years

Validity period

7 Key Benefits of the UAE Golden Visa

  • 1

    Plan B country

    Golden Visa holders and their families are not required to live in the UAE permanently. They can enter the country freely and stay for as long as they wish, even during border closures. Investors can spend as much time outside the UAE as they want.

  • 2

    Tax optimisation

    The UAE is one of the few countries with no personal income tax. There are also no taxes on capital gains, real estate, interest, dividends, wealth, luxury items, gifts, or inheritance.

    In the Freehold Areas of the UAE, entrepreneurs benefit from a separate favourable tax regime, including a corporate tax exemption for up to 20 years and no VAT.

  • 3

    International bank accounts

    Residents of the UAE have access to international banking and can open multi-currency accounts. The country does not control foreign currency exchanges or limit the number of transactions, cash withdrawals, or deposits. Confidentiality and security are guaranteed.

  • 4

    ESAAD Privilege Card

    Investors with a Dubai Golden Visa or UAE Golden Visa can join the ESAAD program for free and save 30—70% on goods and services from more than 4,000 companies worldwide. This includes discounts at restaurants, resorts, healthcare facilities, wellness centres, retail stores, tourism services, real estate, and banking institutions.

  • 5

    Prime education

    The Global Knowledge Index ranked the UAE’s educational sector as the 25th best in the world. Expat students can attend both public and private educational institutions, including over 200 international schools. They can also enrol in private colleges and universities in the UAE and may receive scholarships.

  • 6

    High-quality healthcare

    According to the World Population Review, the healthcare system of the UAE is ranked as the best among Gulf Cooperation Council countries and one of the top 50 globally. Medical services in the UAE are sophisticated and comprehensive, offering state-of-the-art treatments.

  • 7


    The UAE is ranked among the top 3 safest countries in the world by the World Economic Forum. It is known for its stable economic status.

Who Can Get a UAE Golden Visa by Real Estate Investment


Over 18

With confirmed legal income

Without a criminal record and of good character

Without communicable diseases, such as HIV or tuberculosis


Over 18

Of the opposite sex

Officially registered as a husband or wife of the investor

Without a criminal record

Without communicable diseases, such as HIV or tuberculosis


Sons under 25, unmarried

Daughters of any age, unmarried

Without communicable diseases, if over 18

Disabled children of any age, if dependent on the investor

Investment Options for the UAE Golden Visa

Depending on the real estate cost, investors can obtain UAE residency visas either for 2 or for 10 years.

First option

10-year visa

Investors can select and purchase real estate in one of the Freehold Areas worth at least AED 2,000,000 (about $545,000). This includes off-plan properties.

Mortgages are permitted for buying a Golden Visa property, with a mandatory 50% down payment. Investors can take out a mortgage from one of the UAE banks.

Second option

2-year visa

Investors can purchase real estate in one of the UAE Freehold Areas for at least AED 750,000 (around $204,000). Only finished projects qualify; off-plan properties are not eligible under this investment option.

Mortgages with a 50% down payment are permitted.

complete guideComparing UAE Golden Visa to 8 Others

Explore the benefits and drawbacks of the UAE investment program versus other Golden Visas

Step-by-Step Process: Obtaining a UAE Golden Visa by Investment

Investors receive a residence permit only after purchasing real estate, covering the associated fees, and entering the UAE. While in the country, they must undergo a medical checkup, buy health insurance, and submit their biometrics. After completing these steps, they are issued a UAE residence permit for either 10 or 2 years.


Preliminary Due Diligence

1 day
Preliminary Due Diligence

Lawyers inspect the investors’ documents, identify potential issues, and offer solutions to reduce rejection risks to 1%.


Preparing the documents

5—7 weeks
Preparing the documents

Lawyers assist in preparing, translating, notarizing, and certifying all necessary documents for the investor and their family.

Short-term UAE entry visas are issued for all participants.


Selecting and buying a property

5—6 weeks, concurrently with Step 2
Selecting and buying a property

With the assistance of real estate agents, the investor selects a property, which can be done remotely or in person. Investors can purchase any real estate, including off-plan, and take out mortgages.

Lawyers thoroughly vet every property and contract and assist in the closing and registration process.


Visiting the UAE for a residency application

1—5 days
Visiting the UAE for a residency application

The investor and their family enter Dubai on a 6-month visa. They undergo a medical screening, buy health insurance, and submit their biometric data.


Passing Due Diligence and getting the visa

5—30 days
Passing Due Diligence and getting the visa

Applicants fill out forms and submit documents for the UAE Golden Visa to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA).

The GDRFA conducts a Due Diligence check on the investor and their family members.

Lawyers support the investor throughout the process, correspond with UAE authorities, and track the application status.

Once the application is approved, the investor and their family are issued UAE Golden Visas and Emirates IDs.

Other options for obtaining residence in the UAE

UAE residence visa for entrepreneurs is issued for 5 or 10 years.

To get a 5-year visa, applicants establish an innovative company and invest at least AED 500,000.

For a 10-year visa, applicants select one of these options:

1. Invest AED 2,000,000+ in either a new business or a share of an existing company

2. Join a startup incubator.

3. Own a company with an annual revenue of AED 1,000,000+.

4. Establish a company and sell it for AED 7,000,000+.

UAE residence visa by employment is granted to foreign employees of a UAE company. The residence permit duration equals the duration of their contract. The employers must cover all the costs of issuing the visa.

UAE residence visa for freelance or remote workers is issued to foreigners who are self-employed or hired by a company outside the UAE. They must get licensed in one of the country’s free zones and pay a fee of AED 5,000 or AED 6,000. The residence permit is for 1 year and can be renewed.

UAE residence visas for specialised talents can be given to foreign scientists, researchers, innovators, inventors, doctors, educators, artists, athletes, and frontline heroes. Government bodies like the Department of Culture and Tourism, the Ministry of Economy, or the Emirates Scientists Council must accredit applicants. The visa is valid for 10 years and can be renewed.

UAE residence visa for students is issued to foreigners enrolled in a state-accredited university. Visas are valid for 1 year and can be renewed annually. Exceptional students are eligible for 5 or 10-year visas.

UAE residence visa for retirees is issued via the Retire in Dubai program for 5 years. It can be renewed. Applicants must come from a foreign country and meet one of these conditions:

  1. Receive a pension from abroad, at least AED 15,000 per month.

  2. Deposit at least AED 1,000,000 in a UAE bank account for 3 or more years.

  3. Invest at least AED 1,000,000 in UAE real estate.

Discover other Golden Visas

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How to get a residency visa in the UAE?

    There are several ways to get a UAE residency visa; one of the most convenient is buying real estate there. You’ll need to invest AED 2 million for a 10-year visa.

  • What properties are suitable for investment to get a UAE residence visa?

    Investors may buy residential and commercial properties in the Freehold Zones; these are the areas in the UAE where foreigners may own real estate.

  • What is the validity period of a UAE residence visa?

    If you buy property in the UAE, you may obtain a residency visa for 2 or 10 years.

  • What is a UAE Golden Visa?

    The UAE Golden Visa is a residency visa for investors, entrepreneurs, scientists, professionals, exceptional talents and frontline heroes. Holders can issue residence permits to their family members and an unlimited number of domestic workers.

  • Is the Dubai Golden Visa the same as the UAE Golden Visa?

    Yes. Dubai has the most extensive selection of Freehold Areas; however, there is no difference between the Dubai Golden Visa and the UAE Golden Visa. Investors who bought real estate in Dubai and got a residence permit can freely live in any of the seven emirates.

  • How much is a Golden Visa in Dubai?

    An investor may buy a property for AED 2 million ($545,000) in Dubai to get a UAE Golden Visa. Some additional costs include taxes, fees, health insurance and legal services.

  • Who’s eligible for a UAE Golden Visa?

    Investors over 18 with legal income, no criminal record or dangerous infectious diseases may get a UAE golden visa. Their spouses, unmarried sons under 25 and unmarried daughters of any age may be included in the application.

  • What is the purpose of the Golden Visa in the UAE?

    The UAE Golden Visa allows talented foreigners to live in the UAE, run a business there and enjoy other benefits of this status.

  • What are the benefits of the Dubai Golden Visa?

    An investor with a Dubai Golden Visa may visit the UAE anytime, live there and optimise taxation. In some cases, it is possible to get UAE citizenship by exceptional merit.

  • How long does it take to get a Golden Visa in the UAE?

    Usually, it takes 2+ months to get a UAE residency visa. An investor buys real estate, undergoes a medical checkup and Due Diligence, and gets a visa after the application is approved.

  • Does a UAE Golden Visa lead to citizenship?

    If an investor lives in the country for 30 years, they may apply for citizenship by naturalisation. In some cases, it is possible to get UAE citizenship by exceptional merit.