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Everything You Need to Know About UAE’s 10-Year Golden Residency Visa

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Photographed by Domen / Van De Velde for Vogue Arabia

The UAE has approved a major expansion of its 10-year golden residency visa scheme. This means that university students and residents from an increased number of selected professions can now apply for a decade-long residency.

The golden visa’s eleigibility criteria has been updated and approved by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in order to attract foreign talent and investment in the Emirates.

The golden visa will be now available for those holding PhDs, medical degrees, inventors, researchers and scientists, artists and holders of specialized degrees in fields of artificial intelligence, big data, or epidemiology and virology, as well as computing, electronics, programming, electrical, and biotechnology engineers. Additionally, top-ranking high school students and graduates from UAE accredited universities, and their families, who have achieved a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.8 or higher will also be eligible for the 10-year visa.

The initiative was originally conceived in 2019 and was open to select foreign business investors and residents. However, it has now been expanded by the UAE cabinet to feature a wider list of professions, in order to attract a range of foreign, talented experts from various specialized fields and disciplines to the UAE for a long-term period; further promoting the country as a hub for innovation and applied research from the world’s best professionals.

HH Sheikh Mohammed revealed the approval of the updated golden residency on Twitter. “Today, we approved granting the 10-year Golden Visa to all PhD holders in the UAE. Also, the Golden Visa will be granted to top graduates from UAE-accredited universities with a GPA of 3.8 and above,” he wrote. “UAE Golden Visa will also include UAE-based physicians as well as engineers in the fields of computer science, electronics, programming, electricity, and biotechnology. Other categories granted UAE Golden Residency are specialists in AI, big data, virology, epidemiology & UAE’s high school top graduates and their families. We are keen to embrace talent that drives future development and this is only the beginning.”

The changes to the 10-year golden visa will be implemented starting from December 1, 2020. More information on how to apply can be found on the website.

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