Investors, entrepreneurs and other professionals can now live and work in the UAE for up to 10 years.

More professionals will have the opportunity to live and work in the UAE for longer under a new long-term visa system approved by the UAE Cabinet over the weekend.

The new system will apply to investors, entrepreneurs, and specialists in the fields of science and knowledge, as well as outstanding students, according to a statement issued by the Dubai Media Office.

It follows a previous decision approved earlier this year to grant residency visas of up to 10 years for certain individuals in technical fields.

Below, we look at who is eligible for the new long-term visas and what benefits are included.

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There will be two categories for investors: those purchasing property worth Dhs5 million or more will be granted residency for five years. Those involved in public investments through a deposit, an established company, a business partnership of Dhs10 million or more, or a total investment of at least Dhs10 million (as long as real estate makes up no more than 40 per cent of the total investment) will be granted a renewable residence visa every 10 years.

The decision also allows investors to enter the country for a six-month period, with multiple entry, while they are in the process of applying for their long-term visa. The visa can also be extended to include business partners (as long as each partner contributes Dhs10 million), spouses and children, as well as one executive director and one advisor.

There are some conditions, however – such as the requirement that the amount invested must be wholly owned by the investor and not bought with loans.


Entrepreneurs who have a prior project worth a minimum of Dhs500,000, or those who have the approval of an accredited business incubator in the country will be granted a five-year visa with the possibility of upgrading to an investor’s visa.

Entrepreneurs will also be allowed to enter the country for six months, with multiple entry, with renewal for another six months. The entrepreneurial visa can include partners and up to three executive directors, as well as spouses and children.

Specialists in science and knowledge

Specialists and researchers in medicine, science, and other fields, as well as creatives in culture and art, will have the opportunity to apply for a 10-year visa. The visa will include spouses and children.

Applicants will be required to have a valid employment contract in a field of priority for the UAE. There will be a number of further requirements they will need to meet, such as holding a PhD from one of the top 500 universities in the world, or having published articles or scientific books in “distinguished publications” in their field.

Outstanding students

Students who earned a grade of at least 95 per cent in secondary school, and a GPA of at least 3.75 upon graduation from university will be eligible for a five-year visa. Their families will also be included on the visa.

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