How to Get a Long-Term UAE Residency Visa

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UAE Residency Visa

Three major cities in the UAE featured in the 2023 InterNation’s ExpatExpat City Ranking. These are Ras Al Khaimah, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi.

With Over 10,000,000 expatriates in the UAE as of January 2024, it proves the country’s allure to foreigners and its position as one of the biggest economic hubs in the Middle East.

If you are a foreigner who wants to make Dubai and the UAE your second home, you can follow this comprehensive guide on how to get a long-term UAE residency visa.

What is a Long-Term UAE Residency Visa?

The UAE long-term residency visa is a permit that allows foreigners to live, work, or study in the country for a period of 5 to 10 years.

The long-term residency visa in UAE is renewable and doesn’t need a local sponsor. 

Apart from its long-term validity, these special visa scheme offers many benefits to holders as compared to the standard residency visa in UAE. Some of the advantages of this long-term residency visa include:

  • Unlimited exit/entry permit into the UAE during visa validity period.
  • Ability to sponsor your immediate family in the UAE
  • Ability to hire and sponsor domestic workers
  • Access to essential services such as Banking, Healthcare, and Education.

Types of Long-Term Residency Visas in UAE

Presently, the UAE offers two types of residency permits to foreign expats who want to stay in the country for a longer period than normal standard residency visas, which have a 2-year validity period (renewable).

These are the Golden Visa in UAE and the Green Visa in UAE.

However, to obtain either of these special permits, you will have to meet certain criteria. 

Let’s look at how you can obtain either of them below.

How to Obtain a Golden Visa in UAE

What is a UAE Golden Visa?

The UAE golden visa is a special long-term residency in the UAE that allows certain categories of foreigners to live, work, and study in the UAE for a period of 5 to 10 years.

To become a golden visa holder in the UAE, you must fall under either of the following categories:

Category 1: Public Investment in the UAE

Golden Visa Validity Period: 10 Years renewable

Eligibility criteria:

  • Your investment must not be less than AED2 million.
  • Your invested capital must not be from a loan or credit card.
  • Must obtain a letter from the Federal Tax Authority (FDA) stating you pay at least AED250,000 tax annually

Category 2: Investment in the UAE Real Estate Market

Golden Visa Validity Period: 5 Years

Eligibility criteria:

  • Must obtain a letter from the Emirate land department stating you are the sole owner of a property in UAE worth not less than AED2,000,000
  • The invested amount must not be from a bank mortgage.

Category 3: Entrepreneurship

Golden Visa Validity Period:  5 Years

Eligibility Criteria:

Category 4: Special Talent or Skill

Golden Visa Validity Period:  10 Years

Eligibility Criteria:

  • If must be an exceptional and skillful person in the field of Science and Research, Medicine, Engineering and Technology, art, or other selected creative domains.

Category 5: Outstanding Student

Golden Visa Validity Period:  10 Years

Eligibility Criteria:

  • You must be an outstanding student from the top 100 globally recognized high schools or universities with a GPA of at least 3.5 and above.

Category 5 and 6: War Veterans and Humanitarian Pioneers

Golden Visa Validity Period:  10 Years

Eligibility Criteria:

  • You must have worked for at least 5 years in a top internationally recognized humanitarian organization or have donated at least AED2 Million to humanitarian causes.
  • You must have worked as a healthcare officer and displayed an extraordinary commitment during a crisis.

How to Obtain a Green Visa in UAE

What is a UAE Green Visa?

The UAE green visa is a residency permit that allows you to work, live or study in the UAE for 5 years (Renewable).

To be a green visa holder in the UAE, you must fall under any of the specific categories.

  • Skilled Employees with valid UAE employment contract with a monthly salary of at least AED15000
  • Freelancers in the UAE with an annual income of not less than AED360,000 and approval from the UAE Ministry of Human Resource and Emiratization (MoHRE).
  • Investors or Business Partners with approval from the Federal Authority of Identity and a minimum investment of AED270,000

What is the Process of Getting a Long-Term Residency Visa in UAE?

The process of applying for a long-term residency in the UAE is easy. The first step is to check if you are eligible to apply for any of the categories. 

Getting the assistance of an expert business advisor in the UAE is advisable. Below are some of the necessary steps to get a long-term visa in the UAE.

  • Check Your Eligibility: Check your eligibility to know which category of long-term visa you are qualified for. An assistant from an expert business consultant in UAE is advisable at this stage.
  • Gather Required Documents: Compile all the necessary documents needed to apply for your eligibility category.
  • Apply for your Long-Term Visa: Apply for a residency visa in UAE from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE).
  • Apply For Emirate ID: Once your visa is out, you will need to apply for your Emirate Residency Identification Card (EID).


The United Arab Emirates is a dream home for many expats as it boasts top-notch security, favorable business conditions, ultre*modern infrastructural development, and accessible services.

The UAE continuously attracts millions of foreigners, and getting a residency visa in the UAE is very easy and cost-effective.

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