Legal Updates


New Long-Term Residence Visa and Permanent Residency Scheme for Expats in the UAE


The UAE has recently launched a permanent residency scheme for investors and exceptional doctors, engineers, scientists and artists called the “Golden Card”. The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (“ICA”) now shall oversee the scheme and announce more details shortly.

Earlier this year, the UAE Cabinet enforced Cabinet Decree No. 56 of 2018 regarding the Organization of Residence Permits for Investors, Entrepreneurs and people with specialized talents. The legal framework of this new law empowered the immigration authorities to issue long-term residence visas to foreigners who invest and add value to the Emirati economy. To obtain the visa, applicants will have to go through an adjudication process whereby the final decision is made by a designated committee of highly recognized Emirati professionals.

Accordingly, the categories for long-term residence visa are as follows:




6-month multiple entry visa?


Public investments worth AED 10 Million (with full ownership) with at least 60% non-real estate investments.

10-year renewable- Extended to:

(Spouse, Children, 1 Executive Director and 1 Advisor)


Real-Estate Investors

Real Estate investments worth at least AED 5 Million with full ownership and proof of reservation of rights of investments for at least 3 years.


Extended to: (Spouse, Children, 1 Executive Director and 1 Advisor)



Previous project with a minimum of AED 500,000/- or approval of an accredited business incubator in the UAE.

5-year visa- with possibility of upgrading to an Investor’s visa-

Extended to:(Partners, 3 Executive Directors, Spouse and Children)

YES, with renewal for another 6 months

Specialized Talents

Specialized talents and researchers in a priority field of science and knowledge with valid employment contract (e.g. scientists, inventors, creative individuals)

10-year renewable-

Extended to: (Spouse and Children)


Doctors and Specialists

Ph.D degree from the top 500 universities in the world, minimum 10 year professional experience, awards and/or significantly contributed to field of science.

10-year renewable-

Extended to: (Spouse and Children)



Own well known and internationally recognized companies, with high academic achievement and recognized professional experience

10-year renewable-

Extended to: (Spouse and Children)


Outstanding Students

International students with at least 95% in secondary school and minimum 3.75 GOA from any university

5-year renewable

Extended to: (Their families)



How Can TLG Help?

The Corporate Division would be pleased to discuss and assess the applicability of the long-term/permanent residence visa to your specific circumstances and would be glad to assist and support in the application and registration process at the respective authorities. 

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