UAE gold card residency visa scheme welcomes Indian expat applicants

Published:  26 Jun at 6 PM
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As the Saudi green card residency scheme gets underway, the UAE’s version now has 400 expat gold-card residency visa holders.

Last month saw the unveiling of the UAE’s 10-year renewable permanent residency visa, granted to date to some 400 wealthy expatriates, all of whom along with their families can now enjoy freedom of movement, employ three workers and get a residency permit for a senior manager, advisor or employee. Those in line for the visa must be ‘exceptional professionals’ in sectors including science, art engineering and the medical profession, with investors also being invited to apply.

Out of the 400 new visa holders, it’s believed investors paid in amounts totalling over Dhs100 billion, thus confirming PM Sheikh Mohammed’s comment that ‘residents are an important part of the UAE’. First applicants included a number of prominent Indian businessmen, forming the first group of an expected 6,800 expat applicants between now and the end of this year. The golden visas will be renewed automatically at the end of the ten-year period, provided the stated conditions are still being met. These include being in the same business, although those whose business have failed may still be allowed to stay as renewals will be considered on a case to case basis.

The Saudi Arabia version known as the ‘green card’ is lagging behind, with its online application pages only opened last Sunday. Permanent residency in the Kingdom is priced at $213,322, and the one-year renewable alternative costs $26,665. Along with residency, successful applicants will be able to own property, recruit workers, get family visas, can freely enter and leave the kingdom and do business in Saudi without the need for a sponsor. Again, it’s expected to attract highly skilled, wealthy expatriate professionals. In the Gulf States, it’s clearly all about the money.
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