A new gold card permanent residency system has been unveiled
21 May 2019| Last updated on 22 May 2019
In a welcomed changed by expatriates, the UAE has unveiled a new residency visa.
Launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktom, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, there will be a new UAE permanent residency system introduced, dubbed the 'Gold Card'.
The initial phase of the 'Gold Card' permanent residency scheme has seen thousands of foreign investors and residents be identified. In fact, the current investments of the 6,800 selected individuals are worth an estimated AED 100 billion.
The new permanent visa aims to generate foreign investment, encourage entrepreneurship, and attract top engineers, scientists, and students.
Exact criteria for the visa are yet to be made public but more details are expected in the coming days, The National reported.
Permanent residency in the UAE will also extend to the spouse and children of the cardholder.
"We launched today a permanent resident system named 'Golden Card' in the UAE," Sheikh Mohammed tweeted.
"It is a permanent residency for investors and for exceptional workers in the fields of health, engineering, science and art. Throughout history, the UAE opened its door to millions of people looking to pursue their dreams and better their lives.
"The Gold Card is our way to welcome all those seeking to be a part of the UAE’s success story and making it a second home."
Typically, expatriates living and working in the UAE will hold a renewable residency visa that lasts two or three years and are most likely tied to their employment.
But last year saw the government announce plans to reform its visa policies, including the introduction of five and 10-year visas for sought-after professionals and academics and for long-term investors.
The permanent residency scheme develops this further, and mirrors existing schemes elsewhere like in the United States and Portugal.
"Gold Card permanent residence will be awarded to exceptional and talented individuals, and to whoever contributes positively to the UAE’s success story," Sheikh Mohammed said.
"We want those people to be permanent partners in our journey. All of the residents of the UAE are our brothers and part of our large family."
How to apply for a Gold Card in UAE
Details of how to apply for a UAE gold card and permanent residency have not yet been revealed as holders have been selected individually for now. But to apply for a UAE residency visa, simply follow the below steps...
You can apply for entry permits or visas through the website of Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship- ICA (the eChannel for residency and citizenship), or the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) which works under the ministry. While ICA offers only online channels, GDRFA offers both online and offline channels.
Online, you can head to the eChannels portal where individuals and companies registered in the UAE can apply. Or you can apply via the relevant GDRFA website for each emirate:
GDRFA of Dubai provides one more website Amer.ae, through which Dubai nationals and residents can apply for entry permit and residence visa for their families.
You may also apply offline, by visiting a typing centre or Amer centre.