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ICA issues first Golden Residency for investors in Abu Dhabi and recognizes its holder


Applications open for those meeting requirements inside and outside UAE

Golden Residency decision widely welcomed by expats seeing UAE their second Homeland

ICA launches investor communication program to introduce the new system and its advantages and benefits

ICA announced that it issued the first Golden Residency in Abu Dhabi within the Permanent Investor Residency Program, in implementation of Council of Ministers’ Resolution No.56of 2018 to offer facilities regarding residency for investors, entrepreneurs, innovators and talented people who meet the criterial for each category and for their family members.

Brigadier general Saeed Salem Balhas Al Shamesi, Executive Director of Abu Dhabi GDRFA, handed the first golden residency issued by GDRFA to investor Yusufali Musaliam, member of Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chairman of Lulu Group International, in an event where Musaliam was recognized for his role in enhancing economic development in the country.

ICA said it launched a program to communicate with investors who reside in the UAE and are eligible for golden residency, amounting to 6,800 investors. The aim of the program is to introduce them to the new system and explain its huge and unprecedented advantages and benefits that open up wider prospects and more diverse options to manage and develop their investments with high effectiveness and shorten several procedures and provide them with major facilities, not only at the personal and family levels, but also at the professional level, by enabling them to attract the expertise they need to support their projects and provide them with the required facilities to commence work easily without any obstacles.

ICA added that the program also involves communicating with investors and major businesspeople outside the UAE to introduce them to these facilities that effectively contribute to enhancing UAE attractiveness as an excellent investment environment, support its economic and social competitiveness and enhance its regional leadership and high international status in terms of providing the appropriate climate and optimal environment for investors and capitalists who mainly seek simple procedures, free movement and ability to settle with their families, to serve their interests and enable them achieve their ambitions and aspirations.

Golden Residency holders enjoy unprecedented benefits including obtaining a residence permit for the person and his family (wife and children) without the need for a guarantor in the country. It also provides investors with the ability to sponsor up to 3 support workers and obtain a residence permit for one of his major employees (consultant or executive director) with his family members.

ICA confirmed that the Golden Residency decision was widely welcomed by expats who see UAE their Homeland, noting that many applications were submitted to benefit from these unprecedented facilities.

ICA noted that the links dedicated to apply for these benefits are activated ( with 3 new services added, namely, issuing a 6-month multiple entry-visa to complete investor residency procedures, issuing a 6-month multiple-entry visa to complete long-term residency procedures for entrepreneurs and distinguished students and a 6-month single-entry visa to complete talent residency procedures.

ICA indicated that the aim of issuing a 6-month entry permit is to provide the opportunities for those who want to obtain the long-term golden residency to visit the country, get an idea about the facilities it provides in different fields, identify available opportunities in their fields of interest, think carefully of available options and take the right decision for them and their family members. For those who obtain these kinds of visa, whether for multiple entries or a singly entry, ICA issues a UAE ID card, to simplify things for them and to enable them to complete their transactions easily, including obtaining a license, opening bank accounts, register property … etc.

ICA noted that the golden residency targets investors and entrepreneurs coming to the UAE, to attract capitals, investments, owners of leading companies with world experience, competencies in sectors that are vital for national economy as well as researchers and distinguished students, to enable them participate in the march of renaissance and progress witnessed by the country in different areas.

Requirements for each of beneficiary category and the benefits available to it include the following:

Investors: The decision identified two investor categories inside and outside the UAE: A person investing in a property with a total value not less than AED 5 million (a 5-year residence permit will be issued) and a person who has general investments by making a bank deposit, establishing a company, being a partner with an investment shareholding not less than AED 10 million, or total investments not less than AED 10 million in these areas, provided an investment in other than real estate may not be less than 60% of total investments. Persons meeting these criteria will obtain a residency permit renewable every 10 years.

The decision set general controls for the two categories. There are: the invested funds must be totally owned by the investor and not a loan, the investor must provide evidence on this and must maintain his investment for a minimum of 3 years and the investor may not have financial liabilities that reduce his financial solvency by AED 10 million. The benefits of investors extend to partners, provided each partner must contribute with AED 10 million. They also extend to the wife and children, one executive director and one consultant. The decision allows investors to enter the country several times for six months, which is the period required to apply for the visa.

Entrepreneurs: Includes two categories, the first: Owning an existing successful project with a minimum value of AED 500,000 or being approved by an approved business incubator in the country. Entrepreneurs obtain a renewable 5-year visa and qualify for obtaining permanent investor visa if the meet the requirements for the investor category.

The benefits of entrepreneur visa extend to the entrepreneur, partners, three executive directors, wife/husband and children, as already indicated. Entrepreneurs will obtain a 6-month multiple entry visa to complete visa procedures. Their visa can be renewed for additional 6 months.

Specialist talents and researchers in the fields of science and knowledge: According to the decision, a 10-year visa will be issued for specialist talents and researchers in the fields of science and knowledge, including physicians, specialists, scientists, inventors and creators in the fields of culture and art. Benefits extend to wife/husband and children. For all categories, there must be a valid employment agreement and the person must be specialized in priority fields for the UAE. Below are the requirements for each category:

Physicians and specialists must meet at least 2 of the following requirements: Obtaining the highest qualification (professor) from one of the 500 best world universities, winning an award or a recognition certificate for work in the applicant’s field, contributing to scientific or applied research works related to the applicant’s field of work, writing distinguished scientific articles or books the applicant’s field of work, being a member in an organization related to the applicant’s field of work, provided such membership require distinguished work, obtaining a high scientific qualification not less than doctorate and work experience in the applicant’s field of work for a minimum of 10 years and specialization in important fields required by the UAE / additional requirement for physicians / scientists: approval by Emirates Scientists Council or winning Mohamed Bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence.

Culture and art creative people: Must be approved by the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development.

Inventors: Obtaining a patent with an added value to the UAE economy and being approved by the Ministry of Economy.

The Elite: Persons with distinguished intellectual capabilities documented by patents or researches published in prestigious international journals.

Executive Managers: Owners of leading and known companies with world experience, having high qualifications and professional experience and positions such as an engineer in a rare specialization with a university degree working for a private company in the UAE, to maintain existing talents and attract new ones.

Distinguished students: The decision also provides for issuing a 5-year visa for distinguished students obtaining an “Excellent” grade (95%) as a minimum in public and private secondary schools and an Excellent grade (GPA 3.75) as a minimum when graduating from universities inside and outside the UAE. Benefits extend to distinguished students and their families.

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