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Mohammed Bin Rashid issues a Decree organizing residency permits for investors, entrepreneurs, and specialized talents

Effective as of 3rd of February

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai, issued Ministerial Decree No 56 of 2018 organizing residency permits for investors, entrepreneurs, and specialized talents, to be effective starting from 3rd of February 2019.

The Decree, which was published on the last issue of the Official Gazette, stipulated that its provisions shall apply to categories of investors, entrepreneurs, specialized talents, researchers in the fields of science, and different knowledge, as well all the outstanding students with promising scientific potentials.

Article (3) of the Decree reads: “The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship shall grant investors and their families, including husband, wife, and children renewable residency permits for the period specified in article (4), without the need for sponsors in the State, provided fulfilling the conditions and regulations set forth in this Decree.”

 

Conditions:

Article (4) of the Decree specifies the conditions and regulations for granting investors’ residency permits. It states that in order to grant such permits for investors in public investments, investors shall fulfill at least one of the following conditions:

–      To have a deposit of no less than AED 10 million with one of the investment funds operating in the State;

–      Incorporate a company in the State with a Capital of at least AED 10 million;

–      To be a partner in an existing or new company with a capital share of at least AED 10 million; and

–      To own investments in the State with a total of at least AED 10 million, provided that investments other than in property are not less than 60%”

To grant residency permits for investors in properties, the total amount of investments in one property or more shall not be less than AED 5 million for the property asset. For obtaining these permits, the following conditions shall be fulfilled:

–      The amount invested shall be wholly owned by the investor and not loaned, and supporting documents shall be submitted to prove the same;

–      Investment retention for at least three years from the date of issuing the residency permit;

–      The investors’ financial disclosure shall not include any claims or civil provisions that may affect their financial solvency, which shall not be less than AED 10 million; and

–      Submitting a comprehensive health insurance document covering investors and their families to be valid for the residency period in the State.

 

Periods

Investors in public investments will be granted a 10-year residency permit, while investors in a property will be granted a 5 years residency permit automatically renewed, provided payment of the established charges, and fulfilling ICA requirements. Investors may get a visa for only three of the domestic works, depending on the family size and as per the related governing legislations. Foreign investors are granted a multi-entry permit for six months, and it can be renewed for a similar period to facilitate the procedures of completing their business, in accordance with the conditions and regulations applicable to entry visas issued by ICA.

 

Senior Officials:

Article (5) specifies the regulations and conditions of issuing residency permits for the investor’s senior officials. It also stipulates that investors who incorporate a company in the State may apply to ICA to be granted a residency permit for one of the company senior officials, working as an executive or consultant and their families for 10 years without the need for a sponsor in the State. For obtaining these permits, the following conditions shall be fulfilled:

–         Commitment to work for the foreign investor’s company for the period of the residency permit;

–         Submitting a comprehensive health insurance document covering him/her and his/her family to be valid for the residency period in the State.

–         Obtaining the approval of the competent committee.

Entrepreneurs:

Article (6) specifies the regulations and conditions of issuing residency permits for entrepreneurs. ICA is entitled to grant entrepreneurs and their families, including husband, wife and children, a 5-year residency permit renewable without the need for a sponsor from the State. For obtaining these permits, the following conditions shall be fulfilled:

–         To own a previously successful business worth of minimum AED 500,000 in a field approved by the competent committee;

–         To obtain approval of an accredited business incubator in the State to establish the proposed business; and

–         To submit a comprehensive health insurance document covering entrepreneurs and their families to be valid for the residency period in the State.

Permits:

ICA is entitled to grant a renewable 5-year residency permit for three executive directors of the entrepreneur, according to the following conditions:

–         Commitment to work for the entrepreneur for the period of the residency permit;

–         Submitting a comprehensive health insurance document covering them and their families to be valid for the residency period in the State.

–         Obtaining the approval of the competent committee.

The entrepreneur is entitled to obtain a visa for one of the domestic works subject to the governing legislation. Entrepreneurs will be granted a multi-entry permit for six months to facilitate the procedures of completing their business, in accordance with the conditions and regulations applicable to entry visas issued by ICA.

 

 

Talents

Article (7) of the Decree provides for “The issuance of residency permits for specialized talents and researchers in the different fields of science and knowledge”. The Decree also stipulates that ICA may grant renewable ten-year residency permits to any individual with specialized talent or any researcher from all scientific and academic disciplines as well as their family members, including husband, wife, and children, without the need for a sponsor in the State, provided that the said individual fulfills the relevant conditions.

Article (8) includes the regulations and conditions for the issuance of residency permits to individuals with specialized talents and researchers. It also stipulates that ICA may, in accordance with the set conditions, grant such permits to Doctors, specialists, scientists, inventors, creative individuals, executives, and specialists in prioritized educational disciplines.

 

Doctors and Specialists

Doctors and specialists may be granted residency permits if they fulfill at least two of the following conditions:

–         To hold a degree of Professor from one of the top 500 universities in the world, as ranked by the Ministry of Education;

–         To hold an award or certificates of appreciation for work in the applicant’s field of specialty;

–         To contribute to scientific research related to the applicant’s field of work;

–         To publish scientific articles or books in distinguished publications in the applicant’s field of work;

–         To hold membership in an organization related to the applicant’s field of work. Such membership shall be based on the excellent work;

–         To hold a Ph.D. degree, with at least 10 years of experience in the applicant’s field of work; and

–         To be specialized in a scientific field that is required by and important for the State.

 

Scientists

Scientists may be granted residency permits if they fulfill one of the two following conditions:

–         To be accredited by the Emirates Scientist Council; and

–         To be a holder of Mohammed Bin Rashid Medal for scientific excellence.

Creative individuals in culture and arts may be granted residency permits if they are accredited by the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development. Inventors may also be granted residency permits if they hold a patent that adds value to the State’s economy and is approved by the Ministry of Economy.

 

Exceptional Talents

Residency permits may be granted to individuals with exceptional mental capacities documented by patents or scientific research published in world-class journals.

Executives

Executives may be granted residency permits if they fulfill the following conditions:

–         To have a bachelor’s degree at least or an equivalent thereof;

–         To have professional experience of at least 5 years;

–         To earn a salary of AED 30.000 at least;

–         To have a valid work contract in the State; and

–         To have a comprehensive health insurance document covering them and their families to be valid for the residency period in the State.

 

Specialists in the Educational Disciplines

Specialists may be granted residency permits if they the following conditions:

–         To be a specialist in one of the rare fields or specializations prioritized by the Stated and determined by the competent committee;

–         To submit a comprehensive health insurance document covering them and their families to be valid for the residency period in the State; and

–         To obtain the approval of the competent committee.

According to Article 8, the abovementioned categories may obtain a six-month entry permit in accordance with the applicable conditions and regulations issued by ICA concerning the issuance of entry permits. They may also obtain one (1) visa for a domestic worker in accordance with the governing legislation.

 

Outstanding Students

Article (9) includes controls for the issuance of residency permits for outstanding students with promising academic potential. ICA may grant students with promising academic potential a renewable five-year residency permit for them and their families without the need for a sponsor in the State if these students fulfill the following conditions:

–         The student must have an ‘Excellent’ grade, or at least 95% in high school or an equivalent thereof, provided that the certificate is approved by the competent commission in the State.

–         Alternatively, students must be enrolled in one of the State’s certified universities with a minimum GPA of 3.75 or equivalent in one of the majors specified by ICA in coordination with the competent commission.

–         The approval of the competent commission.

–         Submitting proof of enrolment into a State-certified university or college.

–         Submitting a comprehensive health insurance document covering students and their families to be valid for the residency period in the State.

–         Outstanding students with promising academic potential shall be granted a six-month entry permit to facilitate the completion of their registration procedures in accordance with the applicable conditions and controls of ICA related to the issuance of entry permits.

Article (11) stipulates that any provision that contradicts or is in conflict with this Decree shall cease to have an effect. Article (12) stipulates that ICA’s Chairman shall issue the necessary resolutions to implement the provisions of this Decree and that the Decree shall be published in the Official Gazette and shall enter into force of 3 February 2019.

Continuity of Fulfilment of Requirements and Conditions

Article (10) of the Decree includes the general provisions. ICA shall have the right to undertake all necessary procedures to ensure that those covered by the provisions of this Decree continue to fulfill the conditions therein during the validity of their residency permit. The provisions of the executive regulation of Federal Law No. 6 of 1973 ‘Concerning Immigration and Residency’, the amendments thereof, and the applicable decrees and regulations shall apply where this Decree makes no special provision. By order of ICA’s Chairman, two committees shall be formed for purposes of implementing this Decree as follows:

–         Investor Committee, chaired by ICA’s representative, shall examine the investor’s residency permit applications referred thereto by ICA.

–         Entrepreneur and Specialized Talent Committee, chaired by the Secretary-General of the Cabinet, shall look into and give an opinion on the entrepreneur and specialized talent applications referred thereto by ICA.

–         The chair of each committee shall propose committee members and meeting mechanism and shall submit the same for the President for approval. The conditions and controls of this Decree shall not prejudice any relevant requirements, conditions, or documents applicable by ICA in relation to the issuance of visas and residency permits to foreigners in the State.

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