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The Golden Visa the key to move to the United Arab Emirates
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The Louvre Museum in the middle of the desert, endless skyscrapers, artificial islands... The United Arab Emirates are always at the cutting edge of innovation. To stay there, their strategy is simple: attract geniuses and innovators from all over the world. To this end, the Emirati authorities have launched the "Golden Visa" in 2019, designed to facilitate the temporary settlement of expatriates with promising talent.

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What is the UAE Golden Visa?

In search of permanent innovation, the United Arab Emirates wishes to impose itself on the world as an incubator for scientists and entrepreneurs. The Golden Visa is designed to allow scientists, entrepreneurs, investors, highly qualified professionals and students with remarkable backgrounds to settle in the UAE. 

It is a long-term visa, authorising its holder to work, study or do business in the country. Depending on the applicant's profile, status and proposed contribution, the duration of the visa can be 5 or 10 years. The visa is renewable on request and is usually extended to the holder's very close family.

How to obtain the Golden Visa to expatriate to the UAE?

The eligibility criteria for the Golden Visa are specific to the status of each applicant

For example, to obtain a Golden Visa valid for 5 years, a real estate investor must meet the following conditions:

  • invest in a property with a gross value of at least 5 million UAE dirhams (approximately €1.13 million);
  • their investment funds must not come from a real estate loan;
  • they must have owned the property for at least 3 years.

An entrepreneur is eligible for the 10-year Golden Visa, provided that they invest at least 10 million UAE dirhams (approximately €2.25 million) in a company, a UAE-based investment fund or in shares in an existing company. Again, the amount invested must not be borrowed and the investment must be made over a minimum of 3 years. 

For their part, scientists must, to be eligible for the Golden Visa, be approved by the Emirates Scientific Council or have been awarded the "Mohammed Bin Rashid" medal for scientific excellence. Artists or cultural actors must also be accredited by the Ministry of Culture. Finally, inventors must have previously obtained a patent from the Ministry of Economy. 

The cost of the Golden Visa also varies according to its duration: 

  • 650 dirhams (about €145) for a 5-year visa; 
  • 1,150 dirhams for a 10-year visa (about €260). 

In addition to these fees, you may need to pay for certain documents such as proof of good conduct in the UAE (equivalent to a clean criminal record) issued by the local authorities.

The importance of good health insurance for expatriates in the United Arab Emirates

Living up to their reputation, the Emirates have a very modern health system with state-of-the-art facilities and highly qualified, often English-speaking, doctors. This is reassuring for expatriates, who can access the Federation's public hospitals for free or at a moderate cost, as long as they have a residence visa. However, access to the private health sector, which is very big in the UAE, is not covered by this scheme.

Therefore, Dubai and Abu Dhabi require foreign residents to have private health insurance, provided by their employer if they are employed, or financed by themselves (or their sponsoring company) if they are self-employed. This insurance must provide a minimum level of coverage.

However, depending on the employer and the Emirate, the level of coverage offered, as well as the coverage for family members, is not always satisfactory. This is why many expatriates also choose to take out international health insurance, which offers coverage in the event of repatriation. 

An easy expatriation to the UAE with APRIL International

Adaptée au mode de vie des expatriés modernes, la couverture santé d'APRIL International est modulable et 100 % digitale. Elle les couvre où ils le veulent et pour la durée souhaitée, et inclut aussi bien le rapatriement vers le pays d’origine que l’hospitalisation sans avance de frais.

Adapted to the lifestyle of modern expatriates, APRIL International's insurance plan is flexible and 100% digital. Coverage wherever you want and for as long as you want, it also includes repatriation to your country of origin as well as hospitalisation with no upfront payment.

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