The new long-term residency permits in the UAE: Are you eligible?

  • professionals in the United Arab Emirates
Published last week

It’s official. Starting this month, according to the Government Portal of the country, the United Arab Emirates are accepting applications for 10-year and 5- year residence visas. The decision was validated by the UAE Cabinet in November 2018, and honorary visas have already been assigned 20 academics who are already living and working in the UAE. The two new visa categories were set up in an attempt to attract and retain highly skilled individuals to the UAE. Entrepreneurs, investors, highly specialised talents and even outstanding students will be eligible for these 10-year and 5-year visas. But what, exactly, does it take to be able to bag yourself a long-term residency permit in the UAE? For the next five years there will need to be:

Persons with specialised talents

Doctors, specialists, scientists, inventors, researchers as well as individuals evolving in arts and culture, etc. In an attempt to attract highly skilled individuals to its territory, the UAE cabinet is giving the opportunity for people with specialised talents to apply for long-term visas to leave in one of its emirates. Here are the requirements to be considered for long-term residency in one of the Emirates:

  • Doctors and specialists
  • Executives who are owners of leading and internationally recognised company or holders of high academic achievement
  • Exceptional talents documented by patents or published work in a world-class journal
  • Inventors who can contribute to the economic development of the nation
  • Individuals evolving in arts and culture who are beforehand accredited by the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development.
  • Scientists accredited by the Emirates Scientists Council or holders of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence


Two kinds of investors will now be eligible for long-term residency in the UAE. Investors in public entities will be granted a 10-year residence visa whereas investors in real estate will only be granted a 5-year visa. Investors in real estate will need to invest at least AED 5 million (a bit more than $ 1 million) in a property, and the said property will need to be retained for at least three years.

As for investors in public entities will have to fulfil the following requirements:

  • Investors in public entities will need to have: Invested at least AED 10 million (Around $ 2.8 million) in an investment fund inside the country
  • Established a company in the UAE of at least AED 10 million or be a partner with a share value of not less than AED 10 million in a company in the UAE.


An entrepreneur will need to have an existing project with a minimum capital of AED 500, 000, or have had the approval of an accredited business incubator in the country. The long-term visa will include the entrepreneur’s spouse and children as well as three executives.

Outstanding students

Students at the secondary level will be granted a long-term visa if they have a minimum grade of 95% and only university students having a distinction GPA of at least 3.75 at graduation will be eligible.