UAE Golden Visa: What other countries offer such residency visas?


Illustrative Image: UAE Gold Visa categories are unique in that monetary investments are not the only category to be approved
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UAE Gold Visa is for investors, talented professionals and talented individuals

Dubai: The UAE last week announced golden visas for more categories of individuals, opening up the possibility of long and renewable residency in the country. The Golden Visa offers a renewable residence of 5 or 10 years depending on the profile of the applicant.

The UAE Gold Visa categories are unique in that monetary investments are not the only category to be approved. On November 15, the UAE announced that it will grant the 10-year golden visa to all PhD holders, doctors and engineers in the fields of computer engineering, electronics, programming, electricity. and Biotechnology, as well as graduates of accredited universities in the UAE who have achieved a Point Average, GPA, score of 3.8 and above.

Here are some other countries offering “ golden visa ” categories to foreigners:

Saudi Arabia

In 2019, Saudi Arabia announced its new permanent residence option for financially solvent people over the age of 21. The fee for a permanent residence option is 800,000 Saudi Riyals, or approximately 784,000 dirhams. Expats or foreigners can also obtain a residence permit, which does not require a sponsor and allows ease of trade, recruitment, etc., for 100,000 Saudi Riyals (approximately 98,000 dirhams) for one year, renewable annually.


The Kingdom of Bahrain is another Gulf country with the option of “self-sponsorship” through investments or other conditions. Foreigners can obtain a renewable long-term residence permit if they are over retirement age but have sufficient income to support themselves and their dependents. The other options are if they have invested in real estate with a minimum value of 50,000 BD (487,000 Dh) in specific areas with a minimum monthly income of 500 BD (4,870 Dh), or if they have a company investment in Bahrain or not. less than 100,000 BD (974,000 Dh) and 500 BD minimum monthly income.

United States

Called the EB5 visa, the United States only issues 10,000 per year, including visa applicants for dependents. The minimum investment amount is 900,000 dollars (3.3 million dirhams) and such an investment should directly create at least 10 jobs for US citizens. In some areas, the minimum visa investment is up to $ 1.8 million (MAD 6.6 million) in addition to the jobs required. The visa applicant, if successful, gets a green card and is also allowed to obtain residency for dependents.


Obtaining a Level 1 investor visa will earn you £ 2million (approximately MAD9.76million) or more, and not in real estate investments. The money should be invested in equity, bond market or loan market for active UK registered companies. The Guardian reported in 2019 that 255 people had obtained the visa in the first half of this year and that more than 11,000 people had obtained the visa since its inception in 2008.

European Union

Most EU countries have versions of the Golden Residency Visa, but the requirements are different for some. Countries like Switzerland, Austria, Belgium and Italy do not offer the long term residence option for real estate investments. These countries focus on economic investments and job creation, and the amounts required range from € 250,000 (just over 1 million dirhams) to 10 million euros (over 43.5 million dirhams) . Portugal, Spain, Malta, Cyprus and Greece, on the other hand, have real estate investment options as a path to residency, and on the basis of certain conditions, citizenship. The amounts of this investment start at € 250,000.


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