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UAE Introduces Long-Term Visas: Here is Who Can Apply for Them

5 December 2018
The UAE is constantly reviewing ways of opening up its borders to the world’s talent. Sometimes that requires government measures. After consultation over its options and steps from earlier in the year, at the end of November, the UAE cabinet approved long-term visas for certain groups.

About the New Long-Term Visa

The new system finally permits long-term stays in the UAE for people with valued skills. Earlier this year, the cabinet introduced visas covering up to 10 years for a range of fields in medical, research, technical and science.
The new long-term visa options include:
  • A 10-year visa for business investors
  • A 5-year visa for students of exceptional ability
It’s expected to help a range of people including students in STEM, entrepreneurs, business investors and those who fulfil certain specially selected professional talents in art and culture, and science innovation. They are also extended to spouses and any children they may have. However, there are strict criteria for eligibility for each group.

Obtaining a Long-Term Visa

Which visa you may apply for depends on the reason for which you are applying for the visa.


A 5-year multi-entry visa for those with evidence of prior projects and minimum investment of Dh500k, or for those with approved accreditation from a UAE business incubator.
If other requirements are met, such people may be eligible for the investors visa (see below). The entrepreneur may stay in the UAE for up to six months at a time with a possible renewable extending by a further 6 months.


A 5-year visa is available if you are investing in property worth over Dh5m.
A 10-year renewable visa If your investment area is public works, through a business (company or partnership), of a combined investment of a mix of not less than Dh10m.
The figures stated here must be owned assets and cannot exist in the form of loans. Investment is required for a minimum of three years. For partnerships, a minimum of Dh10m is required per partner. Applicants are permitted entry for up to six months at a time, as with the entrepreneur visa.

Specialist Talent

10-year visas are available to a range of STEM professionals. Doctors and specialists must have a PhD with 10 years of practice experience, hold an award of appreciation from the country of origin, and evidence of major contribution to research, published articles, and professional membership. In addition, you must hold qualifications in a field determined as a priority for UAE.
10-year visas for specialists in the creative fields including arts and culture. Applicants are required accreditation from the Ministry of Culture or Knowledge Development Investors. You will be required to obtain a Patent of Value from the Ministry of Economy Exceptional Talents list.
A valid contract of employment is required prior to granting of the visa application.

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