Thousands of foreign investors and residents have been identified for a “golden card” permanent residency scheme, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, announced on Tuesday.
Sheikh Mohammed said the current investments of the 6,800 selected investors and residents are worth an estimated Dh100 billion.
The new permanent visa will generate foreign investment, encourage entrepreneurship, and attract top engineers, scientists and students.
Exact criteria for the visa are yet to be made public but more details are expected in the coming days.
Permanent residency will also be extended to the spouse and children of the cardholder.
“We launched today a permanent resident system named ‘Golden Card’ in the UAE,” Sheikh Mohammed tweeted.
“It is a permanent residency for investors and for exceptional workers in the fields of health, engineering, science and art.
“Throughout history, the UAE opened its door to millions of people looking to pursue their dreams and better their lives.
“The Golden Card is our way to welcome all those seeking to be a part of the UAE’s success story and making it a second home.”
Typically, foreign residents have renewable visas that are valid for two or three years and often tied to their employment. But last year the government announced plans to reform its visa policies.
It pledged to allow five and 10-year visas for sought-after professionals and academics and for long-term investors.
The permanent residency programme set out on Tuesday goes a step beyond this.
Many countries offer forms of permanent residency. Among them is the Green Card system in the US, issued to priority workers, relatives of residents and $1 million-plus (Dh3.6m) investors.
Portugal’s Golden Visa is given to those investing in property, setting up a business or creating jobs.
extracts from The National Newspaper – UAE