Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid unveils gold card for permanent-visa residents – The National
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.
“Gold Card permanent residence will be awarded to exceptional and talented individuals, and to whoever contributes positively to the UAE’s success story,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
“We want those people to be permanent partners in our journey. All of the residents of the UAE are our brothers and part of our large family.”
On Tuesday, the property industry said permanent residency would give a boost to developers and sellers.
Lewis Allsopp, chief executive of Allsopp & Allsopp, said the move was a “huge milestone for the UAE and for the property market”.
“Over the past few years we have seen continual steps to enhance the property market and to add longevity to the UAE with five-year retirement visas, long-term visas and 10-year visas,” Mr Allsopp said.
“The Gold Card will further the stability of the UAE by encouraging more distinguished professionals to the country.
“The property market will benefit hugely from this step in strengthening the economy.”