Dubai’s Ruler and the UAE’s Vice President has announced the launch of a new residency system for expatriates. Under the Golden Card Scheme, residency for qualifying investors, entrepreneurs, those with special talents, researchers and outstanding students will be available. The spouses and children of Golden Card holders will also be able to obtain permanent residency under the scheme.
6800 expatriates from more than 70 countries have already been selected for the scheme. The investors are worth. an estimated 100 billion AED. 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.
In the past, foreign residents typically had renewable visas valid for two or three years which were often tied to their employment. However, last year the government announced plans to reform its visa policies.