Nearly 7,000 people were chosen to benefit from new scheme
Sheikh Mohammed said the visa scheme was ‘our way to welcome all those seeking to be a part of the UAE’s success story’. Wam
Thousands of foreign investors and residents have been identified for a new “golden card” permanent residency scheme.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, announced the move on Tuesday.
He said the current investments of the 6,800 selected investors and residents are worth an estimated Dh100 billion.
The new permanent visa is intended to generate foreign investment and encourage entrepreneurship, as well as to 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 be extended to the spouse and children of the cardholder.
“We launched today a permanent resident system named ‘Golden Card’ in the UAE. It is a permanent residency for investors and for exceptional workers in the fields of health, engineering, science and art,” Sheikh Mohammed tweeted.
“The first batch of Golden Card permanent residence holders will be 6,800 investors whose investments total Dh100 billion.
“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,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
Typically, foreign residents have renewable visas that are valid for two or three years and often tied to their employment. However, last year the government announced plans to reform its visa policies.
It pledged to open up the system 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 one step further than this.
Many countries offer forms of permanent residency. Among the most notable is the Green Card system in the United States – often issued to priority workers, relatives of existing residents and $1 million-plus (Dh3.6m) investors – and Portugal, whose “golden visa” is given to those investing in property, setting up a business or creating jobs.