UAE Golden Visa

US citizens are already eligible for a visa upon arrival in Dubai or the UAE for their short-term visit here. However, for those considering an extended stay in the country for business, education, or retirement purposes, there is promising news! They can benefit from a golden visa. And this comprehensive read provides all the essential information for an in-depth understanding of obtaining a UAE golden visa for US citizens.

UAE Golden Visa: An Overview & Benefits

A UAE golden visa is a long-term visa valid for five or ten years, allowing foreigners to stay, work, and carry out their business in the country. However, the benefits of this visa extend far beyond this simple definition, as it offers endless opportunities for its holders. Some of them are:

  • No sponsor is needed to apply for a golden visa.
  • Applicants of a golden visa are provided a six-month multiple-entry visa to carry out all the procedures until its approval.
  • A golden visa holder can travel in and out of the UAE as often as they want during its validity period.
  • This visa provides its holders with complete ownership and autonomy over their businesses.
  • It allows them to sponsor their family members, domestic help, etc.
  • This visa is renewable, unlike short-term visas.

Who Can Apply for a UAE Golden Visa

Apply for UAE Golden Visa

Public Investment Investors: Those with an investment in an investment fund are eligible for a 10-year golden visa; however, only if they satisfy the following conditions:

  • Maintain an amount AED two million or more as a deposit.
  • Submit relevant proof stating the payment of a minimum of AED 250,000 annually, verified through a letter from the Federal Tax Authority.
  • Hold a valid license (commercial or industrial) with a capital of at least AED two million.
  • Investors must possess complete ownership of the invested capital, and it should not be obtained through a loan.

Real Estate Investors: Property owners in the country are eligible for a five-year golden visa, provided they meet the following requirements:

  • Submit a letter from the respective UAE emirate’s land department confirming the property’s ownership valued at AED 2 million or more.
  • Properties owned through a bank loan with approval from a recognized local entity.

Entrepreneurs: Entrepreneurs are qualified for a five-year golden visa if they own an economic project involving high-tech futuristic aspects, emphasizing innovation and risks. However, you must submit letters from relevant entities to be entitled to this visa, such as:

  • An UAE auditor stating that this project is valued at a minimum of AED 500,000.
  • The local authorities confirming the project’s futuristic characteristics.
  • A recognized UAE business incubator sanctioning the establishment of this project in the country.

Specialized Talents: Those with exceptional talents in certain fields and professions (as mentioned below) qualify for a 10-year golden visa.

  • Doctors and scientists
  • Creative minds in art and culture
  • Athletes
  • Science and engineering subject experts that specialize in topics like artificial intelligence, computer engineering, software engineering, big data, electrical engineering, epidemiology and viruses, and biotechnology engineering
  • Holders of doctoral degrees
  • Executive directors
  • Inventors

However, each category must satisfy certain conditions to obtain this visa. For instance, a doctor must present a letter stating the approval of the Ministry of Health and Prevention in the UAE. Similarly, scientists must submit a letter of recommendation signed by the Secretariat of the Mohammed bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence or the Emirates Council of Scientists.

Outstanding Students: Top-scoring high school and university students can apply for a five-year or ten-year golden visa. But they must keep a note of the following to qualify for it:

  • High school students’ grades should be at least 95% and attached with the Ministry of Education’s recommendation letter.
  • In the case of university students, their university must be globally recognized and carry a Ministry of Education rating of A or B. Their cumulative GPA in the academic reports must be 3.5 or above (if A-class institutions) and 3.8 or above (if B-class institutions).

Pioneers of Humanitarian Works: Individuals committed to humanitarian causes are eligible for a golden visa, provided they are:

  • Exceptional employees and members associated with local and international organizations for at least five years.
  • Exceptional employees and members involved in public-interest institutions and civil associations for at least five years.
  • Individuals recognized with an award by a local, regional, or international organization involved in humanitarian work.
  • Individuals funding for humanitarian causes, which are valued at a minimum of AED 2 million.

Frontline Heroes: It represents medical assistants, nurses, and pharmacologists (to name a few) who showed the utmost dedication during the COVID-19 crisis. They qualify for a golden visa if they carry a recommendation and approval from the Frontline Heroes Office.

Document Requirements and Procedures for The UAE Golden Visa Application

The following are the documents to apply UAE golden visa for US citizens and other foreigners, regardless of the categories:

  • A valid passport
  • Relevant certificates like birth certificates, marriage certificates, good conduct certificates, certificates stating no criminal background, etc.
  • Medical insurance and a medical fitness certificate
  • A recently taken photograph
  • Current UAE or Dubai visa

Along with these, applicants must also attach a salary certificate, letter of recommendation, or approval documents depending on their golden visa category.

Once you have all the documents ready, you will go through the following procedures to get your golden visa:

  • Connect with a professional service provider or install the GDRFA-Dubai app on your device.
  • Register with all your relevant details and choose the appropriate service.
  • Attach all the compiled documents.
  • Fee payment (as required) and application submission
  • Receive notification via SMS to submit the missing documents (if any).
  • Approval of the golden visa upon the successful completion of all the procedures

Top Advantages of The UAE Golden Visa for US Citizens

1. Long-Term UAE Residence: As opposed to a normal two-year residence visa, a UAE golden visa offers a validity of as long as ten years. This means its holders do not have to renew the visa frequently.

2. No Sponsor Required: This is probably the most significant benefit of a UAE golden visa, as its holder can stay, work, study, or run their own business in the country without sponsorship or employment.

3. Tax Advantages: One of the greatest advantages of staying in the UAE as a residence is that you do not have to pay tax on your income, earnings, or real estate. However, a nominal corporate tax is applicable for certain businesses, which is much less compared to that in the US.

4. Eligibility to Sponsor Family and Any Number of Domestic Assistants: Contrary to a standard visa, a UAE golden visa holder can sponsor their family members of all age groups, plus any number of domestic helps. Should the primary UAE golden visa holder pass away, his dependents retain the right to stay in the country for the visa’s duration.

5. Easy to Secure a UAE’s Driving License: Obtaining a driving license in the UAE is quite a lengthy process. But US citizens with a golden visa can get this easily in exchange for their US driving license.

6. Low-Cost Property Choices: Relevant studies by organizations like indicate Dubai’s cost of living is much lower compared to that of US cities like New York City and Los Angeles. This is reflected in real estate, transport options, food expenses, etc.

7. Dynamic Economy with Enhanced Career Prospects: With its strategic location, exceptional financial reserves, high-end infrastructure, strong sovereign wealth, etc., the UAE is one of the world’s most stable and strongest economies.

8. Prolonged Overseas Stay: While a standard UAE visa holder is not permitted to stay outside the country for more than six months, there is no specific time limit for a UAE golden visa holder, allowing them to stay for extended durations outside the country.

9. Special Medical and Wellness Plans: Besides high-quality standards of living, a US citizen holding a golden visa can enjoy special medical insurance plans that also offer coverage for their dependents (based on the chosen package).

10. Eligible for Esaad Card: Esaad Card is a discount program that lets its holders avail of exclusive price cuts on education, health care, shopping, accommodations, dining, etc. The best thing is that it is issued to UAE golden visa holders free of charge.


Here are a few FAQs about UAE Golden Visa:

1. What is a UAE Golden Visa?

The UAE golden visa is a residence visa that allows its holders to stay, work, and invest in the country for a period of five to ten years.

2. How does it benefit US citizens?

US citizens holding a UAE golden visa enjoy various benefits, from extended residency and eligibility to sponsor family members and unlimited domestic help to streamlined business ownership processes and favorable tax policies.

3. Is there any difference between a Golden and Green Visa in the UAE?

Both the Golden and Green visas are long-term visas. A UAE Green Visa is valid for five years and is mainly issued to investors, brilliant alumni, top-scorer students, and skilled workers. But a UAE Golden Visa carries a validity of up to ten years, with added benefits like exclusive healthcare plans, privilege cards, and enhanced stability for dependents (until the visa validity period) even after the primary visa holder’s demise.

4. Is it possible for US citizens to sponsor their families with a UAE golden visa?

Yes, US citizens with a UAE golden visa can sponsor their family and even any number of domestic assistants.

5. Are US citizens holding a golden visa entitled to special wellness and discount packages?

Yes, US citizens holding a golden visa can avail of special health plans and discount cards like Esaad (free of charge).


Precisely, the UAE’s golden visa is a remarkable option for US nationals to stay in the country for a longer period. So, no more confusions surrounding what is Dubai visa change or related procedures for an extended stay in the UAE. With a streamlined and straightforward application procedure, they can make the most of the wealth of benefits and remarkable experiences that await them on a golden visa. And we anticipate that this above guide will help you explore your pathway in procuring a golden visa.

Rezmin is passionate about traveling and curating content about history, traditions and other intriguing aspects that make a place attractive. In her spare time, she enjoys reading fictional books sprinkled with inspiration, humor and enthusiasm.

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