The UAE’s coveted Golden Visa has been in strong demand since its launch, as it ensures stability to professionals and businessmen and helps plan a long-term stay in the country.
Introduced in 2019, the 10-year residency scheme was recently expanded to include more investor and professional categories. Currently, property investors, professionals, scientists, outstanding students and entrepreneurs can apply for a long-term visa.
The UAE recently reduced the minimum salary required for the Golden Visa eligibility from Dh50,000 to Dh30,000 a month, in order to attract the best talent in different professions.
The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai issued nearly 80,000 Golden Visas last year to skilled professionals, entrepreneurs and investors – an increase of 69 per cent over the previous year.
In January, Abu Dhabi also raised the validity of the Golden Visa from 5 to 10 years for all categories.
However, there was uncertainty among residents about whether the Golden Visa is linked to jobs in the UAE.
When we asked a legal expert whether the Golden Visa will also be cancelled as a result of job loss, it was pointed out that since the Golden Visa holder is not under the sponsorship of the company, job loss will have no impact on the long-term residency.
Joanna Matthews-Taylor, partner, Baker McKenzie, said the Golden Visa and employment status are not connected; therefore, losing a job does not impact the long-term residency holders of the UAE.
“The UAE residence status of a Golden Visa holder is entirely unaffected if he/she loses [their] job. The continuing validity of a Golden Visa is not connected with employment status,” she said in a statement to Khaleej Times.
Recruitment and HR executives have termed the long-term residency a game changer for the UAE economy and society, as it will attract long-term residents, high-net-worth individuals and the best talent from around the world.