The UAE has granted ‘gold card’ visas to 400 expatriates since the introduction of the permanent residency scheme last month, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) announced on Tuesday.
Al Marri, speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, said the GDFRA plans to issue a further 6,400 gold card visas by the end of the year. The first batch of investors would hold total investments of AED100 billion ($27 billion).
The UAE’s new permanent visa is intended to generate foreign investment and attract top engineers, scientists, and star students.
The gold card visa is issued is renewed automatically every 10 years, so long as they satisfy the GDFRA’s terms and conditions and are still in the employed in the same activity.
The gold card is offered to a number of categories, including CEOs and real estate investors (property of more than AED5 million), inventors, entrepreneurs and specialized doctors and teachers in rare fields.
In the start-ups’ category, for example, there are criteria such as having a successful start-up with a minimum value of AED500,000 in a state-approved field and has secured an approval from an accredited incubator for the activity of the start-up.
Applications are submitted at accredited typing centres in the UAE, while people abroad can apply online on the Federal Authority For Identity and Citizenship website.