Four hundred expats have so far been granted the gold card residency visas in the UAE, as the local authorities plan to issue a further 6,400 gold card visas by the end of the year.
This was announced during a press conference to explain the new Gold Card visa process, which started on May 21 this year, and applies to investors and talented individuals. The 6,800 identified as eligible in the first year of this initiative are from 70 countries and can make a combined investment estimated at AED100 billion ($27bn).
Major General Mohammad Al Marri, director-general of GDRFA, clarified that the Gold Card visa has a duration of 10 years and has to be renewed.
The Gold Card is renewable after 10 years because there are medical insurance and other procedures that have to be done"
"The Gold Card (permanent visa) is renewable after 10 years because there are medical insurance and other procedures that have to be done," Al Marri explained to the media and in the presence of around 100 businessmen and recipients of the gold visa.
The visa is valid as long as all terms and conditions are met, noted Al Marri, adding: "If the business falters in the future, the Gold Card visa will be reviewed on a case-to-case basis".
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.
Balvinder Sahni, 47, a Dubai-based businessman from India who hit the headlines in 2016 after buying a car licence plate for AED33 million, revealed he had been one of the first to be granted the golden visa.
Aside from the gold visa, there are also other categories with a lesser period of validity for small investors and businessmen.
Doctors, investors, specialists and students with a grade of 95% or above in general secondary and university students with a grade of 3.75 and above. Executive managers with a monthly salary of AED30,000 and above are also eligible for the long-term visa.
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.