Long-term residency programme in the United Arab Emirates will now include executive directors who earn a monthly salary of 30,000 dirhams ($8,167) or more, Gulf News has reported, citing Mohammed Al Marri, head of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs.
Applicants will also need a bachelor's degree and no less than five years of work experience to apply for a 10-year residency visa, according to a presentation by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship seen by Bloomberg.
The move indicates further opening in a country where 80% of the population is made up of foreign expatriates, some of whom have lived in the UAE for decades with no long-term residency guarantee. A recently introduced residency law was criticized for mostly offering rights to millionaires.
On Tuesday, Al Marri said 400 people have so far been granted the gold card residency visas.
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.