The United Arab Emirates is extending its golden visa system, which grants 10-year residency in the Gulf state, to certain professionals, specialised degree-holders and others.
The new categories now include: PhD holders, doctors, engineers in the fields of computer engineering, electronics, programming, electricity and biotechnology as well as graduates from accredited universities with a GPA of 3.8 or more.
"We approved today the granting of golden residency to residents.. for a period of ten years," Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, announced on Twitter.
.@HHShkMohd:Today we approved the granting of the 10-year golden visa to all PhD holders, all doctors, engineers in the fields of computer engineering, electronics, programming, electricity and biotechnology, as well as graduates from accredited universities who score 3.8 & above— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) November 15, 2020
Golden residency will also be granted to holders of specialised degrees in artificial intelligence, big data, or epidemiology and viruses. Outstanding high school students and their families will be potential recipients too.
Foreigners in the UAE usually have renewable visas valid for only a few years tied to employment. The government in the past couple of years has made its visa policy more flexible, offering longer residencies for certain types of investors, students and professionals.
The UAE launched a permanent residency scheme for expatriates in 2019.
Dubai said the economic growth rate could increase by up to 1% because of plans by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to extend to more categories a "golden" visa system which grants 10-year residency in the Gulf state.
"The UAE progressively extending golden residency to more and more categories will accelerate economic growth and productivity in Dubai," the emirate's department of economic development said on Monday.
"When all stages of granting golden residency to different groups are completed, economic growth rate in Dubai is likely to increase between 0.25% and 1%, driven largely by domestic demand and investment," it said, citing an internal study.
Typically, a golden visa is a type of grant issued to wealthy individuals looking to trade significant investment into a country for the opportunity to reside within it. The system has often been used by governments to broaden their tax base.