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International Relations

UAE Issues Golden Card Visa

  • 17 Nov 2020
  • 5 min read

Why in News

Recently, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has approved the issuance of a 10-year golden card visa for more professionals, including PhD holders, physicians, engineers as well as graduates from certain universities.

  • Golden Visa is citizenship by investment or residency by investment program. It is directed to wealthy foreign nationals who want to acquire residency in a certain country by investing a substantial amount of money or by purchasing a property.

Key Points

  • UAE’s Golden Card Visa:
    • It grants 10-year residency to these visa holders and their families.
    • Eligibility:
      • All holders of doctorate degrees, medical doctors and computer, electronics, programming, electrical and biotechnology engineers.
      • Those with specialised degrees in artificial intelligence (AI), big data and epidemiology, as well as high school students living in the UAE who rank top in the country and students from certain universities with a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.8 or higher.
    • The changes will take place from 1st December 2020.
  • Background:
    • Foreigners in the UAE usually have renewable visas valid for only a few years tied to their employment.
    • In May 2019, the UAE started granting 5 and 10-year renewable visas to certain foreign investors, entrepreneurs, chief executives, scientists and outstanding students, under the Golden Card scheme.
      • The scheme offers unprecedented benefits to the cardholders and their families while creating an attractive environment for business and growth.
      • It attracts greater foreign investment and stimulates the local economy, making it more efficient and attractive for investors.
      • It also increases the UAE's competitiveness and reaffirms the country's position as a global incubator.
    • 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.
  • Reasons Behind the Move:
    • The UAE's economy has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and low oil prices, prompting many expatriates to leave. The move intends to bring them back now and keep the “talented people and great minds” in the Gulf country and help in nation-building.
    • It will attract talented professionals from various fields of expertise and further encourage innovation, creativity and applied research, adding to the appeal of a career in the UAE for the world’s brightest minds.
  • Significance for India:
    • It would attract more Indian professionals and businessmen to the Gulf nation and strengthen the India-UAE Relations.
      • The Indian expatriate community is reportedly the largest ethnic community in the UAE, constituting roughly about 30% of the country's population, which has played a major role in the economic development of the UAE.
    • It will also facilitate the return of Indians who want to resume work after the relaxation of Covid-19-related restrictions, for which India had requested the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in early November 2020.

Recent Developmental Events in the UAE

Source: TH

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