The UAE Government received about 6,000 applications for long-term visas from investors and entrepreneurs after starting to issue five-year terms at the start of the month.
The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) said in an Instagram post on Wednesday that the surge in applications came “during the first week of its announcement to start receiving long-term residency applications” for candidates and their family members that meet “the conditions” set out by Cabinet Decree No. (56) of 2018.
The ICA said on May 2 it had implemented the cabinet's decision to issue the longer-term visas for entrepreneurs in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi business incubator, Hub71, and the Dubai Future Foundation. The government said the three entities will share knowledge and training to create "a conducive environment for investment and business" and develop strategies to attract entrepreneurs to the country.
On May 6, Fragomen Worldwide, which specialises in legal and immigration issues, said foreigners eligible for all long-term UAE residency visas could apply online for a six-month entry permit to complete any paperwork needed to secure a five or 10-year visa.
Long-term visas, which can be renewed automatically, were first announced in May last year. They allow foreign investors, scientists, entrepreneurs and the brightest students to qualify for five and ten-year visas.
Candidates eligible for investor visas must either have invested in real estate with a minimum capital of Dh5 million or in general investments with a minimum of Dh10m.
Eligible candidates for the five-year entrepreneur visa must have a business with a minimum capital of Dh500,000 or the approval of an accredited business incubator in the country.
The ICA said it can also grant five-year visas to three executive directors working for eligible entrepreneurs, provided they commit to working exclusively for the company during the period of the visa.