ICA issues first UAE Permanent Residency ‘Golden Card’ in Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI, The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, ICA, issued the first “Golden Residence Permit” in Abu Dhabi, as part of the “Investors Permanent Residence System” implemented under the UAE Cabinet’s Resolution No. 56 for 2018, which aims to help investors, entrepreneurs and qualified individuals who meet its criteria.

Brigadier Saeed Salem Al Shamsi, Executive Director of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Abu Dhabi, awarded the first permit to investor Yousuf Ali, Board Member of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, ADCCI, and Chairman of the Lulu International Group, during a ceremony that also honoured him for his role in promoting economic growth in the country.

The authority stated that it launched the programme to assist eligible investors numbering 6,800, as well as brief them about the new system and its features. The ICA also communicates with investors and business leaders outside the country, to showcase the UAE’s economic and social advantages and consolidate its regional and international leadership in creating a suitable environment, through providing facilitation, ensuring freedom of movement, and helping investors and their families stay in the country, he added.

The first batch of 6,800 investors with AED100 billion worth of investments will be granted the “Golden Card.”

The UAE Cabinet has approved the long-term visa system for expatriates announced by the country earlier this year, while also confirming the criteria that need to be met.

The UAE announced that it would grant five or 10-year residency visas to investors, entrepreneurs, specialists in the medical, scientific, research and technical fields, and ‘outstanding’ students to “facilitate business and create an attractive and encouraging investment environment” in the country. The visa benefits also extend to the wider family (spouse and children).

The decision defines two categories for investors: * Investors in a property of a value of AED5 million or more will be granted a residence for five years.

* Those making public investments through a deposit, an established company or a business partnership worth AED10 mn or more, or a total investment of not less than AED10 mn in all the areas mentioned as long as non-real estate investments are not less than 60 percent of the total investment, will be granted a renewable residency visa every 10 years.

The Cabinet decision outlines the following conditions for both categories: * The amount invested shall be wholly owned by the investor and not loaned, and should be proven by supporting documents * Investment retention for at least three years * A standard financial liability with a financial solvency not exceeding AED10 mn The long-term visa could also be extended to include business partners (provided that each partner contributes AED10 mn), the spouse and children, as well as one executive director and one advisor.

The decision allows investors to enter the country on a six-month multiple entry visa.

In January, the government also granted the first batch of long-term visas to 20 scientists who were the winners and finalists of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence.

Source: Emirates News Agency