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Officials from the UAE's Federal Authority for Identity Citizenship Customs & Port Security (ICP) have announced plans to potentially streamline the process of obtaining Golden Visas for property owners. At the UAE Innovates exhibition, it was revealed that individuals with property portfolios worth Dh2 million or more might soon receive Golden Visas automatically, without the need for a separate application process.

According to a spokesperson, the proposed system would involve linking the land departments of each emirate to the ICP portal. This linkage would enable officials to access property ownership information during visa renewal processes. Eligible individuals meeting the Dh2 million property threshold could then be automatically issued Golden Visas without needing to initiate a separate application.

Originally introduced in 2018, Golden Visas were initially granted to residents who made significant contributions to the UAE. Over time, eligibility categories expanded to include property owners, investors, frontline workers, and high-achieving students, among others. Earlier this year, the government further relaxed conditions for property owners by removing the minimum down payment requirement of Dh1 million.

The new initiative is slated to roll out in the near future, providing a more streamlined process for eligible property owners to obtain Golden Visas directly through immigration authorities. Since their inception, Golden Visas have grown increasingly popular among UAE residents due to the myriad benefits they offer. Holders of these 10-year visas can sponsor residence permits for family members, including spouses and children, with extended sponsorship eligibility for sons up to 25 years old and no age restrictions for unmarried daughters.

Moreover, Golden Residence holders face no limitations on the duration of stay outside the UAE and enjoy the flexibility of sponsoring multiple domestic workers. The visa's attractiveness has led to a surge in demand, particularly among European investors, who see property investment in Dubai as a means to secure residency. Data from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) – Dubai indicates a notable uptick in Golden Visas issued in the emirate, underscoring their increasing popularity.

The announcement was made during the UAE Innovates exhibition, an annual event showcasing innovative projects from various government agencies. Held at Emirates Towers Boulevard, the exhibition marks the culmination of a month-long celebration of innovation across the nation. Since its inception in 2015, UAE Innovates has become a flagship event, promoting innovation and supporting the implementation of the national innovation strategy. In recent years, the event has also recognized innovative individuals and organizations through prestigious awards presented by the Mohammed bin Rashid Center for Government Innovation (MBRGI).

Feb. 28, 2024 1:18 p.m. 1368

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