Five (5) Job Categories for Expatriates eligible for Long Term Residence visa for up to 10 years

The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship announced that the long-term residency visas for expatriates from five select categories has come into force, permitting them to stay in the UAE for up to 10 years.

This directive is in line for implementing the UAE Cabinet Decision No. 56 for the year 2018. It grants long-term stay in the country to investors, real estate investors, entrepreneurs, talented people like doctors, researchers, innovators and outstanding students.”

Who will be affected?

All expatriates qualifying as Real Estate Investors, Entrepreneurs, Doctors, Researchers, Innovators and outstanding students will be granted visas up to 10 years. This decision is to facilitate business and create an attractive and encouraging investment environment for the growth of business for investors, entrepreneurs and professional talent.


The decision of the Cabinet follows the directive approved earlier this year to grant investors a ten-year residency visa, as well as to grant residency visas of up to 10 years for specialists in the medical, scientific, research and technical fields, and for scientists and creative talents of culture and arts, including their spouse and children. The decision aims to maintain the position of the UAE as an optimal business environment.

The decision includes the terms and conditions for obtaining long-term visas for investors, entrepreneurs, specialized talents, researchers in the fields of science and knowledge, and outstanding students to attract talents in all vital sectors of the national economy. This decision will create a stimulating environment for stability and growth.

Rules and conditions for Investment: Two Criteria’s for Investment

1. Real Estates

– To invest in Real-Estates with a minimum capital of 5 Million dirhams 

2. General Investment

– Depository of 10 Million as investment fund

– To establish a company with a minimum capital of 10 million dirhams or contribute as a partner with a minimum contribution of 10 Million dirhams

– A total investment with a minimum collective value of 10 million dirhams (provided that the investment in real estate constitutes no less than 60 % of total investments)

Two main criteria for eligibility:

1. To own an established and successful business with a minimum capital of 500,000 dirhams, in a field approved by the Ministry of Economy.

2. The business should be licensed by the official business incubator in UAE.

Special talents & researchers in scientific and knowledge fields


1. Doctors & Specialists (At least 2 conditions must be met) 

– Having received a Phd degree with a professorship from the top 500 universities in the world and approved by Ministry of Education in UAE;

– An award or certificates of appreciation in the field of the applicant’s work;

– Contribution to a major scientific research in the respective field of work;

– Published articles or scientific books in distinguished publications in the respective field of work;

– Membership in an organization related to the field;

– A Ph.D. degree, in addition to 10-year professional experience in his field;

– Specialization in areas of priority to the UAE. 

2. Scientists

– Council Scientists must be accredited by Emirates Scientists

– Holders of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence. 

3. Innovators in the field of art and culture

– Creative individuals in culture and art must be accredited by Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development. 

4. Innovators

– Inventors must obtain a patent of value, which adds to the UAE’s economy.

– Patents must be approved by Ministry of Economy.

High calibre & outstanding student

– Outstanding students with a minimum grade of 95 per cent in public and private secondary schools.

– University students within and outside the country having a distinction GPA of at least 3.75 upon graduation.

How Santa Fe can assist:

Santa Fe can support businesses who wish to employ foreign nationals in UAE by assessing their eligibility to qualify for the required work visas to ensure compliance with the UAE Immigration Laws. We can also review current employees’ visas and if it is found that the correct work visa is not in place we can assist with corrective measures to ensure compliance.

We can also keep your business updated on further developments in UAE immigration matters and will advise on any changes requiring your attention.

Should you have any questions, please contact the following:

Ayaz Sheriff 
Senior Immigration Consultant – UAE
​Santa Fe Relocation
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
D: +97 143 321 595
M: +97 155 367 9870

Paolo Longo
Regional Immigration Director – Middle East & Africa
​Santa Fe Relocation
Johannesburg, South Africa
D: +27 (0) 10 595 2337
M: +27 (0) 83 677 7949

Soumeya Messadi

Head of Immigration – Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa
Santa Fe Relocation
D: +65 6398 3520 (5630)
M: +65 9169 6061


To read more immigration updates, click here

About our Immigration Services

Our immigration services manage thousands of visa applications every year for a multitude of international companies. Our experienced immigration experts and migration agents handle the immigration process for you and provide simple reporting and guidance on immigration matters.

About us

Santa Fe Relocation is a global mobility company specialising in managing and delivering high-quality relocation services worldwide. Our core competence is providing services that help corporations and their employees relocate and settle in a new country, assisting them with immigration, home and school searches, language and cultural training, property rentals, and domestic and international household goods shipments. We provide these services to a consistently high standard, locally and globally. A key strength is our ability to manage these services through our own operations around the world. Santa Fe Relocation Services is wholly owned by the Santa Fe Group, which is listed on NASDAQ in Copenhagen, Denmark. For more information, visit us at

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