UAE’s Golden, Green, and Retirement Visas: Comprehensive Benefits of Non-Employment Visas Unveiled

The UAE remains a pivotal center for trade and leisure, drawing in a global audience of businesses and individuals. To enhance its appeal to visitors, residents, and workers, the UAE has introduced various visa schemes for non-employed expatriates.

These visas empower foreign experts to reside in the UAE without a work contract, making the country an attractive destination for digital nomads, freelancers, remote workers, students, retirees, and job seekers.

Green Visa

The UAE Green Visa is a five-year visa aimed at skilled workers and professionals who are self-employed or freelancing, along with their family members. It provides job market flexibility and increased stability for UAE residents.

Available for freelancers and self-employed individuals in both government and private sectors, the Green Visa offers a five-year residency.

Eligibility Criteria

For freelancers and self-employed persons, eligibility requires a bachelor’s degree or specialized diploma and a freelance or self-employment permit from the UAE’s Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE). Applicants must demonstrate an annual income of at least AED 360,000 over two years or provide evidence of financial stability during their stay.

Investors or business partners seeking this visa need investment approval and proof of their investment activities, along with authorization from pertinent local authorities.


Holders of the Green Visa can sponsor their spouses, children, and first-degree relatives. It extends the sponsorship age for male children to 25 (from the previous 18 years), and there is no age limit for sponsoring unmarried daughters. Provisions are also made for children with special needs, offering them a residence permit regardless of age. After visa cancellation or expiration, there is a six-month grace period to address overstay. Additionally, overseas applicants can obtain a 60-day entry work permit to streamline their visa processing.


To apply for the UAE’s Green Visa, follow these steps:

  • Download the Application:
    • Access the GDRFA-Dubai application from authorized app stores (Apple Store/Play Store) or visit
    • Register a new user account if you don’t already have one.
  • Start the Application Process:
    • Select “Issuance of entry permit for green residence under Entry Permissions” service.
    • Choose the relevant subcategory: skilled worker, investor, partner, or freelance work.
  • Submission of Documents:
    • Attach the required documents.
    • Pay the applicable service fees.
    • Submit the request.

  • Notification:
    • Receive updates via text message and email about the application status.
    • If documents are missing, you will be notified and given 30 days to submit the necessary documents, or the application will be canceled.

For applications through AMER Centres:

  • Visit an AMER Centre:
    • Go to a service branch of the Amer Centres.
  • Application Process:
    • Select the desired service at the reception.
    • Provide the required documents for verification.
    • Pay the service fees and submit your application.

Virtual Work Visa

The UAE’s Virtual Work Visa program allows individuals to live in the UAE while being employed remotely by companies outside the country. This innovative visa caters to the growing trend of remote working and digital nomad lifestyles.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for this visa, applicants must provide evidence of employment with an organization outside the UAE. They must also demonstrate a monthly income of at least $3,500 (three thousand five hundred US dollars) or its equivalent in other currencies.


The Virtual Work Visa is valid for one year, providing flexibility for remote workers to live in the UAE while maintaining their employment abroad.


Passport and Health Insurance Requirements:

  • Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months.
  • Obtain valid health insurance coverage.

For Employees:

  • Verify employment with a contract valid for at least one year.
  • Demonstrate a minimum monthly salary of $5,000.
  • Provide the latest month’s salary slip and bank statements for the last three months.

For Company Owners:

  • Show proof of company ownership for one year or more.
  • Prove an average monthly income of $5,000.
  • Submit the company’s bank statements for the last three months.

Application Fee:

  • The cost to apply is $287 per applicant.

UAE Golden Visa

The UAE Golden Visa has emerged as a coveted long-term residency option since its inception in 2019, drawing thousands to its shores. This visa caters to various categories of applicants, including investors, professionals, specialists, and others, offering them a 10-year residency period.

The Golden Visa scheme stands out for its broad inclusivity, extending eligibility to investors, entrepreneurs, individuals with exceptional talents, scientists, professionals, top students and graduates, humanitarian pioneers, and frontline heroes. These applicants must meet specific eligibility criteria to qualify for the visa.

This comprehensive visa program not only facilitates a decade-long stay in the UAE but also allows visa holders to sponsor their family members, providing stability and security for expatriates looking to make the UAE their long-term home.

Golden Visa for Scientists:

  • Awarded to influential scientists and researchers based on recommendations from the Emirates Scientists Council.
  • Candidates must possess a PhD or Master’s degree in engineering, technology, life sciences, or natural sciences from top global universities, with significant research achievements.

Golden Visa for Professionals:

  • Expanded to include highly skilled workers across all disciplines such as medicine, sciences, engineering, IT, business, education, law, culture, and social sciences.
  • Aimed at attracting individuals with advanced educational qualifications and professional experience.

Golden Visa for Exceptional Talents:

  • Requires recommendation or approval from federal or local government entities.
  • Targets talented individuals in culture, art, sports, digital technology, and innovators in other critical fields.

Golden Visa for Real Estate Investors:

  • Available to those investing in property worth at least $544,500 (AED2 million), without the need for a minimum AED1 million down payment.

Golden Visa for Outstanding Students and Graduates:

  • Focuses on high-performing students in UAE schools and top graduates from local and global universities.
  • Selection based on academic performance, graduation year, and university ranking.

Humanitarian Pioneers:

  • Eligibility extends to notable members of international and regional organizations, exceptional public benefit association members, humanitarian award recipients, and notable volunteers and sponsors of humanitarian initiatives.

Golden Visa for Entrepreneurs and Startup Owners:

  • Introduces flexible criteria for entrepreneurs and startup owners to obtain the Golden Residence, fostering business innovation and growth in the UAE.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *