The situation

The Cabinet of the United Arab Emirates announced the implementation date of the new long-term residence permits for investors, outstanding students, foreign nationals with exceptional talents and other qualifying applicant categories as February 3, 2019.

A closer look

  • Eligibility. Applicants will be able to obtain a five-year or a ten-year residence permit, depending on the category for which they qualify. The categories remain largely unchanged from the previous announcement.
  • Entry under long-term permit. Residence permit applicants will receive a six-month entry permit that will allow entry to the United Arab Emirates to complete any outstanding procedures related to their projects. For investors and entrepreneurs, the entry permit will be multiple entry and investors will be eligible to renew their entry permit once for an additional six-month period.
  • Adjudication process. Although the general conditions for granting long-term residence permits are established in law, the exact adjudication process has not been made publicly available. It is expected that the newly-formed Investors’ Committee (for investors) and Entrepreneur and Specialized Talents’ Committee (for the remaining categories of applicants) will have the discretion to make a final decision. Both committees will submit their recommendations to the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, which will endorse the visas. Foreign nationals will be required to continue fulfilling their respective visa conditions throughout the validity of their residence permits.


The long-term residence permits will allow eligible categories of foreign nationals to reside in the United Arab Emirates for extended periods of time without having to renew their residence permit as often as under other long-term residence options.


Current residence permits in the United Arab Emirates, including those for investors, are issued with a maximum validity of three years.

Initial conditions for the long-term residence permits were announced in May 2018. The long-term residence permit scheme is meant to enhance the business environment for foreign nationals.

Looking ahead

Fragomen expects that additional details related to the adjudication process, time-frames and documentary requirements will be announced in the coming months and Fragomen will provide updates as they become available.