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Can Indians get permanent residency in Dubai?

Dubai is considered one of the most popular expat destinations in the world. With a high standard of living, tax-free incomes, and abundant job opportunities, it continues to attract foreigners from all over the globe, including a large number of Indians. However, unlike some other countries in the Gulf region, the United Arab Emirates does not offer citizenship to expats. The highest form of long-term residency available in Dubai for expats is permanent residency.

Can Indians get permanent residency in Dubai?

So can Indians get permanent residency in Dubai? The answer is yes, Indians are eligible to apply for permanent residency status in Dubai, known officially as the “Golden Visa”. However, the requirements are quite stringent.

Eligibility Criteria for Dubai Golden Visa

The Dubai Golden Visa program was launched in 2019 by the UAE government to attract wealthy individuals and exceptional talents to the country. The main eligibility criteria are:

  • Investors and Entrepreneurs: Foreign investors who have invested at least 10 million AED in an existing or new business venture are eligible. Candidates should provide proof of investment.
  • Outstanding Students: Indian students studying in the UAE with a minimum grade of 95% can qualify for the golden visa.
  • Frontline Heroes: Doctors, scientists, and other frontline workers who have made valuable contributions, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Scientists and Researchers: Those with exceptional talents and innovative abilities in science and knowledge can apply. Applicants are evaluated case-by-case.
  • Exceptional Talents: World-class athletes, artists, authors, and creatives can also be considered. Applicants must provide evidence of awards, achievements, etc.

In November 2020, the program was expanded to include a wider range of professionals employed in the region. So software developers, lawyers, senior managers, creative artists can also apply subject to specific salary thresholds and skill criteria.

The Dubai Golden Visa is a 10-year residency visa, renewable, that allows Indians and other expats to live, work and study in Dubai without requiring a national sponsor. It also includes benefits like 100% ownership of property and businesses in Dubai. Spouse and children are also eligible for a 10-year visa.

Step-by-Step Guide for Indians to Apply

If you meet any of the eligibility criteria mentioned above, follow the steps below to apply for the Dubai Golden Visa:

Step 1) Determine which category you would like to apply under and prepare supporting documents. For investment, provide ITRs, bank statements, ownership papers etc. For exceptional talents, compile evidence of awards.

Step 2) Contact the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai online and fill out the Golden Visa application form and upload documents.

Step 3) Pay the application fees. It is approximately 5,000 AED but can vary. Investors may have to pay more. Payment can be made directly on the portal via credit card.

Step 4) Set up an appointment for biometric testing at an approved Emirates ID registration center.

Step 5) Your application will go through a verification process which may take a few months. You may be asked to provide additional documents or get approvals from certain ministries based on your category.

Step 6) Once approved, your new Dubai Golden Visa will be issued as a 10-year residency permit linked to your passport and Emirates ID.

The entire application process is now quite straightforward and can be completed online. Having all your documents ready based on the eligibility criteria will help streamline your Dubai Golden Visa application.

Benefits of 10 Year Dubai Golden Visa

Some of the benefits of obtaining the 10 year Dubai Golden Visa include:

  • Long-term UAE Residency: Get guaranteed residency rights in Dubai/UAE for the next 10 years (renewable) without requiring a national sponsor for work or residence.
  • Family Sponsorship: Spouse and children under 18 also get a 10 year dependant visa with same benefits.
  • Work Freely: Eliminates work permit requirements. Golden visa holders can work or switch jobs without company sponsorship.
  • Own Property 100%: Get full ownership rights on properties and businesses in Dubai and the other emirates.
  • Travel Easily: Exemption from immigration checks, 10 year multi-entry visa allowance and quick approvals for re-entry permits.
  • Access Education and Healthcare: Enrollment to schools, colleges or universities allowed. Ability to get health insurance coverage in Dubai.

So for high-net worth individuals and professionals with specialized expertise, the Dubai Golden Visa scheme provides an attractive gateway to long-term UAE residency along with premium benefits and business opportunities across the country.

Recent Notable Golden Visa Grant Recipients

Since 2019, more than 40,000 golden visas have apparently been issued to deserving expat candidates across various industries and specializations.

Some recent Indian recipients of the 10 year UAE golden visa include:

  • Sunny Varkey: Dubai based education entrepreneur & founder of GEMS Education (Nov 2022)
  • Dr. Bhupendra Kumar Modi: Chairman of Singapore-based Global Citizen Forum (Aug 2022)
  • Kunal Kapoor: Bollywood actor endorsed by Sheikh Nahayan (April 2022)
  • Dr. Azad Moopen: Founder Chairman of Aster DM Healthcare (Feb 2022)

The list of prominent Indians receiving the Dubai golden visa has been increasing steadily across business, technology, arts and other key domains.

Key Takeaways

  • Dubai’s Golden Visa is a 10-year residency permit for expats allowing them to live/work freely in the UAE.
  • Indians meeting investment, salary, skillset thresholds can apply for the Dubai Golden Visa.
  • Benefits include family sponsorship, owning property/business 100%, traveling easily within UAE.
  • Over 40,000 special expats have received approval for the Dubai Golden Visa since 2019.
  • Application involves online form submission and approval timeframes vary from weeks to months.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I buy property in Dubai on a golden visa?
    Yes, the Dubai golden visa grants the benefit of 100% ownership of property in Dubai and other emirates to long-term residents without needing a UAE national as sponsor. 
  2. Do I need to stay continuously for 10 years in UAE with golden visa?
    No, the Dubai golden visa allows multiple entries and re-entries, eliminating immigration checks. You do not need to stay continuously for 10 years but can travel in/out of UAE conveniently. 
  3. Can my family also get a golden visa like mine?
    Yes, your spouse and children below 18 years of age are eligible for a 10 year dependent visa with the same benefits as your Dubai golden visa. 
  4. I have a 5 year Dubai resident visa. Can I upgrade to golden visa?
    It may be possible to upgrade your 5 year UAE residency to a 10 year golden visa if you meet the salary, investment or talent eligibility criteria. You would need to apply afresh online at 
  5. What documents do I need for golden visa Dubai?
    Requirements vary depending on the category you apply under. Main documents include passport copy, educational/skills certificates, Emirates ID, health insurance, proof of funds, ownership documents, relationship proof (for family), awards proofs etc as relevant. 
  6. How long does it take to get golden visa approval in Dubai?
    Processing times for Dubai golden visa approval may vary from as little as 1 week to 12 weeks based on verification procedures for your specific category. Further approvals from Dubai DED, various ministries etc may be required. 
  7. Why was my golden visa Dubai application rejected?
    Some reasons for 10 year Dubai golden visa rejection could be insufficient documentation, not meeting eligibility criteria clearly, pending approvals from other entities, errors in forms, or failure to pass security criteria verifies by the UAE immigration. 
  8. Can I sponsor my parents on a golden visa?
    Unfortunately, the 10 Year Dubai golden visa does not allow you to sponsor your parents directly. Only your spouse and children below 18 years are eligible as dependents. Parents may be sponsored indirectly by showing sufficient annual income. 
  9. Which Emirate is best for setting up business with golden visa?
    While the golden visa applies across all 7 emirates, Dubai and Abu Dhabi offer the best ecosystem, opportunities and lifestyle benefits for investors or entrepreneurs planning to launch their own ventures in the UAE. 
  10. Can I work part-time on a Dubai golden visa?
    Yes, the 10 year residency visa allows you to work part-time or even switch jobs easily across different employers in both government and private sectors without needing additional work permits. 
  11. Can I get maids, drivers etc on dependent Dubai golden visa?
    No the eligibility is restricted. Only legal spouse and biological children below 18 years old can be granted dependent visas under your Dubai golden visa. Other categories like domestic helpers, drivers are ineligible. 
  12. How much are the Dubai golden visa fees for Indians?
    For Indians, the Dubai golden visa government application fees is approximately 5,000 AED per person depending on emirate. Additional service charges may apply. Renewal cost for the next 10 years is around half at 2,800 AED per person. 
  13. Can I get unemployment & pension benefits on Dubai golden visa?
    Unfortunately unemployment, pension or social security benefits are still not universally applicable to Dubai golden visa holders. Some funding may be available from DED for investors facing hardships. 
  14. What types of health insurance plans are valid with golden visa?
    Any health insurance plan approved by DHA or MOHAP with UAE coverage is valid when submitting documents for your Dubai golden visa application or renewal. 
  15. Can I buy unlimited property in Dubai with golden visa?
    While the Dubai golden visa grants 100% freehold ownership rights, additional regulatory checks may apply if purchasing more than 3 residential units within the same property development in Dubai. Approvals would be needed. 
  16. Is the Dubai golden visa available to other nationalities?
    Yes, expats from over 200 eligible countries can qualify for the 10 year Dubai golden visa subject to meeting specific criteria across investments, skills, salaries, etc. 
  17. How much funds do I need to show for getting approval?
    The financial requirements for your Dubai golden visa approval would depend on your category. Investors may need to show at least 10M AED funding. Other professionals would need to meet minimum salary levels + adequate bank balances as proof. 
  18. Do I need a degree certificate for Dubai golden visa stamping?
    No in most cases degree certificate is not needed for Dubai golden visa stamping after approval, unless specifically requested later during application verification. Your main educational credentials would already be submitted during initial golden visa application.


While UAE citizenship is not provided, Indians can certainly obtain the 10 year golden visa for Dubai and the other emirates based on meeting specific investment, salary, skillset and talent criteria. The Dubai Golden Visa scheme offers a longer-term UAE residency, eliminating the need for a sponsor, along with exclusive ownership, education and lifestyle benefits for the whole family. Application processing is relatively smooth and applicants belonging to various industries and specializations continue to receive approvals. Hopefully this article provided clarity on whether Indians can obtain permanent residency rights in Dubai despite not offering naturalization pathways to expats.

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