Situated in Western Asia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) shares borders with multiple countries and is famous for its high-towering skyscrapers, architecture, thriving economy, and terrific career opportunities. In this article, we will explore how to get UAE citizenship, the benefits of UAE citizenship, the application process, and more.
Owing to the new 2021 regulations passed by the UAE government, the country has emerged as one of the top places in the world for obtaining citizenship. Previously, UAE had restricted its citizenship policy to the following individuals:
- Citizens of other countries who have resided in the United Arab Emirates for a minimum period of thirty years and can speak fluent Arabic. In this case, the individual had to give up any other existing citizenship that they may hold.
- UAE citizenship by marriage – Women (non-UAE citizens) who are married to a UAE citizen for a minimum of seven years
- Foreigners honored with the UAE passport from one of the heads/leaders of the United Arab Emirates.
The UAE government approved amendments that now extend citizenship to qualified foreign nationals, this has helped the nation to accelerate positive economic growth.
Who qualifies for UAE citizenship?
To ensure the country’s advancement, the UAE government added a few categories to include more applicants for citizenship. This section will take you through the various categories and the required qualifications that have been added under their Citizenship by Investment program.
- Individuals who are active researchers in the field of science
- A professional with academic experience of a minimum of ten years
- The individual must have a reference letter from a reputed academic institution.
- The individual must have been conferred with a minimum of one international award for their contribution to a vital scholarship/research grant in the last ten years.
- Individuals who have received at least one prestigious international award for their achievements
- A recommendation letter from a government agency in their related field
- Must be innovative and inventive in their career
- The individual must have one or more patents
Qualified specialists and physicians
- The individual must have a minimum experience of 10 years.
- The individual must specialize in a unique scientific area and know the techniques in demand in the UAE.
- The individual must be a member of a reputed organization in their field.
- The individual must have an essential contribution to ongoing scientific research.
- People with at least one patent approved by the UAE Ministry of Economy or another reputable international body
- Must have a recommendation letter from the Ministry of Economy
There are no specific guidelines under this category. But mostly, people who hold a long-term UAE visa and intend to make a significant real estate investment in the country or the UAE economy can apply for obtaining UAE citizenship.
Individuals who qualify after meeting all the guidelines and processes are eligible to apply for Emirati citizenship. The primary applicant can also include their spouse and children in the United Arab Emirates citizenship application.
What are the benefits of UAE citizenship?
- The country has a stable economy.
- Popular cities in UAE like Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ras Al-Khaimah, and Al Ain have various job opportunities, attracting people from all over the world.
- The country has a growing expat community.
- UAE has world-class education and healthcare infrastructure.
- The country offers high salaries and has an excellent standard of living.
- The cost of living in the country is relatively low.
- You can own a commercial business or get a job in a public institution in the country. In addition, if you attain work experience of 20 years, you can opt to retire at the age of 49.
- According to the Global Passport Index, UAE ranks 22nd based on various parameters like enhanced mobility, investment index, and quality of living.
- The UAE passport is among the strongest passports in the world for investment opportunities.
- You can include your family members in your UAE citizenship application.
- With a United Arab Emirates passport, you have access to visa-free travel to various countries across the world. Travel visa-free to the following countries:
Antigua and Barbuda
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Saint Kitts & Nevis
Saint Vincent & the Grenadines
São Tomé and Príncipe
What is the application procedure for UAE citizenship?
There are no set rules regarding the application process to obtain UAE citizenship. But there are specific eligibility criteria that an individual must meet to apply for UAE nationality.
First step – Reviewing your application
The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship appoints a central advisory committee and sub-committees to review each candidate independently.
Second step – Pre-approval
The sub-committees are responsible for reviewing all data submitted and filtering applicants who meet the eligibility conditions to qualify for citizenship.
Third step – Approval of your application
Once your citizenship application is verified and approved, it is passed on to the advisory committee consisting of one representative from each Emirate for the final statement.
Even if you meet all the eligibility criteria, you might be denied UAE citizenship on certain conditions. The final decision in these cases lies with the Executive Council, the Rulers, the Crown Princes’ Courts, and the Cabinet.
If you are denied citizenship in the UAE, you can plan to acquire the UAE Golden Visa. With the UAE Golden Visa, you can obtain residency permits in the country and work. Under the Golden Visa program, you can also include your family members in your application.
How to get UAE citizenship by investment?
- The 10-year UAE Residence Visa is granted to investors interested in making a public investment of a minimum of AED10 million (approximately $2.7 million)
- The 5-year UAE Residency Visa is given to foreign investors who can make a real estate investment of a minimum of AED5 million (approximately $1.35 million)
Frequently Asked Questions about UAE citizenship?
How to get a UAE passport?
You can obtain the UAE passport through the following ways: by descent, by naturalization, by marriage, by exceptional merit and by investment.
How to get Dubai citizenship?
Since Dubai is one of the most popular places in the UAE, people may often use the term “Dubai citizenship” to refer to UAE citizenship. Foreigners can obtain Emirati citizenship if they are investors or talented individuals in their respective fields.
Can Pakistani citizens get a UAE Golden Visa?
Yes, Pakistani citizens can obtain a UAE Golden Visa through investment in real estate. For more details, please read our article: UAE Golden Visa for Pakistani Citizens.
How to get UAE citizenship for foreigners?
The latest amendment stipulates the following individuals who can qualify for applying for UAE citizenship:
- Foreign investors
- Experts in numerous industries
- Doctors and scientists
- Inventors and thinkers
- Persons with creative abilities