Golden Visas:

Golden Visas, I want one, I need one, my company must give me one, I have to have one, it goes on and on.

These days it seems that every man and his dog (well almost, they are not offering them to pets just yet) wants a Golden Visa, many without even knowing why. What is a Golden Visa? Is it the status symbol many make it out to be? Is it beneficial to everyone? Is it right for me? The UAE in line with its appreciation, growth and support of the expatriate population launched the Golden Visa, allowing expats to remain in the UAE in the long term without their visa being tied specifically to their employer, being self-sponsored. A reward and recognition for the contribution of many UAE residents to the future of the UAE.

You’ve established you really want one, but the question is are you eligible for a Golden Visa. Applications for Golden Visas are open in a few different categories, such as Real Estate Investors, Entrepreneurs, and outstanding specialised talents including highly skilled and highly educated professionals who have a proven contribution to the UAE. The eligibility requirements are quite specific, further supporting the future vision of the UAE.

Do you think you are eligible, should you apply for a Golden Visa? Will your company pay for your Golden Visa, when they aren’t required to, self-sponsored means its on you, though some clients are covering the cost in reward for a certain period of services. Holding a Golden Visa isn’t for everyone and needs to be looked at closely before leaping in.

For many the UAE is their home away from home, for others it is the only home they have known and the only one they want to know or in the uncertainty of the world today, the safest and most secure home they have known and want to secure forever. Whilst forever isn’t an option, a Golden Visa can be like the golden ticket to allow them to stay in the UAE, establish their base here, investing their time, money and skills to make the UAE even greater than it already is. A great benefit is that Golden Visa holders can sponsor family members regardless of age.

The Golden Visa is a long-term residency, up to 10-year renewable visa that allows expats to remain in the UAE, under their own sponsorship. Eligible categories include investors, entrepreneurs, scientists, outstanding students and graduates, humanitarian pioneers, frontline heroes and highly skilled talented professionals.

As a self-sponsored visa, the Golden Visa doesn’t give you the right to work but with a Labour Card supplied by your company, this is easily remedied. Some companies are happy to offer a Labour Card, others want all employees under sponsorship. However, keep in mind being self-sponsored means your company does not sponsor you, therefore they are not legally required to provide you or your dependents with medical insurance. Whilst this might not sound major, the cost of medical insurance for yourself and dependents as individuals can be prohibitive and subject to underwriting, as you are an individual. Some companies are further rewarding their employees by still offering this benefit to Golden Visa holders, a further act of generosity to support keeping the best talent in the UAE. However, only over time will we see how this plays out.

A key consideration, can your budget handle covering medical insurance? Cost vs. benefit certainly comes into play here for both the employee and the company, with the Golden Visa holder potentially saving the company money too.

With us all having lived through the rollercoaster that began early in 2020 we all feel the vulnerability of your visa impact on everything, should you end up in the unfortunate position of losing your job or craving a change and taking a leap into a new role, your visa has always been a key consideration in the past. A Golden Visa holder is not affected by this, you remain a UAE resident with a valid visa and Emirates ID even as you take time to pursue new opportunities or if you are luckily enjoying the luxury of taking time to decide what is next.

A Golden Visa is a great privilege but not necessarily the simple solution it seems, we always advise our clients and candidates to consider all sides and see if it really is best for them, the best solution and the best investment.

In case you would like to explore the market and have a confidential discussion about how Charterhouse Labour Solutions can assist you with your outsourcing needs, please contact me at: