Here’s the Scoop on Residency Visa for Retirees
Finish Line! Congratulations! You’re 55. Here’s to your success and new adventures! You have earned your wings and are now a free bird to fly anywhere and make a new nest for yourself.
Are you on the verge of beginning the third phase of your life and planning to spend the rest of your life in your dream city of the UAE? Then you are in luck! We have a piece of good news for you only if you are sitting on a huge pile of cash. Dubai is tooling up to lure old demographics from the world over with its Retirement Visa programme which first started a couple of years ago. On 9th November 2021, Khaleej Times revealed the news that backing up the UAE’s efforts towards making the residency laws and visa requirements more flexible, the UAE Cabinet has finally approved amending the conditions for granting residency to retired foreign nationals. The new amendments were made public by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
The renewable five-year retirement visa concedes Dubai residents and citizens from other countries to live in the Emirate provided they meet certain criteria. In its initial phase, the program will focus on residents working in the second-biggest sheikhdom in the United Arab Emirates. Now that you know you could get a residency visa to live in Dubai during your golden years, I know thousands of questions are floating in your mind such as What are the latest amendments in the visa done by the UAE Cabinet for granting residency to wealthy retired expatriates? Am I eligible to get the Retirement Residency Visa? What are the stipulated conditions to be fulfilled to be eligible for residency in Dubai post-retirement? For how many years can I stay in Dubai if I get a Retirement Visa? How frequently will I need to renew my visa? Well, we can understand your excitement and that’s why we are here for today. We are sure once you will reach the end of this page, you’ll have the answers to all your queries. So, shall we begin?
Who are eligible for the Retirement Visa?
First of all, the applicant foreign national must be retired, 55 or above and be in possession of valid UAE health insurance. From retirement, we mean that they must have a letter of retirement/end of service letter from their X-employer to prove this. In addition to these requirements, the eligible applicants must meet just one out of three criteria to be eligible for the five-year renewable visa, according to the Dubai Media Office. As per the new amendments, the rich expat retirees must have:
- A single property or more than one property worth AED 1 million or of an equivalent other currency. (The related entity in each Emirate is responsible for the evaluation)
- A bank deposit of a minimum of AED 1 million (letter from the bank is required)
- An active yearly income of no less than AED 180,000 or a monthly income of at least AED 20,000 from investments or pensions. (Evidence of income for the past 6 months must be presented)
I am a housewife. Can I get the UAE Retirement Visa?
As mentioned above, you should have some document/s to prove your retirement. A housewife never retires from her job (JK!). Fret not, even if a housewife doesn’t qualify to apply for the visa independently, they are also invited to enjoy the UAE residency as a dependent of the primary applicant who is a retiree. And the five-year renewable retirement residency visa is available to the person, spouse and their children.
For how long can I live in Dubai with the Retirement Visa?
The Retirement Visa holders are allowed to live in Dubai for 5 years initially which automatically renews if the retiree continues to meet the financial requirements.
Is it a multiple-entry visa?
Yes, it is. As long as your Retirement Visa is active, you can leave or enter the country as many times as you want just like other local residents of the UAE. There is no requirement to stay in the country for a minimum number of days in a year either.
How much time does the application process take?
The entire process takes up to 15 working days after you receive the notification that your Retirement Visa application is complete.
Can I live with my family if I hold a Retirement Visa?
Sure, you can live with your loved ones only if their residence has enough space to accommodate you in accordance with the guidelines issued by Dubai Land Department.
Am I eligible to work in the UAE whilst holding the Retirement Visa?
Of course, you can work in the nation even after you are residing here on Retirement Visa. There is no maximum age limit for working in the country. You just need to provide a self-issued NOC letter to your employer to allow them to do so if they wish to.
Can I authorize my kith and kin to submit the application on my behalf?
Third-party application submissions are not entertained. Neither your children nor your friends can apply on your behalf. However, you can sponsor your legal dependents i.e., children/spouse.
I am not yet 55 but soon will be. Can I apply for the UAE Retirement Visa in advance?
Well, the visa processing time is too short. Therefore, you are encouraged to apply for the visa only after you have turned 55.
What is the Retire Visa application fee?
There is a nominal fee to acquire the Retirement Visa which covers the cost of the visa, the medical exam and Emirates ID. To attain the visa, every Retirement Visa applicant has to pay a total sum of AED 2,214.25 which is non-refundable. Below we are sharing the breakdown of the same:
- Visa Fee: AED 888.75
- Medical Exam Fee: AED 753
- Emirates ID Fee: AED 572.50
How can I apply for a Dubai Retirement Visa?
Well, the procedure of visa application very much depends on the country you are currently living in. For instance, if you’re residing in Dubai already on a work visa, you must approach the branch of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai. For applicants living abroad, they may need an entry visa to enter Dubai, which is when they can apply for the Residence Retirement Visa. Furthermore, if you belong to these nationalities you may enter Dubai without a visa or with a visa on arrival but still have to apply for the Residence Visa once in Dubai.
In a nutshell, you are required to get in touch with the Dubai branch of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) that is at the helm of issuing visas for the UAE, including Dubai or any of its typing centres regarding your Retirement Visa.
What are the documentation requirements for the Dubai Retirement Visa application?
There are certain documents (such as property title deed, a letter from the bank or bank statements) you must be ready with for the Dubai Retirement Visa application. And to avoid any sort of delay in the process make sure that all your documentation is error-free. The applicant should present the following documents for the Retirement Visa:
- Passport copies of the main applicant and the dependents (spouse and/or children) if applicable
- Marriage certificate copy (if the spouse is being sponsored too)
- A current copy of the visa (if the applicant is a UAE resident)
- Copy of Emirates IDs of the applicant and dependents (if they are current residents in UAE)
- Eligibility evidence copy (as defined above)
- Present home address (Building number, street number, area, city, country)
- Mobile number and email address the applicant would want to be contacted at
Is retiring in Dubai is a good decision?
TBH, the answer to this question depends entirely on your personal tastes and lifestyle preferences. Retiring in Dubai has its own set of pros and cons. If you can’t stand the high living costs, hot climate year-round, fast lifestyle, cultural differences, being under surveillance 24X7, and strict laws, you need to think again. On the contrary, if you wish to spend the rest of your life in a hi-tech modern city of numerous firsts, along with safety, diverse cultures, world-class road transport, and awe-inspiring high-rise structures aside top the list of your priorities then Dubai checks all the boxes.
Dubai no doubt is one of the world’s most expat-friendly cities. The employment of expatriates is one of the strongest pillars on which UAE’s economy is standing high with might and main. The Emirate has made the grade in leveraging its oil wealth to drag millions of foreigners over recent decades leaving France or Canada behind. With a local population of around 1 million, Dubai never ceases to impress the world when it comes to migrating abroad. No matter what your purpose is behind visiting Dubai whether to set up a new business/startup in Dubai, gain multi-cultural experience, or simply to live with their family already settled here. For any kind of Dubai migration support, visa assistance or business formation advice contact Adam Global, one of the leading business consultants in Dubai, UAE.