Exclusive Retirement Visas for Expats in the UAE: A Comprehensive Guide

The government of the United Arab Emirates made a bold move in November 2021 by introducing new legislation that would allow expats to remain in the nation once they retire. For expats 55 and over, we have a unique retirement visa, which we will go over in full below.

Read also: UAE Unveils Guidelines for Citizens Seeking Medical Treatment Abroad

Eligibility Criteria: Who Qualifies?

According to Visit Dubai, residents must fulfill the following requirements in order to qualify for the retirement visa:

  1. Must have worked for at least 15 years, either inside or outside of the UAE, or retire at the age of 55 or older.

  2. Fulfil one of the following financial options:

    a. Minimum yearly income of Dh180,000 or Dh15,000 monthly income. b. Dh1 million in savings in a 3-year fixed deposit. c. Dh1 million in property. d. A minimum investment of Dh500,000 each in a 3-year fixed deposit and property (totaling up to a minimum of Dh1 million).

Application Process: A Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Choose your option:

  • For the savings option, deal with the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA).
  • For property-based applications, engage with the Dubai Land Department (DLD).
  1. GDRFA Application:

  • Visit the website: https://smart.gdrfad.gov.ae.
  • Select the 'Individuals' login option and register to initiate a new application.
  • Follow the on-screen prompts and submit the online form.
  1. DLD Application:

  • Visit the DLD office in person to proceed with the application.

Required Documents for All Options:

  1. Passport copy of the applicant and dependents (spouse and children).
  2. Marriage certificate copy (if sponsoring a spouse).
  3. Copy of the current visa of the applicant and dependents (for UAE residents).
  4. Copy of Emirates IDs of the applicant and dependents (for UAE residents).

Additional Documents for Each Option:

Option 1 (income-based):

  • Proof of income.
  • 6-month bank statement showing a minimum deposit.

Option 2 (savings-based):

  • Proof of retirement.
  • Stamped bank letter in Arabic confirming Dh1 million in savings in a 3-year fixed deposit.

Option 3 (Property-Based):

  • Copy of title deed showing property in Dubai with a minimum value of Dh1 million.

Option 4 (Property-and-Savings-Based):

  • Copy of the title deed for property in Dubai.
  • Stamped bank letter in Arabic confirming savings and property value.

Costs details:

If the GDRFA or DLD approves your visa application, you will need to pay Dh3,714.75. This amount covers everything from the entrance permission and visa status adjustment to the residence stamping, medical examination, Emirates ID, and management costs.

This retirement visa initiative reflects the UAE's commitment to offering expats a seamless transition into post-work life within its vibrant and diverse community.

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