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Residency In The UAE: How To Easily Move To The United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates is home to Dubai, a very sought-after location and one of the world's wealthiest cities. The UAE also offers many choices of residency visas for you to live there and enjoy all the UAE has to offer. Whether you visit and tour the country, enjoy a luxurious stay in Dubai, or live there, you can pick and choose whatever Visa best suits you. 

Golden Visa 

UAE’s Golden visa is a 10-year residence visa that allows you to sponsor both your family and an unlimited number of maids to come with you. You are not required to have a sponsor or a work contract, and you have the freedom to spend as much time as you want outside of the UAE during your ten-year visa period. Many different classes can qualify for the Golden visa. 

To qualify as an investor, you must purchase a property valued at AED 2,000,000 ($544,000 USD).

To qualify as an entrepreneur, you must be an owner or partner in a business with annual revenues of at least AED 1,000,000 ($272,000) or receive approval for your business idea from the Ministry of Economy. 

To qualify under the exceptional talents provision for innovators, artists, athletes, and cultural figures, you must have a recommendation from a government official. 

To qualify as a scientist or a researcher, you can be eligible with a recommendation from the Emirates Scientists Council. You will typically require an advanced degree in engineering, life sciences, or technology from a prestigious institution. 

To qualify as a professional, you must have an employment contract, make a minimum of AED 30,000 a month ($8150), and hold a post-secondary degree.


Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Green Visa 

There are several ways to acquire residency in the UAE. The Green Visa allows individuals to sponsor themselves during their stay in the UAE. Self-employed people, investors, or skilled employees may apply for this renewable residence permit, allowing them to stay in the UAE for five years. You can bring your family with you to live in the UAE with this visa. 

To qualify as a freelancer or self-employed person, you must demonstrate an annual income of at least AED 360,000 ($98,000 USD) for the past two years or show that you have the means to support yourself (and any dependents) during your five-year stay. You are also required to possess a bachelor’s degree or specialized diploma, and you must also have a self-employment permit. 

A skilled employee must have a monthly salary of at least AED 15,000 ($4000 USD), a post-secondary degree, and a valid employment contract. To qualify as an investor, you must have the approval of your investment from the proper authorities.

You can read this article where we look at all of the immigration schemes worldwide; it’s called: The Basics Of How To Get A Second Passport Or A Second Residency


Residency Visa 

Aside from the green and golden visas, there is the plain Jane residence visa. Foreigners can qualify for this visa as investors, workers (both private and public sector), property owners, dependents, university students, or retirees. Many of these visa categories require a sponsor. Residence visas are issued within the UAE.

In order to qualify for a residence visa, you must have a clean bill of health, pass a security check, and apply for an ID Card. Visas are valid for any period of time between 1, 2, 3, 5, or 10 years.     


Remote Work Visa

UAE has also recently (March 2021) launched a remote work visa. To take advantage of this program, you must work remotely, earn at least $5,000 USD a month, and have valid health insurance. There is no sponsorship requirement, just pay the $81 USD fee and submit your application. Dubai offers many advantages to remote workers, including excellent infrastructure, no income tax if you become a tax resident and its strategic location as a travel hub.

Calculator and UAE Dirham

Calculator and UAE Dirham


One significant advantage of being a tax resident of the UAE is that there is no personal income tax and no capital gains tax. Instead, government revenues come primarily from royalties on oil exports. They do impose a fairly stiff sin tax on carbonated/sweetened drinks, tobacco products, and energy drinks, and modest property taxes are charged as a small percentage of rents. The UAE also has a VAT of 5%.



As a resident of the UAE, you would be able to open a bank account and access credit from financial institutions. If you become a tax resident, you would not have to pay any income tax in the UAE, although other countries may tax you as a nonresident, for example, if you had rental income in Canada. Wages in the UAE tend to be relatively high (especially when you look at take-home pay). Crime is low. 

You can work in the UAE or start a business as a resident. You can get a driver's license and access financial services.


Map of UAE

Map of UAE

why move to the UAE 

The United Arab Emirates is a desert country in the Persian Gulf. Ancient artifacts suggest human settlements in that region are at least 130,000 years old. Though oil revenues have played a substantial role in making the UAE one of the wealthiest countries in the world on a per capita basis, they have made significant efforts to diversify their economy. Tourism is a growing industry in the UAE, and Dubai is one of the main tourist attractions in the Middle East. 

In terms of climate, the UAE is arid and dry. After all, they live in the middle of a desert. Dubai is located on the coast of the Persian Gulf and has tons of amazing beaches. There is also lots of great sightseeing, like witnessing the Burj Khalifa skyscraper, the tallest building in the world, or checking out the Dubai Aquarium. You can even rent a dune buggy and cruise out into the desert. 


Burj Khalifa, Skyscraper in Dubai, UAE

Burj Khalifa, Skyscraper in Dubai, UAE

Dubai has an active nightlife, with many clubs and party venues. In terms of the cost of living, it is a high cost of living area, similar to what you might find in the United States or another developed country.



The United Arab Emirates offers a unique experience with its bountiful wealth, tall skyscrapers and amazing places to explore. It has a warm climate and beaches to go for a walk and relax. It is an excellent place for those of us who are looking for a tax haven as well. I have even lived with my family there for a while, which was an excellent experience.


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I help my clients to move offshore for freedom, privacy and autonomy by focusing on the immigration, legal, and tax issues that you will face when becoming an expat. If you would like to work one-on-one with me on getting out of your home country (or setting up a Plan-B location), then read this important letter and fill in an application form to become a Private Client. My fees are not cheap; however, I can assure you that when you work with a professional firm like ours, the results will be worth it.



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Mikkel Thorup

Written by Mikkel Thorup

Mikkel Thorup is the world’s most sought-after expat consultant. He focuses on helping high-net-worth private clients to legally mitigate tax liabilities, obtain a second residency and citizenship, and assemble a portfolio of foreign investments including international real estate, timber plantations, agricultural land and other hard-money tangible assets. Mikkel is the Founder and CEO at Expat Money™, a private consulting firm started in 2017. He hosts the popular weekly podcast, the Expat Money Show, and wrote the definitive #1-Best Selling book Expat Secrets - How To Pay Zero Taxes, Live Overseas And Make Giant Piles Of Money, and his second book: Expats Guide On Moving To Mexico.

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