Golden visa UAE

Can I apply for a Golden Visa UAE if I am retired?

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Golden Visa system, introduced in 2019, represents a significant shift towards attracting skilled professionals, investors, and those who can contribute positively to the UAE’s socio-economic fabric. But what about those who are retired? Can retirees apply for a UAE Golden Visa, and if so, under what conditions? This comprehensive analysis aims to shed light on these questions, delving into the eligibility criteria, application process, benefits, and considerations for retired individuals seeking to obtain a Golden Visa UAE.

Understanding the UAE Golden Visa

Before examining the specifics for retirees, it’s crucial to understand what the UAE Golden Visa is. It’s a long-term residency visa that allows foreign nationals to live, work, and study in the UAE without the need for a national sponsor and with 100% ownership of their business on the UAE’s mainland. The visa is issued for 5 or 10 years and automatically renews.

Eligibility Criteria

The Golden Visa is primarily aimed at investors, entrepreneurs, specialized talents, researchers in various fields of science and knowledge, and bright students. However, the framework is broad enough to accommodate retirees under certain conditions, primarily through investment routes.

Investment in Real Estate

One of the most straightforward paths for retirees to qualify for a Golden Visa is through real estate investment. Retirees who invest in property worth at least AED 2 million (approximately USD 545,000) can apply for a Golden Visa. This investment must be retained for a period of at least three years.

Financial Investment

Another avenue is through financial investments, such as a deposit of at least AED 2 million in a UAE bank, investment in a business, or a combination of these investments, with a total value of not less than AED 2 million.

Exceptional Talents and Special Cases

Retirees who have exceptional talents or have made significant contributions in their fields may also be considered for the Golden Visa under the “special cases” category. This is evaluated on a case-by-case basis and requires significant documentation and endorsements.

Application Process

The application process for a Golden Visa involves several steps, starting with ensuring eligibility. Retirees must gather the necessary documentation, which may include proof of investment, health insurance coverage, a no criminal record certificate, and a medical fitness test among others.

The application can typically be initiated through the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) or the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in the respective emirate. The process has been streamlined with online portals and smart services, making it relatively straightforward for applicants.

Benefits for Retirees

For retirees, the Golden Visa offers several compelling benefits:

  • Long-term Residency: The visa provides stability and peace of mind, eliminating the need for frequent visa renewals.
  • Family Inclusion: It allows the visa holder to sponsor family members, including spouse and children, regardless of their ages.
  • Property Ownership: Retirees can own property in the UAE without restrictions, which is a significant advantage.
  • Healthcare and Education: Access to the UAE’s high-standard healthcare and education systems for family members.
  • No Tax on Worldwide Income: The UAE does not tax individual income, including worldwide income, which is beneficial for retirees.


While the Golden Visa presents a lucrative opportunity for retirees, there are several considerations:

  • Investment Risk: The investment required for eligibility is substantial, and retirees should evaluate the risk and return profile of their investments in the UAE.
  • Cost of Living: The UAE, particularly Dubai and Abu Dhabi, has a high cost of living, which should be factored into retirement planning.
  • Cultural Adjustment: Retirees should consider the cultural adjustments required when moving to a new country, even one as cosmopolitan as the UAE.


In conclusion, retirees can indeed apply for a UAE Golden Visa, provided they meet the investment criteria or qualify under special talents and contributions. The Golden Visa offers a host of benefits that can make the UAE an attractive retirement destination. However, like any significant financial and lifestyle decision, it requires careful consideration and planning. Retirees considering the UAE Golden Visa should assess their financial readiness, desired lifestyle, and long-term goals to ensure it aligns with their retirement plans.

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