Residency and Citizenship for UAE expats – Stay local or look further afield?

Residency and Citizenship for UAE expats – Stay local or look further afield?

- Ankit Anand

Staying local – UAE and GCC Residency Programmes

Many people worldwide are turning their attention toward the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Working professionals, investors and retirees are looking to reside in the UAE for many reasons including lifestyle, financial gain, business, investments and tax benefits.

For current residents of the UAE, we always encourage the exploration of programmes in the region. With clear interest and intent, why not see what your investments, skills or financial position may be able to secure you here? Individuals are moving into the region in troths as markets across the GCC soar. Why not look at capitalising on the opportunities currently local to you?

The UAE Golden Visa – Transforming the Residency Landscape

The UAE Golden Visa is transforming the residency landscape and leading the residency and citizenship offerings across the GCC. Following the successful introduction and integration of the UAE Golden Visa, we predict that other GCC countries including Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar will soon follow suit with their competitive residency offerings to help attract foreign investment and provide the appropriate residency offerings to retain skilled workers to build on their growing economies.

Although we have seen the development of some residency programmes emerge in these wider GCC regions, such as the Saudi Permanent Residency Programmes and the Qatar Residency by Property Ownership - none are as competitive as the 10-Year UAE Golden Visa regime. The UAE Golden Visa is by far the most flexible with qualifying requirements expanding from high-salary skilled executives, entrepreneurial project investments, property investors and specialised talents.

Residency and Citizenship Programmes Abroad

Each client has different requirements and goals. The reasons for obtaining secondary residency or alternative citizenship will vary from succession planning, stability, lifestyle, mobility, tax benefits and should be addressed on a case-to-case basis.

There are many options to explore with varying investment or income requirements. Outlined below are a few examples of the qualifying investment requirements for programmes across Europe, Mauritius and the US.

1. Donations to governments

  • Portugal (€250K)
  • Malta (€70K when buying a property or €100K when renting a property. The purchase value of the home must not be less than €350K or €12K in rental per annum)

2. Property ownership

  • Spain (€500K)
  • Greece (€250K)
  • Mauritius ($375K)

3. New or existing company formation

  • Cyprus (€300K)
  • Portugal (Investment of €500K or €0 if the company employs more than 10 local employees)
  • Mauritius ($50K)

4. Bank deposits

  • Italy (€2 million)
  • Greece (€400K)
  • Spain (€2 million)

5. Qualified Investment Funds

  • Portugal (€500K)
  • USA ($800K)
  • Greece (€400K)

Most programmes allow for dependent children and parents. The European and US programmes create opportunities for citizenship by naturalisation after a certain period.

Going back to the goals and requirements will allow us to guide the client to the right programme for their needs.

A common example is South African expats in the UAE seeking residency options in Mauritius. This provides added flexibility to engage with achievable residency through investment programmes, which extend to any dependants, and lead to permanent residency after just 3 years, while simultaneously offering proximity to South Africa.

The right programme for your residency and citizenship goals

PPG as part of the Sovereign Group has developed a comprehensive programme comparison chart to approach each case individually for residency by investment programmes, business incubation programmes or financially independent individuals.

With the ability for expats to explore opportunities on a global scale, it is important to be able to showcase and assess all available options. Expat communities maximise their opportunities while abroad to secure a better future for themselves and their families. We are here to help make that happen and to present the best options to suit your needs. Discuss your future now with PRO Partner Group.

Explore Residency and Citizenship Programmes

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