Saturday, July 20, 2024

UAE Announces Citizenship for Investors, Medical Doctors, Experienced Professionals, Scientists, Intellectuals and Artists

In a historic move on Saturday, the UAE announced significant changes to the citizenship law to allow foreign investors, doctors, scientists, artists and talented individuals and their families to be naturalized.

The aim of the decision to grant Emirati citizenship to people with exceptional talents and their families is to accept them as members of UAE society, to ensure the social stability of these people in the country and to improve the overall process of national growth.

The amendments, taken on the orders of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, were accepted on Saturday by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Governor of Dubai.

Requirements

The law defined the conditions under which citizenship can be given in detail:

Investors: Must own a property in the UAE

Medical doctors and trained professionals: They must be experienced in the particular scientific field required by the UAE, have contributed to studies and experiments of scientific merit in their field, have 10 years of experience in that field, in addition to being a member of a prestigious professional association in their field.

Scientists: Must be an active researcher in their field at universities, research institutes or in the private sector, have 10 years of experience in that field, have scientific contributions such as winning a prestigious scientific award or receiving 10 years of substantial support for their research, in addition to a letter of recommendation from a certified scientific institution in the UAA.

Inventors: In addition to a letter of recommendation from the UAE Ministry of Economy, they must have had at least one patent approved by the UAE Ministry of Economy or by any recognized related international body which is of real value to the UAE economy.

Intellectuals and Artists: In addition to a letter of recommendation from the related UAE bodies, they must be leaders in culture, the arts and other talents, with at least one foreign award for those talents.

Conditions

The new law provides for the terms and conditions for granting citizenship to those talented segments, such as the oath and swearing in allegiance to the UAE, the commitment to uphold and comply with the laws of the country, the notification to the competent authority if they are given or have lost a new citizenship.

In the meantime, the amendments also defined the rights of those granted UAE citizenship under the new law, such as the right to create and own companies in the UAE, the right to buy and own land and real estate in the country, as well as any other right granted to them by the federal authorities, with the approval of the Cabinet or by local authorities.

The decision also specified that in cases such as breach of a legal commitment or loss of at least one of the conditions for which a person was granted citizenship, UAE citizenship may be excluded from those categories.

Mechanism

The new law defined the process of citizenship, specifying that those eligible for citizenship must be named by the court of the rulers of the Emirates, the courts of the crown princes, the executive council of the Emirates or the cabinet.

Saturday’s decision, the first major amendment to the 1972 UAE Nationality Law No.17 on Nationality and Passports, marks a landmark in the Arab world, which typically restricts the process of naturalization to very restricted cases and forbids dual citizenship in the majority of cases.

The UAE has recently taken several steps to ensure the social stability of those with long-term residency in the country and those who contribute to the well-being and growth of society through the implementation of the permanent residency scheme in 2019, which allowed certain categories of residents to receive 5 and 10 year ‘Golden Visas.’ In the past two years, thousands of individuals, including businessmen, medical professionals, engineers, scientists, and skilled talents, have been issued the Gold Visa.

The latest innovations placed the UAE on a par with many developing nations that value expatriate talents by granting them citizenship, ensuring their social stability in the process and securing a future for them and their families in the country.

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