Dubai: Whether you are a long-term Dubai resident planning to settle in the UAE after retirement or a visitor looking to establish a new home in Dubai for your golden years, you can apply for a five-year Dubai Retirement Visa.
This visa scheme was introduced in November 2021 in the UAE, allowing expatriates to settle in the country after retirement. In Dubai, this visa is issued by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), which is the immigration authority in the Emirate.
To make sure your retirement visa application is approved, submitting the application with the right supporting documentation is crucial. Here is what you need to know about the required documents, health insurance guidelines and rules for sponsoring your family on the visa.
Who is eligible to apply for the Dubai Retirement Visa?
To apply for the visa, you must be at least 55 years old and fulfil one of the following financial criteria:
1. Earn a sustainable income of at least Dh180,000 a year or Dh15,000 a month.
2. Have a three-year fixed deposit of Dh1 million.
3. Have an unmortgaged property valued at Dh1 million. If the property is on a mortgage, then the payment to date should be at least Dh1 million.
4. A combination of the first two options, valued up to at least Dh1 million in a three-year fixed deposit and property worth Dh500,000 each.
What are the documents I need?
Having the right documentation to prove your financial assets is one of the most important steps in the retirement visa application. These are the documents all applicants need to provide:
• Passport copy of applicant and dependents – spouse and children.
• Marriage certificate copy, if you are sponsoring your spouse.
• Copy of current visa, if you are a UAE resident for you and all dependents.
• Copy of Emirates IDs of applicant and dependents, if you are a UAE resident.
• End of service letter: A letter from the last employer, which will verify that you are a retiree. The letter must also state the number of years of service.
You would also need to provide additional supporting documents, depending on which eligibility criteria you are applying under:
Applying for the retirement visa through income
• Proof of income:
a. A letter from the relevant entity which provides the source of income OR
b. A letter from your previous employer if they are continuing to provide monthly retirement income OR
c. Supporting documents to display you have a sustainable income
• Six-month bank statement:
You must provide a bank statement, which proves that you have a minimum deposit of Dh15,000 monthly or Dh180,000 yearly from your source of income.
This must be from a Dubai-based bank and the monthly statement must be stamped from the bank.
Retirement visa through savings
Proof of retirement:
• An end of service letter from your last employer stating your years of service, verifying that you are a retiree.
Proof of savings letter:
• Stamped bank letter from a UAE-based bank (in Arabic).
• The savings amount of Dh1 million must be placed in a three-year fixed deposit in a bank located in UAE.
• The bank must issue a letter addressed to GDRFA, stating that the funds are secured as required.
Retirement visa through Property
• Copy of title deed: The property must be located in Dubai, not in any other Emirate or country.
• A minimum value of Dh1 million as per the title deed.
• The property must be in the name of the applicant (not the applicant’s spouse). If owned by a company, the company must be 100 per cent owned by the applicant.
• In case there are shared owners, the applicant’s share (and spouse’s share collectively) of property ownership must be at least AED 1million.
• It must be fully paid.
• It cannot be off-plan.
Multiple properties: Multiple properties with a combined value of Dh1m may be used, as long as they meet the above criteria.
Retirement visa through savings and property
• Copy of title deed: Located in Dubai and issued by Dubai Land Department
– A minimum value of Dh500,000 as per the title deed.
– Must be in the name of the applicant (not the applicant’s spouse). If owned by a company, the company must be 100 per cent owned by the applicant.
– In case there are shared owners, the applicant’s share (and spouse’s share collectively) of property ownership must be at least Dh500,00.
– It cannot be off-plan.
Multiple properties with a combined value of Dh500,000 may be used.
• Proof of savings letter:
– Stamped bank letter from a UAE-based bank stating the amount of balance in the account.
– The savings must be placed in a three-year fixed deposit in a bank located in the UAE.
– The bank must issue a letter addressed to GDRFA, stating that the funds are secured as required.
It is important to note that during the retirement visa application, you might need to get your documents attested or translated to Arabic, if asked for by the GDRFA. Read our guide here, on how to translate documents in the UAE.
While you can apply for the retirement visa without medical insurance, once the application is approved, you will have to undergo a medical fitness test, as per visitdubai.com. After the medical test, you will be required to purchase a medical insurance plan.
The Visit Dubai website also states that applicants must apply for a health insurance plan of at least one year, and renew it every year. If you are sponsoring your family, you also need to purchase a health insurance plan for your spouse and children. The health insurance plan must be from an insurance provider based in the UAE, whether it is a local company or international, as long as they have a branch or office in the UAE.
Sponsoring family members in the UAE
Retirees who want to bring their family to the UAE can sponsor their spouse or children, with no limit on the number of children under their sponsorship. Holders of the Dubai retirement visa can also sponsor their parents for a one-year renewable visa. All family members under the retiree’s sponsorship must have a valid health insurance coverage, too.