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UAE Grants Citizenship to Professionals

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has introduced a new program to grant citizenship to certain high-skilled professionals such as doctors, scientists, professors, engineers, artists and lawyers. This is a significant policy change for the UAE which typically does not provide a pathway to citizenship for foreigners.

The UAE’s new citizenship law aims to attract and retain global talent in key areas that support the country’s development. The program allows eligible candidates from certain professions to first obtain a 5 or 10 year Golden Visa, which then opens up the possibility of applying for full UAE citizenship after meeting additional criteria.

This article will provide an in-depth look at:

  • The eligibility and application process for doctors, healthcare professionals, scientists and technical experts.
  • The eligibility and application process for other professions like education, art, law and business.
  • How the UAE Golden Visa leads to citizenship over time.
  • The benefits professionals can gain from UAE citizenship.

Citizenship Pathway for Doctors and Healthcare Professionals

Doctors and healthcare experts are a top priority for granting citizenship under the new UAE program. Some key eligibility criteria for doctors include:

Specialist status – Such as a consultant, specialist, or fellow in a medical specialty.

Rare expertise – Such as in rare diseases or cutting-edge treatments.

Research and publications – Doctors with published studies, research papers or patents.

Reputation – Having received prestigious awards, recognitions or professional memberships.

Qualifications – Holding advanced qualifications like a Ph.D. or fellowship of top medical boards.

To apply, doctors need to submit documents that validate their qualifications, expertise, reputation and achievements in the medical field.

The benefits of UAE citizenship for doctors are significant:

Practice permanently – Can work long-term without needing to renew visas constantly.

Healthcare benefits – Access healthcare in UAE including eligibility for insurance schemes.

Family sponsorship – Can sponsor visas for family members including children and parents.

Stability and security – Settle in the UAE without the uncertainty of temporary residency.

Tax benefits – Take advantage of UAE’s tax-free salaries and absence of personal income tax.

Scientists, Engineers and Tech Innovators Welcomed as Citizens

UAE is aiming to attract more scientific and technical talent by facilitating a path to citizenship for accomplished researchers, engineers, innovators and experts in fields like:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Robotics
  • Space sciences
  • Renewable energy
  • Biotechnology
  • Software programming
  • Electronics
  • Aviation and aerospace

Eligibility depends on factors like:

Demonstrating cutting-edge expertise

  • Being an authority in emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics, renewable energy.
  • Having in-depth knowledge of latest techniques and innovations that can provide competitive advantage.
  • Showcasing deep proficiency in high-priority domains identified by UAE.
  • Using skills to push innovation and make significant impact.

Pioneering research with potential for major impact

  • Conducting advanced R&D that opens new frontiers of knowledge.
  • Leading experiments, clinical trials or studies that can lead to scientific breakthroughs.
  • Publishing influential papers, reports or articles in prestigious peer-reviewed journals.
  • Having research cited widely and used to advance progress in the field.
  • Filing patents for innovative inventions with practical applications.

Technical capabilities proven through career achievements

  • Holding senior positions of responsibility leading engineering initiatives.
  • Shipping major projects demonstrating technical leadership capabilities.
  • Receiving awards and recognition for accomplishments in the technology sector.
  • Getting invited as a speaker at global conferences due to deep expertise.
  • Having technical skills that have translated to quantitative results.

Inventions that hold patents or commercial prospects

  • Filing patents for novel inventions that address unmet needs.
  • Owning intellectual property with potential for commercialization.
  • Having created technologies that were licensed and manufactured.
  • Developing innovative solutions that attracted investor funding and interest.
  • Founding successful startups based on patented inventions or technologies.

Experts who meet the bar can submit their credentials and get approval for the Golden Visa before applying for UAE citizenship. This offers engineers, scientists and technical talent attracted incentives like world-class labs, low taxes, and the ability to settle with family.

Other Professionals – Education, Culture, Law, Business

In addition to doctors and scientists, the UAE also aims to bring in talent from fields like academia, law, culture and business. Some specific roles targeted include:


  • University faculty, especially in priority fields like science and technology.
  • School principals and administrators with strong leadership capabilities.

Cultural experts

  • Artists with international recognition and exhibitions.
  • Authors of influential literary works.
  • Filmmakers with award-winning productions.


  • Legal consultants and lawyers with specialized expertise.
  • Law school educators training next generation.
  • Shari’a and Islamic law scholars.


  • Senior executives and directors of large companies.
  • Successful entrepreneurs with high-growth ventures.
  • Experts in priority sectors like technology, renewable energy, food security

The eligibility criteria assess candidates’ skills, qualifications, experience, achievements and overall reputation in their field of specialty.

From Golden Visa to Citizenship – A Gradual Process

Gaining citizenship under this UAE program is a phased journey:

Stage 1 – Getting the 5 or 10 year Golden Visa

  • Submit Golden Visa application with all necessary documents.
  • Wait approximately 1-3 months for approval.
  • Process may be faster if credentials are substantial.

Stage 2 – Transitioning from Golden Visa to Citizenship

So the path has two main stages – getting the Golden Visa, and then qualifying for citizenship after proving consistency in living and contributing to the UAE.

Benefits of UAE Citizenship

UAE citizenship offers numerous benefits:

UAE passport – Gives visa-free access to 174+ countries.
Owning property – Can buy freehold land and residences in UAE.
Tax-free income – Salaries and income have zero tax.
Voting rights – Can participate in elections.
Sponsoring family – Facilitates visas for spouse and children.
Government benefits – Options like health insurance and retirement benefits.


The UAE’s pioneering new citizenship law for deserving professionals in medicine, science, academia, culture, law and business aims to attract and retain global expertise that will propel the country forward. For eligible candidates who obtain the long-term Golden Visa, there is now a clear path to acquiring full UAE citizenship with all its advantages. This initiative promises to strengthen the UAE’s economy, capabilities and global competitiveness.


What are the costs involved in getting the Golden Visa and UAE citizenship?

Golden Visa fees are approx. AED 7,000 to AED 20,000 depending on visa validity.
Citizenship application fees are AED 10,000-15,000 plus processing charges.

How long does the entire process take from start to citizenship?

Typically 3-5+ years – 1-3 years for Golden Visa, then 2+ years minimum on Golden Visa before applying for citizenship.

What jobs are not eligible for this UAE citizenship pathway program?

Jobs like cashiers, drivers, cooks, laborers i.e. limited skills sectors are currently not eligible to apply. Focus is on highly skilled roles.

What are the language requirements for citizenship?

Materials are available in English and Arabic. But basic Arabic language skills are required for citizenship eligibility.

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Pranav Modi

Mr. Pranav Modi, CA is supported by 12+ years of Consulting, Auditing and Accounting practice across diverse sectors.

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