How to Get UAE Citizenship?
To attract investors, healthcare professionals, scientists, and exceptional talents, the UAE began to offer more citizenship opportunities for foreigners to improve the economy of the country. Yet naturalization and citizenship laws in the country are more nuanced, the government of the UAE welcomes investors and encourages them to apply for residency along with company setup in Dubai.
Including access to free education and healthcare and subsidies for housing and food, there are extensive benefits to being a citizen of the UAE. Unless the person is related to someone who is already a citizen, becoming an Emirati citizen is not easy. It is quite difficult and time-consuming especially if the person is not an Arab as the UAE does have a naturalization process.
The following are some of the ways to obtain citizenship in the UAE
Becoming a Citizen Through Marriage
Compared to men in the UAE, women do not have the same citizenship rights. Women cannot automatically become Emirati citizens if they marry an Emirati man. They can get Emirati citizenship as a dependent of their husband. Regardless of whether they work or live independently, women in the UAE are considered dependents either on their husband or their fathers. However, they cannot pass their citizenship. As a result of being married to a woman, the man will never be able to get Emirati citizenship.
To the Ministry of Interior, the women should express their intent to become national. They should take their marriage certificate and identification with them and go to the General Directorate of Residence and Foreign Affairs once they get married. However, until the person has been married for three years from the date they express their intent to become a national, they will not be eligible for Emirati Citizenship. This rule applies only to women who marry Emirati men. The man is not eligible for citizenship by marriage if he marries an Emirati woman.
The woman must be willing to revoke any citizenship they currently have if they want to become an Emirati citizen through marriage as UAE does not recognize dual citizenship.
Becoming a Citizen Through Descent or Ancestry
UAE’s nationality law is the governing body of UAE citizenship. If the person can prove that they are the direct descendent of an Arab who was living in the Emirates in 1925 and continued to live there through 1972, they are automatically considered a citizen of the UAE. All the Arabs living in the UAE in 1972 were automatically considered Emirati citizens if they had been living there since 1925.
If the person is an Arab man from Oman, Qatar, or Bahrain and lives in the UAE for three years, they will also be granted Emirati citizenship. However, they must have good character and a clean criminal background.
The person is automatically considered an Emirati citizen under UAE law if their father is an Emirati citizen. This is applicable even if they are not born in the country. For attesting to his citizenship, their father can also file a document.
The person can also apply for their citizenship if their mother is an Emirati citizen. The General Directorate of Residence and Foreign Affairs gives the person a form to complete and let them know that their mother is an Emirati citizen. Only after the person turns 18, they can apply for Emirati citizenship if their father is not an Emirati citizen.
Becoming a Citizen Through Naturalization
The person must have a sponsor who is an Emirati citizen to reside in the UAE. With the General Directorate of Residence and Foreign Affairs, their sponsor will need to apply for an entry permit. Depending on whether the sponsor is an employer or a family member, the requirements for the application vary. It will be valid for only two months, once the entry permit is issued. Also, apply for the residency visa as soon as possible once the person gets to the UAE as the visa must be issued within 30 days of their arrival.
The sponsor must complete the process of getting a residency visa once the person arrives in the UAE. The residency visa will be valid for 2 years. The person can open a bank account and rent an apartment or other residence while living in the UAE under a residency visa. The person however will be asked to leave the country if they break any law or if their sponsor withdraws their sponsorship.
The person must reside in the country legally for 30 years to become eligible to apply for citizenship in the UAE as a foreign national. The period may restart if they leave and come back. Persons who don’t conduct themselves honorably will not be granted citizenship by the UAE government. Also, unless the person can communicate well in Arabic, they will not become a citizen of the UAE.
By Exceptional Merit
This law is the newest addition to citizenship rights. The applicants for exceptional merit can be doctors who have an experience of at least 10 years and who hold a membership in a reputable organization in their field. Inventors who have at least one patent approved by the UAE Ministry of Economy can also apply for this category.
Scientists with at least 10 years of experience and creative talents who are deemed innovators in their field and who have at least one patented invention can apply for exceptional merit. Also, investors who bought real estate in the UAE are eligible to apply.
These applicants are nominated for citizenship by UAE royals and their candidacy must be approved by the Cabinet.
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