Golden and silver visas are more popular among foreign investors, entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) as they want to be part of the success of the emirate in the post-pandemic era, experts say. Industry specialists and business consultancies said recent visa reforms offer several options to foreign investors and individuals seeking freelance work permits in the UAE. "Investors are keen to capitalise on opportunities and get visas which serve their interests within their budgets. Dubai has emerged as an economic powerhouse or an international business hub after its successful strategy to contain the Covid-19 pandemic," they said. Available visa options Industry experts said there are several options available to secure residency permits in the UAE, but the top three categories include golden, silver and retirement visas. In addition, a Dubai investor visa or a partner visa is available to those who are keen to invest Dh1 million or more in a single residential property with the condition that a maximum of 50 per cent of the property value should be under mortgage with the bank. Moreover, investors who have invested in the UAE or have started a business in Dubai’s mainland or free zone can also be eligible to apply for the investor visa. "The minimum capital requirement as an investor in a company would be buying shares in an existing company worth at least Dh72,000 or establishing a company with a capital investment worth the same amount," according to an industry expert. Golden and silver visas are top choices Pratik Rawal, managing partner, Ascent Partners, said golden visa is more popular among the investors who are keen to make long-term investments in Dubai. "Golden visa with 10-year validity is in demand as it gives expatriates freedom to enter Dubai without any conditions, and they can stay outside the country for more than six months. Investors prefer to secure long-term visa against their investment and golden visa serves this purpose," Rawal told Khaleej Times on Friday. Reforms generate interest Fadi Rizkallah, general manager at Freedom2Work.com, said the recent visa reforms has generated much interest among investors, entrepreneurs and HNWIs. He said millionaires and HNWIs prefer to avail long-term validity of golden visa with its other key features such as no requirement for an employment sponsor, ability to sponsor family members, including spouse and children, and sponsoring domestic helpers. "The silver visa, with five-year validity and minimum Dh2 million investments, is also in demand by small business owners and entrepreneurs," Rizkallah said. "Investors, who are keen to be part of booming Dubai market, have shown interest in silver visa as it just requires Dh2 million investment in the residential sector to secure 5-year residency permit in the emirate," he said. In reply to a question, he said there are several enquiries about green visa, but its eligibility criteria and other details are yet to come. "As the green visa has not yet started so, we are unable to answer the enquiries, but it has generated interest among the investors," he said. Freelancing work Under the recent visa and business reforms, the government has offered multiple options to those individuals who are keen to start freelance work in Dubai. "Many freelancers, including photographers, bloggers, social media influencers and tutors, are given the ability to secure a freelancer visa. Dubai Creative Cluster took the initiative followed by Dubai Design District, Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority and Dubai Culture have given freelancers many options to choose a right visa to start freelance work in the emirate," Pratik said.