UAE is the dream destination for millions of expatriates hoping to settle down. People from all over the world come to the UAE looking for stable professions in a thriving job market. Therefore as of now, the population of expatriates living in the UAE far exceeds the local Emirati population. This disparity has reached the level where the expatriate majority forms around 80% of the total population of the UAE. It is hence critical that once have passed the steps of acquiring a UAE visa and landed in the Emirates, you are aware of the procedure of getting UAE citizenship.
Procedure for you to be a UAE citizen
It is an obvious fact that the UAE passport is attractive. The passport has been of the most powerful passports from all over the world for a while. Although it might be strange to believe there is a legitimate and easy procedure for an expatriate to get UAE citizenship, it is not. The professional benefits of being a UAE citizen team up with an elevation in living standards. Benefits in healthcare, education, tax-free salaries, as well as interest-free loans also come in handy. Generally, it becomes a very good deal to take.
Unfortunately, because of these perks, the number of expatriates seeking to be UAE citizens has shown a staggering increase. To make sure the Emirati population does not get totally wiped out, the government has put stricter nationality laws in place. That does not completely rule out getting UAE citizenship for expatriates. It only makes the process a little more difficult. Moreover, citizenship laws rest with individual emirates. Expatriates who need to be UAE citizens, therefore, need to be aware of the intricacies of laws in their respective state.
General rules for UAE citizenship
- Birth: Any children born inside the UAE to unknown parents would also be citizens. As long as not proven to be born otherwise, the child would be a citizen of the UAE.
- Descent: Any children born to UAE citizens would automatically be citizens themselves. Moreover, even if one of the child’s parents is a UAE citizen, the child is a citizen. The place of birth of the child is not relevant in this scenario.
- Marriage: A foreign woman would become a UAE citizen if she marries a citizen. She would, however, lose the citizenship if she divorces and marries a foreigner.
Naturalization for Expatriates
Expatriates can only apply for UAE citizenship if they have lived inside the UAE borders for 30 years. This time period is 7 years for Arab citizens of Oman or Bahrain. Moreover, the applicant must legally earn a living, have no criminal record, maintain a good reputation and must know enough Arabic. A naturalized citizen, however, still does not possess the right to contest in elections. Omani or Bahraini Arab citizens naturalized in the UAE can contest elections after seven years.