Second citizenship

Second citizenship

The UAE is a desirable location for investors, entrepreneurs, and ordinary citizens. Each of them finds something beautiful in the country. Some eventually become interested in the topic of relocation and how to get a second citizenship.

How to get second citizenship in the UAE?

Under the new citizenship law in the UAE, people who have received a passport from this country are permitted to keep their existing document from another state. These changes were made recently. The reason being that until 2021, any previous citizenship had to be abandoned when obtaining local citizenship and that made those interested lose their interest momentarily. 

Meanwhile, those who managed to obtain second citizenship can quickly lose it since the UAE is quite strict when addressing this topic. What can be the reason for the cancellation of a passport? Violation of the law, fraud, military service in another state, and plenty of other reasons may be the reason.

Ways to obtain citizenship in the UAE

Becoming a citizen in this country is quite difficult. There are so few ways to get it that you can count them using the fingers of one hand:

1. By birthright in the family of UAE citizens.
2. By naturalization.
3. After marriage to a citizen of the country.
4. For services to the state.

The first option needs no explanation. But here, there is a critical aspect: if a child was born out of wedlock, a written recognition of paternity is required to obtain citizenship.

The second method is available only to residents of bordering countries: Qatar, Oman, and Saudi Arabia. These citizens can count on a UAE passport after three years of residence in the Emirates, provided they have not violated the law.

Individuals from other countries can use the two remaining ways.

You can obtain citizenship by marrying a citizen of the United Arab Emirates. For foreign women, there are several nuances related to this matter: they need to convert to Islam and adopt the lifestyle of their husband's family and live in the UAE for three years without any offense. In the case of a divorce, any child born during the marriage will remain with the father.

Citizenship for unique services to the state of a foreigner can be awarded personally by the ruler of one of the emirates. Such honors, for instance, can be awarded to athletes participating in sporting events under the flag of the UAE.


The main option for most foreigners is a resident visa, which is in many ways similar to a residence permit. With its help, any foriegner can reside in the UAE for up to 10 years with the opportunity of extending the stay without having to renounce the citizenship of their native country. These visas can be accepted for investments in real estate and the economy of the United Arab Emirates.

Another advantage of resident status is that its owners are almost equal to citizens regarding their rights and opportunities. So, the following options are available to holders of a resident visa:

  • Open an account at a local bank
  • Register an enterprise
  • Enjoy the benefits of taxation
  • Work in the UAE

Disclaimer! If opening your own business, its owner cannot be employed. If an ex-pat arrives in the United Arab Emirates on a work visa, he does not have the right to work for any other employer except for the company that is his direct employer.

  • Bring family members (spouse and children) with you

General requirement: the applicant must be at least 21 years old at the time of application submission.