The largest entry and residency visa reforms in the UAE went into effect today, October 3. The reforms address all aspects of residency, including an expanded Golden Visa scheme, a new five-year Green residency, a multiple-entry five-year tourist visa, and entry permits for job hunting.
The Advanced Visa System seeks to attract the brightest minds from around the world, including investors, entrepreneurs, scientists, specialists, top students and graduates, humanitarian pioneers, frontline workers, and skilled workers. It also makes processes easier for business owners, residents, visitors, and job seekers.
Here is all you need to know:
1. Golden Visa scheme:
The long-term residency scheme now includes several new benefits. These include the visa remaining valid even if the holder is away from the UAE for more than six months, the ability to sponsor children of any age, and no limit on the number of domestic workers they can sponsor.
Additionally, more categories of residents can get the coveted visa.
Below is the expanded list of categories that are eligible for Golden Visa:
- Real estate investors
- Exceptionally-talented individuals
- Skilled workers
2. Visit visas/entry permits:
The new system will provide visitors with a variety of entry permits for various purposes – without the need for a host or sponsor for the first time. These include a visa for job exploration, a business visa, and a visa to visit relatives or friends.
Here’s a list of the new entry permits and tourist visa changes that come into effect today:
Visit Visa: Beginning in September 2022, the new visa for visiting the UAE will allow for a stay of 60 days, up from 30 days previously.
Multi-entry Tourist Visa: In addition to the regular tourist visa sponsored by UAE tourism establishments, a five-year multi-entry tourist visa is now available. This long-awaited entry permit will allow visitors to explore the UAE more thoroughly. This new visa will not necessitate the involvement of a sponsor. The applicant must have a bank balance of $4,000 (or the equivalent amount in another currency) for the six months preceding the visa application. People can stay in the UAE for 90 days in a row, with the only restriction that they do not stay for more than 180 days in a year.
Entry visa for job exploration: This visa does not require a sponsor or a host. It is awarded to those classified as having the first, second, or third skill level by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, as well as fresh graduates from the world’s top 500 universities, with a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent as the minimum educational level.
Business entry visa: This visa, which does not require a sponsor or host, is designed to encourage investors and entrepreneurs to explore business and investment opportunities in the UAE.
Entry permit for visiting relatives or friends: According to the current amendment, a visitor may apply for this entry permit if he or she is a relative or friend of a UAE citizen or resident. It is not necessary to have a sponsor or a host.
Study and training entry permit: This permit is intended for those attending training and study courses, as well as those participating in internship programmes. Universities, educational or research institutions licenced in the country, as well as government or private entities, can serve as sponsors. It necessitates a letter from the entity outlining the details of the study, training, or internship programme, as well as its duration.
Entry permit for a temporary work mission: This permit is for those with a temporary work assignment, such as probation testing or a project-based mission. The employer is sponsoring this visa. It necessitates a temporary work contract or a letter from the employer clarifying the purpose of the visit, as well as proof of health and fitness to work.
3. Family sponsorship rules eased
The age limit for sponsored sons has been raised to 25 years (previously 18 years) for all residence types, with no age limit for unmarried daughters. Holders of the Green Card can even sponsor their first-degree relatives.
Here are the key changes to note for you to sponsor your family in the UAE:
1. Sons & daughters sponsorship extended
In contrast to the previous 18-year limit, the new UAE visa rules allow parents to sponsor their sons until the age of 25. While unmarried daughters can be sponsored indefinitely, disabled children are granted a special permit.
2. Green Visa
Individuals can now bring their families for five years under the five-year Green Visa for Investors, which does not require a sponsor or employer, as opposed to two years under the previous rule. Green Visas are available to skilled workers, self-employed individuals, and freelancers, among others.
A Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in a specified field is also required, as is a salary of at least Dh15,000. Green Card holders can also sponsor first-degree relatives. Children of determination, regardless of age, are granted a residence permit.
3. Golden Visa
The holder of a 10-year visa may sponsor his or her family members of any age. In addition, the number of years they and their families can stay outside the UAE to keep the visa valid has been reduced.
In the event that the Golden Visa sponsor dies, family members may remain in the UAE until the end of their residency permit. They can also sponsor domestic workers indefinitely.
Scientists, entrepreneurs, exceptionally talented individuals, frontline heroes, top students, and investors who have purchased property worth more than Dh2 million can apply for a Golden Visa.
4. Humanitarian cases
A residence permit will be issued to a female resident whose husband has died and she has one or more children. It will also apply to the parents of UAE citizens with foreign passports who have children.
4. Green Visas
The new self-sponsored five-year residency programme offers numerous advantages. It is intended for highly skilled professionals, freelancers, and investors or partners.
Under the updated regulations, Green visas will be issued to foreigners in three categories.
Skilled workers: This five-year residency for skilled workers is provided without the assistance of a sponsor or employer. According to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, applicants must have a valid employment contract and be classified in the first, second, or third occupational level. A bachelor’s degree or equivalent is required, and the starting salary cannot be less than Dh15,000.
Freelancers and self-employed: In response to the growing importance of flexible work models, freelancers and self-employed can apply to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation for a freelance/self-employment permit. Bachelor’s degree or specialised diploma is the minimum educational level. Annual self-employment income for the previous two years must be greater than Dh360,000 (over $98,000), or the applicant must show proof of financial solvency throughout his/her stay in the UAE.
Partners/Investors: This permit was created to encourage investment and attract investors who want to start or participate in businesses. The validity period for this category has been extended from two to five years. The requirements include investment approval and proof of investment. The total invested capital will be calculated if the investor (partner) has more than one licence. The approval of the appropriate local authorities is required.
5. Five-year multi-entry tourist visa
This new visit visa track does not necessitate the involvement of a sponsor. Holders can stay in the UAE for up to 90 days in a row, and this period can be extended. The total length of stay in a year should not exceed 180 days.
This visa requires proof of a $4,000 bank balance or its equivalent in foreign currency for the six months preceding the application.