A significantly expanded Golden Visa scheme, the new five-year Green residency, a multiple-entry tourist visa and job hunting entry permits are among the several residency reforms that will take effect next month. These new visas and entry permits are part of the largest entry and residency reforms adopted in the UAE.
The new system will significantly benefit the expatriates living and working in the UAE as well as visitors. This will also make the Emirates an even more investor-friendly country for foreigners and high-net-worth individuals looking to have a long-term presence in the UAE.
As per the UAE Cabinet decision announced in mid-April, all these new executive regulations related to entry and residence laws will come into force after 90 days from the date of its publication in the Official Gazette.
Below is the list of visas that were announced in April. Most of them will come into force from next month and a few of them have already been introduced:
- Multi-entry tourist visa: The new five-year multi-entry tourist visa doesn't require a sponsor and allows the person to stay in the UAE for up to 90 days; it can be extended for another 90 days. A person can stay a maximum of 180 days on this tourist visa. The applicant should have a bank balance of $4,000 (Dh14,700) or its equivalent in foreign currencies in the last six months before applying.
- Business visa: Investors and entrepreneurs can apply for a business visa without requiring a sponsor or a host.
- Visa to visit relatives/friends: A foreigner can apply for this visa if he/she is a relative or friend of a UAE citizen or a resident. This does not require a sponsor or a host.
- Temporary work visa: Those who have a temporary work assignment, such as probation testing or project-based work, can apply for this visa. Candidates need to submit a temporary work contract or a letter from the employer and proof of fitness.
- Visa for study/training: This visa is aimed at people or students who want to attend training, study courses and internship programmes. This visa can be sponsored by both public and private sector educational and research institutes. It requires a letter from the entity clarifying the details of the study or training or internship programme and its duration.
- Family visa: Previously, parents could sponsor their children under 18 years only. Now male children can be sponsored till the age of 25. Disabled children also get a special permit, and unmarried daughters can be sponsored for an indefinite time.
- Job visa: Job-seekers can avail of this new visa to explore opportunities in the UAE. This visa will not require any sponsor or a host and it will be granted to bachelor's degree holders or its equivalent, fresh graduates of the best 500 universities in the world as well as those classified in the first, second or third skill levels as per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.
- Green visa: This five-year visa allows holders to bring their families without a sponsor or employer. This visa is available for skilled workers, self-employers, freelancers etc. Other requirements include a Bachelor's degree or equivalent and a minimum salary of Dh15,000.
- Golden Visas: The UAE has announced Golden Visa for a range of professional categories and investors who look to enjoy the country's best quality of life on a long-term basis. Below is the list of Golden Visas for different categories:
Real estate: A minimum investment of Dh2 million in real estate is required to be eligible for the visa. Investors buying property on the mortgage and off-plan properties are also allowed if their combined total investment is Dh2 million or above.
Startups: Entrepreneurs can now avail of Golden Visa under three categories – (1) startup is registered in the country, (2) should fall under SME, (3) and annual revenue should be Dh1 million or above.
Scientists: People who are dexterous in their field can apply for Golden Visa if they meet the following requirements – a recommendation from Emirates Science Council and PhD or Master's degree from a top university in life science, natural sciences, technology and engineering.
Exceptional talent: People who have exceptional talent in the field of art, culture, digital technology, sports, innovation, medicine and law can apply for Golden Visa. They need a recommendation letter or approval from the relevant government entity.
Skilled workers: Applicant must have a Bachelor's degree, a valid contract of employment, a line of employment must fall under the occupational level one or two as defined by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, and a minimum monthly salary of Dh30,000.
Students: Exceptional students who have obtained high scores in UAE secondary schools and universities or those who fall under the best 100 universities worldwide can apply for the Golden Visa.