UAE - For Qatar resident Dr Naushad, who frequents Dubai for business, the Golden Visa seemed like a great opportunity to set base in the UAE. However, there was only one catch- he wasn't eligible for it. Now, with the announcement of the five-year Green Visa, he is hopeful again.
"I have been living in the Middle East for several years," he said. "I work at a government hospital in Qatar. So I think there is a chance for me to apply for the Green Visa either in the skilled workers' category or in the investor category."
The new Advanced Visa System came into effect on Monday, October 3, with sweeping reforms that saw the introduction of a Green Visa for skilled workers, freelancers and investors. The self-sponsored five-year residency scheme offers multiple benefits. It is intended to attract and retain the best talent in the UAE.
Dr Naushad, who usually takes a visa on arrival when coming to the UAE, says a residence visa could save him a lot of trouble.
"I have a valid US visa, so I am able to get a visa on arrival," he said.
"However, if I have a residency visa, then I can take a driving license and open a bank account. My company in Dubai has a car available, but I have to rent a car because I am on a visit visa. Earlier, getting a residency permit was not possible. However, with the change in rules, I am hopeful that I will be eligible for the Green Visa. It would make my life a lot easier."
Typing centre agents have said that the Green Visa has been the feature they are getting most enquiries about.
"I had a pharmacist calling to enquire about it the other day," said Abdul Gafoor, general manager of Al Mas Businessmen Service. "Even when the Golden Visa was extended to frontline workers, he was unable to get it. So now that the Green Visa is available and he is a skilled professional, he is hoping to take it."
The Green Visa will allow holders to sponsor themselves and their families for five years as opposed to the existing two years.
"The cost of a Green Visa is Dh2,280," said Aliyyu Shahul Hameed, from Pan Gulf document clearing services.
"The ID card will cost another Dh575, and the medical fees will be Dh320 for normal services. These are the processing fees for one individual. The actual cost for the entire process will vary depending on the number of dependents on the sponsorship of the visa holder and the holding charges of their visas."
This is similar to the cost of a Golden Visa, which usually costs between Dh2800 and Dh3,800 for those within the UAE, excluding medical testing and health insurance. The cost of Emirates ID would be an additional Dh1,000.
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