New UAE visa rules come into effect last month, on October 3, 2022.
The new scheme is one of the biggest overhauls of the UAE visa system in recent years. By simplifying 10 types of visas it represents a step in support of the country’s competitiveness in the tourism, economic and educational sectors.
Among the major introductions are:
- Golden Visa for professionals: professional experience in all disciplines, including medicine, sciences and engineering, information technology, business and administration, education, law, culture, and social sciences.
- Golden Visa for exceptional talents: The UAE Golden Residence visa will be granted to top talents in vital fields. It will be awarded based on talent only regardless of the educational qualification, employment status, monthly salary, or professional level. It requires the recommendation or approval of a federal or local government entity
- Golden Visa for real estate investors: Real estate investors can obtain Golden Residence when purchasing a property worth no less than $544,500 (AED 2 million).
Investors can also obtain Golden Residence when buying one or more off-plan properties of no less than $544,500 (AED 2 million) from approved local real estate companies
- Golden Visa for entrepreneurs and startup owners: The new executive regulations have also set flexible requirements for entrepreneurs eligible to obtain the Golden Residence.
Additional Golden Visa eligibility criteria for entrepreneurs and startups owners includes:
- Entrepreneurs should own or be a partner in a startup registered in the UAE and with annual revenues of not less than $272,250 (AED 1 million).
- Entrepreneurs or startup owners who obtain approval for a startup idea from an official business incubator
- Entrepreneurs who are founders of a previous entrepreneurial project that was sold for a total of not less than $1.9 million (AED 7 million)
Additional Golden Visa eligibility criteria for professionals includes:
- Applicants should have a valid employment contract in the UAE.
- Applicants should be classified in the first or second occupational level as per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation classification
- Applicants must have a minimum educational level and must have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent.
- Applicants should have a monthly salary of not be less than $8,167 (AED 30,000)
UAE Green Residence visa: Benefits and eligibility criteria:
UAE Cabinet has also revealed a new 5-year Green Residence visa.
Longer flexible grace periods will extend up to 6 months to stay in the country after the residence permit is cancelled or expired.
UAE Green Residence Visa eligibility criteria:
- Green Residence Visa for skilled employees: The new track provides a 5-year residency for skilled employees, without a sponsor or employer. The minimum educational level must be a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, and the salary should not be less than $4,083 (AED 15,000).
- Green Residence Visa for freelancing and self-employment: 5-year residency for freelancers and self-employed individuals without requiring a sponsor or employer in the UAE. The minimum educational level should be bachelor’s degree or specialised diploma, and the annual income from self-employment for the previous two years should not be less than $98,000 (AED 360,000).
- Green Residence Visa for investors or partners: 5-year residency for investors establishing or participating in commercial activities. It replaces the previous residence that was valid for 2 years only.
Requirements include approval of the investment and proof of investment.
If the investor or partner has more than one licence, the total invested capital will be calculated. Approval of the competent local authorities is mandatory.
The age of children who may be sponsored has been raised to 25 years (previously 18 years), with no age limit for unmarried daughters.
UAE’s new job exploration visa:
The job exploration visa has been introduced with the aim of attracting young talents and skilled professionals to explore job opportunities available in the country and does not require a sponsor or a host. It is granted to those classified in the first or second or third skill level as per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. Fresh graduates applying for this visa must be from one of the best 500 universities in the world, with minimum educational levels of a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.
UAE’s new business entry visa:
The business entry permits enable easy entry without requiring a sponsor or a host. It aims to encourage investors and entrepreneurs to explore business and investment opportunities in the UAE.
UAE’s new five-year multiple-entry tourist visa:
In addition to the regular tourist visa that is sponsored by the UAE’s tourism establishment, a five-year multiple-entry tourist visa has been introduced. This visa does not require a sponsor and it allows the person to stay in the country up to 90 continuous days. The visa may be extended for a similar period, provided that the entire period of stay does not exceed 180 days in one year.
This visa requires proof of having a bank balance of $4,000 or its equivalent in foreign currencies during the last six months prior to submitting the application.
UAE’s new entry permit to visit relatives or friends:
As per the current amendment, a visitor can apply for this entry permit if he/she is a relative or friend of a UAE citizen or resident. It does not require a sponsor or a host.
UAE’s new entry permit for a temporary work mission:
This type of entry permit will be offered to those who have a temporary work assignment such as a project-based mission or probation testing, and will be sponsored by the employer. It requires a temporary work contract or a letter from the employer clarifying the visit purpose and proof of health fitness to work.