New rules for obtaining visas and residence permits in the UAE.

To truly turn the UAE into a global metropolis of the future, the UAE cabinet has approved new visa rules that aim to attract not just global talent across diverse professional fields, to promote competitiveness and stability in the job industry but also investors, entrepreneurs, tourists and students. Under the new scheme, there is a fresh breeze of relaxation for almost anybody visiting the country. To make the process seamless and convenient, a one-stop unified platform has been developed for people to apply for Ten types of visas offered under the new Entry and Residence Scheme of the UAE government for purposes such as tourism, visiting relatives and friends, temporary work mission, exploring job and business opportunities, medical treatment, study or training, diplomatic affairs, emergency and a provision for GCC residents as well. Some of the newly added advantages include multi-entry, no requirement of host or sponsor, more flexibility, 5-year residence tracks, more benefits to facilitate family members’ residence, a grace period of 6 months on expiry or cancellation of visa and 60 days validity on Entry visa.  Here is the wide list of types of visas you can apply from

·      Golden Visa

The UAE golden visa is a long-term 10-year residence visa granted to investors, entrepreneurs, exceptional talents, scientists and professionals, outstanding students and graduates, humanitarian pioneers and frontline heroes. There is no maximum duration limit to the number of days a Golden visa holder can stay outside the country. There is no limit on the number of people who can be sponsored under this scheme. The UAE golden visa rules vary for scientists, professionals, real estate investors or property buyers, entrepreneurs and outstanding students and graduates in the following ways-

o   For professionals in medicine, sciences and engineering, information technology, business and administration, education, law, culture and social sciences, applicants must have a valid employment contractin the UAE and a classification in the first or second occupational level as per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation classification, aligned with the International Standard of Classification of Occupations ISCO by the International Labour Organisation.

o   For exceptional talents, recommendation or approval of a federal or local government entity in culture, art, sports, digital technology, inventors and innovators and other vital fields is required.

o   For real estate investors, this visa is available for the purchase of property worth at least AED 2 million. Under the new rules, investors can purchase a property with a loan from specific local banks. Investors can also obtain Golden Residence while purchasing one or more off-plan properties of not less than AED2 million from approved real estate companies.

o   For entrepreneurs, one should be a partner in a startup registered in the country in the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that generates annual revenues of not less than AED 1 million. Apart from this, obtaining approval for a startup idea from the Ministry of Economy or a competent local authority must be obtained to become eligible for the UAE Golden visa under this category.

o   For excellent students and graduates, outstanding students in UAE secondary schools, and graduates from UAE universities, the best 100 universities worldwide with evaluation based on specific criteria like academic performance (cumulative average), the year of graduation, and the university classification.

·      Green Visa

This scheme offers a five-year residency for applicants who could be freelancers, skilled employees, investors or entrepreneurs. The requirements for application differ from one category to another in the following ways-

o   For skilled employees, the minimum educational level is a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, with a salary should of not less than AED15,000. the applicant is not required to have an employer or sponsor but must be classified in the first, second or third occupational level as per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

o   For the freelancers and self-employed, a freelance/ self-employment permit from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, minimum educational qualification of a bachelor’s degree or specialised diploma and an annual income of not be less than AED360,000 from self-employment for the previous two years, or the applicant needs to show financial solvency throughout his/her stay in UAE. It must be noted that a sponsor is not required to obtain a Green visa under this category.

o   For investors and partners, to encourage investment, the previous residency scheme that was valid only for Two years has been extended to Five years. The applicant is required to present approval of the investment and proof of investment. In case an investor has more than one license, the total invested capital will be calculated.

·      Entry visa  

   A host or sponsor is not a mandatory requirement anymore. Flexible visa durations to meet the purpose of the visit of the applicant have been introduced. Entry visas are available for single or multiple entries with a validity of 60 days from their date of issuance.

Other categories of visas are for job exploration, business entry, tourism, temporary work mission, meeting loved ones and academic or training purposes. By diversifying the visa permit scheme, UAE is sure to magnetize talent, foreign investment, a skilled labour force and a wide pool of students and professionals from different corners of the world signalling massive growth prospects for the UAE.

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