Tourist visas will now allow visitors to legally enter and stay in the UAE for 60 days, an increase from the previous 30 days. Also, the job exploration visa, which seeks to easily allow talented professionals find employment in the UAE, will not require a sponsor or host.
The United Arab Emirates’s (UAE)’s Advanced Visa System, first announced by the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security (ICP) last month, will come into effect on Monday (October 3).
Approved by UAE’s Cabinet in April, the new visa rules — aimed at reforming the country’s immigration and residency policies — include changes such as longer visas for tourists, extended residency for professionals under the Green Visa and an expanded 10-year Golden Visa scheme.
Besides alleviating burdens for foreigners and simplifying visa procedures, the updated visa system is an attempt at “improving the quality of life and making the experience of living, working and investing in the UAE a pleasant and happy one”, said Major General Sultan Yousef Al Nuaimi, the Director General of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, as reported by Gulf News.
Announced in September 2021, the Green Visa is a type of renewable-residence visa that allows foreigners to sponsor themselves for five years, without having to rely on a UAE national or employer to sponsor their visa. Freelancers or self-employed people, skilled workers and investors or partners are eligible for the visa.
Green visa holders are also given more benefits, such as the ability to sponsor family members, including a spouse, children and first-degree relative for the duration of their residency. Parents will be able to sponsor male children till the age of 25, an increase from the previous age limit of 18, while unmarried daughters and children of determination (with disabilities) will be granted residence regardless of age, the UAE government had said in June.
Holders will also receive an extended flexible grace period of up to six months if their residence permit is cancelled or has expired.
Expansion of the Golden Visa
The Golden visa offers holders long-term renewable residence visas for upto 10 years. Those that are eligible for the Golden visa include investors, entrepreneurs, individuals with exceptional talents the likes of researchers, medical professionals and those within the scientific and knowledge fields and outstanding students and graduates.
Introduced in order to attract and retain talent within the country, Golden Visas began to be approved in late 2020 and in the first year, 44,000 of them were issued in Dubai alone, UAE newspaper The National reported.
Other than benefits such as 100 per cent ownership of their businesses, the new visa changes provide Golden Visa holders other advantages as well. While previously, those who lived outside the country for six months lost their residency, the Golden Visa will now remain valid irrespective of the time they spend outside the UAE. There is no limit on the number of domestic labour they can sponsor, and the changes will also allow the holder to sponsor their family members — including spouse and children of any age — and permit family members to stay in the UAE even if the Golden Visa holder dies, as long as the visa remains valid.
More people are also now eligible for the Golden Visa. Skilled professionals in fields such as science and engineering, medicine, IT, business and administration and education can also now receive a 10-year visa, as reported by Khaleej Times. The monthly salary requirement has also been reduced to AED 30,000 (Rs 6.6 lakh), from the previous limit of AED 50,000 (Rs 11.1 lakh).
Changes for tourists and others
Tourist visas will now allow visitors to legally enter and stay in the UAE for 60 days, an increase from the previous 30 days.
A five-year, flexible multi-entry tourist visa was also introduced that allows them to stay in the UAE for up to 90 days in a row.
Furthermore, the job exploration visa, which seeks to easily allow talented professionals find employment in the UAE, will not require a sponsor or host. Those that fall under the first, second or third skill level classification of the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation and new graduates from the top 500 universities of the world will be eligible for the job exploration visa.