Update as of 03 October 2022: UAE Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs, and Port Security has announced that the standard UAE residence visa will be for a period of 2 years across all the mainland and Free Zone companies sponsorships.
Also, the processing of Golden Visa, Green Visa, 5-year multiple entry tourist visa will commence from 3 October 2022. UAE is aiming to welcome a large number of tourists, regular visitors, skilled employees, to stay, work, and spend more time in the country with their family and friends.
The UAE Government has launched a series of Entry and Residence schemes expanding the scope of beneficiaries. The nation’s focus is on improving the country’s competitiveness in tourism, economy, and education sector
All of the new visas require no sponsor and offer more flexibility to the visa holders. The new unified system provides enhanced benefits to investors, skilled employees, self-employed individuals, and family members.
Changes in the UAE Residence Visa
There are a series of changes in the residency norms as per the latest update from the UAE Government. They are completely revamping the current residence visa norms. The changes are aimed at attracting foreign talents, creative professionals, scientists, entrepreneurs, etc., to UAE.
With the latest changes in visa rules, UAE is becoming more welcoming for visitors, tourists, and investors from around the world. Now, expatriates visiting UAE for various purposes can self-sponsor themselves.
Following are the major changes in UAE Residence Visa norms and the new scheme will be active from September 2022.
1. Green Residence Permit
There is a new plan to attract freelancers, startup investors, and middle-income employees with special talents. The Green Residence Permit enables the visa holder to self-sponsor based on meeting certain criteria.
1.1 5 Year Green Residence Permit for Freelancers
Green visas are aimed at the middle-income bracket. It targets skilled workers, freelancers, and self-employed. The tenure of the visa would be for 5 years.
- There is no employer or sponsor required for applying for the visa
- The permit is obtained from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE)
- Annual Income from self-employment for the previous two years must not be less than AED 360,000 or the visa holder must provide financial solvency for the stay in the country.
1.2. Green Residence for Skilled Employees
Similar to the Freelancers, the Skilled Employees across various sectors such as engineering, life science, business management, software, IT, etc., are qualified for the Green Residence Visa.
- Must fall in the selected category of occupational levels
- Bachelor’s degree or equivalent minimum educational level
- Salary to be not less than AED 15,000
1.3 5-Year Green Residence for investors and partners
Investors and Partners in Startups, Small & Medium Sector Companies are eligible for the 5 Year Green Visa. There are certain criteria to be met in terms of minimum investment required to qualify for applying, business activities, etc.
More details about the plan are yet to be revealed by the UAE government authorities.
2. Visas for Students and Job Seekers
To attract more young talents into the country, UAE is introducing the self-sponsored Job Seekers visa. Also, the Educational Residence Permit enables international students to come and complete their studies from a wide choice of colleges available in the UAE.
3. Educational Residence Permit
A two-year residence permit will be available for students. It will be sponsored by a licensed educational establishment in the UAE. Students can apply for their desired courses from numerous international and domestic universities in the UAE.
They can study, live, and explore UAE during their time in UAE and complete the course and look for a job in the country.
4. Job Exploration Entry Visa
This is a new visa aimed at attracting young talents and skilled professionals to explore job opportunities in UAE. It does not require a sponsor or a host.
It is a great opportunity for new graduates from about 500 top universities in the world to come and explore UAE.
5. Multi-Entry Tourist Visa
The Multi-Entry Tourist Visa enables visitors to enter UAE and stay for up to 90 days in a row. It can be extended for a similar period. In one year the maximum allowable days will be 180 days.
While applying, the proof of fund must amount to USD 4000 or equivalent in any currencies for the last six months. It is a great option for frequent travelers from India, Pakistan, etc., who have to pay for a visa each time they travel.
6. Sponsoring Family
The New UAE Residence Visa rules have made sponsoring family members way easier for the visa holders. UAE aims at uniting the family members and urges expatriates to the extent of their tenure in the country.
There are numerous benefits for the visa holder sponsoring their family such as:
- Resident can sponsor family members including spouse and children till the age of 25. Unmarried daughters regardless of age.
- Children of determination are granted a residence permit, regardless of age
- Green Residence holders can sponsor first degree relatives
7. Golden Visa
The Golden Visa criteria are revised and extended to accommodate more beneficiaries across various sectors. Now investors, entrepreneurs, scientists, professionals, and outstanding students are all eligible to apply for Golden Visas.
The Golden Residence Scheme simplifies the eligibility criteria so that the 10-year residence is accessible to more audiences.
7.1 Golden Visa for Scientists
Candidates should have a Ph.D. or master’s degree. They also must have substantial research achievements. They must be qualified in the discipline of engineering, technology, life sciences, and natural sciences from leading universities.
7.2 Golden Visa for Skilled Professionals
Highly skilled workers with educational qualifications and professional experience can apply for golden visas. They must have a valid employment contract in UAE and their monthly salary should not be less than AED 30,000.
7.3 Golden Visa for Exceptional Talents
For individuals with exceptional talents will require the recommendation or approval of a Federal or Local Government entity. It could be in sectors such as culture, art, sports, digital technology, innovators, etc.
7.4 Golden Visa for Real Estate Investors
Real estate investors can obtain Golden Residence for purchasing a property worth no less than AED 2 million.
It could be with a loan from a specific local bank. The purchase could be of one or more off-plan properties amounting to AED 2 million.
7.5 Golden Visa for Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurs or partners in a startup registered in UAE in the category of Small and medium companies are eligible to apply for Golden Visa. They must be generating an annual revenue of not less than AED 1 million.
Similarly, Partners or Investors of enterprises with any new project ideas or projects sold worth AED 7m or above are qualified for Golden Visa.
7.6 Golden Visa for Outstanding Students and Graduates
High-performing students in UAE Secondary schools, UAE universities & best 100 universities worldwide with more than 95% marks (For Higher Secondary) & 3.75 GPA (For Graduates) qualify for the golden visa.
Hence, in a nutshell, there are multiple changes in the Golden Visa and UAE Residence rules. It is favorable for expatriates to visit, settle, live, work, and study in UAE.
To know more about setting up a company and settling in UAE, talk to our expert Business Consultants right away!
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