The UAE Cabinet announced one of the biggest overhauls of the visa residency system in years. The executive regulations provide comprehensive information on the types and conditions of golden residence, green residence, entry visas, and residence permits. The UAE Government Media Office announced the changes, approved by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai on Monday, and shall come into effect by September.
UAE Golden Visa New Rules and Amendments
Substantial amendments are introduced to the Golden Residence Scheme to simplify the eligibility criteria and expand the categories of beneficiaries. This long-term 10-year residence is granted to investors, entrepreneurs, exceptional talents, scientists and professionals, outstanding students and graduates, humanitarian pioneers, and frontline heroes.
The amendments allow the Golden Residence holder to sponsor his/ her family members, including spouse and children regardless of their age, and to sponsor support services (domestic) laborers without limiting their number. Furthermore, there is no restriction related to the maximum duration of stay outside the UAE in order to keep the Golden Residence valid.
There are other benefits for family members that allow them to stay in the UAE in the event of the death of the original holder of the Golden Residence until the end of their permit duration.
All You Need to Know About UAE Golden Visa and Who Can Apply
Golden Visa for Scientists
This residence is granted to scientists and researchers with high achievements and influence in their field based on recommendations from the Emirates Scientists Council.
The candidate should have a Ph.D. or master's degree in the disciplines of engineering, technology, life sciences, and natural sciences from the best universities in the world, as well as substantial research achievements.
Golden Visa for Professionals
A major expansion is introduced in this category to attract highly skilled workers with educational qualifications and professional experience in all disciplines, including medicine, sciences and engineering, information technology, business and administration, education, law, culture, and social sciences.
The applicants should have a valid employment contract in the UAE and should be classified in the first or second occupational level as per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation classification, which is aligned with the International Standard of Classification of Occupations ISCO by the International Labour Organisation.
The minimum educational level must be a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, and the monthly salary should not be less than AED30,000.
Golden Visa for Exceptional Talents
This residence is granted to top talents in vital fields. It is 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 and includes talented individuals in culture, art, sports, digital technology, inventors and innovators, and other vital fields.
Golden Visa for Real Estate Investors
Real estate investors can obtain Golden Residence when purchasing a property worth no less than AED2 million.
As per the new amendments, investors are also entitled to obtain the Golden Residence when purchasing a property with a loan from specific local banks. Investors can also obtain Golden Residence when buying one or more off-plan properties of no less than AED2 million from approved local real estate companies.
Golden Visa for Entrepreneurs
The executive regulations set flexible requirements for entrepreneurs eligible to obtain the Golden Residence; an entrepreneur should own or be a partner in a startup registered in the country in the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) category and generates annual revenues of not less than AED1 million.
Moreover, If the person is one of the founders of an earlier entrepreneurial project that was sold with a total value of not less than Dh7m, he or she will be entitled to Golden Residence. The approval of the Ministry of Economy or the competent local authorities is required for projects or ideas.
Golden Visa for Outstanding Students and Graduates
This residence targets high-performing students in UAE secondary schools, and outstanding graduates from UAE universities and the best 100 universities worldwide, according to specific criteria that include their academic performance (cumulative average), the year of graduation, and the university classification.
New Visa Types with Unparalleled Benefits
Major improvements include introducing new 5-years residence tracks to attract talents, skilled professionals, freelancers, investors, and entrepreneurs. More benefits are offered to facilitate family members' residence, and longer flexible grace periods that reach up to 6 months to stay in the country after the residence permit is canceled or expired, in addition to facilitating and simplifying the requirements of all residence types.
Green Visa for Skilled Employees
This new track provides a 5-year residency for skilled employees, without a sponsor or employer. The applicants should have a valid employment contract and should be classified in the first, second, or third occupational level as per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. The minimum educational level must be a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, and the salary should not be less than AED15,000.
Green Visa for Freelancing and Self-Employment
In line with the growing importance of flexible work models, this track provides a 5-year residency for freelancers and self-employed individuals without requiring a sponsor or employer in the UAE. It requires obtaining a freelance/ self-employment permit from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, the minimum educational level should be a bachelor’s degree or specialized diploma, and the annual income from self-employment for the previous two years should not be less than AED360,000, or that the applicant proves financial solvency throughout his/her stay in the country.
Green Visa for Investor or Partner
This residence permit is introduced to encourage investment, providing a 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 (partner) has more than one license, the total invested capital will be calculated. Approval of the competent local authorities is mandatory.
New Benefits for Family Members
The new system provides more benefits for family members.
A parent can now sponsor a male child to the age of 25 years, up from 18. A parent can sponsor an unmarried daughter indefinitely.
Children with disabilities are granted a residence permit permanently, regardless of their age.
The Green visa residence holder is allowed to bring any first-degree relative into the country and, in all cases, the residency of family members shall be of the same duration as the original residence holder.
Job Exploration Entry Visa
This visa is introduced with the aim of attracting young talents and skilled professionals to explore job opportunities. It 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 and to the latest graduates of the best 500 universities in the world. The minimum educational level should be a bachelor's degree or its equivalent.
Multi-Entry Tourist Visa
In addition to the regular tourist visa, a five-year, multi-entry tourist visa was introduced.
This type does not require a sponsor and it allows the person to stay in the country for up to 90 days in a row. It 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 before submitting the application.
Business Entry Visa
This type enables easy entry without requiring sponsors or hosts to encourage investors and entrepreneurs to explore business and investment opportunities in the UAE.
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.
Entry Permit for a Temporary Work Mission
This type is intended for those who have a temporary work assignment like probation testing or a project-based mission and is 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.
Entry Permit for Study and Training
This type is intended for those attending training and study courses and/or participating in internship programs. The sponsor can be universities or educational or research institutions licensed in the country or government or private entities. It requires a letter from the entity, clarifying the details of the study or training or internship program and its duration.
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Also Read: UAE GOLDEN VISA BENEFITS YOU NEED TO KNOW