THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES NEW VISA RULES

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  • UAE made up of 7 emirates
  • Dubai, Abu Dhabi & Sharjah are the 3 largest cities respectively
  • Dubai Airpor is busiest international Airport in the world
  • The UAE is a favorite destination for both professional & unskilled workers

New Visa Legislation

The United Arab Emirates is a country made up of seven emirates namely, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al Khaimah and Umm al Qaiwain. The country as a whole has a prime minister and federal president though each emirate has its own ruler to oversee the local governments. Established in 1971, the UAE has seen tremendous industrial growth and population.

Quite recently, The United Arab Emirates cabinet approved regulations of the Federal Decree-Law on Entry and Residence of Foreigners.

Major expansions and changes to the current system will make to make the UAE a more attractive place to live, work and invest.

The UAE government  insists that it aims at attracting and retaining global talents and skilled workers.

Under the new scheme, there are 10 types of entry visas falling under three broad categories under the new system:

 

  • 60-day visit visas
  • A Green Visa, granting a five year residency
  • A Golden Residence Visa, lasting ten years

Dubai Airpot Dubai Airpot is the busiest Int. Airport in the world. (Photo by KARIM SAHIB/AFP via Getty Images)

UAE golden visa changes for 2022

The Golden Residence Scheme has seen arguably the most substantial changes.

A Golden Residence Visa grants a 10-year residency in The United Arab Emirates to the following:

  • Investors
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Exceptional talents
  • Outstanding graduates and students
  • Scientists
  • Frontline heroes
  • Humanitarian pioneers

Under the new rules, there will be no maximum duration restrictions hence, if you stay outside of the UAE, the Golden Residence will remain valid.

Lets take a look at what has changed.

Golden Residence – skilled professionals

One of the biggest changes to the golden visa looks to attract more skilled professionals.

To qualify, applicants must hold a valid employment contract in The United Arab Emirates . The job needs to be classified in either the first or second occupational level, as defined by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

The minimum educational level is still the same, requiring a bachelor’s degree or equivalent. However, the minimum monthly salary requirement has dropped from Dh50,000 to Dh30,000, which points at the willingness to make it easier for one to qualify.

Golden Residence – exceptional talents

Golden Residence is awarded to talented individuals who excel in their field.

For this category, residency is awarded based on talent alone. Your educational level, employment status and salary do not play a part.

Recommendation or approval from a government entity is required. Some of the fields considered include but are not limited to:

  • Culture
  • Art
  • Sports
  • Innovation
  • Digital Technology

Dubai There are lots of landmarks in the UAE and especially Dubai

Golden Residence – real estate investors

Golden Residence can be obtained through a Real Estate Investment in The United Arab Emirates. The property must however be worth a minimum of Dh2 million.

With the changes, investors can now Purchase a property  with a loan. You should note that the loan must come from a specific bank.

Another key change expands on the buying options.  Off-Plan Properties from an approved local real estate company are now included. Again, the value must be no less than Dh2 million.

Those who own, or are a partner, in a start-up can also obtain Golden Residence status. Here are the requirements:

  • The start-up must be registered in the country
  • It falls under the category of small and medium enterprises SME
  • It generates annual revenues of Dh1 million or more

Golden Residence – scientists

Those who work in the sciences and excel in their field are also eligible.

Here are the requirements:

  • A recommendation from the Emirates Scientists Council
    • A PhD or master’s degree from a leading university in the following fields:
      • Life sciences
      • Natural sciences
      • Technology
      • Engineering

UAE Leaders UAE Leaders at a summit in Abu Dhabi.

Green visa changes for 2022

The green visa provides a 5-year residency in The United Arab Emirates without the need for a sponsor or employer.

The holder can also bring their family members with them for five years. Under the current system, the original residence holder could only sponsor family members for two years on average.

Green visas are available to skilled workers, freelancers and self-employed individuals and  those looking to make an Investment in the UAE are also eligible.

The requirements are:

  • A minimum educational level of a bachelor’s degree or equivalent from a specified field
  • A salary of no less than Dh15,000

As The United Arab Emirates looks to drive foreign investment into the region, the green visa has been updated for investors.

If requirements are met, a five-year residency is granted. Under the current system, it is two years. 

They include the following:

  • Proof of investment
  • Approval of the investment

Dubai night-life Vibrant night life in Dubai

Visit visa changes for 2022

 Existing visas will see some changes from September 2022. To provide more flexibility, new types of visas will also roll out.

Until now, people who went to the UAE as a visitor were able to stay for a period of 30 days. Under the new system, this has increased to 60 days. The new model intends to offer more options for visitors.

A job exploration visa will also be available. This visa aims to attract talented young people and skilled employees. They will have the chance to come to The United Arab Emirates and explore the job market.

This visa does not require a sponsor or host, therefore, making it appealing to those looking for job opportunities in the region.

The exploration visa is also on offer for those looking to explore Investment opportunities in the UAE.  This visa does not require a sponsor or host.

Multi-entry tourist visa

A regular tourist visa already exists under the current system. From September 2022, a five-year multi-entry tourist visa will also be available.

A requirement for this visa is having a bank balance of $4,000 during the previous six months before you submit your visa application. You should note that the balance does not need to be in dollars. The equivalent in foreign currency enough.

Like the visas mentioned above, this does not require a sponsor. Once granted, you can remain in The United Arab Emirates for 90 consecutive days. It is possible to extend your stay, provided you do not exceed 180 days in a year.

Dubai skyline Dubai Skyline. Image Arabian Business

 

Family Sponsorship

Family members who hold a visa will benefit more under the new system.

As a parent, you can sponsor a male child until they are 25. Previously, this was only up until 18 years of age. Also, regardless of age, children with a disability now receive a residence permit.

Parents are also able to sponsor unmarried daughters at any age indefinitely.

 

DUBAI

One of most well-known tourist destinations in the world, Dubai is the biggest city of the UAE. The city is positioned on the Persian Gulf’s southeast coast and serves as the capital city of the Emirate of Dubai. Dubai has emerged as one of the biggest cosmopolitan cities of the world and the business hub of the Middle East. The city is famous for its ambitious architectural projects like the Palm Islands and “ The World” which are artificial islands off the coast of Dubai. Dubai’s economy is mainly dependent on international trade and to a small extent on oil that is a limited resource in the city. Tourism, real estate, aviation, and financial services are also major sources of revenue in Dubai. The city is the world’s 22nd most expensive city and the most expensive one in the region and a main expatriate hub.

Dubai desert excursion
Dubai desert excursions are quite popular. Image by Dorothy Nabwire

Dubai is considered as one of the leading cities in the world. It is the most developed and sophisticated city of The United Arab Emirates mainly because of the great amenities, high salaries, outstanding buildings, excellent healthcare system and popularity with readily and highly demanded manual support jobs which are quite popular with foreign labour from Southern Asian and Sub sahara African countries. One of the most iconic landmarks is the  Burj Khalifa which is a 830m-tall tower that stands tall in the gorgeous skyline of Dubai which has Dubai Fountain at its feet.

Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi, the capital of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, is UAE’s second most populous city. The city is located on a T-shaped island on the Persian Gulf. Abu Dhabi houses the Abu Dhabi Emiri Family and the federal government offices of the region. The city is a modern metropolis and a major political, economic, cultural, and commercial center in the region. Abu Dhabi accounts for nearly 2/3rds of the economy of UAE. Like Dubai, Abu Dhabi also has a multicultural and diverse society. However, time and again, human rights organizations have heavily criticized the government for exploiting foreign workers and treating them in an improper manner, mostly being workers from sub saharan Africa and South Asia.

 Sharjah

Sharjah is UAE’s third biggest city and is located on the Arabian Peninsula along the Persian Gulf’s southern coast. It is the capital of The  Emirate of Sharjah. The city contributes 7.4% of the UAE’s GDP and is a major center for industry and culture in the region. There is a major ban on alcohol in the Emirate of Sharjah, and hence, alcohol is not sold anywhere in Sharjah city. The city has been designated as a WHO healthy city, and it is the 68th best city in the world to be a university student.

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