The new UAE visas and requirements
On Monday, the 18th of April 2022, the UAE cabinet announced the executive regulations regarding the Federal Decree-Law on Entry and Residence of Foreigners, which is aimed at improving the country’s position as an ideal destination to visit, work, live and invest.
These regulations provide new information on the types and conditions of residence and entry visas, and will come into effect 90 days after the date of its publication or announcement.
What are the new benefits for family members?
A resident may bring their family members to stay within the UAE more easily, including spouse and children. The age of children has been raised from 18 years old to 25 years old, with no age limit for unmarried daughters. For children of determination, they are able to obtain a residence visa regardless of their age.
What are the new rules for Golden Visas?
Earlier this year, many changes were made to the eligibility criteria and requirements that individuals had to meet to obtain a golden visa. This included expanding the categories of beneficiaries to include entrepreneurs, investors, outstanding students and graduates, exceptional talents, scientists, doctors, athletes, humanitarian pioneers, first line heroes and more.
The new regulations now allow any Golden Visa holder to sponsor their family members, including their spouse and children. Also, they are able to sponsor support service or domestic labourers if desired.
Other regulations include the absence of restrictions related to the maximum duration of a stay outside the UAE to keep the visa valid, as well as allowing family members to stay in the UAE in the event the original holder dies until the end of the permit duration.
Have some requirements changed for Golden Visas?
Some requirements have been amended in the announcement of executive regulations to allow for more individuals to be eligible for a UAE golden visa.
Requirements for Professionals
This category has now expanded further to attract highly skilled workers in many disciplines, including sciences and engineering, information technology, medicine, education, business and administration, culture and social sciences, and law. The following are some amended requirements:
- Have a valid employment contract in the UAE.
- Classified in the first or second occupational level per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation classification, which aligns with the International Standard of Classification of Occupations ISCO.
- Have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent.
- Have a monthly salary of at least 30,000 AED.
Requirements for Real Estate Investors
Currently, real estate investors can obtain a golden visa when purchasing a property worth at least 2 million AED. However, this has since been expanded to include new requirements:
- Purchase a property worth no less than 2 million AED with a loan from specific local banks.
- Buy one or more off-plan properties of no less than 2 million AED from approved local real estate companies.
Requirements for Entrepreneurs
The executive regulations have set new requirements for entrepreneurs eligible to obtain a golden visa. This includes:
- Owning or being a partner in a start-up registered in the UAE in the category of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and that generates annual revenues of no less than 1 million AED.
- Obtaining approval for a start-up idea from the Ministry of Economy, the competent local authorities, or an official business incubator.
- A founder of a previous entrepreneurial project/s that was sold with a total value of no less than 7 million AED.
Requirements for Exceptional Talents
Golden visas are granted to outstanding talents in many fields, such as culture, art, sport and more, regardless of educational qualification, salary, or employment status. The new requirements include:
- A recommendation or approval from a federal or local government entity.
Requirements for Scientists
The following requirements are for scientists and researchers who have:
- A recommendation from the Emirates Scientists Council that states you have substantial achievements and influence in your fields.
- A Ph. D. or master's degree in technology, life sciences, natural sciences, or engineering from top worldwide universities.
Requirements for Outstanding Students and Graduates
The requirements to obtain this visa include:
- High performing students from UAE secondary schools.
- Outstanding graduates from UAE universities or the top 100 universities worldwide according to criteria based on academic performance (cumulative average), the university classification, and year of graduation.
Introduction of new 5-year UAE resident visas (Green Visas)
Along with the executive regulations, new 5-year resident visas were announced to attract freelancers, skilled professionals, entrepreneurs, and investors. These visas have a multitude of benefits, including facilitating family members residence, and a flexible grace period of up to 6 months in which an individual can stay in the UAE is their visa is cancelled or expired.
For families, a green visa holder can bring their first-degree relatives to the UAE, in which they can stay for the duration of the valid visa.
Green Visa for Investor or Partner
This visa provides 5-year residency for investors establishing or participating in commercial activities, replacing the previous visa of 2 years. The following requirements include:
- Approval and proof of investment from competent local authorities.
If the investor or partner has more than one licence, the total invested capital will be calculated as a requirement.
Green Visa for Skilled Employees
This new visa provided 5 years of residency for skilled employees without a sponsor or employer. The following are the requirements for eligibility:
- Have a valid employment contract in the UAE.
- Classified in the first, second or third occupational level per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation classification.
- Have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent.
- Have a monthly salary of no less than 15,000 AED.
Green Visa for Freelancers or Self-Employed Individuals
This new visa provides 5 years of residency for freelancers without a sponsor or employer in the UAE. The following are the requirements for eligibility:
- Obtain a valid freelance or self-employment permit from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.
- Have a bachelor’s degree or a specialised diploma, as this is the minimum educational level required.
- Have an annual income from self-employment for the previous two years no less than 360,000 AED, or have documents to prove financial solvency throughout your stay in the country.
What are the new rules for Entry Visas?
The executive regulations have announced a variety of entry visa types for UAE visitors, including ones that do not require a host or sponsor for the first time ever. Further amendments include creating more flexible entry requirements and visa durations that meet the needs of the visitors.
Furthermore, all entry visas are available for single or multiple entry’s, renewable for similar periods of time, and are valid for 60 days from the issuance date.
What are the new types of Entry Visas?
Tourist Entry Visa
A new 5-year multi-entry visa is introduced in addition to the current tourist visa sponsored by the tourism establishment in the UAE.
This new permit does not require a sponsor or host and allows for the person to stay in the UAE for up to 90 continuous days. It can also be extended for a similar period of time, ensuring that the duration of the total stay does not exceed 180 days in one year.
The requirements to obtain a tourist entry visa include:
Job Exploration Entry Visa
This new visa is aimed at attracting skilled professionals and young talents to explore available job opportunities in the UAE without the need of a host or sponsor. The following are required to obtain this entry visa:
- Classified in the first, second or third skill level per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation classification, and the new graduates of the best 500 universities worldwide.
- Have a minimum education level of a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.
Business Entry Visa
This is similar to the job exploration entry visa, as it allows for investors or entrepreneurs to explore business opportunities in the UAE without requiring a sponsor or host.
Entry Visa for Study and Training
This entry visa is aimed at individuals attending training or study courses, or participating in internship programs. It does require a sponsor, which can be universities, research or educational institutions licenced in the UAE, or government or private entities.
The requirements to obtain this visa are:
- A letter from the sponsor clarifying the details of the study, training or internship program, including the duration.
Entry Visa for a Temporary Work Mission
This visa is aimed at those who have a temporary work mission, such as probation testing or a project-based assignment. They must be sponsored by their employer.
Other requirements include:
- A temporary work contract or letter from the employer stating the details of the visit purpose and proof of fitness to work.
Entry Visa to Visit Relatives or Friends
This visa does not have new amendments as currently, a visitor can obtain an entry permit if they have a relative or friend that is a UAE citizen or resident, without the need of a sponsor or host.
How can PRO Partner Group help?
PRO Partner Group are the experts in company formation and assisting in obtaining and maintaining UAE residence and entry visas. Our professional team of government liaison staff, PROs and operational contact team can assist you fully with the initial review of the type of visa you are looking to obtain, to ensure you make the right choice. We can then assist you through preparation and documentation and all relevant steps to obtain the UAE resident or entry visa.
If you need guidance on which UAE visa is best for you, and any other related company setup, restructuring, local partner or PRO support matter in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, the wider UAE, Oman, Qatar or Saudi Arabia then please do get in touch with us on +971 (0)4 456 1761 for Dubai or +971 (0)2 448 5120 for Abu Dhabi, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the contact form below and we will be delighted to assist you.