Posted on: 29-09-2022 in Residency & Citizenship
The UAE is set to become a more accessible location following a massive overhaul of the visa system.
Expats will see the new visa rules as a significant improvement over the current system. The aim was to make it easier for people to live and work in the UAE.
According to the UAE Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security, the new visa changes came into effect on October 3rd 2022.
Here, we look at the UAE visa changes in 2022 and what they mean for those looking to move to the region.
The UAE 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.
Speaking about the changes, the UAE government said: “(the new system) aims at attracting and retaining global talents and skilled workers.”
Under the new scheme, there are 10 types of entry visas. However, visas fall under three broad categories under the new system:
The Golden Residence Scheme has seen arguably the most substantial changes.
A Golden Residence Visa grants a 10-year residency in the UAE to the following:
Under the new rules, there will be no maximum duration restrictions. So, even if you stay outside of the UAE, the Golden Residence will remain valid.
So, what else has changed? There is a lot to unpack here, so let’s look at each group.
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 UAE. The job needs to be classified in either the first or second occupational level, 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.
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:
Golden Residence can be obtained through a real estate investment in the UAE. The property must 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:
Those who work in the sciences and excel in their field are also eligible.
Here are the requirements:
The green visa provides a 5-year residency in the UAE 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. Those looking to make an investment in the UAE can also acquire one.
The requirements are:
As the UAE 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:
According to the UAE Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security, the new visa changes came into effect on October 3rd 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 UAE and explore the job market.
This visa does not require a sponsor or host, 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. Again, this is one of the visa types that does not require a sponsor or host.
A regular tourist visa already exists under the current system. From October 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 is sufficient.
Like the visas mentioned above, this does not require a sponsor. Once granted, you can remain in the UAE for 90 consecutive days. It is possible to extend your stay, provided you do not exceed 180 days in a year.
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.
The changes represent one of the largest overhauls to the UAE visa system in recent years. The UAE became a more accessible location for many people.
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