Abu Dhabi: The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (FAIC) said that its board has approved a plan for implementing all decisions taken by the UAE Cabinet in May and June to launch a new system of entry visas for investors and professionals.

As Gulf News reported in May, the new system of entry visas for investors and professionals will offer them a long-term visa for up to 10 years. This will further boost the UAE’s position as a primary destination for international investors and top talent from around the world.

The system will grant investors and talents up to 10-year residency visas for specialists in medical, scientific, research and technical fields, as well as for all scientists and innovators.

It also grants five-year residency visas for students studying in the UAE, and 10-year visas for exceptional students.

The Cabinet also issued instructions to conduct a review of the residency system with a view to extending residency permits for those sponsored by their parents after completing their university studies to facilitate their future residence in the UAE.

The Cabinet had also announced changes to the foreign ownership system of companies in the UAE, allowing 100 per cent ownership of UAE-based enterprises by international investors.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, had instructed the Ministry of Economy to coordinate with relevant authorities to implement the new decisions by the end of this year, follow up on its developments and submit a detailed report in the third quarter of this year.

A senior official had told Gulf News that the new long-term visa for students in the UAE would have a positive social impact, besides making the country a more attractive destination for foreign students and universities.

Mohammad Abdullah, managing director of Dubai International Academic City (DIAC), had said the five-year residence visa for students would bring an added sense of security and stability to youth and their families.

Currently, expat university students have a visa sponsored by their university as long as they are enrolled. Once they graduate or leave university, their visa becomes void. This means they have to seek another sponsor and visa to stay in the country, continue their education or land a job.