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Dubai: Are you an engineer, marketing manager or IT professional who wants to consider long-term residency options in the UAE. With the launch of the UAE Green Visa or Green Residency, highly skilled professionals living in the UAE can now apply for a visa that has a validity of five years.

What is the Green Visa and how can you apply for it in Dubai? Here is all you need to know.

What is the Green Visa?

The Green Visa is part of the revamped UAE visa system, which came into effect this week.

The visa is granted for a period of five years and is subject to renewal. Some of the additional benefits of this visa, apart from an extended validity, is that it allows the visa holder to sponsor their first-degree relatives and a longer grace period after the visa is cancelled – allowing them to stay in the UAE for up to six months.

The three categories of Green Visa are:

• the green residency for the skilled worker;
• the green residency for self-employment;
• the green residency for the investor or partner in a commercial activity.

The Green Visa is a self-sponsored visa, which means that you would not need to be on a visa sponsored by your employer.

How to apply for the visa in Dubai

The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) is the authority responsible for issuing visas in the Emirate of Dubai. If you wish to apply for the Green Visa in Dubai, these are the steps to follow:

1. You first need to visit the GDRFA website –, where you will see a button for ‘Entry permits’ under the ‘Services’ section on the home page.
2. Click on ‘Entry permits’ and then on ‘Entry permit services’, to access the ‘New Entry Permit for Green Residence’.
3. You will see all the categories within the Green Visa system, from which you should choose ‘Issuing Entry Permit for Green Residence (High Skilled Worker)’.
4. Click on ‘Start service’, after which you will be directed to the login page. Select ‘individuals’ from the tab on the top of the screen, and then log in using your GDRFA online account details if you have an existing account, or tap on ‘Register now’ if you want to create a new account. You can also log in using your UAE Pass account, if you already have one.
5. Once you have logged in, you will be redirected to your personal dashboard on GDRFA. Click on the green ‘New application’ button, and then once again select the ‘Green residence for high-skilled workers’.
6. You will then be asked to fill out an application form with the following details:

• Applicant Information: Here, you will need to enter details like name, mobile number and email address. If you see a section to enter your name in Arabic, simply type your name in English and the system will automatically fill in the name in Arabic.
• Personal information: Under this section, you will need to provide passport details, details of your educational qualification, and family details.
• Address: You will be asked to provide your address inside and outside the UAE.

7. Click on ‘Next’. You will then be asked to upload the following documents:
• Passport copy
• Coloured photograph
• Supporting documents -
- A work permit, if you are working at a company affiliated with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE).
- A work contract and a graduation certificate, if you are working for an establishment affiliated with GDRFA.

8. Make the payment.

Once you have made the payment, your application will be complete and sent to GDRFA.

According to the website of GDRFA, a text message and e-mail will be sent to you with the status of the application. If there are any missing documents, you will be notified to attach the missing documents within 30 days, and if they are not attached, the request will be automatically canceled.

If your application is approved, you will receive the visa via email.

How much does the Green Visa for professionals cost?

According to the GDRFA, this is the cost of the Green Visa application:

Dh335.75 for the visa application.

If you are in the UAE when the permit is issued, you will need to pay an additional amount of Dh650 for the ‘inside country status change’.

It is important to note that this cost does not include the cost for medical fitness test and Emirates ID application. You would also need to complete these two processes to finalise your Green Residency paperwork.

Other ways to apply for the Green Visa

You can also apply for the Green Visa through one of the Amer centres, which process visa applications on behalf of GDRFA, or a typing centre registered with GDRFA.