Dubai: An updated visa system will come into effect in the UAE from Monday, October 3, 2022, allowing several options to visitors and residents to apply for visas without the need for a UAE-based sponsor.
The changes were announced by the Federal Authority for Identity Citizenship Customs and Ports Security (ICP) at a press conference on September 5, with details of new visa categories available to expatriates, as well as additional benefits for exisiting UAE residents.
The system was designed to offer greater flexibility and independence to the individual in the UAE labour market.
What is the updated visa system?
During the press conference by the ICP, Major General Sultan Yousef Al Nuaimi, Director General of Residency and Foreigners Affairs at the authority, explained that the new regulation includes an updated visa system that contributes to supporting the sustainable development process and the policy of economic diversification in the UAE, by attracting skilled workers, scientific competencies, experienced people, creative people and skilled specialists, which leads to raising the level of productivity and enhancing the competitiveness of the nation’s economy.
Al Nuaimi added: “The updated visa system is characterised by the multiplicity of types of residency and the addition of new ones to suit all categories of investors, entrepreneurs, talented scientists and specialists, early students, graduates, pioneers of humanitarian work, the first line of defense and skilled Labour in all fields, in addition to alleviating burdens and simplifying procedures, adding new benefits for residency holders and separating residency from the employer, which contributes to improving the quality of life and making the experience of living, working and investing in the UAE a pleasant and happy one.”
The updated visa system now includes the Green Visa, Jobseeker Visa, and additional benefits for Golden Visa holders.
Five-year Green Visa
Major General Khamis Al Kaabi, Director General of Support Services at the ICP, said: "The new executive regulation for the entry and residence of foreigners, which will come into force on October 3, includes an integrated system of residency with great advantages and facilities, most notably the Green visa, which is granted for a period of five years, subject to renewal, and includes greater advantages for family members of residents, including flexible grace periods of up to six months after expiry or cancellation of residence.”
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 without a guarantor and for a period of 5 years, subject to renewal, to replace the investor's previous residency of two years. With simpler terms and greater benefits, and allowing those holders of green residency to bring in first-degree relatives.
Another type of visa, which was announced as part of the updated visa system is a visa for job seekers. It allows you to come to the UAE without the need of a sponsor or host to explore work, investment and business opportunities. It is essentially an updated entry permit system.
Al Kaabi added: "A visa has been created to explore job opportunities and another to explore investment and business opportunities to attract investors without a guarantor or host inside the country, according to the conditions set forth in the new executive regulations."
At the press conference ICP also announced the new UAE passport for Emiratis. The new generation document is printed using laser and polycarbonate material, not paper, which makes it difficult to damage, tear or forge, and provides faster printing and greater security.
Major General Suhail Jumaa Al Khaili, Director General of Identity and Passports at the authority, pointed out that by issuing the new Emirati passport, the ICP will move towards a decentralised service. The new passport will now be printed in seven centres nationwide, an increase from the previous two centres, leading to a faster and easier service.
The article was first published on September 5, 2022.