Dubai: With the recently announced UAE residency rules creating a buzz, here is an explainer on everything that we know so far about the new visa schemes offered by the country.
What is a Green Visa?
Green Visa is the latest category of resident visa announced by the UAE. It was announced as part of the ‘Projects of the 50’, a series of developmental and economic projects commemorating the UAE’s 50th anniversary and aiming to accelerate the UAE’s development and consolidate into a comprehensive hub in all sectors and establish its status as an ideal destination for talents and investors.
What type of a visa is it?
Green Visa, like the Golden Visa, gives self-residency status to holders. It distinguishes between work permits and residencies. That means, the residence permit is not linked to a company work permit. The self-residency visa will be sponsored by employees themselves, not their companies if they are employed.
Who is eligible for the Green Visa?
With Green Visa, the self-residency status has been further expanded to investors, entrepreneurs, highly-skilled individuals, top students and graduates. Those running Small and Medium Enterprises, scientists and other talented people will also be considered.
What are the benefits of the Green Visa?
- Sponsorship of children until the age of 25 (instead of 18 previously)
- Sponsorship of parents
- Extension of the grace period for leaving the country upon job loss or retirement to 90 to 180 days (instead of 30 days previously).
What is a Freelancer Visa?
Freelancer Visa is a new federal visa for self-employed workers that was announced along with the Green Visa. It is the first federal scheme of its kind, and enables self-employers to sponsor themselves.
Who can apply for the Freelancer Visa
Self-employed workers based in the UAE and overseas in specialised fields such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and digital currencies.
What has changed for the Golden Visa?
The eligibility for the Golden Visa has been expanded to include managers, CEOs, specialists in science, engineering, health, education, business management and technology. The pathway for the coveted 10-year visa category has been smoothened for highly skilled and specialised residents, investors, entrepreneurs, scientists, pioneers, leading students and graduates.
What are the other specific regulatory changes related to visas?
- Extension of business trip permits from three months to six months
- Sponsorship of parents under the visa of direct family members
- One-year residency extension for humanitarian cases
- Extension of children’s age limit on parents’ residency from 18 to 25 years
- Extension of grace period upon job loss or retirement to 90 to 180 days
Why has the UAE made all these residency changes?
The new measures have been introduced to enhance the competitiveness and flexibility of the UAE labour market, facilitate sector growth, spur knowledge transfer and skills development, and create greater stability and security for residents.