UAE: Visa options for various fields and professions

A rundown on the most significant visa and residency schemes

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The UAE Government has been launching a series of groundbreaking visa schemes to attract and retain talents, and make the UAE the best place to work and live in.

Through diverse residency options for different fields and professions, the UAE aims to provide a global hub for professionals and talents across the world to grow and thrive, while contributing to the country’s development.

On November 16, Dubai announced a five-year multi-entry visa for employees of multinational companies to ease their access to the city for business conferences, exhibitions, meetings and events. The visa is valid for 90 days, with the option of renewal for another 90 days.

Here’s a rundown on the most significant visas and residency schemes the UAE has launched on a federal level:

Golden Visa

Announced in 2019, the Golden Visa is a five or 10-year residency scheme granted to investors, entrepreneurs, specialised talents, researchers, and top students.

Benefit: Living without the need of a sponsor and with a 100 per cent business ownership in UAE.

Eligibility: The categories have been extended over the past two years to include expats in different professions including doctors, PhD holders, scientists, innovators, researchers, humanitarian workers, investors, entrepreneurs, managers, CEOs, and specialists in the fields of science, engineering, electronics, coding, electricity, health, education, business management and technology. Students with a GPA of 3.8 or above in UAE-based accredited university are eligible for the Golden visa.

Green Visa

Announced in September 2021 as part of the first series of the UAE’s expansive projects for the next 50 years, the Green Visa provides self-residency to highly skilled individuals.

Benefit: Self sponsorship with the ability to sponsor family members, including parents and children up to 25 years old, instead of 18.

Eligibility: Investors, entrepreneurs, business owners, top students and graduates.

Freelancer Visa

This federal visa scheme enables self-employed workers based in the UAE and overseas to sponsor themselves.

Benefit: Self sponsorship and freedom take on different jobs across the country.

Eligibility: Freelancers in specialised fields such as artificial intelligence, Blockchain and digital currencies.

Multiple-entry tourism Visa

Announced in March 2021, the UAE announced a five-year multiple-entry visa that enables tourists to remain in the country for 90 days, which can be extended to another 90 days.

Benefit: Repeated entry, extended stay and self sponsorship.

Eligibility: Tourists from all nationalities.

Remote work Visa

In March 2021, the UAE also announced the ‘Remote Work Visa’ scheme to enable employees of companies based overseas to live and work remotely from the UAE for one year.

Benefit: self-sponsorship, flexibility, access to UAE’s attractive business environment and chances of networking.

Eligibility: Start-ups, entrepreneurs and those with proof of employment.

Retirement Visa

In September 2018, the UAE approved a five-year visa scheme for retired residents over 55 years old, with an option to renew if eligibility criteria are met. Earlier in November 2021, the UAE announced amendments to the retirement residency to ease the conditions for expats wishing to stay in the country after retirement.

Benefit: Self sponsorship, retention of assets made in the UAE and access to country’s robust lifestyle and facilities.

Eligibility: Retired individuals with a single property or more than one property worth Dh1 million (evaluation to be carried out by the related entity in each Emirate), or a bank deposit of no less than Dh1 million, or an active income of no less than Dh180,000 per annum.

Temporary work permit

Announced in September as part of the UAE’s Projects of the 50, the one-year temporary work permit allows teenagers to obtain a part-time job to shape their skills and prepare for the workplace while they study.

Benefit: gain work experience prior to school graduation to enrich university resumes and expand future job prospects.

Eligibility: those aged from 15 to 18 years old.

Citizenship

In January 2021, the UAE announced amendments to the Citizenship Law, enabling residents and their families to be eligible for a UAE passport, while retaining their existing nationality. Beneficiaries will be selected in accordance with a set criterion for each category.

Benefit: Become a permanent part of the UAE community which continues to develop and grow to new heights.

Eligibility: Doctors, scientists, engineers, artists, authors, inventors, investors and their families.

Other regulatory visa changes you need to know

As part of the first set of the UAE’s ‘Projects of the 50’, the government announced regulatory changes to visa schemes to be applied soon:

  • Direct family members can now sponsor their parents
  • Children can be sponsored by their parents until the age of 25 years old, instead of 18
  • Employees can leave the country after 90-180 days upon job loss or retirement, instead of 30 days.
  • Widows, divorced women and other humanitarian cases can get a one-year residency extension
  • Business trips permits have been extended from three months to six months.


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