A view of the Burj Khalifa.


Changes to UAE visa system starting October 3

Changes to the UAE visa system will take effect starting Monday (October 3), with visa upgrades to make it easier for foreigners to visit or live in the country.

The updated visa system covers multiple visas for investors, skilled workers, specialists, high scoring students and graduates, and other pioneers.

5-year Green Residency in UAE

A new type of residency, called Green Residency, will be available starting October 3 and provides holders to sponsor their family members in the country.

The visa is valid for five years, instead of the previous residency of two years. It is subject to renewal and has a flexible grace period of up to six months after the visa expires or is cancelled.

The Green Residency has three categories: skilled worker, self-employment, and the investor or partner in a business activity without a guarantor.

Holders of the Green Residency can also sponsor the visit of their first-degree relatives.

Job exploration visa, business exploration visa in UAE

Within the framework of the updated system, a visa to explore job opportunities and another to explore investment and business opportunities will be available starting October 3. These visas do not require a guarantor or sponsor inside the UAE.

The UAE job exploration entry visa is granted to those classified in the first or second or third skill level as per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation and the fresh graduates of the best 500 universities in the world and the minimum educational level should be a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.

The UAE business entry visa enables easy entry without requiring sponsor or host to encourage investors and entrepreneurs to explore business and investment opportunities in the UAE.

UAE Golden Visa updates

The updated system includes updates to the UAE Golden Visa, which will allow holders to live outside the UAE. Previously, Golden Visa holders must remain in the UAE to maintain the golden visa.

The Golden Visa will also allow holders to sponsor as many domestic workers as they require, with the limit on sponsorship for household workers abolished starting October 3.

In the event of the death of the Golden Visa holder, their family members under their sponsorship will be allowed to remain in the UAE while their visa is valid.

The updated law will also include flexible procedures for granting Golden Visa to specialists, top students, entrepreneurs, talented individuals and scholars.

Those who buy property in the UAE through a loan from an approved local bank will also be able to get a Golden Visa if the value of the property is worth at least Dh2 million.

UAE visa for families

The updated visa system allows expats to sponsor their family members, and raises the age of children to be granted residency to 25 years old instead of 18 years old. The updated UAE visa system will also grant a residence permit to unmarried females, and children from people of determination, regardless of their age.

Flexible visit periods in UAE

For entry visas, the updated system allows flexible and extendable visit periods of up to one year, and without the requirement of a guarantor or host in the country. ICA/Expat media

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