The UAE government has announced a host of new visa changes, approved by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

As per the latest change by the UAE Cabinet, the new visa scheme will no longer require a host or a sponsor unlike before, when this was mandatory.

Falling in line with the mission to strengthen the UAE as an ideal destination to live, work and invest in, these major changes are a new stepping stone for retaining global talent in this part of the world.

The Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security (ICP) has announced that the new scheme will be effective from September 2022, onwards.

To understand more about each segment and what it has to offer, Emirates Woman has listed all the major updates to be aware of.

Longer tourist visas

As tourist visas were previously limited to 30 days, the latest rules have expanded the tenure for visitors to 60 days.

Visitors can apply for a new entry permit, that allows them to enter without a sponsor or host if they are a relative or friend of a UAE citizen or resident.

Tourists who wish to visit for a longer period of time can also apply for a five-year multi-entry tourist visa, which lets visitors stay for up to 90 days in one go in the UAE, without exceeding 180 days in one year. A bank balance of $4,000 (Dhs14,692) in the last six months will be required, as proof of sufficient funds.

Renewable Golden visa & for extended members

To ensure talent is retained within the country, the new rule allows for Golden Visa holders to extend their visa for another 10 years after the completed time frame.

In a Tweet from the UAE, Media Office said, “Aiming at attracting and retaining talents, the UAE updates the Golden Residence rules as a part of the new Entry and Residence Scheme. The scope of beneficiaries is expanded offering more benefits including 10 years of renewable residence.

A Golden visa holder can sponsor their family members including spouses and children regardless of their age along with their domestic workers without any limit.

During an unforeseen circumstance such as death, family members can continue to stay in the UAE until the end of the visa duration.

Golden Visa for ‘exceptional talents’

The categories for receiving the visa have been expanded. Under this category, individuals in fields such as culture & art, sports, investors & innovators, and digital technology can now be beneficiaries of this esteemed visa scheme.

Golden visas for scientists & researchers

Any notable scientists and those conducting intense research in their field will have an opportunity to apply, based on the recommendation from the Emirates Scientists Council.

The requirements for this category include a Ph.D. or master’s degree in either of the heads that include engineering, technology, life sciences and natural sciences from well-reputed universities along with proof of research and any achievements.

Golden visa for skilled professionals

Highly skilled workers under different categories such as education, law, culture and social sciences, information technology, sciences and engineering, business and administration and medicine with educational qualifications can also apply.

The minimum educational level should be a bachelor’s degree or equivalent with a monthly salary that’s not less than Dhs30,000 and a valid employment contract in the UAE, that is classified in the first or second occupational level as per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation classification should be granted.

Golden visa for outstanding students

Students in UAE secondary schools and exceptional graduates from UAE universities and 100 of the best situated worldwide have an opportunity to apply for this visa. The requirements include sharing their academic performance, year of graduation and university classification.

Golden visa for entrepreneurs

With the UAE considered a startup hub and with an influx of innovative business, entrepreneurs are now eligible to apply under this category.

The requirements are for any small and medium enterprise (SME) to generate not less than Dhs1m in revenue or the individual should be a founder of a previous project that was sold for not less than Dhs7m and it needs to be approved by the Ministry of Economy or competent local authorities.

Green visa for skilled employees, freelancers and investors

The new five-year residency for skilled employees can be provided without a sponsor or employer. The requirements are a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, with a salary that shouldn’t be less than Dhs15,000.

The Green visa is now open to investors and partners to encourage investment. Investors are provided with a five-year residency visa to establish themselves or participate in commercial activities, extending it from two to five years. The key requirements are approval of the investment and proof, and total invested capital if the investor has more than one license.

To explore opportunities

Created for skilled workers and young talents, this visa category will allow individuals to seek new job opportunities without needing a host or a sponsor, making it easier to bring in new talent in this part of the world to explore investment and business opportunities.

Visitors can apply for a new entry permit, that allows them to enter without a sponsor or host if they are a relative or friend of a UAE citizen or resident.

The requirements to avail of this visa include those present in the first or second or third skill level as per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, with bachelor’s degree level education or equivalent.

As part of the young talent segment, fresh graduates who fall under the best 500 universities in the world, shall also be considered.

Extendable residency permits

Unmarried sons could previously be sponsored up to the age of 18, however, with the new rule, residents now have the option of giving them a visa until the age of 25, whereas sponsorship for unmarried women isn’t time-bound.

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