The UAE Cabinet, headed by Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has approved regulations for the entry and residence of foreigners, formalizing a process aimed at giving expatriates a greater share in the economy.
The Emirates News Agency (WAM) stated that the new entry and residence system aims to attract and retain global talent and skilled workers from all over the world. It also sought to enhance competitiveness and flexibility in the labor market, and create a sense of stability among residents of the UAE and their families.
It also comes in line with the 50’s principles and aims to enhance the UAE’s position as an ideal destination for living, working, and investing.
Details of the new residence and entry permits
1- The Golden residency
It simplified the criteria and expanded the categories of beneficiaries.
The 10-year residency is awarded to investors, entrepreneurs, exceptional talent, scientists, professionals, students, outstanding alumni, humanitarian pioneers, and early class leaders.
The Golden residency is also granted for approval of a pilot project idea. The amendments allow the holder of a golden residence to sponsor family members.
There are no restrictions regarding the maximum duration of stay outside the UAE in order to keep the golden residency in effect.
Real estate investors can obtain a golden residency when purchasing a property valued at no less than 2 million dirhams ($544,500).
2- Green residence
5-year residency for self-employed without the need for a sponsor or employer in the UAE.
Green residency is given to investors or partners, providing a 5-year residency for those who are establishing or engaging in commercial activities.
It replaces the previous residence that was valid for two years only.
The amendments approved by the Council of Ministers included new types of residency and entry visas:
1- 5-year residence visa to attract talent, skilled professionals, freelancers, investors, and entrepreneurs.
2- New types of visas were approved without the need for a host or sponsor for the first time. In addition, all entry visas are available for single or multiple entries and can be renewed for a similar period, and are valid for 60 days from the date of issuance.
3- Entry visa to search for work, which does not require a sponsor or host. It is granted to those who have been classified at the first, second, or third skill level according to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization, provided that the minimum educational level is a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.
4- Business entry visa: entry without the need for a sponsor or host to encourage investors and businessmen to explore business and investment opportunities in the UAE.
5- Tourist visa: a multi-entry tourist visa is offered for a period of 5 years and does not require the presence of a sponsor. It requires proof of a bank balance of $4,000 or its equivalent.