What is green visa in the UAE and how to get it in 2024?

Five-year stay plus other benefits for visa holders
What is green visa in the UAE and how to get it in 2024?
The UAE offers a vibrant job market and a favorable living environment for expatriates

Opportunities, safety and work-life balance are some of the reasons why millions of expatriates are attracted to the United Arab Emirates. Cementing its status as one of the major economic hubs in the region, the country recently reformed its visa system to attract more talent. This amendment includes the introduction of the UAE Green Visa. 

What is the UAE Green Visa?

In the more streamlined visa system of the UAE, the Green Visa is a type of permanent residency visa. It offers a 5-year residency to freelancers, skilled workers and investors or partners — even without a sponsor. Typically, one would need a sponsor (usually a family member or an employer) to get a residency permit in the country.

This reform underscores the government’s goal of boosting competitiveness in the UAE’s job market. Moreover, it provides global talents with a more secure and flexible option if they want to make the UAE their long-term home. This is a strategic move, given that 9 in 10 individuals in the country are foreigners.

Who can apply for a Green Visa in the UAE?

Generally, three types of applicants can obtain a Green Visa. If you fall under any of these categories, you can apply.

Skilled employees

Are you a skilled professional? To qualify for a 5-year residency in the UAE, you must occupy a first-, second- or third-level position, as classified by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization or (MoHRE). You must also earn at least AED15,000. Additionally, you must provide a valid employment contract and you must have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent diploma or training.


If you’re one of those freelancers and self-employed foreigners, you can also enjoy a 5-year UAE residency. Eligibilities include securing a permit from MoHRE and providing proof of a bachelor’s degree or specialized diploma. Moreover, you must have generated an annual income of at least AED360,000 in the past two years. Alternatively, you can submit proof of financial solvency as evidence of your financial prowess.

Investors or partners

To qualify for the Green Visa, you must get your investment approved by the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs & Ports Security (ICP) and show that you’ve invested at least AED1 million. You must also have local authorities’ approval. If you own or are a partner in multiple businesses, you can combine all your investments to reach the AED1 million mark.

Read: How to get a permanent residency visa in UAE in 2024

uae green visa

The benefits of a UAE Green Visa

From extended residency to being able to sponsor your own family members, here are the perks of a Green Visa in the UAE.

  • Longer period of residency. Before the government unveiled the Green Visa, expatriates like you would only usually have 2- or 3-year visas. With the Green Visa, you can now stay in the country for 5 years, enhancing stability and flexibility for living and working in the UAE.
  • Grace period. When your Green Visa expires, you will have 6 months as a grace period. You can adjust your status and secure a new visa during this time. You can also plan your departure without incurring fines and penalties.
  • Family sponsorship. The Green Visa also improves the process of sponsoring your family members. Specifically, it raises the age limit for sponsoring male children to 25 and removes the age limit for unmarried daughters. Additionally, you can now sponsor children of determination can be sponsored regardless of age. You can also sponsor first-degree relatives with a residency duration matching yours.

How to apply for a Green Visa in the UAE?

Applying for the Green Visa is a straightforward process. Here’s how.

Step 1: Check your eligibility and secure the requirements

Start by determining your eligibility for the Green Visa by understanding the different categories and their specific requirements. Prepare all necessary documents, such as your valid passport (for at least 6 months), Emirates ID (if applicable), a tourist visa with an entry stamp (if you don’t have a standard UAE resident visa) and a valid health insurance policy. Ensure you also meet any additional requirements specific to your visa category.

Step 2: Submit your application

Apply for the Green Visa by visiting the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) website or the ICP Smart Services platform. You can apply online directly through these platforms or offline at a licensed typing center, Customer Happiness Center or Amer Service Center. Fill out the application form with accurate and comprehensive information, select the correct category for your situation and submit all the required documents.

Step 3: Pay fees and await approval

After submitting your application, pay the fees, which amount to AED2,280. Once the payment is complete, wait for your visa to be processed, which can range from a few weeks to a few months. You will be notified of your application’s approval in due course.

Final thoughts

The UAE Green Visa is your gateway to a thriving future in one of the region’s most dynamic economic hubs. If you’re a skilled professional, freelancer or investor, it grants you many benefits — including a 5-year stay in the country. By ensuring you tick off all the eligibility requirements and applying via a streamlined process, you can make UAE your home. 

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