NRI Guide: All You Need To Know About UAE’s Visa Reforms

The United Arab Emirates on September 5 announced a major plan to escalate its economy and liberalise stringent residency rules for foreigners. Consequently, it has reviewed its visa guidelines. Among the new reforms, the government has reformed the ‘green’ visa, a federal freelance permit that allows people more time to exit the country after they lose their jobs.  

This move came as the UAE seeks to overhaul its finances and attract visitors and investment, aiming to launch the first set of 50 new projects in September, marking its 50th anniversary.   

Planning to rebrand the post-pandemic future, these moves are a step forward to make the UAE a liberal, bustling trade and finance hub, with the government’s promise to pour $13.6 billion into its economy in the coming year. UAE also aims to allocate $150 billion in several sectors by 2030 to stimulate its economy.   

UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi said that UAE had introduced a green visa for people who will not be linked with any companies. Green visa holders will be self-dependent and able to sponsor parents and children up to 25 years. The new visa category offers the existing three-layer system in the UAE, including golden visa, residency visa, and tourist visa.   

Other than these, the UAE administration has made changes to visas for short-term stays and freelance visas. Moreover, it also ensured that certain relaxations would be made for visas to divorced women and students above the age of 15 who is eager to work in the UAE.  

All you need to know about new visa reforms: 

Green Visa  

The green visa aims to provide a stay permit to highly skilled people, investors, entrepreneurs, top students and graduates yet not working with any company.  

Green visa holders will get a 90-180 days’ grace period once their visas expire, unlike the current grace period of 30 days, to exit the country.  

With the help of green visas, individuals will be self-dependent and cannot be associated with companies. However, the individuals will be able to sponsor their dependents like parents and children up to 25 years instead of 18 years.  

There are no details available as of now regarding the duration of the visa, salary requirements or required investment to avail green visas.  

Freelance Visa  

Freelance visa has been introduced to attract experts, retirees, and specialised people to niche sectors like owners of independent businesses or self-employed individuals.  

Golden Visa  

Golden visa holders will continue to sponsor their dependents, including parents, like green visa holders.  

The UAE government is changing the whole residency system and modifying the residency laws, including temporary work visas for students above 15 years and one-year visas for widows after the death of their husbands who were their sponsors, to ensure that families are stable. It is because the nation believes that “human resources is the key element of the economic development.”   

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