- Also relaxes rules for its famous 'golden visa'
The UAE has introduced new categories of visas with simplified requirements, and relaxed rules of its famous ‘golden visa’, as it looks to attract more visitors as well as expats and strengthen its position “as an ideal destination to live, work, and invest.”
New categories include five-year tourist visas, a job exploration visa and a new type of business visa. Crucially, for the first time, many categories will no longer require a host or sponsor.
All entry visas are available for single or multiple-entry, can be renewed and are valid for 60 days from their issuance date.
“The new system of entry and residence aims at attracting and retaining global talents and skilled workers from all over the world, boosting the competitiveness and flexibility of the job market and fostering a high sense of stability among UAE residents and families,” the government said in a statement.
In addition to the regular tourist visa, a five-year multi-entry tourist visa has been introduced. Applicants need to show a bank balance of $4,000 or its equivalent in foreign currencies during the last six months prior to submitting the application.
This type does not require a sponsor and it allows the person to stay in the country for up to 90 continuous days. It may be extended for a similar period, provided that the entire period of stay does not exceed 180 days in one year.
A visitor can also apply for an entry permit if they are a relative or friend of a UAE citizen or resident. This category does not require a sponsor or a host.
Those who want to look for work in the country can get the 'job exploration entry visa'. Again, no sponsor is needed. This visa will be granted to those classified in the first- or second- or third-skill level as per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. Fresh graduates from the top 500 universities in the world will also be able to apply. The minimum educational level is a bachelor's degree or its equivalent.
Changes have also been made to the 'golden residence scheme', also known as the golden visa, to simplify the eligibility criteria and expand the categories of people who can apply. This long-term 10-year residence is granted to investors, entrepreneurs, exceptional talents, scientists and professionals, as well as outstanding students and graduates, among other categories.
The amendments allow a golden residence holder to sponsor their family members regardless of their age, and to sponsor any number of domestic staff.
There is now no restriction on the maximum duration of stay outside the UAE in order to keep the visa valid.
Family members can stay in the UAE in the event of the death of the original holder of the golden residence until the end of their permit duration.
Real estate investors can also obtain golden visa if they buy a property worth at least AED 2 million.
The new regulations also set flexible requirements for entrepreneurs eligible to obtain the golden visa.
Meanwhile, changes to the UAE’s green visa mean skilled employees, freelancers, self-employed individuals and investors are eligible for a 5-year resident permit.