DUBAI: The UAE announced a replacement visa on Sunday allowing foreigners to figure within the country without being sponsored by an employer, relaxing residency requirements in an effort to spice up economic process .
Foreigners within the oil-rich United Arab Emirates are generally only given limited visas tied to their employment, and long-term residency is difficult to get .
But those holding the new “green visa” are going to be ready to work without company sponsorship, and may sponsor their parents and youngsters up to 25 years old, officials said.
“It targets highly skilled individuals, investors, business people, entrepreneurs, also exceptional students and postgraduates,” said Minister of State for Foreign Trade Thani al-Zeyoudi.
Resource-rich Gulf countries like the UAE are increasingly seeking to diversify their economies and reduce reliance on oil.
The coronavirus pandemic has also impacted tourism and businesses within the UAE, whose economy was already slumping in recent years thanks to low oil prices.
In 2019, the UAE launched the 10-year “Golden visa” to draw in wealthy individuals and highly skilled workers, the primary such scheme within the Gulf. Similar programmes have since been launched in other resource-rich Gulf countries, like Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Riyadh said in June 2019 that it might offer permanent residency for 800,000 riyals ($213,000) and a one-year renewable residency costing 100,000 riyals, allowing expats to try to to business and buy property without a Saudi sponsor. Doha also flung open its property market to foreigners, with a scheme giving those buying homes or stores the proper to longer-term or permanent residency permits.