Your Full Guide to UAE’s Visa Reforms

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The United Arab Emirates’ cabinet has announced new types of entry visas and residence permits, and expanded its long-term residency scheme called Golden Visas.

The new system that was announced on Monday offers a variety of visa types for different visit purposes.

“The new system of entry and residence aims at attracting and retaining global talents and skilled workers from all over the world, and boosting the competitiveness and flexibility of the job market and fostering high sense of stability among UAE residents and families,” according to a statement.

For the first time, the new scheme does not require a host or sponsor. Major improvements include facilitating the entry requirements for all visa types, and offering flexible visa durations that meet the needs of the visitors and the purpose of the visit.

Here is your full guide to all the updates related to the UAE’s visa reforms:

  • 10-year Golden Visas
    Eligibility criteria and categories of beneficiaries have been expanded. The amendments allow the Golden Residence holder to sponsor his/ her family members regardless of their age. Furthermore, there is no restriction related to the maximum duration of stay outside the UAE in order to keep the Golden Residence valid.

    Family members are allowed to 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.

  • 5-year Green Visas
    These are offered to talents, skilled professionals, freelancers, investors and entrepreneurs. It offers longer flexible grace periods that reach up to six months to stay in the country after the residence permit is cancelled or expired.

  • Job Visa
    This visa is introduced with the aim of attracting young talents and skilled professionals to explore job opportunities available in the country. It is granted to those classified in the first or second or third skill level as per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation and the fresh graduates of the best 500 universities in the world. The minimum educational level should be a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.

  • Business Visa
    Easy entry without requiring sponsor or host to encourage investors and entrepreneurs to explore business and investment opportunities in the UAE.

  • Tourist Visa
    In addition to the regular tourist visa that is sponsored by tourism establishment in the UAE, a five-year multi-entry tourist visa was introduced.

    This type does not require a sponsor. It allows the person to stay in the country for up to 90 continuous days, and it may be extended for a similar period, provided that the entire period of stay does not exceed 180 days in one year.

    This visa requires proof of having a bank balance of $4,000 or its equivalent in foreign currencies during the last six months prior to submitting the application.

  • Entry permit to visit relatives or friends
    A visitor can apply for this entry permit if he or she is a relative or friend of a UAE citizen or resident. It does not require a sponsor or a host.

  • Temporary work visa
    This type is intended for those who have a temporary work assignment like probation testing or project-based mission, and is sponsored by the employer. It requires a temporary work contract or a letter from the employer clarifying the visit purpose and proof of health fitness to work.

  • Studies or training visa
    This type is intended for those attending training and study courses and/or participating in internship programmes. The sponsor can be universities or educational or research institutions licensed in the country or government or private entities.

    It requires a letter from the entity, clarifying the details of the study or training or internship programme and its duration.