In an attempt to attract members of the suddenly-much-larger remote workforce, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is offering a new visa that allows international employees to live and work there for one year. While a similar program has been available in Dubai (though limited to only the city) since October 2020, this policy—which was enacted in March 2021—opens up the rest of the country. Here’s what to know about the visa and how to apply for one.
The tax incentive
In addition to the weather and luxury everything, the other main selling point is that the UAE doesn’t impose income tax on its residents. So while those on the visa will still have to pay taxes in their home country, at least they won’t have their income taxed twice, CNN reports.
Requirements for the visa
Previously, if someone from outside the country wanted to relocate to the UAE, they needed proof of a job offer from a UAE-based employer that also agreed to be responsible for providing their expat employees with their residence visas and medical insurance, CNN reports. But following the COVID pandemic and a mass exodus of expats from the country, the UAE is looking to built up its skilled workforce once again.
Now, in order to be considered for the new remote work visa, an applicant must currently earn a minimum of $5,000 per month. The visa itself costs $287 per person per year. International remote workers will also have to pay for their own medical insurance—which much include coverage in the UAE—as well as a processing fee.
How to apply
Given that the policy extending the availability of this remote working visa from Dubai to the rest of the UAE is so recent, it doesn’t appear on the UAE’s immigration website yet. It does, however, have information on Dubai’s virtual working program, which will likely serve as a model for the one now offered for other parts of the country. You can learn more about the specifics of the program and apply for the visa here.