December 9, 2023

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UAE Cabinet Approves New Entry, Residence Scheme for Foreigners

Morning fog shrouds residential and commercial skyscrapers in the Dubai Marina district of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. Dubai is hoping one of the world’s fastest vaccination programs and rapid testing technology will help achieve its goal of holding the Expo 2020 event this year, after the coronavirus pandemic forced a delay. Photographer: Christopher Pike/Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) — The United Arab Emirates’ cabinet approved regulations on entry and residence of foreigners, formalizing a process aimed at giving expatriates a bigger stake in the economy.

“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.

Foreign residents make up more than 80% of the population of the UAE and have been a mainstay of the economy for decades. The UAE comprises seven sheikhdoms, including Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Details about new residence and entry permits:

  • The golden residence scheme has simplified the eligibility criteria and expanded the categories of beneficiaries. The 10-year residence is granted to investors, entrepreneurs, exceptional talents, scientists and professionals, outstanding students and graduates, humanitarian pioneers and the first-line heroes
    • Amendments allow golden residence holder to sponsor family members
    • There is no restriction related to the maximum duration of stay outside the UAE in order to keep the golden residence valid
    • Real estate investors can obtain golden residence when purchasing a property worth no less than 2 million dirhams ($544,500)
  • Green residence: 5-year residency for freelancers and self-employed individuals without requiring a sponsor or employer in the UAE
    • Green residence for investor or partners: 5-year residency for investors establishing or participating in commercial activities. It replaces the previous residence that was valid for 2 years
  • New residence types: 5-year residence visa to attract talents, skilled professionals, freelancers, investors and entrepreneurs
  • New entry visas: New types of visas are introduced without requiring a host or sponsor for the first time. In addition, all entry visas are available for single or multiple entry and can be renewed for similar period and are valid for 60 days from their issuance date
  • Job exploration entry visa: It does not require a sponsor or a host. It is granted to those classified in the first or second or third skill level as per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. Minimum educational level should be a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent
  • Business entry visa: Entry without requiring sponsor or host to encourage investors and entrepreneurs to explore business and investment opportunities in the UAE
  • Tourist visa: 5-year multi-entry tourist visa has been introduced and it does not require a sponsor; requires proof of having a bank balance of $4,000 or its equivalent

Read more: UAE Unveils New Residency Guidelines to Attract Foreigners

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