UAE New Visa Rules May Change How Expats Live and Work in the UAE

The UAE has announced a range of new visa reforms and relaxations to facilitate the entry of visitors, business professionals and investors into the country. As per the latest government rules, the new system of visas called the Advanced Visa System, over ten new types of visa have been introduced, and further relaxations have been made to the Golden Visa and Green Residence Visa categories. 

Having already come into effect, here is a quick rundown of the new visa rules in the UAE. 

New entry visas 

Close to ten new entry visas have been added to the UAE’s extensive list of entry visa options that do not require a sponsor with flexible visa durations and renewal periods. According to the visitor’s purpose of entry, they can easily apply for these visas as single or multiple-entry visas. 

Job Exploration Entry Visa

In addition to the already existing Dubai Work Visa, expatriates and foreigners willing to seek job opportunities in the UAE can use the Job Exploration Entry Visa. Applicants need not require a sponsor or a host but must be freshly graduated from the top 500 universities in the world with a minimum education of bachelor’s level degree. They must also be classified as a first, second or third skill level by the UAE’s Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. 

Business Entry Visa

While the UAE Business Visa is a long-term visa for expatriates to set up their businesses in the country, the Business Entry Visa is a more flexible option for interested professionals and investors. The Business Entry Visa offers a more straightforward application procedure without the need for a sponsor to permit the entry of visitors to explore businesses in the UAE. 

Multi-entry tourist visa

As the name suggests, the Multi-entry visa allows tourists to visit the UAE multiple times in a year, with upto 90 days of stay in the country per visit and a total validity of upto five years. Applicants must submit proof of having at least USD 4,000 as a bank balance for 6 months before applying for the visa. 

Family visa

The government has extended the sponsorship rules for this category of visa as part of the Advanced Visa System. The maximum limit to the age for sponsoring male children has been increased to 25 from the earlier existing limit of 18. Unmarried women can be indefinitely sponsored, while disabled children need a special permit to get sponsored by family.

Entry permit to visit relatives or friends

Foreigners who want to visit to visit their friends or family in the UAE can do so by applying for an entry permit without the need for a sponsor. 

Entry permit for a temporary work mission

Entering the UAE for small-term projects or temporary work missions is possible for visitors by applying for an entry permit with sponsorship from their respective employers. 

Entry permit for study and training

Students wishing to enter the country to pursue studies, training and internship programs must apply for a permit after getting a letter of admission from the concerned institution. They should also be sponsored by the institution. 

Residence permit for humanitarian cases

The following humanitarian cases are eligible for residence permits:

  1. Widows who have one or more children with a husband who was UAE National
  2. Children, parents of UAE citizens with foreign passports 
  3. Spouses, children of GCC citizens with foreign passports 

Relaxations to already existing visas 

In addition to establishing new visas, several relaxations have been made to the two highly coveted residence visas-  Golden Visa and the Green Residence Visa. 

Golden Visa 

The Golden Visa enables foreigners with business potential and talent to live and work in the UAE for upto 10 years. Changes made to the Golden Visa include:

  • Reducing the minimum salary requirement to AED 30,000 from AED 50,000
  • Retaining the validity of Golden Visa even after staying outside the country for over 6 months 
  • No age limit for sponsoring children of Golden Visa holders 
  • No number cap on sponsoring domestic help 
  • Extending Golden Visa eligibility to investors purchasing a property in the UAE of at least AED 2 million with a loan

Green Residence Visa 

The Green Residence Visa allows visa holders to sponsor themselves for 5 years. According to the latest regulations:

  • Visa holders can sponsor family members for the same duration as their residence. Unmarried daughters of any age can still be sponsored.
  • The maximum limit to the age for sponsoring male children has been increased to 25 from the earlier existing limit of 18. 
  • The grace period after the expiry of the Green Residence Visa has been increased to upto 6 months.