The United Arab Emirates offers many opportunities to work and live in the country. However, in the past, it has been very rigid in its laws, with a ‘one visa fits all’ method. This is no longer the case, as the UAE government has issued other visa types that will benefit foreigners in different situations – from employed expats, to self-employed, to remote workers. You can now apply for a visa that suits your personal situation and requirements.
The UAE Residence visa is issued to individuals who have found employment in the country. This visa lasts as long as your employment contract, which is usually 2 years, and is then renewed after 2 years as long as the same company still employs you. This type of visa has been the only option for expats in the United Arab Emirates for many years. The main advantage of the employment visa is the fact that it comes with job security and you have secured a visa as long as you stay with the same employer. Your company also opens a bank account on your behalf saving you a lot of hassle.
Remote Worker Visa
When Covid struck the entire globe in 2020, it brought about a new trend of working at home to help companies stay afloat. This has since become a viable option for workers to work remotely, allowing a balance of work and personal life. The UAE government created this visa to allow expats from all over the work to work remotely while living in UAE and enjoying the vibrant life that the country has to offer. It is a one-year visa that allows foreigners to live in the UAE under self-sponsorship. You get to work by the beach, in a coffee shop, or hotel. You can also rent a coworking space that offers the support you need on a daily basis.
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The Golden visa is another new visa type that was launched in the UAE in 2021. This visa offers long-term residence to expats and is targeted toward talented foreigners who work in certain industries such as health (particularly frontline heroes), technology, and science. The visa is also for talented individuals who are in culture, arts, sports, and technology. Investors, especially those who invest in real estate are eligible for the Golden visa. They are required to own property (including offplan property) that is worth AED2 million and above. Entrepreneurs who own or partner in startups and businesses are eligible for this visa, as long as their business generates nothing less than AED1 million in annual revenue.
The Golden visa also covers outstanding students and graduates studying in the country, and those in humanitarian work. Professionals eligible for this visa are required to hold a bachelor’s degree and must have a monthly salary of no less than AED30,000.
The Golden visa offers expats 10 years of residence in the UAE and is a self-sponsored visa which means one does not need an employment sponsorship. This visa is beneficial to expats looking to settle in the country for a long time. The Golden visa covers the applicant’s family and should the primary holder cancel their residency or pass away, the family members will be allowed to stay in the UAE until the end of the visa’s duration.
The Green Visa
The Green visa is similar to a normal residency visa, but it is more diverse, accommodating different circumstances. The Green Visa is a self-sponsoring visa that is valid for 5 years. This visa covers family members as well and offers security to stay in the country should the primary visa holder cancel or pass away. This visa allows permits for spouse, children and first-degree relatives. Children can remain sponsored by this visa upto the age of 25 years (no age limit for unmarried daughters). Another benefit of the green visa is that it offers a longer grace period of 6 months stay in the country after the cancellation or expiry of the residence permit. This gives the visa holders time to plan their next move. The Green Visa is for more than just employees, but also for self-employed and freelancing expats. They are required to have a bachelor’s degree or diploma in educational history. They are also required to show proof of annual income for the past 2 years, to prove that their financial status is enough to survive throughout their stay in the country.
Investors can also apply for this visa. This replaces the previous visa for investors that was only valid for 2 years. Those eligible for the visa are foreigners that are investing in the country’s commercial activities. They must show proof of investment and the total invested capital. Approval from local authorities is also required to be eligible for this visa.
If you are looking to move to the United Arab Emirates, these are your visa options. Do your research and find out more about this before making your move. This will also benefit expats currently living in UAE under an employment visa and are looking to change to a more flexible option. For more information on the different visas available for application, visit the United Arab Emirates Government Portal:https://u.ae/en/information-and-services/visa-and-emirates-id
You can also contact the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs, and Port Security, as well as the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs for Dubai residents for more information.
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