Reviewed 22 September 2022
The UAE continues its stride in becoming the ideal destination for work, investment, entrepreneurship, education, and life by introducing a restructuring of its entry and residence system. The authorities have now announced new types of entry visas, and residence permits, and have expanded the Golden Visa categories.
New UAE visa rules 2022
Aimed at strengthening UAE’s position as an ideal destination to live, work, and invest in, the UAE cabinet has approved the executive regulations of the Federal Decree-Law on Entry and Residence of Foreigners called the Advanced Visa System
The UAE has now introduced around ten types of new entry visas, and residence permits, and has expanded the Golden Visa categories. At present, the new entry visas are being trialled and the actual implementation will take place from 3 October 2022. The new system of entry and residence has been introduced to attract and retain global talents and skilled workers from all over the world, boost the competitiveness and flexibility of the job market and foster a high sense of stability among UAE residents and families.
Furthermore, the new visa and entry rules are specifically implemented as an incentive to empower Emirati SMEs and further develop the business sector in the UAE.
Golden visa rules 2022
The UAE has now expanded the Golden Visa categories and added substantial amendments to the Golden Residence Scheme to simplify the eligibility criteria and expand the categories of beneficiaries.
The long-term 10-year Golden residence will be granted to investors, entrepreneurs, exceptional talents, scientists, outstanding students and graduates, and skilled workers.
The new rules will allow the Golden Residence holders to sponsor their family members including spouses and children regardless of their age. Furthermore, they can also sponsor support services (domestic) labourers without having a limit on their number.
Moreover, there is no restriction related to the maximum duration of stay outside the UAE in order to keep the Golden Residence valid. There are other benefits for family members that allow them 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.
Golden visa for scientists
The Golden Visa will now be granted to scientists and researchers who meet the following conditions:
- have a PhD or Master’s degree in engineering, technology, life sciences and natural sciences from the world’s best universities.
- must have a recommendation from the Emirates Scientists Council to avail of this Visa.
Golden visa for skilled workers
Skilled workers can qualify for the Golden Visa scheme, provided:
- they hold a valid contract of employment in the UAE
- the job must fall under the occupational level one or two as defined by the Ministry of Human Resources Emiratisation.
- the minimum monthly salary is not less than AED 30,0000 (USD 8,167.93).
- the skilled worker must have a bachelor’s degree as well
Golden visa for exceptional talents
Under the category of exceptionally talented individuals, talented individuals in the field of art, culture, digital technology sports, innovation, medicine, law and others are eligible to apply for the Golden Visa scheme.
Moreover, the 10-year Visa will be awarded solely based on the talent of the individual. It will not depend on educational qualification, employment status, monthly salary or professional status. However, the recommendation or approval of a federal or local government entity will be required.
Golden visa for real estate investors
The Golden Visa for Real Estate Investors can be obtained by Real estate investors when purchasing a property worth no less than AED 2 million (USD 5,44,528.80).
However, under the new amendments, investors are also entitled to obtain the Golden Residence when purchasing a property with a loan from specific local banks. Furthermore, the residence can also be obtained when investors buy one or more off-plan properties of no less than AED 2 million (USD 5,44,528.80) from approved local real estate companies.
Golden visa for entrepreneurs
Startup investors may now obtain a Golden Visa, provided their company is registered within the UAE and it should fall under the small and medium enterprises (SME) category with annual revenues of AED 1 million (USD 2,72,249.60) or above
Furthermore, the Golden Residence for Entrepreneurs can also be obtained, if:
- the person is a founder or one of the founders of a previous entrepreneurial project that was sold with a total value of not less than AED 7 million (USD 19,05,850.80).
- the approval of the Ministry of Economy or the competent local authorities is required for projects or ideas.
Golden visa for students
Students with exceptional academic excellence, having obtained high scores either in UAE secondary schools or universities are also eligible to apply for the 10-year Visa or the Golden Visa scheme.
Furthermore, talented students who have studied at the world’s 100 best universities are also eligible to apply for the Golden Visa scheme. Criteria include academic performance/cumulative average, year of graduation and the university classification.
Golden visa UAE for humanitarian pioneers
Humanitarian pioneers such as the following can get the Golden visa:
- distinguished members of international and regional organizations
- outstanding members of associations of public benefit
- recipients of recognition awards in humanitarian fields
- distinguished volunteers and sponsors of humanitarian efforts
Golden visa UAE for doctors and nurses
The UAE has been granting doctors and nurses, the first line of defence, a long-term residency in “recognition of their efforts and sacrifices”.
All doctors licensed by the UAE health regulatory bodies can apply for the Golden Visa between July 2021 and September 2022 through the ICA’s golden residency services for doctors.
As of late, nurses and medical staff, the unsung heroes of the UAE’s COVID-19 fight, are now also eligible for receiving the prestigious Golden Visa.
Seven centres affiliated with the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship have been established across the Emirates for doctors and nurses who wish to apply for visas in person.
Green residence 2022
Some major improvements for the UAE Green Visa include new 5-year residence tracks, introduced mainly to attract talents, skilled professionals, freelancers, investors and entrepreneurs. In addition to facilitating and simplifying the requirements of all residence types, more benefits are being offered including, longer flexible grace periods that reach up to 6 months to stay in the country after the residence permit is cancelled or expired to facilitate family members’ residence.
Green residence for skilled employees
The new amendments of the Green residence for skilled employees provide a 5 years residency period for skilled employees, without a sponsor or employer.
The only requirements here include:
- applicants should have a valid employment contract
- should be classified in the first, second or third occupational level as per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.
- the minimum educational level must be a bachelor’s degree or equivalent
- applicant’s salary should not be less than AED 15,000 (USD 4,083.74).
Green residence for freelancing and self-employment
With the freelancing industry and the concept of flexible work models having considerable growth worldwide, the new Green residence for freelancing and self-employment provides a 5 years residency for freelancers and self-employed individuals without requiring a sponsor or employer in the UAE.
The only requirements include:
- obtaining a freelance/ self-employment permit from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation
- a minimum educational qualification with a bachelor’s degree or specialized diploma.
- an annual income from self-employment for the previous two years of AED 360,000 (USD 9,800.99), or
- the applicant should be able to prove their financial solvency throughout their stay in the country.
Green residence for investor or partner
The Green residence for investors or partners has been introduced to encourage investment. It provides 5 years of residency for investors establishing or participating in commercial activities. Furthermore, the validity under this category has been increased from the previous 2 years to 5 years now.
The requirements include:
- approval of the investment and proof of investment.
- in case, the investor (partner) has more than one license, the total invested capital will be calculated.
- approval of the competent local authorities is mandatory.
New benefits for family members
The new system provides more benefits to family members. A resident can now easily bring their family members, including their spouses and children to the UAE and sponsor residency for their first-degree relatives for five years.
As announced by the ICP the grace period after the residence visa expiry or cancellation in the UAE for expats has been extended from 30 days to 6 months. Therefore, expats now have 6 months to either amend their status and get another residence visa or leave the country. Fines do not apply during the grace period.
However, if the green visa holder fails to renew or cancel the visa of his dependents, the dependents could be liable to pay an overstay fine.
Additionally, the age of children has now been raised to 25 years, (previously 18 years), and there is no age limit for unmarried daughters. Children of determination are granted a residence permit, regardless of their age.
The Green Residence holder is allowed to bring his first-degree relatives, and in all cases, the residency of family members shall be the same duration as the original residence holder.
Entry visa rules 2022
For the first time, the UAE has introduced around ten types of entry visas that do not require a host or sponsor, for visitors to the UAE for different visit purposes.
Some major improvements for the entry visas include facilitating the entry requirements for all visa types and offering flexible visa durations that not only meet the needs of the visitors but also their purpose of the visit. Additionally, all entry visas will now be available for single or multiple entries and will be valid for 60 days from their date of issuance. They can also be renewed for similar periods.
Job exploration entry visa
The Job Exploration Visa is mainly introduced as a means to attract young talents and skilled professionals to explore job opportunities available in the country. The visa does not require a sponsor or a host and will be granted if the applicant meets the following requirements:
- is classified in the first or second or third skill level as per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation
- is a fresh graduate of the best 500 universities in the world
- has a minimum educational level of a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.
Business entry visa
The Business Entry Visa allows investors and entrepreneurs to explore business and investment opportunities in the UAE. The visa offers easy entry processes, without the requirement of a sponsor or host.
Multi-entry tourist visa
Besides a regular Tourist Visa, sponsored by the tourism establishment in the UAE, a five-year multi-entry tourist visa was introduced.
The new multiple entry tourist visa can now be issued for all nationalities, in a step that aims to facilitate the process for tourists and visitors. The five-year visa enables tourists to enter multiple times on self-sponsorship and remain in the country for 90 days on each visit, which can be extended for another 90 days.
The only requirement to be eligible for this visa is submitting:
- proof of having a bank balance of $4,000 (AED 14,700) or its equivalent in foreign currencies during the last six (6) months prior to submitting the application.
For more details visit our article on 5-Year UAE Tourist Visa 2022: How to Apply for a 5-Year Tourist Visa to the UAE?
As per the Family visa rule in the UAE, parents could earlier sponsor their children who were under 18 years. Now, male children till the age of 25 can be sponsored by their parents. Disabled children can also get parent sponsorship under a special permit, and unmarried females can be sponsored for an indefinite time.
Individuals who are seeking a job in the UAE can apply for a new UAE Job visa to explore opportunities in the country. This visa does not need a sponsor/host and will be granted to recent graduates from the top 500 universities in the world as well as those categorized under the first, second or third skill levels in compliance with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.
Entry permit to visit relatives or friends
A visitor can apply for the entry permit to visit friends and relatives if they are a relative or a friend of a UAE citizen or resident. It does not require a sponsor or a host.
Entry permit for a temporary work mission
Visitors who have a temporary work assignment like probation testing or project-based mission, and are sponsored by the employer can apply for the entry permit for a temporary work mission. A visitor can apply for this entry permit if he/she is a relative or friend of a UAE citizen or resident.
Some of the requirements include:
- a temporary work contract, or
- a letter from the employer clarifying the visit purpose
- proof of health and fitness to work.
Entry permit for study and training
The entry permit for study and training is primarily intended for those attending training and study courses or participating in internship programs. The sponsor for this type of permit can be universities or educational or research institutions licensed in the country or government or private entities.
The requirements include a letter from the entity, clarifying the details of the study or training or internship program and its duration.
Residence permit for humanitarian cases
Residence permits to the UAE will be issued for the following humanitarian cases:
- a female resident whose husband of UAE nationality passed away in the country and has one child or more will be eligible for a residence permit.
- parents or children of a UAE citizen who holds foreign passports
- spouses and children of Gulf Corporation Council (GCC) state citizens who hold foreign passports