Updated May 2023
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. Having been introduced as a part of the UAE government’s efforts to attract exceptional talents and propel economic growth, the Green Visa regime has generated quite a buzz among certain groups of expatriates since its implementation.
The Green Visa readily grants new perks to its holders, including the ability to sponsor their parents and children, among other new improvements and benefits.
Here is everything you need to know about the UAE Green Visa.
Table of Contents
What is the UAE Green Visa 2023?
The UAE Green Visa is essentially a new residency visa category that distinguishes between work and residency permits. The Green Visa will allow highly skilled people, investors, entrepreneurs and top students and graduates to sponsor themselves without having to first associate themselves with companies based in the UAE.
The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai even offers a 60-day entry permit to eligible individuals so that they can come to the UAE to complete the necessary procedures for issuing residency.
UAE Green Visa 2023 latest news and updates
As confirmed by the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs & Port Security UAE (ICP), you can now extend or cancel your entry permit via a personal account online. This refers to the document issued to foreign nationals entering the UAE to finalize their residency visa.
The new policy is valid for the following:
- Two months for normal visas or green residency visa applications.
- Six months with multiple entries for golden visa applications.
رحلة المتعامل لتمديد إذن الدخول من خلال الحساب الشخصي، والمؤسسات ومكاتب الطباعة.
The customer journey to extend the entry permit via a personal account, establishment and typing centres accounts. pic.twitter.com/rPwMfhJR0T
— Identity, Citizenship, Customs & Port Security UAE (@UAEICP) May 24, 2023
What are the benefits of the UAE Green Visa 2023?
According to officials, the launch of the Green Visa regime is a part of the UAE government’s efforts to attract exceptional talents and propel economic growth.
The UAE has now announced new types of entry visas and residence permits and has expanded the Golden Visa categories. 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.
Having already come into effect on 3 October 2022, some major improvements for the UAE Green Visa have been implemented, including the 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 track of the Green residence for skilled employees provides 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).
Please note that skilled professionals (third level in the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation classification) are eligible for a 90 days extended grace period after the expiry of the Green residence.
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 98,009.86), 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 of 1 million AED.
- if 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. Residents can now easily bring their family members, including their spouses and children, to the UAE.
According to the details accessed on the ICP system by the typing centre agents, the grace period to exit the UAE after a residency visa cancellation has been extended to 6 months for Green Visa holders and their family members. 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.
Who all are eligible for the Green Visa in UAE?
The UAE Green Visa is launched to facilitate the expansion of self-residency status for investors, entrepreneurs, highly qualified people, top students and graduates who aspire to work and live in the UAE.
Freelancers are also encouraged to ply their trade in the UAE by utilizing a federal visa for freelancers. Self-employed workers based in the UAE and abroad in specialist fields such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and digital currencies are welcome to apply for the freelancer visa.
What is the cost of a Green Visa in UAE?
The cost of a Green Visa is AED 2,280. The price excludes the ID card fee, which costs around AED 575, and the medical fee, which costs AED 320 for normal services.
Please note that the price is just for one individual, and the total price after the entire process of issuance may vary as it depends on the number of dependents on the sponsorship of the visa holders.