This article is reviewed regularly by Wego’s editorial team to ensure that the content is up to date & accurate.

Updated January 2024

About 85 percent of the UAE’s population consists of expatriates who come to work as an employee and live in the country on a work visa. However, the UAE continuing its stride to become the ideal destination for work, investment, entrepreneurship, education, and life, has made a noteworthy expansion of the visa scheme that allows expats to live and enjoy the high standard of living in the UAE without a work visa.

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Read further as Wego gives you a detailed overview of the UAE visas that can be obtained to enter and live in the country, without a job.

UAE visa you can get without a job

Although a majority of the expats, which accounts for about 85 percent of the UAE’s population, work as an employee in the country and require a work visa to live here, there has, however, been a noteworthy expansion of the visa scheme as announced by the UAE government.

New UAE Visa Rules 2024: Everything You Need to Know About UAE’s New Entry Visas and Residence Permits


Under the UAE’s new visa rules, expats can now choose to live and enjoy the high standard of living that the country offers to its residents without a work visa.

The following are some of UAE’s new residence schemes that allow expatriates to enter and reside in the country without a visa:

Golden visa

The Golden visa is a long-term residency visa that enables foreign talents to live, work, or study in the UAE for up to 10 years. This golden residency scheme is renewable and reserved for certain categories ranging from investors with a minimum of Dh2 million investment, entrepreneurs, outstanding students and graduates, humanitarian pioneers, scientists, frontline workers, COVID-19 heroes, and exceptionally talented students and first-degree relatives.

As confirmed by the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security, graduates of accredited universities outside the UAE can now obtain a renewable Golden Visa for a period of 10 years, which enables them to reside in the UAE without the need for a sponsor or a host, with the aim of working, investing, setting up a business, or settling in the country.

For more information regarding the new and expanded Golden visa rules, visit our dedicated article below:

Golden Visa UAE 2024 – Are You Eligible for the Much-Coveted Residency Visa?


Remote work visa

The 1-year Remote work visa allows employees, professionals, and freelancers worldwide to legally live and work remotely from Dubai and across the UAE. Should the UAE approve your application to live in Dubai, you may even bring your family along.

The applicant will, however, have to submit proof of employment from a foreign employer with a one-year contract validity and a minimum salary of USD 3,500 (Dh 12855.08). Furthermore, the visa does not require candidates to have a job or a sponsor in the UAE to be eligible to apply for the visa.

For more information regarding the Remote work visa, visit our dedicated article below:

Work From Dubai: How You Can Move to Dubai and Work Remotely for a Year


Green visa

The UAE Green Visa is a new residency visa category distinguishing between work and residency permits. The Green Visa will allow highly skilled people, investors, entrepreneurs, and top students and graduates to sponsor themselves without first associating with companies based in the UAE.

Some significant improvements for the UAE Green Visa, under UAE’s new visa rules, 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 canceled or expired to facilitate family members’ residence.

For more information regarding the UAE Green visa and its expanded categories, visit our dedicated article below:

UAE Green Visa 2024: What Do We Know About the New UAE Residency Visa Scheme?


Retirement visa

The Retirement Visa UAE is essentially a 5-year renewable visa granting expat retirees residency status within the UAE.

The Retirement visa reflects the UAE government’s commitment to welcoming everyone to live within its borders. Generally, the Retirement Visa UAE is available for all retirees who meet its requirements, including their spouses and dependents.

Among the requirements is the age of the applicant, which must be at least 55 years old and must have invested Dh2 million in property, have financial savings of no less than Dh1 million, or have an active income of no less than Dh20,000 per month.

For more information regarding the Retirement visa, visit our dedicated article below:

Retirement Visa UAE 2023: How and Where Can Expats Apply for UAE’s Retirement Visa?


Job exploration 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.

UAE Visa Without Sponsors 2023: Which Visa and Permit Can You Apply For With No Sponsorship?


Divorced or widowed women and their children

A one-year visa extension will be granted to women living in the UAE who were on their husband’s visa at the time of divorce or widowing. The extension starts from the date of death or divorce and may only be renewed once without the requirement of a substitute sponsor.

The women’s and their children’s visas must have been valid at the time of the death or divorce. The divorced or widowed women, to be eligible to obtain this visa, must, however, be able to submit the following documents:

  • proof of divorce or death
  • proof of the availability of accommodation
  • proof of the woman’s ability to earn a living
  • medical fitness certificates of women and their children over the age of 18
  • Emirates ID card of the woman and health insurance cards.

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


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