Reviewed August 2023
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.
Read further to get a detailed overview of the UAE visas that can be obtained to enter and live in the country, without a job.
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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.
With the travel and tourism industries returning to normalcy and 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:
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, and Covid-19 heroes, and exceptionally-talented and first-degree relatives.
For more information regarding the new and expanded Golden visa rules, visit our article on Golden Visa UAE 2022 – 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 one-year contract validity and a minimum salary of $5,000 (Dh18,365.50). 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 article on Work From Dubai: How You Can Move to Dubai and Work Remotely for a Year
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 article on UAE Green Visa 2022: What Do We Know About the New UAE Residency Visa Scheme?
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 article on Retirement Visa UAE 2022: 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.
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