Abu Dhabi, April 18, 2022 – The Cabinet, headed by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, approved the executive regulations for the Federal Decree-Law. Upon entry and residence for foreigners, with the aim of enhancing the position of the UAE as an ideal destination for living, working and investing.
The Executive Regulations provide comprehensive information on the types and conditions of entry visas and residence permits. The new entry and residence system aims to attract and retain global talent and skilled workers from around the world, increase competitiveness and flexibility in the labor market and foster a higher sense of stability among residents of the UAE and their families.
The Golden Residence has made substantial changes to the Golden Residence scheme to simplify the eligibility criteria and expand the categories of beneficiaries. This 10-year residency is awarded to investors, entrepreneurs, exceptional talent, scientists, professionals, students, outstanding alumni, humanitarian pioneers, and frontline heroes.
The changes allow the golden residence owner to sponsor family members, including spouses and children regardless of their age, and sponsor (domestic) workers for support services without limiting their number. In addition, there are no restrictions on the maximum length of stay outside the UAE in order to maintain the validity of the golden residency.
Other benefits are provided to family members that allow them to remain in the UAE in the event of the death of the original holder of the Golden Residency until the end of the permit period.
Golden Scholars Residency This residency is granted to scholars and researchers of high achievement and influence in their field upon the recommendation of the UAE Council of Scholars.
The candidate must have a PhD or Master’s degree in engineering, technology, life sciences and natural sciences from top universities in the world, as well as significant research achievements.
Gold Residence for Professionals A significant expansion has been made in this category to attract highly skilled workers with educational qualifications and professional experience in all disciplines, including medicine, science, engineering, information technology, business, management, education, law, culture and social sciences.
Applicants must have a valid employment contract in the UAE and must be categorized at first or second professional level according to the classification of the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, which is in line with the ISCO International Job Classification Standard by the International Labor Organization. The minimum level of education must be a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent and the monthly salary must not be less than 30,000 AED.
Golden Residency for Exceptional Talents This residency is awarded to the best talents in vital fields. It is awarded only on the basis of talent regardless of educational qualification, employment status, monthly salary or professional level.
Requires the recommendation or approval of a federal or local government agency, and includes individuals talented in culture, art, sports, digital technology, inventors, innovators, and other critical areas.
Golden Residence for Real Estate Investors Real estate investors can obtain a Golden Residence by purchasing a property of at least AED 2 million.
According to the new amendments, investors have the right to obtain golden residency even when buying a property with a loan from specific local banks. Investors can also obtain a Golden Residence by purchasing one or more off-plan properties of at least AED 2 million from approved local real estate companies.
Golden Residence for Entrepreneurs The implementing regulations provide flexible requirements for eligible entrepreneurs to obtain Golden Residence. The entrepreneur must own or partner with a UAE-registered startup in the category of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and have annual sales of at least AED 1 million.
Moreover, to obtain a golden residency in this category, it is sufficient to obtain approval of the idea of starting up from an official business incubator, from the Ministry of Economy or from the relevant local authorities.
Also, if a person is a founder (one of the founders) of a previous business that was sold for an amount of at least AED 7 million, he is entitled to obtain the golden residency. For projects or ideas, approval of the Ministry of Economy or the competent local authorities is required.
Golden Visa for Outstanding Students and Alumni This residence caters to high school students in the UAE and outstanding alumni of UAE universities and top 100 universities in the world, based on specific criteria including academic performance (GPA), year of graduation and university ranking.
New residency types with unparalleled benefits Major improvements include the introduction of new 5-year residency pathways to attract talent, skilled professionals, entrepreneurs, investors and entrepreneurs. Greater benefits are offered to facilitate the residence of family members and longer flexible grace periods of up to 6 months of residence in the country after the cancellation or expiration of the residence permit, in addition to facilitating and simplifying the requirements for all types of residence.
Green Residence for Eligible Employees This new pathway offers 5-year residency to eligible employees, without a sponsor or employer. Applicants must have a valid employment contract and must be classified at the first, second or third professional level according to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. The minimum level of education must be a university degree or its equivalent and the salary must not be less than 15,000 AED.
Green Residence for Self-Employed and Self-Employed In line with the growing importance of flexible work models, this pathway provides a 5-year residency for the self-employed and the self-employed without the need for a sponsor or employer in the UAE. Self-employment/self-employment permit is required from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, minimum education must be undergraduate or postgraduate degree, annual self-employment income for the past two years must not be less than AED 360, 000, or the applicant proves Solvency during his/her stay in the country.
Green Residence for Investor or Partner This residence permit is introduced to encourage investment by providing 5-year residency to investors who are establishing or participating in business activities. It replaces the previous residence valid for two years only. Requirements include investment approval and proof of investment. If the investor (partner) has more than one license, the total invested capital will be calculated. The approval of the competent local authorities is mandatory.
New Benefits for Family Members The new system provides greater benefits to family members by allowing residents to easily issue residence permits to their family members, including spouses and children.
The age of children eligible for sponsorship has been raised to 25 (previously 18), with no upper age limit for unmarried girls. Children of determination are granted a residence permit, regardless of their age.
Green Residences holders can issue residence permits to their first-degree relatives, in any case the length of stay of the family members will be the same as that of the original residence holder.
The New Entry Visa System The new system provides UAE visitors with a variety of visa types for different visit purposes. New types of visas are offered without first applying to a host or sponsor. Major improvements include facilitating entry requirements for all types of visas, and introducing flexible visa periods that meet visitors’ needs and purpose of visit. In addition, all entry visas are available for single or multiple entry and can be renewed for similar periods and are valid for 60 days from the date of issue.
Career Exploration Entry Visa This visa was introduced with the aim of attracting young talents and qualified professionals to explore job opportunities available in the country, it does not require a sponsor or host. Awarded to those who are categorized at the first, second or third level of competence according to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation and for recent graduates from the top 500 universities in the world and the minimum level of education must be a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent.
Business Entry Visa This type of visa allows easy entry without the need for sponsors or hosts to encourage investors and businessmen to explore business and investment opportunities in the UAE.
Tourist Visa In addition to the regular tourist visa sponsored by the UAE Tourist Establishment, a five-year multiple-entry tourist visa has been introduced.
This type does not require the presence of a sponsor and allows the person to stay in the country for up to 90 consecutive days, and it can be extended for a similar period, as long as the entire period of stay does not exceed 180 days in a year.
This visa requires proof of a bank balance of $4,000 USD or its equivalent in foreign currency in the past six months before applying.
Entry permit to visit relatives or friends Under the current amendment, a visitor can apply for this entry permit if he is a relative or friend of a citizen or resident of the United Arab Emirates. No sponsor or host required.
Temporary Work Assignment Entry Permit This type is for those who have a temporary work assignment such as a test test or a project-based assignment sponsored by an employer. It requires a temporary employment contract or a letter from the employer stating the purpose of the visit and proof of suitability for the job.
Entry Permit for Study and Training This classification is for those who attend training and study courses and/or participate in internship programmes. The sponsor can be universities, educational or research institutes licensed in the country, government or private entities. Requires a letter from the institution detailing the study, training or internship program and its duration.
The Executive Regulations of the Federal Decree-Law on the Entry and Residence of Foreigners shall enter into force after ninety days from the date of its publication in the Official Gazette.
Translated by: Mina Samir Fouka.