New updates on Visa as per the UAE Law

Posted by Awatif Mohammad Shoqi Advocates & Legal Consultancy on November 14th, 2022

The Government of the United Arab Emirates has recently issued new visa reforms, which have been introduced to attract skilled professionals, entrepreneurs, and high-net worth individuals who will make UAE their home.

A new category, called “Green Visa” has been introduced, which has some interesting features and benefits. We will discuss the Green Visa reforms in this article.

What is a Green Visa?

According to the UAE’s Government website, the UAE Green Visa is a type of residence visa that allows its holder to sponsor himself/ herself for 5 years, eliminating the need of a UAE national or employer to sponsor his/her visa.

What are the Benefits of a Green Visa?

The Green Visa provides many benefits. These include the following:

  1. Getting residence permits easily for family members, including spouse, children and first-degree relatives.
  2. The ability to sponsor their male children up to 25 years (previously 18 years), with no age limit for unmarried daughters.
  3. Children of determination (those with special needs) are granted a residence permit, regardless of their age.
  4. Longer flexible grace periods that reach up to 6 months to stay in the UAE after the residence permit is canceled or has expired.

The residency of family members will be the same as that of the original residence visa holder.

Who can apply for a Green Visa?

The UAE has prescribed certain categories of individuals who can apply for a Green Visa. These include freelancers or self-employed individuals, skilled employees and investors or partners. Each of the categories would need to fulfill certain conditions in order to be applicable for a Green Visa. These conditions are set out below.

    1. Freelancers/self-employed people

Freelancers and/or self-employed people who wish to apply for a Green visa need to submit:

      • a freelance/self-employment permit from Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.
      • proof of a bachelor’s degree or specialized diploma.
      • evidence of annual income from self-employment for the previous two years for an amount not less than AED 360,000, or prove financial solvency throughout their stay in the UAE.
    1. Skilled employees

To apply for a Green visa, skilled employees must:

      • have a valid employment contract.
      • be classified in the first, second or third occupational level as per Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE). These levels are provided by the MOHRE, which classifies employment into 9 skill levels according to the International Standard Classification of Occupations issued by the International Labor Organization. Level 1, 2 and 3 are as follows.

Level 1: Legislators, managers, and business executives

Level 2: Professionals in scientific, technical and human fields

Level 3: Technicians in scientific, technical and humanitarian fields

      • hold a minimum of bachelor’s degree or equivalent.
      • have a salary of not less than AED 15,000.
    1. Investors or partners

The Green visa for investors is given to investors establishing or participating in commercial activities. It replaces the previous residence visa that was valid for 2 years only.

The conditions that are applicable to investors or partners are as follows:

    • approval of the investment and proof of investment (If the investor/partner has more than one license, the total invested capital will be calculated.)
    • approval of the competent local authorities.

Conclusion

The introduction of Green Visa is a welcome step to attract more talent into the UAE and is bound to be a success.

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Awatif Mohammad Shoqi Advocates & Legal Consultancy

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Awatif Mohammad Shoqi Advocates & Legal Consultancy
Joined: February 3rd, 2021
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