With the launch of the UAE passport and visa services, Emiratis, expats and investors will all benefit. Already, the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security has announced that the UAE passport will be launched in its third generation. It also tested an innovative visa system.
The new visa system will be in effect starting October 3. The country introduced new entry permits and residency tracks, and simplified existing options. Here are the key changes in the country’s residence and entry system for expatriates.
Visas available for visit
- Visit visas can be either one- or two-entry. able to be renewed for the same time period. The original 30-day period has been extended to 60 days.
- The visa for job seekers does not require either a host or sponsor. It is granted to new graduates of the top 500 universities in the world who have been classified according to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation as skill levels 1, 2, and 3.
A visitor can apply to the UAE for an entry permit if they are visiting a relative or friend. The permit does not require a sponsor.
- Sponsorship is not required for a five-year multi-entry tourist Visa. A visitor can also stay for as long as 90 days without requiring a sponsor. The total stay cannot exceed 180 days per year. The visa requires that the applicant can prove proof of a bank account of at least US$4,000 in foreign currency within six months preceding application.
* The scheme of the Golden Visa Scheme has been amended to allow more people to obtain a 10-year visa.
- Longer residency is possible for skilled professionals. The monthly minimum salary will drop from Dh50,000 down to Dh30,000. These are medicine, science and engineering, business and administration as well as education and law. The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation requires that all applicants have a valid UAE employment contract and be classified at the first or second level of employment.
- No matter what age, holders of a golden visa can sponsor children. They can also sponsor as many support staff as they wish.
- Visas will not be affected if they are held outside of the UAE for longer than six months.
The new track allows skilled workers to reside in the country for five years without the need of a sponsor or employer. Skilled workers with a valid employment contract, a minimum monthly salary of AED 15,000 and an investor can apply for visa.
Grace period for visa cancellations or extensions
Expiration. Generally, expatriates have an extended grace period of 30 days after expiration of their residency visa. This allows them to leave the country and obtain another visa. Flexible grace periods up to six months will now be available under the new system. However, it is not clear if this will apply to all types of visas. Reports suggest that clarification will be made in the coming days.