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Since its formation, the UAE has been a hub for entrepreneurs, investors, & business entities. From day one, the government wants to ensure that people are given adequate opportunities to establish their base. The introduction of new visa rules in the UAE allows for diverse entries into the country.

These recent changes have significant implications for investors and individuals looking to establish their presence in the UAE. It is crucial to stay informed about these updates as they can directly impact your future plans and aspirations.

Government officials have approved executive regulations of the Federal Decree – Law on Entry and Residence of Foreigners. These changes have been made in pre-existing as well as new visas.

What does this mean? The Dubai new visa rules provide a more accessible system for investors to gain a foothold in the country. Foremost is the launch of the UAE Golden Visa, which allows expats to reside in the country for up to 10 years. This was the first step into opening the doors for UAE residency.

Let’s understand about these significant changes so you can make informed decisions for your UAE entrepreneurial journey.

New Residence Visa Rules in UAE – 2024

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has implemented several new residence visa rules in recent years. These new cabinet rules make it easier and more attractive for skilled professionals, investors, and retirees to live and work in the country.

New Dubai visa regulations allow a 30-day extension for your UAE visa, with a maximum stay of 120 days. This extension can be conveniently applied for online. 

Here are some of the key changes:

1. Multiple Entry Visas

The UAE has introduced new multiple-entry visas for tourists and business travelers. The UAE authorities are planning to roll out a new five-year multi-entry tourist visa without the need for a sponsor and allowing up to 90 days of stay in the country along with the option to extend it for a further 90 days.

This makes it easier for visitors to explore the UAE and conduct business without having to apply for a new visa each time. Any person applying for the same needs to have a balance of at least $4,000 (AED 14,700) or the equivalent of this amount in foreign currencies in the last six months before applying for a visa.

2. Business Visa

The UAE will allow investors/ entrepreneurs/business people to apply for a business visa without needing a host or any sponsorship.

3. Visit Visa (friends/family)

Foreigners can apply for this visa if they have any relatives or friends that hold UAE citizenship/residency. Similarly, this visa too does not require a sponsor/host. The cost of extending a visit visa in the UAE is around AED 1100, but may vary.

Under the new UAE visa rules, visitors can extend their UAE visit visas by either 30 or 60 days, with the possibility of extending for an additional 30 days while remaining within the country.

4. Temporary Work Visa

This particular visa is relevant to candidates who have temporary work assignments, such as probation testing or project-based work. To avail of this visa, eligible applicants will need documents offering proof of employment such as a temporary work contract, an employment letter & fitness proof. 

5. Study/Training Visa

Students or prospective talents who want to participate in academic courses, attend specialized training programs, or internship opportunities can do so through this visa. Both public and private sector educational research institutes offer sponsorship options.

The entity must also provide a letter of intent outlining the duration and details of the study/training program.

6. Family Visa

As per the previous family residency laws, parents were able to sponsor their children until the age of 18. Now, under the new visa rules in the UAE, male children can be sponsored till the age of 25, female children can be sponsored indefinitely, while special needs children will require a special permit.

7. Job Visa

This is a breakthrough step made by the UAE government to encourage job seekers and make their process easier. This visa does not require sponsors or hosts and candidates will require at least:

  • Bachelor’s or its equivalent degree holders
  • Fresh graduates from the top 500 universities in the world
  • Candidates who are classified in the first, second and skill levels as per the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation

8. Green Visa

The Green Visa is a new five-year residency visa for skilled workers, freelancers, and self-employed professionals who do not require a sponsor or employer. This visa offers greater flexibility and security for skilled individuals looking to build a career in the UAE.

To be eligible for the Green Visa, applicants must have a valid employment contract, meet the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation criteria (including a minimum salary of AED 15,000 and a bachelor’s degree), and have health insurance.

The fees for the Green Visa are set at AED 2,280, excluding additional charges for the ID card and medical services. Please note the cost is subject to vary.

9. Golden Visa

The Golden Visa is a breakthrough move by the UAE government to reward talented professionals. This exclusive visa that can be enjoyed by a wide range of professional categories & investors will allow them to enjoy the benefits of UAE for up to 10 years.

The various categories that come under Golden Visa eligibility are:

A. Entrepreneurs: Upcoming businesses such as startups are eligible to apply for the Golden Visa if they have their business registered in the UAE, fall under the category of SMEs, and maintain an annual revenue of AED 1 million and above.

B. Real Estate: Investors wishing to establish a long-term residency in Dubai can do so in the form of real estate investments. The investment amount must be a minimum of AED 2 million in real estate. In the case of any mortgage or off-plan properties, the eligibility can be considered if the combined total investment of the individual reaches AED 2 million and above.

C. Scientists & Researchers: Individuals who are experts in their fields of science and research are also eligible for the golden visa, on the provision of certain requirements such as a recommendation letter from the Emirates Science Council, master’s and/or PhD degree in life science, natural sciences, technology & engineering from a distinguished university.

D. Skilled Workers: This includes people who have at least a bachelor’s degree, a valid employment contract, and/or a minimum monthly salary of AED 30,000. Their line of work must come under the occupational level one or two, according to the regulations of the Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation.

E. Exceptional Talent: The UAE government recognises people who have shown exceptional talent in the fields of innovation, sports, arts & culture, technology, medicine, law, & several other fields can apply for the Golden Visa. To compound the process, these candidates will need a letter of recommendation/approval from the relevant government entity.

10. Simplified Visa Process

The UAE has streamlined the visa application process by introducing online applications and a unified platform for managing visas and Emirates IDs. This makes the process more efficient and convenient for applicants.

As of 2024, residence visas are no longer stamped in passports. Instead, they are linked to the Emirates ID, which simplifies the process and eliminates the need to collect passports for stamping.

Process for Obtaining the New Residence Visa

The process for obtaining a new residence visa in the UAE can vary depending on the specific type of visa you’re applying for, but there are some general steps that apply to most categories.

1. Determine your eligibility

Decide which type of residence visa you want to apply for (e.g., Green Visa, Golden Visa, retirement visa). Each visa category has its own set of eligibility requirements, such as income level, educational qualifications, or investment amounts.

2. Gather your documents

  • Completed visa application form
  • Valid passport (with at least six months validity remaining)
  • Two passport-sized photos
  • Entry permit (if required)
  • Health insurance plan (covering the UAE)
  • Additional documents (depending on the visa type)

3. Apply for the visa

You can submit your visa application online or at any authorized typing centre in the UAE. You’ll also need to upload scanned copies of all your required documents. Once you’ve submitted your application and paid the necessary fees, you’ll receive a reference number that you can use to track the status of your application.

4. Collect your visa and Emirates ID

Once your application is approved, you’ll receive a notification and can collect your visa stamp (if applicable) or Emirates ID (linked to your residence visa).

Benefits and Opportunities for Investors

Dubai’s new visa rules offer several substantial benefits and opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs, including:

1. Ease of entry and extended stay

The Green Visa and Golden Visa offer long-term residency (5 and 10 years, respectively) without requiring company sponsorship or annual renewals.

2. Family sponsorship

Golden Visa holders can sponsor family members, including spouses, children, and parents, making it easier to relocate your entire family and build a life in the UAE.

3. Access to business opportunities

The UAE offers a thriving business environment with tax benefits, free trade zones, and world-class infrastructure. These visas grant access to this ecosystem, facilitating business setup and expansion.

4. Startup ecosystem

The UAE actively supports startups through incubators and funding opportunities. The Green Visa’s provisions for self-employed professionals and freelancers further encourage the growth of innovative startups.

5. Investment opportunities

The UAE offers diverse investment opportunities in sectors like real estate, tourism, technology, and renewable energy. Dubai new visa rules make it easier for investors to directly invest and participate in the country’s economic growth.

Let Shuraa Be Your Key

Undoubtedly, new visa rules in the UAE have opened up exciting opportunities for investors. With the ability to obtain long-term visas, investors can now establish a stable and prosperous life in the UAE.

However, the visa process and setting up a business can be complex. That’s why it’s important to seek professional guidance from a leading business setup consultant in the UAE.

From company registration and licensing to securing visas and finding the perfect office space, we’ll handle the complexities so you can focus on your vision. With Shuraa by your side, you can confidently say goodbye to bureaucratic hurdles and hello to realizing your entrepreneurial dreams in the UAE.

Stay informed about recent UAE visa news & updates in rules, UAE’s latest business news, the visa and immigration process, and more.

Take the first step towards your new chapter in the UAE, reach out to us at +971 4 4081900, via WhatsApp at +971 50 7775554, or by emailing [email protected].

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