In a revolutionary and landmark decision by UAE Cabinet announced in May 2018, UAE has introduced a new system of entry visas for investors and professionals — providing them with a long-term visa for up to 10 years. This is done to further enhance the UAE’s status as a primary destination for international investors and retain top talent from around the world.
What was announced?
- UAE is planning to offer visas to specialists working in medicine, science, research and technical fields – along with their families for up to 10 years. For example the offer will include professionals like doctors and engineers.
- Foreign investors going for business setup in UAE or putting money in the country can obtain a visa of up to 10 years.
- Students will also be offered to acquire 5 year visas and “exceptional” graduates could stay in the country for 10 years. Currently, students in UAE are required to to renew their visa every year.
Further UAE Visa Changes
New visa facilitation procedures for visitors, residents, families & people overstaying their visa have also been announced in July 2018.
- 2 year extension of the residency period has been allowed to the dependents of their parents after finishing their university studies.
- Transit passengers have been exempted from all entry fees for first 48 hours. Transit visa can be extended for up to 96 hours for a fee of just AED 50.
- People overstaying their visa in UAE are given a chance to leave the country voluntarily without a “no entry” stamp on their passport.
- New 6-month visa will be introduced for job seekers who have overstayed their visa in UAE but wish to stay and work in the country.
- Individuals who entered UAE illegally will have a chance to leave voluntarily with a ‘no entry’ stamp for 2 years, given that they present valid return ticket.
- In order to simplify the process and ease financial burden on individuals looking to adjust or renew their visa, they are given a chance to do so for a fee, without having to exit and re-enter the country.
Why are these changes being made?
UAE has undergone a transformation especially in the last decade by diversifying its economy – shifting towards knowledge –based economy from reliance on the oil and gas sector; in order to make UAE as competitive as possible. The decision came at the right point as oil prices have been fluctuating drastically and countries who were heavily relying on revenues from sale of hydrocarbons suffered a lot.
UAE government strives to make it easier for foreign companies to locate themselves here and bring the people they need. 10 year visas for investors and scientists will bring more value to UAE economy as the move intends to attract people of advanced skills particularly in areas of science and knowledge in order to achieve the objective of creating a knowledge-based economy.
Hamad Bu Amin, President and CEO of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) believe that the decision reflects the wise vision of UAE leadership and its dedication towards stimulating the economy. He said,
“This move sends a clear message that the UAE is a competitive market which is open to international investors.”
Market analysts are expecting to have a direct positive impact of these measures on UAE economy as according to IMF, economic growth of 2% is forecast for UAE in 2018 and 3% in 2019. The new UAE visa measures will enhance UAE’s position as a land of opportunities, a preferred destination for investment, talent and professionals and ultimately increase country’s economic competitiveness.