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The UAE Launches New 'Green Visa' Scheme

The UAE Launches New 'Green Visa' Scheme

The UAE's leadership published "Principles of the 50," a list of ten principles that the country will follow for the next 50 years. One of the primary legal changes made as part of "Projects of the 50" is restructuring the entry and residency system, including introducing the Green Visa, the Freelancer Visa, and expanding the Golden Visa's eligibility.

The new Green Visa category aimed to remove foreigners' barriers when looking for work. According to senior officials and experts, the newly launched "green visa" will significantly benefit expatriate families and ensure their stability in the UAE.

It isn't the first time in recent years that the UAE has announced changes to permit provisions. For example, the UAE introduced the 10-year "golden visa" in 2019 to attract wealthy residents and highly educated professionals.

The Green Visa is part of a more comprehensive array of measures introduced by Arab countries to grow their economies. Apart from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have recently opened their lands to wealthy investors with reforms to their paid permanent residency programs and property ownership rules. In addition, foreigners will work in the UAE without being sponsored by an employer under a Green Visa. This new visa scheme will significantly depart from the current procedure, which requires a potential worker to be sponsored by an employer, who, in turn, applies an application to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation for a work permit. Furthermore, if the holder loses their present job, the program will allow them a three-month grace period to look for new work. If a person fired under the previous policy, they had only 30 days to depart the country.

However, it is unclear when the visa will become effective. It's also unclear how to apply for it.

Who are Eligible to Apply?

It is intended at highly skilled persons, investors, business people, entrepreneurs, and excellent students and postgraduates, said the Minister of State for Foreign Trade.

What does the Green Visa offer?

  • Green visa holders can sponsor their sons' visas till they turn 25 instead of 18, and they can also sponsor their parents.  
  • The new Green visa holders can work without the sponsorship of a company.
  • In addition, it will grant residency rights to family dependents.
  • The Green visa holders have a grace period of 90-180 when the visa expires.

09 Sep 2021

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