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UAE citizenship, 5-year tourist visas: Full list of new options

Web Report/Dubai
Filed on March 22, 2021 | Last updated on March 22, 2021 at 10.26 am
Photo: Wam/file

All the UAE visa reforms that were announced recently.


The UAE has announced multiple new visa reforms over the past few months. On Sunday, March 21, the UAE Cabinet approved two new visas.

One is a remote work visa that can be used by professionals to reside in the UAE as they connect to work abroad virtually. The other is a multiple-entry tourist visa that is open to all nationalities.

In January, the UAE had announced a law that would grant the Emirati citizenship to select foreigners.

Other reforms include students being able to sponsor their parents and long-term Golden Visas.

The aim is to attract tourists and retain exceptional talents and their families in the country.

Here is a list of all the recent residency reforms that were announced:

>> Remote work visa

The one-year visa enables professionals from all over the world to live and work remotely from the UAE even if their companies are based in another country.

They can stay in the UAE under their own sponsorship.

>> Multi-entry tourist visa

The five-year visa does not need a guarantor. For each entry, the visa holder can stay in the country for up to 90 days, which is extendable by another 90. Open to all nationalities, the visa holder can enter and exit the country as many times as needed.

>> UAE citizenship

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Saturday announced a citizenship law.

According to the law, the following categories of residents and their families are eligible for citizenship:

- Investors.

- Scientists

- Doctors.

- Engineers

- Artists

- Authors

>> Students can sponsor their family members

As per a Cabinet resolution approved on January 24, foreign university students can sponsor their family members as long as they can afford suitable housing.

>> Work-in-Dubai residency scheme

In October last year, Dubai launched a programme that enables overseas remote working professionals to live in the emirate while continuing to serve their employers in their home country.

The move provides remote workers - and their families - the opportunity to relocate on an annual basis to Dubai and enjoy a safe and high-quality lifestyle underpinned by a strong digital infrastructure that provides seamless connectivity.

Applicants should have a passport with a minimum six-month validity, health insurance with UAE coverage, proof of employment from current employer with a one-year contract validity and a minimum salary of $5,000 per month. The applicant should also produce a pay slip and three preceding months’ bank statements.

>> UAE Golden Visa: Long-term residency

In 2019, the UAE implemented a long-term residency visa scheme. The system enables foreigners to live, work and study in the UAE without the need of a national sponsor and with 100 per cent ownership of their business on the UAE’s mainland. These visas are issued for 5 or 10 years and will be renewed automatically.

Such visas are also issued to specialised talents and researchers; and bright students with promising scientific capabilities.

>> More categories added to Golden Visa scheme

In November last year, the UAE approved the issuing of 10-year golden residency visas for more classes of professionals.

All people who hold PhD, all doctors, all engineers specialised in computers, electronics, programming, electricals, electronics and active technology can get the new residency visas. People who are get high scores (3.8 or more) in approved universities will also get the Golden Visas.

>> Retirement visa

In September 2018, the UAE Cabinet had approved a law to provide retired residents over the age of 55 a long-term visa for a period of five years.

For a retiree to be eligible for a 5-year renewable retirement visa, he/she must fulfill one of the following criteria:

- Invest in a property worth Dh2 million

- Have financial savings of no less than Dh1 million

- Have an active income of no less than Dh20,000 per month.

>> Medical treatment visa

In 2017, the country announced the launch of an updated medical treatment visa, allowing foreign patients to be issued with individual or group visas for 90 days. These are renewable if the hospital issues a request.

>> Special visa

In 2018, the UAE Cabinet issued a resolution, granting the citizens of countries suffering from wars and disasters a one-year residency visa. It also allowed widows, divorced women and their children to renew their residency visas without a sponsor for one year, renewable once.





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