3 long-term UAE visas explained: Differences in benefits, eligibility; all you need to know

Several visas have been recently introduced in the system


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Mon 5 Sep 2022, 7:14 AM

Last updated: Mon 3 Oct 2022, 6:16 AM

[Editor’s Note: The UAE’s new visa scheme — which includes sweeping changes to the country’s entry and residence system — is expected to come into force today, October 3. This explainer on long-term visas first appeared in September, when a trial of the new system began.]

The UAE has adopted the largest set of reforms to its entry permits and visa regime, with an aim to strengthen its position as an ideal destination for expats to live, work, and invest.

Multiple long-term visas — with different eligibility criteria and benefits — have been introduced in the new system, which is set to take effect today, October 3.

Here are the three types of long-term visas and the differences between them:

10-year Golden Visa

The scope and eligibility criteria of the 10-year visa has been expanded. This long-term residence is granted to investors, entrepreneurs, exceptional talents, scientists and professionals, outstanding students and graduates, humanitarian pioneers and frontline heroes.

Benefits include:

>> Holders can stay outside the UAE for more than six months without the visa getting cancelled.

>> There is no cap on the number of support service help they can sponsor.

>> No sponsor or employer required.

>> Residence for family members, including spouse and children. No age limit to sponsor children’s residency.

>> If the original holder of the Golden Visa dies, family members can stay in the UAE till the end of their residence permit.

5-year Green Visa

This new 5-year residency aims to attract talents, skilled professionals, freelancers, investors and entrepreneurs.

Benefits include:

>> No employer or sponsor needed.

>> They can sponsor residency visas of spouses, children and first-degree relatives.

>> They can sponsor sons till they turn 25, and daughters till they get married (no age limit).

>> They are given longer flexible grace periods that reach up to six months to stay in the UAE after the residence permit is cancelled or has expired.

5-year, multi-entry tourist visa

This visa does not require a sponsor and it allows the person to stay in the country up to 90 continuous days. It may be extended for a similar period, provided that the entire period of stay does not exceed 180 days in one year.

This visa requires proof of having a bank balance of $4,000 or its equivalent in foreign currencies during six months prior to submitting the application.


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