5-year UAE Green Visa: 3 categories of expats who can get the self-sponsored residency

Benefits explained: It lets expats sponsor first-degree relatives in addition to spouses and children


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Mon 29 Aug 2022, 8:19 AM

Last updated: Mon 29 Aug 2022, 7:39 PM

The UAE has introduced several visa and entry reforms to attract high-net-worth individuals, entrepreneurs and highly skilled professionals. In addition to the hugely popular Golden Visa and multiple-entry five-year tourist visa, the country has announced a five-year Green Visa. The residence visa allows its holder to sponsor himself/herself for five years.

These reforms are expected to go into effect from September 2022.

Since expatriates account for around 85 per cent of the UAE’s population, new visas and entries are highly sought-after by foreign workers who wish to enjoy the best quality of life that this country offers.

Green Visa holders are allowed to sponsor their first-degree relatives in addition to their spouses and children. In all cases, the duration and validity of the family visa will be aligned with the original residence visa holder.

Under the updated regulations, Green visas will be issued to foreigners in three categories.

>>> Skilled professionals: This five-year residency for skilled employees is provided without a sponsor or employer. The applicants should have a valid employment contract, and be classified in the first, second or third occupational level as per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. The minimum educational level must be a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, and the salary should not be less than Dh15,000.

>>> Freelancers and self-employed: In line with the growing importance of flexible work models, freelancers and self-employed can obtain a freelance/self-employment permit from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. The minimum educational level should be Bachelor’s degree or specialised diploma. Annual income from self-employment for the previous two years should not be less than Dh360,000 (over $98,000), or the applicant should have proof of financial solvency throughout his/her stay in the UAE.

>>> Investors/Partners: This permit has been introduced to encourage investment and attract investors who wish to establish or participate in commercial activities. The validity under this category has been increased from the previous two years to five years now. The requirements include approval of the investment and proof of investment. If the investor (partner) has more than one licence, the total invested capital will be calculated. Approval of the competent local authorities is mandatory.

3 main benefits:

  • Green Visa holders can sponsor male children up to 25 years as compared to 18 years previously
  • No age limit for unmarried daughters of Green Visa holders
  • Children of determination get a visa regardless of their age
  • Up to 6 months stay in UAE after the visa is cancelled/expired


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