New UAE visa reforms: Trial begins; scheme to be implemented in October

The new system is part of the largest entry and residency reforms adopted in the UAE


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Mon 5 Sep 2022, 7:30 PM

Last updated: Mon 5 Sep 2022, 10:51 PM

The UAE’s Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security (ICP) has launched its “advanced services system”. The services include issuance of the new generation of Emirati passports and trial of the updated visa and entry permit scheme.

Visa reforms include a significantly expanded Golden Visa scheme, a five-year Green residency and new entry permits, including one for job seekers. The new system also offers additional benefits to sponsor family members.

The new system is being trialled now, while the actual implementation will start from October 3.

These new visas are part of the largest entry and residency reforms adopted in the UAE. It was earlier announced that they would go into effect on September 5.

The UAE Cabinet had approved the executive regulations of the Federal Decree-Law in April this year. Key provisions include:

— Golden Visa: Substantial amendments were introduced to the Golden residence scheme to simplify the eligibility criteria and expand the categories of beneficiaries. This long-term 10-year residence is granted to investors, entrepreneurs, exceptional talents, scientists and professionals, outstanding students and graduates, humanitarian pioneers and frontline heroes.

The amendments allow the Golden residence holder to sponsor his/her family members, including spouse and children regardless of their age. They can also sponsor any number of support services (domestic) labourers. Furthermore, their visa will remain valid irrespective of how much time they spend outside the UAE.

— Green Visa: A new 5-year residence track has been introduced to attract talents, skilled professionals, freelancers, investors and entrepreneurs. They are given longer flexible grace periods that reach up to six months to stay in the country after the permit is cancelled or expired. They can get residence permits easily for family members, including spouses, children and first-degree relatives.

New benefits for family members

The new system provides more benefits to family members. The age of children who may be sponsored has been raised to 25 years (previously 18 years), with no age limit for unmarried daughters. Children of determination are granted a residence permit, regardless of their age.

New entry visas

The new system offers the UAE visitors a variety of visa types for different purposes: Job exploration, business entry, and visit friends and family, among others.


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