UAE: 7 visas for expats to enter or live in the country without a job

The recent expansion of visa schemes will allow the same


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Mon 22 Aug 2022, 11:24 AM

Last updated: Mon 22 Aug 2022, 10:43 PM

Expats account for around 85 per cent of UAE's population. A majority of them work as an employee in the country and require a work visa to live here.

However, a significant expansion of the visa scheme announced by the UAE government will allow expatriates to live and enjoy the best quality of life that this country offers to its residents without a work visa.

Joanna Matthews-Taylor, partner and head of employment at Habib Al Mulla & Partners, a member firm of Baker & McKenzie International, explains to Khaleej Times which visa categories allow expatriates to enter or reside without a job within the UAE. These range from investments to remote working and retirement.

- Golden Visa: Property investors with a minimum of Dh2 million investment, entrepreneurs, outstanding students and graduates, humanitarian pioneers, scientists, frontline workers and Covid-19 heroes, exceptionally-talented and first-degree relatives can obtain Golden Visa.

- Remote work visa: This one-year visa allows the holders to reside and work in UAE remotely for their foreign employer. The candidate will have to submit proof of employment from a foreign employer with one-year contract validity and a minimum salary of $5,000. This visa doesn’t require people to have a job, or a sponsor, in the UAE.

- Green Visa: Ranging from two to five years, green visas are issued to investors or partners, freelancers/self-employed, students and relatives. Freelancers/self-employed should have a permit from MoHRE, annual income from self-employment of no less than Dh360,000 for the previous two years and prove financial solvency throughout their stay in UAE. While students must be sponsored by licensed educational establishments and must have visa sponsorship from the university, parents or relatives.

- Retirement visa: People aged 55 and above can apply. To obtain a retirement visa, they must have invested Dh2 million in property, or have financial savings of no less than Dh1 million, or have an active income of no less than Dh20,000 per month.

- Job exploration visa: Foreign nationals falling under first, second or third skill categories as per Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation (MOHRE) guidance will be issued a 60-day visa to be able to conduct job interviews, meetings, and business opportunities such as setting up a company. They must have a Bachelor's degree from one of the top 500 universities in the world.

- Divorced and/or widowed women and their children: This one-year visa extension is granted to women living in the UAE who were on their husband’s visa at the time of divorce or widowing. The extension starts from the date of death or divorce and may only be renewed one time and does not require a substitute sponsor. Visas of the woman and her children must have been valid at the time of the death or divorce. The woman has to submit proof of divorce or death, availability of accommodation, proof of the woman's ability to earn a living, medical fitness certificates of the woman and the children over the age of 18, Emirates ID card of the woman and health insurance cards.

- Humanitarian Exemptions: A female resident whose Emirati husband passed away and she has one or more children is granted this visa. Parents or children of UAE citizens who hold foreign passports and the spouse and children of GCC citizens who hold foreign passports are also granted visas on humanitarian grounds. It’s given on a case-by-case basis.


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