UAE: Longer grace period after visa expiry, new types of entry permits; 5 changes to note

The new scheme will attract and retain global talents and skilled workers


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Tue 19 Apr 2022, 1:31 PM

Last updated: Tue 19 Apr 2022, 10:51 PM

The UAE on Monday announced sweeping reforms to its entry and residency visa scheme. From introducing a five-year residency to launching a job visa, the changes aim to support the country's competitiveness in the tourism, economic and educational sectors.

The new scheme will attract and retain global talents and skilled workers and boost the competitiveness and flexibility of the job market. Changes to the family visa scheme will foster stability among UAE residents.

Here are five changes you need to know:

1. Longer grace period after residency expiry

Residents can avail of longer, flexible grace periods that allow them to stay in the country for up to six months after the cancellation or expiry of their residence permit. However, it is not immediately clear whether this applies to all visa types.

2. 6-month stay outside UAE does not invalidate Golden Visa

Holders of the coveted visa can stay outside the UAE for as long as they need, without it affecting their residency. Previously, residents who stayed outside the UAE for six months or more lost their residency.

3. Green Visa

5-year residency is granted to skilled professionals, freelancers, investors and entrepreneurs.

4. New types of visit visas

The scope of visit visas has been expanded, with new types added. Some types don’t need a host or sponsor. All entry visas are available for single or multiple entry and can be renewed for similar period (s). They are valid for 60 days from their issuance date. New visit visa categories include those for finding jobs; coming to the country to explore business options; visit friends and relatives in the UAE; temporary work; and studies.

A multi-entry five-year tourist does not require a sponsor and it allows the person to stay in the country for 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.

5. Family visa changes

UAE residents can sponsor sons till they turn 25 — up from 18 that was the case previously. There is no age limit for unmarried daughters. Children of determination are granted a residence permit, regardless of their age.


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