By Uglobal Staff
The UAE has announced a new visa stream called the Green Visa that will allow foreign investors, entrepreneurs and highly skilled workers to live and work in the gulf state without being required to get a local sponsor first.
Prior to the recent visa reforms, every foreigner in the UAE, including businesspersons were tied to either a local company or a firm run by an Emirati sponsor.
The announcement was made at a press conference over the weekend on Sept. 5 during which senior government ministers and officials made several other declarations, including the launch of the oil and gas rich emirate’s "Projects of the 50" program that aims to accelerate growth and development.
GREEN VISA ALSO OPEN TO FREELANCERS, STUDENTS
With the Green Visa, entrepreneurs, investors and highly skilled people would be able to get a “self-residency status”, meaning they would be their own sponsor in the country, according to the official news agency in the country.
The Green Visa would be open to top students and graduates as well. Freelance workers who specialize in AI, blockchain and digital currencies would also be able to qualify for this unsponsored residency route, the agency added.
GOLDEN VISA ELIGIBILITY LIST EXPANDED
The UAE also announced that it was expanding the list specifying the type of foreign workers eligible for its golden visa program that offers long-term residency options. Now managers as well as CEOs would be able to apply while specialists in the fields of science and technology, health, education and business management would also be eligible.
In July, the Emirati government announced that foreign doctors and their family members would be able to avail the golden visa residency program.
Prior to that, the government had opened its golden visa program to talented computer coders under its National Program for Coders initiative.
BUSINESS TRAVELERS ALSO GET EXTENSION
The UAE government also announced that the travel permits of business travelers would be increased from three months to six months.
The government also added that the recent visa reforms allow successful applicants to stay in the country for up to 180 days should they lose their employment or if they are retired; the previous grace period was just 30 days. Also, those who are aged 25 and below would be able to stay as residents on their parents' residency; the previous age limit was 18 years.
The UAE’s latest announcements comes as other major players in the region such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar also take steps to make their countries more attractive for investors and top talent from around the world.
Last January, the UAE announced that it was amending its citizenship law which for the first time allowed nominated foreign investors, top migrant professionals and artists to get the Emirati passport and citizenship.
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