UAE – New Long-Term Visas

What has changed

On March 11, 2019, the UAE cabinet approved the regulatory framework for the issuance of five (5) and ten (10) year visas.

Previously, residence visas were only valid for a maximum of three (3) years.

Who is affected

Clients who have hired or intend to employ foreign nationals in the UAE.

What to expect

Who will qualify?

Special Talents
  • A ten (10) year visa is available for specialists in science and knowledge, subject to certain conditions.
  • The eligible categories include: doctors, scientists, innovators, executives and educational specialists. There are specific conditions to be fulfilled by each of these categories to qualify.
  • Investors in a property worth at least AED 5 million can obtain a five (5) year visa;
  • Investors in public investments (not property) through a deposit, an established company business partnership of at least AED 10 million or a total deposit of at least AED 10 million can obtain a ten (10) year visa.
  • The amount invested must be wholly owned by the investor (not a loan) and invested for at least three (3) years.
  • Dependents of the investor, as well as one (1) executive director and one (1) adviser, are also eligible for a long-term visa.
  • Investors can enter the country multiple times over a six (6) month period to apply for the long-term visa.
  • A five (5) year multiple entry visa will be available for entrepreneurs either having a previous project of at least AED 500,000 or the approval of an accredited UAE business incubator.
  • An upgrade to an investor visa may be possible. Dependants, a business partner and three (3) executive directors are also eligible for long-term visas.
Outstanding Students
  • Students with a grade of at least 95% in secondary public or private schools or a student with a GPA of at least 3.75 upon graduation from a local or international university will be eligible to apply for a five (5) year visa, which extends to the family of the outstanding students.

What you need to do

Employers who may benefit from the new long-term visas are advised to contact their immigration specialist for the latest information.

This alert was prepared with information provided by Executive Expatriate Relocations and Sesam Business Consultants and Peregrine Immigration.