The United Arab Emirates: Golden Visa, Green Visa and other entry permissions

The United Arab Emirates Cabinet announced on April 18 the introduction of new immigration regulations. On the one hand, the Golden Visa has been around for a while and is extended for another 10 years. On the other hand, the UAE has created a new residence visa named the ‘green visa’, which is valid for 5 years. Finally, they grant extended entry permits for tourists, visitors, job seekers, and students. The new rules are expected to come into force in September 2022.

These new arrangements are designed to strengthen the UAE’s position as an ideal destination to live, work and invest. It’s a way to attract and retain the best talents in the country. The benefits of long-term visas are also extended to immediate family members.

“The new Entry and Residence System aims to attract and retain global talent and skilled workers from around the world, boost labor market competitiveness and flexibility, and foster a high sense of stability among residents and families of the UAE,” an official statement read.


The Golden Visa

Created in 2019, it was designed to make it easier for expatriates to settle.

The eligibility criteria are now simplified. The categories of people who can apply for this long-term visa have been expanded. They include “investors, entrepreneurs, exceptional talents, scientists, outstanding students and graduates, and frontline heroes”.

In addition to guaranteeing their stay in the UAE for a period of 10 years, the holder’s family can be sponsored. In addition, this sponsorship applies regardless of their age. Finally, the holder can sponsor an unlimited number of domestic employees.

Old residency requirements have also been suspended. Additionally, family members are permitted to stay in the UAE until the end of the visa term in the event of the death of the primary holder.

The new categories

  • Scientists and Researchers – Applicants must demonstrate high performance and influence in their field. They must be recommended by the Council of Scientists of the Emirates. They must also hold a doctorate or at least a master’s degree.
  • Qualified professionals– These are highly qualified workers who have had exemplary educational backgrounds. The most popular fields are medicine, science and engineering, information technology, business and administration, education, law, culture, and social sciences.

Once the candidate has chosen his category, he must find an employment contract in the UAE. According to the International Occupational Classification Standard (ICTP), his job must be at level 1 or 2. In addition, the minimum wage must be 30,000 AED (8,167 USD).

  • Exceptional talents – This category is for people who are gifted in the fields of culture, art, and sport.
  • Real Estate Investors – They must purchase one or more properties from licensed local real estate companies with a minimum value of 2 million AED ( US$544,500). Investors are allowed to purchase the property by taking out a loan from certain local banks.
  • Entrepreneurs and Founders of Startups– Entrepreneurs must be owners or partners of a start-up registered in the United Arab Emirates under the category of small and medium-sized enterprises ( SMEs). Their annual income should not be less than AED 1 million(USD 272,250). If it is a new start-up idea, it must be validated by an official committee.
  • Outstanding Students and Graduates– Qualified applicants are high-performing students in UAE secondary schools, outstanding graduates from UAE universities or the top 100 universities in the world.

The Green Visa

The United Arab Emirates has launched this new visa, which lasts 5 years. It gives the same benefits as the Golden Visa.

Eligibility categories:

Qualified employees. As with the Golden Visa, qualified applicants must have a valid employment contract and a monthly salary of at least 15,000 AED (4,083 USD).

Freelancers and independent workers. This category offers a five-year residency to freelancers and independent workers without a sponsor. Applicants must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree or honors degree and must obtain a freelance/self-employment permit from MOHRE. They must demonstrate an annual income from self-employment for the previous two years of at least AED 360,000 (USD 98,000) or financial self-sufficiency for the entire duration of their stay in the UAE.

Investors or Partners– Applicants must be investors involved in business activities. Requirements include investment approval and proof of investment. Approval from the relevant local authorities is mandatory.

Family Members– It provides enhanced benefits to the holder’s family members. The age of children who can be sponsored has been raised from 18 to 25. There is no age limit for unmarried girls. In all cases, the stay of family members will correspond to the duration of the main holder’s visa.

Permits that allow long-term entry

The UAE Cabinet has also approved several new types of entry permits and visas. They are aimed at tourists, parents, and job seekers.

All entry visas are valid for 60 days from the date of issue. They can be renewed for one or more similar periods.

  • Job search visa. It was introduced to allow young talents and qualified professionals to explore the employment opportunities available in the UAE. Recent graduates applying for this visa must be from one of the top 500 universities in the world, with a minimum education level of a bachelor’s degree.
  • The Business Visa. It was introduced to allow investors and entrepreneurs to explore business and investment opportunities in the UAE, without the need for a sponsor or host.
  • The 5-year multiple entry tourist visa – This visa allows you to stay in the UAE for 90 consecutive days. It can be extended for a similar period, provided that the total duration of the stay does not exceed 180 days per year. It does not require a sponsor or host, but applicants must have a bank balance of USD 4,000 or its equivalent in foreign currency within six months prior to application.
  • Entry permit to visit relatives or friends. A relative or friend of a UAE citizen or resident may, without a sponsor, qualify for this allowed.
  • The entry permit for a temporary work mission. This permit is intended for those who have a temporary work mission. The employer must act as a sponsor. Applicants will be required to present a temporary work contract or letter from the employer specifying the purpose of the visit and proof of fitness for work.
  • The entry permit for studies and training. Intended for students, it requires a sponsor. The latter may be a university, an accredited educational or research institution. Applicants need a letter from the institution, outlining the details of the study program and its duration.

Need to know more? Check out our other best residency articles!


Jared Young

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor
I’m a digital nomad from Germany. I help companies thrive in their digital marketing strategies and help them build sustainable remote work strategies.
I have been running a digital marketing agency for 8 years. Light Spark helped more than 60 happy customers.I recently launched Gpoint, a company focused on remote work productivity and well-being for companies, freelancers and digital nomad.
Over the last 6 years, I have been working remotely as a digital nomad from 40+ destinations such as Kazakhstan, Chile, Budapest, London.
I love writing and want to share insights and advice to remote workers and digital nomads.

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