The UAE Cabinet has approved long-term residency visas

Sheikh Mohammed new visas

Remember the massive announcement proposing long-term residency visas for the UAE? The UAE Cabinet has now approved them.

Back in May, the UAE government revealed if signed off, the system would grant certain people and professions residency visas of up to 10 years.

Now extended residency is official and will open to “investors, entrepreneurs, specialised talents and researchers in the fields of science…and outstanding students,”  making it easier for foreign workers and students to build a life in the UAE.

As you’d expect, there are some conditions for applying:

Investors: Property valued at AED 5 million dirhams – five-year visa. Owners of an established company or business partnership valued at AED 10 million dirhams – 10-year visa.

Entrepreneurs: Previous project valued at least AED 500,000 dirhams, or with approval from an accredited business incubator in the country – five-year visa.

Specialised talents and researchers: For a 10-year visa, they must hold a PhD degree from one of the top 500 universities in the world, among other conditions. Winners of the Mohammed bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence can also apply.

Creatives need accreditation by the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development and inventors must get a patent adding value to UAE’s economy, with the approval of the Ministry of Economy Exceptional Talents.

Engineers with “rare specialty with a university degree” and outstanding secondary school students with a grade of at least 95 per cent could be eligible for five-year family visas.

Massive changes are coming to the UAE’s visa system

The reshaping of the visa system was announced in May at a meeting of the UAE Cabinet, chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Sheikh Mohammed told the meeting: “The UAE will remain a global incubator for exceptional talents and a permanent destination for international investors. Our open environment, tolerant values, infrastructure and flexible legislation are the best plan to attract global investment and exceptional talents in the UAE.”


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