UAE Cabinet Approves Long-Term Visa System

The UAE Cabinet approved long-term visa system for investors, entrepreneurs, specialised talents and researchers in the fields of science, knowledge and outstanding students to facilitate business and create an attractive and encouraging investment environment for the growth of business for investors, entrepreneurs and professional talents.

The decision of the Cabinet follows the decision approved earlier this year to grant investors a ten-year residency visa, as well as to grant residency visas of up to 10 years for specialists in the medical, scientific, research and technical fields, and for scientists and creative talents of culture and arts, including their spouses and children. The decision aims to maintain the position of the UAE as an optimal business environment.

The decision includes the terms and conditions for obtaining long-term visas for investors, entrepreneurs, specialized talents, researchers in the fields of science and knowledge, and outstanding students to attract talents in all vital sectors of the national economy. The visa benefits also include the spouse and the children to ensure a cohesive family and social structure and to create a stimulating environment for stability and growth.


The decision includes the provisions to grant investors from UAE and broad a long-term visa. It defines two categories for investors: Investors in a property of a value of 5 million dirhams or more will be granted a residence for five years, and investors in public investments through a deposit, an established company, business partnership of 10 million dirhams or more, or a total investment of not less than 10 million dirhams in all areas mentioned as long as non-real estate investments are not less than 60per cent of the total investment, will be granted a renewable residency visa every 10 years.

The Cabinet decision outlines the following conditions for both categories:

  • The amount invested shall be wholly owned by the investor and not loaned, and should be proven by supporting documents
  • Investment retention for at least 3 years A standard financial liability with a financial solvency not exceeding Dh10 million
  • The long-term visa could also be extended to include business partners, provided that each partner contributes Dh10 million, the spouse and the children, as well as one executive director and one advisor.
  • The decision allows investors to enter the country for a six-month period, multiple entry, to apply for the long-term visa requirements.


The decision also includes the terms to grant long-term visa to two categories of entrepreneurs: those having a previous project with a minimum of Dh500,000, or having the approval of an accredited business incubator in the country. Entrepreneurs will be granted a five-year visa with a possibility for upgrading to an investor’s visa provided they meet the requirements.

The benefits of the entrepreneurial visa include entrepreneurs, partners, three executive directors, spouse and children. The entrepreneur is allowed entry into the country for six months, multi-entry visa period, with renewal for another six months.

Specialised talents and researchers in the fields of science and knowledge

The decision also includes provisions for granting a 10-year visa for specialized talents and researchers in the fields of science and knowledge for doctors, specialists, scientists, inventors. As well as creative individuals in the field of culture and art. The visa’s advantages include the spouse and the children.

All categories are required to have a valid employment contract in a specialised in fields of priority for the UAE, and the conditions for each category are defined as follows:

Doctors and specialists (at least 2 of the conditions mentioned below must be met)

  • Holder of a PhD degree from one of the top 500 universities in the world
  • Holder of an award or certificates of appreciation for the work in the applicant’s jurisdiction
  • Contribution to a major scientific research related to the work of the applicant
  • Published articles or scientific books in distinguished publications in the field of work of the applicant
  • Membership in an organization related to the work of the applicant, which requires excellent work to accept membership
  • PhD degree in addition to 10-year professional experience in the applicant’s field of work.
  • Specialization in areas of priority to the UAE (additional requirement for doctors)
  • Scientists must be accredited by the Emirates Scientists Council.
  • Holders of the Mohammed bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence.

Creative individuals in culture and art must be accredited by the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development Inventors. Obtain a patent of value added to UAE’s economy with the approval of the Ministry of Economy Exceptional Talents. Those who have exceptional talents that are documented by patents or scientific research published in world-class journals.

Executives: Owners of leading, well-known and internationally recognised companies – Holders of high academic achievement, professional experience, and position (eg, an engineer in a rare specialty with a university degree and working in a private company in the UAE). The inclusion of this category aims at maintaining current competencies and attract new competencies.

Outstanding students: The decision also includes provisions for granting a five-year visa to outstanding students with a grade of at least 95per cent in public secondary schools in public and private schools, and a distinction of at least 3.75 GPA upon graduation from universities within and outside the country. Benefits include families of the outstanding students.

10-year UAE visa policy will boost health, education

The new strategy fulfils a well-known success formula: Retention of home-grown talent and its indigenous contributions

The 10-year-visa policy announced this week by the UAE opens up new vistas of enduring opportunities in many domains, but the health and education sectors, understandably, enjoy a particular accentuation. The longevity of the visa for highly skilled health professionals directly translates into an enhanced profile of specialised, intensive, health-care skills that are critical assets, particularly in the lead-up to the UAE’s 2021 National Agenda goals. The sooner the top tier of medical professionals opt to make the UAE their operational base, the stronger the incentive for investors to come flocking to this market.

The true worth of experience can only be realised in its applicability and by helping retain specialised brain power, the UAE will fortify its appeal as a medical hub, which also includes the medical tourism objective, that is witnessing impressive growth year upon year. The long-term visa policy will also directly lead to a more stable demographic reality that will anchor progress as more of a guarantee than a projection. This principle works equally well in the field of education, with the five-year visa for students, and a 10-year-visa for high performers, working as a trigger for students to pursue a career in the UAE. For parents who opt to educate their children in UAE schools and universities, the prospects of their wards making a life here provides exceptional comfort and gratitude.

This strategy fulfils the oldest known success formula: Retention of home-grown talent and its indigenous contributions to the full spectrum of national contribution. The new visa policy, thus, will further strengthen the sectors, making UAE the country of choice for people from all walks of life.

UAE expats laud new visa policy changes

Policy reforms seen to benefit mostly jobseekers who can afford to pay visa renewal fee

Dubai:  As the recently approved visa extensions started taking into effect this week, expatriates in the UAE have expressed delight, citing that jobseekers – aside from tourists and women– will stand to benefit the most from the new policy reforms.

Changes to the visa regulations in the country were rolled out on Sunday, October 21, and these include the extension of entry permits for tourists and visas for widowed and divorced women. These are part of the three Cabinet decrees that seek to strengthen the position of the UAE as one of the top destinations in the world.

Under the new policy, visit visa holders can get a 30-day extension without leaving the country at a cost of Dh600. This option can be availed of in two occasions, costing a visitor a total of Dh1,200 for a 60-day hassle-free stay in the UAE.

Beneficial for jobseekers

Some jobseekers interviewed by Gulf News have welcomed the new policy changes, citing that they can now conveniently extend their stay in the UAE without having to worry about exiting the country just to renew a visit visa, thus giving them more time to focus on their job search.

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Expatriates who are on the lookout for employment opportunities would  normally get a three-month tourist visa and in cases where their permits have expired and they have yet to find any suitable job offer, they take a short trip to a neighbouring country  in order to get a new entry  permit in the UAE.

This option, commonly known as a “visa run,” would entail not just visa fees, but airfare expenses and in some cases, hotel and other incidental costs, although some travel agencies have promised to offer visa and flight packages at a much cheaper rate.

“I think it can help reduce the expenses for us who are looking for a job and what’s more important is that it’s hassle-free. I just wish they extend it to three months instead of just one month, so we have more time to find a job,” said Susan, an expatriate from the Philippines.

“One month is not enough to find work. But if there’s no need to exit, I think that’s okay,” she added. Susan has recently been out of job and is looking for a new employer.

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Michael Gilmore, managing partner of headhunting firm Jordan Forde, said the latest visa policy is “extremely beneficial” for expatriates who are looking for jobs.

“The Dh600 [fee] would be an investment if you are looking for a job in the UAE and very convenient for those involved in the stressful job hunt,” Gilmore told Gulf News.

Mahesh Dhakan from India, a small business owner based in Dubai, noted that there is often  an inconvenience associated with visa extensions for foreigners , as it requires them to leave the country first before getting a new entry permit.

“This move is going to help us and make the process easy and more convenient. It will allow more flexibility in dealing with renewals and extensions of visit visas, especially for jobseekers. The extension will give them more time to look for the right job and remuneration,” Dhakan added.

Saving time, expenses

The new visa policy changes are being implemented by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA). They don’t just provide visa extensions for visitors, but also for widowed and divorced women and their dependents, who will now get one-year residency visa extension without the need for a sponsor.

Brigadier Saeed Rakan Al Rashidi, acting director general for foreigners affairs and ports at ICA had said earlier that the policy changes will reduce the need for companies to recruit employees from outside the UAE, thus saving time  and expenses for hiring additional or new staff. It also grants “longer grace period” for jobseekers to “find the suitable opportunities.”

“The decrees enhance labour market by providing chances for various establishments to utilize the competencies existed in the state and reduce the need for recruiting labour from outside the state.”

Wendy Shaw, a British expatriate, said the 30-day extension “may be considered as a blessing for those wanting to avoid the hassle and inconvenience involved with having to exit and return.”

“And the cost is reasonable for those who value their time. I am sure many visiting families and jobseekers will see the benefit and use this option rather than book a short flight for the purpose of renewing their visa,” Shaw added.

Bernard Aquino, another Dubai-based expat from the Philippines, noted that jobseekers who want more time to choose suitable employment will benefit the most from the new visa policy. “The visa extension will help them look for a job with better offer rather than settling for a low salary or take up jobs that are way below their qualifications”

However, some expats said that visa run packages offered by travel agencies would be a more budget-friendly option for those who don’t mind taking a short trip to a neighbouring country.

Such offers, which only require a visitor to fly from a UAE airport to another airport in neighbouring states like Oman, can cost Dh1,500, and in return, a three-month tourist visa can be secured.

“Some travel agents offer a package for a three-month tourist visa, plus flights to exit UAE, that costs Dh1,500. Whereas, if I extend my visa twice for Dh600 each and I get one month each time, the total expenses for a two-month extension would be Dh1,200,” said one jobseeker in Dubai.

Hence, Gilmore said, the new visa extension policy for visitors will be particularly beneficial for a certain “niche” of foreigners in the UAE.

“There will be a particular niche of individuals or jobseekers that will be able to afford the renewal of Dh600. In general, I understand that the UAE is trying to retain families and jobseekers for an extended period of time, but the difference between the Oman border run fee and the new renewal fee is significant,” noted Gilmore.


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