The Arab world gives a holler to the extraordinarily skilled people from the world over to work and live in the UAE with its brand new “Green Pass”. This new visa scheme is for those free birds who are highly skilled in their field of interest and pursuing employment opportunities in the UAE but not willing to depend on employers for sponsorship. The icing on the cake is the Green Visa holders are allowed to sponsor their parents and children aged up to 25 years. Sounds interesting?! Keep reading to know the answers of all your doubts.

What is the UAE Green Visa and who all are eligible for it?

The name says it all! Green Visa is a “green signal” given by the UAE government (in September 2021) to extremely competent foreign individuals so they can sponsor themselves without being tied to an employer in the nation. Which means those holding the new Green Visa can work without company sponsorship. And the best part is it lets people remain in the country for up to 180 days even after losing their job. Just like the Golden Visa, Green Visa also gives self-residency status to holders but for 5 years. The visa unshackles residency visas that are tied with work permits provided by employers under traditional employment visa schemes in the UAE. Entrepreneurs, investors, highly qualified professionals, top achievers (students/graduates) and anyone who is worth their salt in a certain area or two are an eligible candidate for the UAE Green Visa.

What is the objective behind the launch of the Green Pass?

It’s no more a secret that the oil-rich UAE is gradually moving away from oil. Reason we all know. The crash in oil prices that began in 2014, the fluctuating global market and the world’s shift towards a sustainable future. After realising how much it’s economic growth is dependent on oil production and supply, the UAE started formulating long-range economic and social development strategies to reduce the nation’s reliance on just one source or two. The launch of Green Visa is one of those measures taken by the UAE to diversify its revenue sources.

Not too long ago, the UAE declared it will launch 50 new economic initiatives to enhance the country’s economic competitiveness and draw $150 billion (AED 550 billion) in foreign direct investment in the next nine years. One of the pivotal legislative amendments being introduced as part of “Projects of the 50” is an overhauling of the entry and residency system, including the launch of the Green Visa, the Freelancer Visa, and widening the scope of the Golden Visa eligibility.

2019 in the UAE saw the debut of the “Golden Visa”, 2020 restructured the Golden Visa to make it more appealing, 2021 ended leaving the old for the new “Green Visa” as well as “Freelancer Visa” and 2022 was welcomed with “Talent Pass”. The country can be seen shooting one visa scheme after another in addition to several other initiatives (like introduction of corporate tax) and the aim is the same and straightforward i.e.

  • To boost the economy and decrease dependence on oil
  • To lure highly-skilled people from across the world
  • To make the UAE one of the world’s happiest place to live and work
  • To promote sustainable development and to expand private sector job creation

What are the benefits of attaining the UAE Green Visa?

Allowing talented people from different backgrounds to live and work independently in the country, the new Green Visa of UAE brings with it a cartload of advantages for expats. Let’s have a quick glance at them.The holder of the UAE Green Visa:

  • Need not to look for national sponsors, they can self sponsor themselves and work independently
  • They can also sponsor their parents and sons till they turn 25 unlike regular employment visa holders who can sponsor their son/s only till they are 18yo (or 21 if the son is studying in the UAE or abroad only on providing the proof that he is studying)
  • Can have multiple accounts in UAE
  • Enjoys ease of travel
  • Doesn’t have to cough up any income tax and corporate tax
  • Receives a grace period of 180 days if loses job (as a result of employment termination) to search another job
  • Is eligible for long-term residency (5 years) in the state
  • Gets opportunity to live, study and work in one of the safest countries in the world while reveling in the benefits of a developed high-tech nation

What’s the difference between the Green Visa and employment or work visa?

Under ordinary circumstances, non-UAE nationals who are jonesing to come to the UAE to work must hold a visa sponsored by their employers in the country. This legal document is termed as the employment/work visa. Although it’s the common route most expats adopt to settle down in the UAE, it hinders their way in case they are looking to reside in the country for a long time.

On the other hand, Green Visa allows the holder to stay in the UAE and work without being sponsored by an employer. In light of this constraint, foreigners can apply for a UAE Green Visa card and sit back until the application process is open and get outstanding payroll outsourcing services.

What visa is the best for long-term residency in the UAE?

The expatriates account for about 90% of the total UAE population. Previously, the only way that could open the door for expats to enter the UAE was employment visa and sponsored residency that too for 2-3 years at a time. However, post 2019, the UAE government started offering keys (in the form of different types of visas and permits) to unlock the doors to new paths taking expats to the country. Now foreign nationals have a variety of visas at their disposal to happily reside in the country for a long term without the need of renewing their visa/residency status time and again. The three most popular visas in the UAEthat allows expats to live freely in the nation for 5-10 years without requiring a local sponsor.

Golden Visa

About: Announced in 2019 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Golden Visa is a five or 10-year residency scheme offered to investors, entrepreneurs, proficient individuals, researchers, scientists, highly qualified professionals and outstanding students. The main objective of the golden visa is to give security to all talented expatriates and investors who are continuously promoting and contributing to the UAE’s economic and social development and growth.

Benefit: The restructured UAE golden visa enables the foreigners to reside, take education and do business or job in Dubai without any need of national sponsors and with 100% accountability for business on the land of Dubai. The golden visas come with a validity of either 5 or 10 years and renew automatically.

Eligibility: To qualify for the 10-year Golden Visa, one has to do at least AED 10 millions of public investments which may be in the form of either an investment fund inside the country or UAE-based company with a capital investment of AED 10 million (or more) or partnership in a UAE firm with a shared capital of not less than AED10 million or overall investment of at least AED 10 million in all aforesaid areas, provided the at least 60% of the total amount is invested in sectors other than real estate. On meeting the specified criteria also, the visa will be granted only if the amount invested is:

  • Not loaned
  • Intended to retain for at least three years
  • Has a financial solvency of up to AED 10 million

The qualifying criteria over the past couple of years have expanded to embrace foreign nationals from different professions including doctors, lawyers, artists, PhD holders, scientists, innovators, researchers, humanitarian workers, investors, entrepreneurs, managers, CEOs, and specialists in the fields of science, engineering, electronics, coding, electricity, health, education, business management and technology. The persons with specialized talents must prove high levels of accreditation in the field of their expertise in order to be granted the Golden Visa. Students with or more than a GPA of 3.8 in UAE-based accredited universities are also eligible for the Golden Visa. In addition, individuals under the investor category qualify for the Golden Visa provided they fulfil the conditions set by the government on the type and value of the investment. The holder may extend the visa to include business partners but there is one condition i.e., each partner has to contribute AED 10 million. Furthermore, along with the holder’s spouse and children the long-term visa can also take into account one executive director and one advisor.

UAE Green Visa

About: Announced in September 2021 as part of the first series of the UAE’s expansive projects for the next 50 years, the Green Visa provides self-residency to highly skilled individuals.

Benefit: Self sponsorship with the ability to sponsor family members, including parents and children up to 25 years old, instead of 18.

Eligibility: Investors, entrepreneurs, business owners, top students and graduates.

On the other hand, a new visa category was announced by the UAE government on the 5th of September – the ‘Green Visa’. Similarly, the Green Visa also aims to target skilled workers, investors, entrepreneurs, outstanding students, and talented graduates, but what makes it different from the Golden Visa?

Firstly, the Green Visa will allow foreign residents to sponsor their parents and sons until the age of 25, as opposed to the traditional rule whereby a parent could only sponsor sons until the age of 18. Additionally, the Green Visa will not be related to work permits, and it will permit whose visa has expired or those who have lost their jobs to remain in the UAE for 180 days, in comparison with the general grace period of 30 days, this is considered a major incentive as most visas are tied to employment. The Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi highlighted that “the Golden Visa and the Green Visa complement one another”.

UAE Freelancers Visa

About: This federal visa scheme enables self-employed workers based in the UAE and overseas to sponsor themselves.

Benefit: Self sponsorship and freedom to take on different jobs across the country.

Eligibility: Freelancers in specialised fields such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and digital currencies.

An additional visa category was also announced in 2021, titled the ‘Freelancers Visa’, making it easier for those who are self-employed to work without obtaining work permits and employment contracts; this aims to draw specialists, professionals, and retirees to fundamental sectors in the near future.

With the new visa system, the UAE is supporting families as well as the economy. Residents are now able to take an integrated path from entering the country to attaining a long-term Golden Visa. The system aims to attract more global talent and investment for its significant economic development plans as part of “Projects of the 50” campaign, honoring the 50th anniversary of the UAE and outlining a roadmap for the country’s future growth and strategic development in the next 50 years, as envisioned by His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

How can we help?

Being a UAE resident means that you can take advantage of tax exemptions, high standards of living, and excellent opportunities for business development backed up by economic and political stability. If you want to enjoy these privileges of living in the UAE, then applying for a Resident Permit should be one of your top priorities.

Make your way to Adam Global Dubai for any kind of long-term residency visa assistance in Dubai. We provide full support in obtaining UAE Residence Visa, Freelance Permits & Emirates ID for foreign investors, their families and dependents. At Adam Global, not only you’ll get long-term UAE visa assistance but also business formation assistance along with expert advice in expanding or scaling up your business in Dubai by our qualified Dubai business formation advisors who take pride in being the person behind the success of many aspiring and seasoned business persons and professionals. Not only that, our dedicated team of finance professionals help you keep your accounting & bookkeeping in good shape. You may also benefit from our corporate tax and VAT specialists whether you need to file a tax return/refund or simply train your staff to stay compliant.

Continue Reading