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United Arab Emirates announces new visa rules for long-term residence permits: everything you need to know

The United Arab Emirates has approved new implementing regulations related to the Federal Decree-Law on the Entry and Stay of Foreigners. The updated entry and residence rules announced by the Emirati cabinet offer 10 types of entry visas with simplified requirements.

These rules aim to retain and attract global talent, increase labor market competitiveness and flexibility, and foster a sense of stability among the country’s residents. The new rules were also released by the government of the United Arab Emirates, which comprises seven emirates including Dubai and Abu Dhabi, in a Twitter post. Check the post here:


According to the government, the new rules will offer 10 types of entry visas with more benefits as well as easier requirements to meet. The new visas do not require any hosts or sponsors.

Here are the different types of visas that the UAE currently offers:

Golden residence

This 10-year long-term residency visa is granted to outstanding talents, investors, outstanding students and graduates, entrepreneurs, humanitarian pioneers, scientists and professionals, and frontline heroes.
Changes to the program allow Golden Residence visa holders to sponsor family members, regardless of age. They can also sponsor support service (domestic) workers with no limit on the number. There are no restrictions related to the maximum length of stay outside the UAE in order to maintain the validity of the visa.

Golden residence for exceptional talents

This residence visa is only granted to the best talents in important fields such as sports, art, digital technology, culture, etc., regardless of their diplomas, professional level or monthly salary. This residency requires a recommendation from a local or federal government entity.

Golden residence for scientists

The residency is granted to scientists and researchers with doctorate or master’s degrees in life sciences, natural sciences, engineering, technology, etc., from the best universities in the world. Applicants must also have substantial research achievements. Visas are granted on the recommendation of the Emirates Scientists Council.

Golden Residence for Professionals

This residency visa category has undergone a massive change. Candidates must be classified in the first or second professional levels and have a valid employment contract in the Emirates to be eligible. The minimum degree required to apply for the visa must be a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, while the monthly salary must be above AED 30,000.

Golden residence for real estate investors

Property investors can get Golden Residence if they buy a property worth at least AED 2 million. In accordance with the new amendments introduced in the program, investors can also obtain the Golden Residence if they buy a property with a loan taken from specific local banks.

Golden Residence for Entrepreneurs
Obtaining approval for a startup idea from the Ministry of the Economy, competent local authorities or an official business incubator is enough to obtain a Golden Residence. Entrepreneurs must be partners or owners of a UAE-registered startup under the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) category, and the business must generate annual revenues of at least AED 1 million.

Golden Visa for Outstanding Students and Graduates

The visa is granted to the most successful students of secondary schools in the United Arab Emirates, as well as to outstanding graduates of universities in the country or the top 100 universities in the world. This includes specific criteria based on academic performance, university classification, year of graduation, etc.

New types of residences with unparalleled benefits

A new 5-year residency track, along with benefits for family members and longer flexible grace periods are offered.

Green residence for qualified employee

Employees without a sponsor or employer can obtain a 5-year residency if they have a valid employment contract. Eligible candidates must be classified at the third, second or first professional level, according to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

Green residence for freelance and self-employment

The amendments allow a freelancer or self-employed person to obtain a 5-year residency track despite having no sponsor or employer, if they have a self-employed permit.

The country also announced new rules for green residency for investors or partners, as well as changes to visa entry rules.


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