Following the announcement of ‘Golden Visa’ in 2019, the United Arab Emirates has recently announced the ‘Green Visa’ scheme. Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State of Foreign Trade, announced two new visa schemes on Sunday, September 5, 2021.
The country’s leadership announced these as a part of UAE’s ‘Projects of the 50’, a series of projects aimed at the economic development of the country. The project consists of 50 new economic initiatives to boost the country’s economic competitiveness and attract $150 billion (AED 550 billion) in foreign direct investment within the next nine years.
The Green Visa is granted to investors, entrepreneurs, highly skilled individuals, top students, and graduates. The visa scheme expands self-residency status, i.e., employer sponsorship is no longer required for holders of Green Visa hence, separating residence permits from work permits. The UAE grants the visa holders the benefits of sponsoring their parents and children up to 25 years of age. Earlier, if a resident visa holder lost their job, they had only 30 days to leave the country, but with the introduction of the new visa, the person has 90 – 180 days to leave the country. Certain humanitarian relaxations have also been made to accommodate widows/widowers and divorcees, for example.
Along with the Golden Visa and Green Visa, ‘Freelancer’s Visa’ has also been announced for self-employed individuals and owners of independent businesses based in the UAE and overseas in specialized fields such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and digital currencies.
About 90% of the UAE’s ten million-strong population consists of foreigners. The UAE announced that the two new visa schemes aim to make living and working in the UAE more flexible for these foreigners. Business leaders have also said that these recent reforms will ensure family stability among UAE residents, which will highly benefit the economy of the country in the long run.
UAE has also extended the Golden Visa’s eligibility to include managers, CEO, specialists in science, engineering, health, education, business, management, and technology and can be renewed every five or ten years.