UAE's New Immigration Policy To Facilitate Easy Entry For Visitors

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on July 14, 2023, 17:41:00

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UAE's New Immigration Policy To Facilitate Easy Entry For Visitors

UAE's New Immigration Policy To Facilitate Better Work Conditions For Expats

The newly announced UAE employment visa and immigration schemes for 2021 have been welcomed and commended by all sections of expatriates as it enables easier and more effective initiatives in the general interests of those who wish to work in the Emirates. 

The UAE continues to be a prominent destination for migrants from around the world. Due to its continued strong growth but also its relatively low levels of COVID-19, the prospects for foreign workers in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and the wider UAE region appeared to be excellent in 2021. As a nation, the UAE has an incredibly modern and technologically advanced infrastructure attracting some of the best engineers, scientists, and IT specialists from around the world. The country has become a home for people from different countries. To have a harmonious growth, a number of new immigration initiatives have been announced by the UAE authorities in recent times after the Wuhan virus pandemic. 

According to the new visa scheme announced by the UAE government which is is extremely innovative and is designed to allow workers to base themselves in one of the seven emirates but work for a company in another country. This may be a move that is echoed by more nations around the world as governments recognise the highly fluid nature of work in the global society. His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, has made it clear that the UAE government intends to be innovative and will develop more flexible programmes and initiatives for the benefit of its citizens and migrants; “We are working with clear objectives to boost our economic status globally ... Our journey of development endures”.

Under the new scheme, remote work visa applicants will effectively sponsor themselves, rather than being sponsored by a UAE-based business. If successful, remote visa holders will be permitted to remain in the UAE for a period of 12 months, after which they will either need to leave or apply for another visa.

One of the main reasons to apply for this visa, apart from allowing overseas workers to live in the UAE, is the tax benefit. Visa holders will still need to pay tax in their home country, but they will not need to pay tax in the UAE. As such, they will be able to effectively pay the same taxes they would have paid in their home country but benefit from the superb weather and lifestyle available in the UAE.

Applicants are required to have an income of at least $5,000 (£3,636) per month. The fee for the visa is $287 (£209) per year, in addition to the cost of medical insurance.

According to Issam Kazim, chief executive of the Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, many people are applying from within the UAE, including those on tourist visas; “We also see a direct effect from the more than 18,000 people already in the city leveraging the complimentary tourism visa extensions, many of whom are now choosing Dubai as a more semi and permanent base for themselves by opting to choose to live and work remotely from here.”

 Under the Federal Decree Law No.33 of 2021 on regulating labour relations, teenagers aged 15 and above can work after obtaining a written consent from their guardians and a medical fitness report. The new law amendments regarding the employment of teenagers comes after the government announced a temporary work visa in September that allows teenagers to get part-time jobs apart from their schooling. The executive regulations, to be out soon, will determine the sectors that are prohibited from hiring teenagers.

UAE Offering Citizenship to Migrants for the First Time: In another substantial shift in policy for 2021, the UAE government has announced that it will offer passports to select foreigners and professionals. As such, migrants will not be able to apply for citizenship in the UAE, they will need to be invited. The UAE passport is internationally recognised as one of the most flexible in terms of global mobility. The official statement on the new policy stated, “The United Arab Emirates has approved amendments ... allowing investors, professionals, special talents and their families to acquire the Emirati nationality and passport under certain conditions”. It went on to say, “The step aims at appreciating the talents and competencies present in the UAE and attracting more bright minds to the Emirati community in a way that contributes to the development and prosperity of the country”.

Golden Visa Scheme Expanded for 2021: The highly innovative ‘Golden Visa’ scheme in the UAE allows overseas nationals to reside, work, and study in the UAE without needing to be sponsored. It also allows business people to retain 100% ownership of their business within the UAE. The scheme is geared towards investors, entrepreneurs, specialist talent, researchers in various fields of science, and “bright students with promising scientific capabilities”. Visas are typically granted for an initial period of either five or ten years, depending on the route chosen. Under the 2021 scheme, the range of occupations and qualifications for the Golden Visa scheme has been expanded and now includes:

  • Ph.D. holders who have studied at one of the top 500 universities in the world
  • Certified doctors
  • Engineers specialising in the fields of computers, electronics, programming electronics, active technology, electrical, AI, and Big Data are also eligible for the visa.
  • ‘Highly qualified individuals' with a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.8 or more from a government-approved university
  • Scientists and researchers who are specialists in their chosen fields (accredited by the Emirates Scientists Council)
  • Holders of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence
  • Investors with Dh10 million
  • Inventors with approved patents
  • Entrepreneurs with ‘injected’ capital of Dh500,00 or more.

In addition to the above schemes, the UAE has also recently announced a five-year multi-entry tourist visa for all nationalities and a scheme that will allow international students to bring their family members to the UAE to join them. All in all, the new schemes announced by the UAE government signal a clear intent to draw the brightest from around the world to boost the country’s economic prosperity and standing in the world.

Expressing his appreciation on the new immigration policies, eminent Dubai based Advocate who specialises in Corporate, labour and immigration issues, Sunil Ambalavevil opined that the rulers of UAE have always been forward looking and each of the new laws that we have been seeing in the 50th year of the formation of UAE, has been specially focussed on building a perfect ambience for expatriates not just to enter the Emirates but also feel at home in any level of jobs or entreprenuerial ventures they are involved in. 

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