And they’ve said they’ll get it done in 100 days…

Waiting for your residence visa before you can get your life started in the UAE? Well, in a few months’ time that wait will be shorter, as the UAE government has just committed to halving the time it takes to process a residence permit for private sector workers in the UAE.

And they’ve said they’ll get the process to 50% faster in just 100 days (aka, in a little over three months).

It currently takes from about 10 days to three weeks to process a residence visa, and it can be more. How quick it is depends on whether you’re in a free zone (where it’s faster) or whether you’re at a standard company overseen by the Ministry of Labour (where the wait time is longer). It also, let’s be honest, varies depending on the efficiency of your company.

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Halving the visa processing time will make moving to the UAE, or moving between jobs, a far more streamlined process, as you need your residence visa to sign a tenancy contract in the UAE, open a bank account and to get your Emirates ID (which then means you can a resident mobile phone SIM).

Basically, you can’t get your life started here until you – or someone in your family who can sponsor you – has a residence visa. The three week wait that many people currently have means that people can’t move into their permanent accommodation etc for at least a month after they move here.

The goal of halving the processing time is all part of the UAE Vision 2021, a ‘government roadmap’ launched by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, that sets out to make the UAE’s government processes more efficient and customer friendly. You can read more about the Vision 2021 (and what exactly it involves) here.

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