The new visa scheme is currently in pilot phase..

Back in April, the UAE cabinet announced major changes to the UAE visa system, which will see new entry visas with simplified requirements and more benefits for visitors and residents. And according to updates issues on Monday and reported by The National, the new scheme will come into effect from Monday October 3.

As announced by the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security this week, the new rules are currently in pilot phase, but will officially be launched in four weeks. At the press briefing, officials also said the launch of the new UAE passport is also in pilot phase, with the next-generation passport also set to officially launch on October 3.

One of the biggest overhauls of the UAE visa system in recent years, simplifying the scheme to 10 types of visas is a “step that supports the country’s competitiveness in the tourism, economic and educational sectors” according to a Tweet from the UAE Government Twitter. The changes were approved by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.

New visas for visitors

The biggest news for visitors entering the UAE is that tourist visas will be valid for 60 days, an expansion from the current 30.

A five-year, multi-entry tourist visa was also announced, which allows visitors to stay up to 90 continuous days in the UAE. However, they can’t exceed 180 days in a year.

Expansion of the UAE golden visa

It will also become easier for residents to be granted a UAE golden visa, with simplified requirements and expanded talents able to apply. Public and real estate investors are covered in the expanded categories, as well as exceptional talents in fields that include art and culture, digital technology and sport. An array of scientists and professionals as well as frontline heroes are also eligible to apply.

New five-year green visa

The five-year UAE green visa is a residency visa that allows its holder to sponsor him or herself for five years without the need for company sponsorship, as well as offering an array of benefits to family members.

Three categories of UAE resident can apply for the green visa:

  • Freelancers or those who are self employed
  • Investors or partners in commercial businesses
  • Highly skilled workers

Residency permits

Several visas, including the one-year remote working visa, five-year retirement visa and two-year real estate owner visa require no sponsor and can be renewed for the same period.

Residents will also be able to sponsor their unmarried sons until the age of 25, rather than 18, and unmarried daughters regardless of their age.