Those eligible include investors, freelancers and those who are self-employed, and highly skilled employees…

As part of huge changes to the UAE visa system, officials have introduced a new UAE green visa, which is available from today, Monday October 3.

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.

Who is eligible for a UAE green visa?

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

Freelancers and those who are self-employed need to have proof of a bachelor’s degree or specialised diploma and a freelance permit from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE). To qualify, they must also be able to prove annual income in the last two years of at least Dhs360,000, or prove financial solvency through their stay in the UAE.

To be considered a highly skilled employee, you must be classified in the first, second or third occupational level as per MoHRE. This covers company directors and executives (level 1), professionals in scientific, technical and human fields (level 2), and technicians in scientific, technical and human fields (level 3). A full list of those considered in the top three occupational levels by MoHRE can be viewed here. In addition, skilled employees should have a valid employment contract, salary of at least Dhs15,000 per month and hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree or equivalent.

Until now, investors establishing or participating in commercial activities could acquire a two-year visa, but that’s now been replaced with the five-year green visa. To qualify, investors or partners need both approval and proof of investment, as well as approval from the necessary local authorities.

The benefits of a UAE green visa

The UAE green visa will allow the holder to easily get residency permits for children, spouses and first-degree relatives. Green visa holders will also be able to sponsore their male children up to the age of 25 and daughters regardless of their age.

The overstay period will also be extended, and once a green visa is cancelled or expires, holders will have up to six months to stay in the UAE.

Those looking to acquire the UAE green visa from overseas will be eligible for a 60-day entry work permit to come and complete the application on arrival in the emirates.

How much does a UAE green visa cost?

According to The National, the government is yet to publish the cost of the UAE green visa. For the UAE golden visa, you can expect to pay in the region of Dhs4,000.