The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has announced major changes in its visa policy making it a lot more lenient. The policy changes are a major step forward in attracting brilliant minds and businesses to the Emirates.
As per the announced changes, investors, businessmen, professionals, and some students will be given residency visas valid for 10 years.
The New Policy
The provision in the residency visa was approved by the UAE cabinet which was attended by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, as well as its vice president. According to the approved policy;
- Investors, innovators, and professionals in different fields and their families will be given a 10-year residency permit. The professionals include specialists from medical, scientific, research and technical fields.
- Students coming to UAE for studies will be given a 5-year residency visa.
- Exceptional students will be given a 10-year residency visa.
The ruler of UAE added;
The UAE will remain a global incubator for exceptional talents and a permanent destination for international investors. Our open environment, tolerant values, infrastructure and flexible legislation are the best plan to attract global investment and exceptional talents in the UAE.
Changes in Foreign Ownership
Currently, foreigners cannot own more than 49% of any UAE company. Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum directed his Minister of Economy to review this clause in the laws. The Ruler directed to make changes in the policies so foreigners can have 100% ownership of any firm located in UAE.
Foreigners can fully own a UAE firm, however, it needs to be in a special “free zone”. Apart from those zones, no one can own more than 49% stake in any UAE firm as of now.
Government departments have been told to work on implementing the changes by the end of 2018.
Long-term residential visas and greater flexibility for retirees are expected to encourage expats to invest in the UAE, bringing a huge boost to the country’s economy.