Dubai, real estate

UAE's Green Visa: Who's eligible, benefits and how it differs from Golden Visa

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has made some significant changes to its visa rules, which come into effect on October3, in an effort to attract more highly skilled people and build a bigger “knowledge economy” to boost its population and to bounce back from the COVID pandemic.

Besides offering a 10-year Golden Visa scheme, which came into effect in late 2020, and with 44,000 of these visas already been issued in the first year in Dubai alone, the UAE also offers a Green Visa for a term of 5 years. Aimed at the middle-income bracket, this visa is for skilled workers, freelancers and the self-employed.

You need to be earning a minimum monthly salary of Dh15,000 and must hold a bachelor’s degree in certain skilled fields, including science, law, education, culture or social sciences, among others.

A person living in the UAE and as a two or three-year trade licence for freelance work may find this option attractive.

UWhat is UAE’s Green Visa 

It is a residence visa, that allows its holder to sponsor himself/herself for 5 years, eliminating the need of a UAE national or employer to sponsor his/her visa. It was announced in September 2021, it comes into effect from today (October 3).

There is also a six-month grace period after visa cancellation or expiry.

Also read: Mohanlal latest Indian celebrity to get UAE’s golden visa. What’s the criteria?

Who is eligible?

Freelancers or self-employed people, skilled workers and investors or partners are eligible for the visa and the applicant has to get a freelance/self-employment permit from the ministry of human resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE). The three categories that are eligible for this Green Visa are:

  • Freelancers or Self-employed

They should have a minimum bachelor’s degree or specialised diploma and an annual income from self-employment for the previous two years should not be less than Dh360,000. Or, the applicant should prove financial solvency throughout his or her stay in the country.

  • Skilled employees

The applicants under this category should have a minimum educational qualification of a bachelor’s degree or equivalent and a valid employment contract. They should be classified in the first, second or third occupational level as per MOHRE and their salary should not be less than Dh15,000.

  • Investors and partners

Under this category, too, a sponsor will not be required for the holder of the Green Residency. And, freelancers or self-employed people, skilled workers and investors or partners are eligible for the visa.

The Benefits of Green visa

A green visa holder can now sponsor relatives for residency for five years. Previously, this was typically allowed for two years.

They can sponsor a spouse, children and first-degree relative for the duration of their residency. Parents will be able to sponsor male children till the age of 25, which has been increased from the previous age limit of 18.

Unmarried daughters and children with disabilities will be given residence regardless of age. Moreover, they will get an extended flexible grace period of up to six months if their residence permit is cancelled or has expired.

How to apply for the Green Visa?

The Green Visa, along with the other new visas announced by the authorities, will come into effect from October 3. Details on the application process are expected to be announced by the authorities. Meanwhile, you can check out these website for more information:

Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security:

General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – Dubai:

Also read: 10-year stay, easier property ownership with UAE’s new Golden Visa rules

Job exploration visa

There is also the job exploration visa, which allows talented professionals find employment in the UAE, without requiring a sponsor or host. Those that fall under the first, second or third skill level classification of the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation and new graduates from the top 500 universities of the world will be eligible for the job exploration visa.

Primarily, it is aimed at “young talent and skilled professionals”. Recent graduates from the world’s top 500 universities are included in this category.

Besides the tourist visa that allows visitors to stay on in the UAE for 60 days, an increase from 30 days, the five year multi-entry visit visa allows people to stay in the UAE for upto 90 days in a row. This is viewed as a big step to prompt young individuals to come to the UAE for job opportunities.

What is similar to Golden Visa and Green Visa

Both the Golden Visa and Green Visa allow a resident to sponsor himself or herself, without the need for a company (like an employer) to be the visa sponsor. This is referred to as self-sponsorship. Also, both these visas offer long-term residency options, compared to the regular two- or three-year residence visas.

What sets them apart

What sets them apart is the duration for each visa, the eligibility criteria and the benefits differ.

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