Company directors, executives, engineers, professionals and technicians in scientific, technical and human fields will be among the UAE workers who can apply for the five-year green visa from September 5.
Green visas will be available to people with bachelor's degrees who earn Dh15,000 ($4,084) or more a month as part of sweeping changes to attract new talent to the UAE and encourage residents to stay longer.
The visa offers a five-year residency without the need for an employer or a sponsor and allows holders to bring first-degree relatives to the country for the duration of their stay.
Investors and business partners in a commercial business, freelancers and highly skilled workers are eligible for the green visa.
The green visa was approved by the UAE Cabinet, as per Decision No 65 for 2022.
People outside the country who want to apply for a green visa can ask for a 60-day entry work permit to come to the UAE and complete the application on arrival.
Who can apply for the green visa?
UAE authorities have identified three categories of people who can apply for a green visa.
Investors/business partners in a commercial licence, freelancers/self-employed and high-skilled workers.
The costs associated with applying for a green visa for any of the three categories have not yet been set out.
Green visa for skilled workers
The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) has nine different skill levels of jobs, in line with the International Standard Classification of Occupations.
If applying under the skilled workers' category, the applicant should be classified in the first, second or third level.
The worker should have a valid work contract in the UAE with a Dh15,000 salary and a bachelor's degree in certain skilled fields, including science, law, education, culture and social sciences.
Green visa for investors and business partners
The green visa for investors is given to those establishing or participating in commercial activities. It replaces the previous residence that was valid for two years.
The Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security can grant the green visa after it receives approval of the investment from the relevant local authority and proof of investment from the investor or business person.
If the investor has more than one licence, the total invested capital will be calculated.
Green visa for freelancers/self-employed
Freelancers or self-employed people can obtain a five-year work permit without a sponsor or a contract, even if the person is outside the country.
To be eligible, the freelancer should have at least a bachelor's degree and provide his/her yearly income for the last two years for an amount not less than Dh360,000 or prove his or her solvency during the five-years duration.
They should also have a freelance/self-employment permit from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.
Can the holder of green visa sponsor people?
The green visa holder can sponsor residency for first-degree relatives for five years.
The duration of residency for the first-degree relatives (spouse, sons, daughters and parents) will be the same as that of the holder of the green visa.
Previously, this was typically allowed for two or three years.
Dependents are granted a 30-day grace period from the date of expiry or cancellation of their visa to obtain a new residence permit. If the green visa holder fails to renew or cancel the visa of his dependents, the dependents could be liable to pay an overstay fine.
As per the UAE immigration's fines system, the penalty to stay on after the expiration of the grace period is Dh125 for the first day and Dh25 for each subsequent day.
If the dependent's overstay is more than six months, then the fine will be Dh50 a day and Dh100 a day after one year of overstaying.
The green visa may become invalid if the holder remains outside the UAE for more than 180 days.