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UAE Green Residence visa: Benefits and eligibility criteria

As part of a slew of new rules aimed at attracting and retaining talent and skilled workers from all over the world, the UAE Cabinet has also revealed a new 5-year Green Residence visa, which will boost flexibility of the job market and will foster a high sense of stability among UAE residents and families.

The new 5-year Green Residence visa will be aimed at exceptional talents, skilled professionals, freelancers, investors, and entrepreneurs.

Under the Green Residence visa, more benefits will be offered to facilitate the residence of family members residence.

In addition, longer flexible grace periods will extend up to 6 months to stay in the country after the residence permit is cancelled or expired.

UAE Green Residence Visa eligibility criteria:

  1. Green Residence Visa for skilled employees: The new track provides a 5-year residency for skilled employees, without a sponsor or employer. The applicants should have a valid employment contract, and should be classified in the first, second, or third occupational level as per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. The minimum educational level must be a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, and the salary should not be less than $4,083 (AED 15,000).

  2. Green Residence Visa for freelancing and self-employment: In line with the growing importance of flexible work models, this track provides a 5-year residency for freelancers and self-employed individuals without requiring a sponsor or employer in the UAE. It requires applicants to obtain a freelance/self-employment permit from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. The minimum educational level should be bachelor’s degree or specialised diploma, and the annual income from self-employment for the previous two years should not be less than $98,000 (AED 360,000), or that the applicant proves financial solvency throughout his / her stay in the country.

  3. Green Residence Visa for investors or partners: This residence permit is introduced to encourage investment, providing 5-year residency for investors establishing or participating in commercial activities. It replaces the previous residence that was valid for 2 years only. Requirements include approval of the investment and proof of investment. If the investor or partner has more than one license, the total invested capital will be calculated. Approval of the competent local authorities is mandatory.

The new system provides more benefits to family members, allowing residents to easily issue residence permits for their family members, including spouse and children.

The age of children who may be sponsored has been raised to 25 years (previously 18 years), with no age limit for unmarried daughters.

Children of determination are granted a residence permit, regardless of their age.

Green Residences holders are allowed to issue residence permits for their first-degree relatives, and in all cases the residency of family members shall be the validity duration as the original residence holder.

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