On Tuesday, May 21, 2019, the UAE Prime Minister and Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid announced the launch of a new UAE permanent residency program. As it is expected, at least 7,000 people will take part in it, foreign expats who have already made a significant contribution to the development of the local economy – investors, scientists, engineers, etc. All of them will get a “gold card.”
What is a permanent resident visa in Dubai, UAE, and how to get it?
New rules make it possible for key professional employees and investors to receive ten-year resident visas in Dubai, live here, and enjoy all the benefits available to a resident. These new rules greatly simplify the lives of residents, since there is no need to extend a visa every 2 or 3 years. These are the basic requirements for all foreigners living and working in the UAE, or those who have got a permit by investment having acquired a real estate property here with the cost of more than 1 million dirhams.
10-year visa for those working in the field of medicine, research, engineering, and the industry is in many ways similar of the US Green Card and have the same goals – to attract talented foreigners and investors to develop the local economy.
This new "Gold Card" also applies to spouses and children of its owner.
The UAE Cabinet of Ministers has already approved several amendments regarding the residency status of students, entrepreneurs, and professionals working in individual business sectors, and these changes are beginning to be implemented.
The main innovation approved by the government is to increase the duration of staying in the UAE for specialists working in the field of medicine, science, research, and technical areas and their family members up to ten years. Foreign investors, registering companies in the UAE, will also be able to get visas for ten years, students will be issued permanent residency in the UAE for a term of 5 years or 10 years for exceptional students.
The changes will create additional stability in the market since the long-term residence of professionals in the UAE will be encouraged.
Over time, those who have deep knowledge not only in their professional field but also in the way of life and work in Dubai will strive to raise the standards in their industries. Also, entry-level employees can benefit from the experience of these senior colleagues, who stay for several more years. Employers, in turn, will get more choice among talented people.
The changes will give the UAE advantages over other GCC countries in terms of attracting and retaining professional, talented people. These new permanent residency rules are likely to change the economic landscape of the entire region since other countries will very likely follow the trend set by the UAE.
New visas ensure that a talented specialist stays in the country for as long as possible, not only working under a specific contract and leaving the UAE after its completion since resident visas are issued for a specific position for a foreign citizen in the Emirates company. Many expatriates consider the UAE as a temporary place to work, to develop a career, and gain new experience. Thus, in 2017, residents of the UAE transferred $45 billion to their native countries. The new initiative aims to ensure that the UAE and Dubai are not associated with a temporary plan, but with a permanent residence.
At present, many details have not yet been clarified; for example, it is not yet clear what will happen if a person who has a permanent residency of the United Arab Emirates changes a workplace. It is not clear what will happen if the owner of a ten-year resident visa of the UAE will be hired by a new employee – whether this employee has to change a visa or it can be remained. It also remains unclear what happens if these permanent residents lose their jobs. But we will find out the answers to all these questions soon.
Companies often have difficulty recruiting engineers and doctors; new permanent residency rules will help to attract more specialists working in specific areas. A local employer receives more chances to find a suitable specialist with a ten-year UAE resident visa.
These directives of the UAE Council of Ministers also include revising the residency system to extend resident visas for those students who are sponsored by their parents and have enough time to choose a career path after completing their studies, the most talented and active will have excellent opportunities to stay in the country and get all the benefits of living in a safe and comfortable environment.
Thus, the visa reform of the UAE will significantly raise the attractiveness of the UAE.