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Getting a Green Visa UAE – Ultimate Guide (2022)

Jun 13, 2022 | Legal

Did you know that the total ex-pat population in the UAE in 2021 was 8.84 million? Dubai is a popular place, and recent initiatives have made it especially attractive to investors, entrepreneurs and businesses. If you want to set up a business in the UAE, you will need to complete certain steps to obtain a Green Visa.

This residency system has a number of advantages for potential investors, entrepreneurs and foreigners moving to the Emirates.

Here, we look at all of the necessary requirements to obtain for a Green Visa in the UAE.

What Is the UAE Green Visa?

This visa is a special permit for foreign professionals that allows them to live, work and invest in the UAE. The Green Visa in the UAE is part of a program created to help the country expand and develop.

The permit allows entrepreneurs to live and work in the UAE. Furthermore, it gives an opportunity to set up your own business and manage your own staff.

The UAE has been working to move away from oil and create long-range economic and social development strategies to prevent the nation from relying on one or two markets. The country is focusing on developing sustainable growth through the country’s tourism and construction industries while also increasing investment in the technology sector.

As a result, different Visas are being launched to promote this upcoming growth and development. The Golden Visa, Freelancer Visa, Talent Pass, and Green Visa are all Visas that have been established to bring in new investors and residents to help the nation grow.

They have also widened the scope of the Golden Visa in 2020 to make it even more appealing than the original Visa that was released in 2019.

Green Visas to Boost the Economy

The UAE has set a goal of growth for the economy with the intention to boost revenue from non-oil sources, thereby creating economic diversification. Tourism is also expected to grow, and this new Visa scheme will help achieve this result. By investing in the Green Visa, the UAE economy will be fortified, along with the construction industry. Overall business opportunities will also expand with this residency scheme.

The UAE has also started to look outside of the country to find highly skilled workers that could help build a vibrant and burgeoning economy. This new Visa will be looking to attract the best and brightest entrepreneurs and self employed individuals into the country. Top students and graduates who’ve recently completed a Bachelor’s degree in various industries are among the most desired professionals.

Ultimately, the Emirates hope to expand the private-sector job market and create jobs for UAE nationals. They want to widen the scope of the job market, and they are hoping that the Green Visa will help with that growth.

Creating a happy and fulfilled lifestyle is important to the professional and cultural ideals in the UAE. When you love what you do, love where you live and have a tonne of job satisfaction, it helps bolster the type of environment where more of that same energy grows.

They want a full country, one that people love to live in, and one that people love to visit.

The Difference Between a Green and Work Visa

In the past, to qualify for a Work Visa, you would need a job offer from a business in the UAE. This business would act as a sponsor for your application for the Visa.

Sponsorship is an employment contract issued by the Ministry of Labour that outlines the employment terms and conditions of a job offer. In addition to your employment details, the contract would also detail the terms and conditions of your stay in the UAE. An employer can sponsor you for a Work Visa if they hire you directly, or sign a contract of employment with a recruitment agency.

However, the Green Visa doesn’t require a sponsorship. Instead, you can sponsor yourself.

Those who are eligible for a Green Visa in the UAE include:

  • Investors
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Top students and graduates
  • Business owners
  • Any self employed individuals

What Are the Benefits of the UAE Green Visa?

The UAE’s new Green Visa is an excellent opportunity for skilled people from different backgrounds to live and work independently in the country. Here are some of the benefits you can enjoy with it.

No Sponsor Required

The main benefit of the UAE Green Visa is that, unlike other visas, it doesn’t require you to be sponsored by your employer. It also means that your employer is not granted the right to cancel your Visa, making it a much more secure one.

Sponsor Your Family Members

Another advantage of this residency scheme is that you can sponsor parents and children and various other family members. These include sponsoring a spouse, first-degree relatives, and dependents. They each will be eligible for the same rights and benefits that you have.

Male children can be sponsored up until the age of 25. Unmarried daughters do not have an age limit, and widows are also eligible for sponsorship too.

Eligibility also extends to children of extenuating health circumstances or that have special needs. These children are given a residency permit with no limit or restrictions to age as well. You can also sponsor your parents if they have special care requirements as well. 

This is an excellent incentive for foreign entrepreneurs, self-employed individuals or businesses to have their family members, parents and children with them while working in the UAE.

Ease of Travel & Flexible Lifestyle

The Green Visa makes travelling in and out of the country easy. If you have to travel to another country, you could easily exit and re-enter the UAE.

You will be able to live and work in the UAE, which could be a great opportunity for foreign professionals. You can also use this Visa while you go to school in the UAE.

Start Your Business & Enjoy Tax Exemptions

You’ll be able to start a business or invest in the UAE. With this Visa, you will be granted the right to manage your business or employees. This means that you can set up companies, recruit staff and manage them.

By obtaining the UAE Green Visa, you will also be able to work in the Dubai Free Zone. Since the Dubai Free Zone is one of the largest investors in the Middle East, it’s the perfect place to start a business or conduct research and studies. The Dubai Free Zone is a great place to meet important people and learn about new opportunities.

The United Arab Emirates is one of the best countries to conduct business in. It offers a tax-free environment for its residents, and even foreign investors can enjoy the same benefits. As such, many global investors are choosing to set up their business operations in Dubai or Abu Dhabi.

Person holding visa application form on a wooden table

What are the UAE Green Visa Requirements?

The requirements for a Green Visa are dependent on the eligibility criteria you meet. Skilled employees, freelancers and investors or partners all have different eligibility requirements.

Skilled Employees

Skilled professionals, doctors, researchers, specialists, top students and freelancers are among some of the most demanded individuals all in hot demand as eligible for this UAE green visa residency scheme. As part of the push to attract talented people into UAE market, the government has launched a 5-year residence tracks regime.

A green residence visa for skilled employees provides a five-year residency period. During this time, skilled employees aren’t required to have an employer or sponsor.

Importantly, some eligibility criteria must be met in terms of education level for a potential applicant to travel and work in the United Arab Emirates under this visa scheme.

If you are highly-skilled, you will be able to register with the Ministry of Labour as a foreign employee. In case you are a specialist or a technician, you will need to have a certificate of employment in the UAE. Employment contracts are valid for one year and can be renewed after that. This is to make sure that employers are serious about hiring foreign applicants.

Having a minimum level of a bachelor’s degree is helpful, otherwise you’ll need to be in the first, second, or third level in the National Qualification Classification System. This system has been established to measure the skills of the workforce in the UAE by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

Then, you’ll need to have a salary that’s higher than the minimum salary. This will ensure that you have a good standard of living. The applicant’s salary should not be less than fifteen thousand dirhams (USD 4,083.74).

The final requirement involves a minimum level of education. You will also have to have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent.

Skilled employees need below to qualify:
  • Valid employment contract
  • Fall under the first, second or third occupational level as per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent
  • Earn a salary of AED 15,000 or more

Freelancers and Self Employed Individuals

Freelancers and individuals who are self-employed are not exempt from Green residency. This system also allows five years of residency for freelancers and self-employed people without the need for a sponsor or employer in the UAE.

If you want to register as self-employed as an individual or freelancer, you will need to first obtain a freelancer visa or self-employment permit from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

Importantly, having a bachelor’s degree or equivalent is essential. However, you can also qualify if you have a specialized diploma.

Providing evidence of an annual income from the past 2 years is required. Also, having an income that’s higher than the minimum salary will bolster your application and help ensure a good standard of living. You will need to show documentation that details an annual income from self-employment for the previous two years of 360,000 Arab Emirates Dirham.

If you’re unable to provide proof of annual income from the past two years, there is another option. You can provide proof of financial solvency throughout the time you stay in the country.

People falling under this criteria need to submit:
  • Permit for freelance/self-employment issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation
  • Bachelor’s degree or specialised diploma
  • Proof of annual income from self-employment amounting to AED 360,000 or more for the past 2 years

Investors or Partners

The UAE is pushing for growth and investors and partners. The Green residency for investors or partners gives five years of residency to investors that are participating in or establishing commercial activities. This residency replaces the previous one that was only valid for two years.

The investment needs to first be approved. Then the candidate will have to provide proof of an investment in a business in the UAE.

You will need to provide proof of a total capital investment of 1 million United Arab Emirates Dirhams. If the investor has more than one license, the total investment will be calculated.

The investment needs to be approved by the local authorities. This process can take time. The applicant will be informed when the investment is accepted by the local authorities.

Requirements for investors or partners include:
  • Investment approval and proof of investment – in case the investor/partner has more than one licence, the total invested capital will be calculated
  • The approval of the competent local authorities and the licensing of the applicant to practice the activity

Ready To Get Your Green Visa?

With booming growth in the UAE, it’s a great place to be. The country is working hard to make it a place that’s great to live in, visit, and work in.

The Green Visa in the UAE provides unique opportunities for freelancers, business owners, skilled workers, and investors. If you’re ready to apply for your Green Visa, don’t let the process be stressful.

Contact us today and let us help you make the process simple and stress-free.

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