7 changes to UAE residency visas you need to know

A new five-year residency program called Green Visas has been introduced amid visa reforms that streamline procedures, expand the Golden Visa scheme, and simplify procedures

Since October 2022, the UAE has implemented several changes to its entry and residency visa system. In addition to streamlining procedures and expanding the long-term Golden Visa scheme, these reforms have introduced a new 5-year residency program known as Green Visas.

Additionally, visa fees have increased and grace periods for exiting the country after a visa expires have been extended. Below are seven changes related to residency that you should be aware of:

1-Rules to sponsor children eased:

Families were greatly relieved by this move. Sons of residents are now allowed to sponsor until they turn 25 – an increase from 18 years of age. Sponsoring unmarried daughters has no age limit.

2-Golden Visa holders can sponsor parents on 10-year visa:

Those who hold Golden Visas are able to sponsor their parents on 10-year visas, too. Previously, the long-term residency scheme beneficiaries could sponsor parents for one year, as is the case with regular residency holders.

3-Visa fees increase:

A 100-dh increase has been made to the fees charged by the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security (ICP). Emirates ID and residency visas are also subject to the additional smart services fee.

4-Validity of freezone visas decreased:

There has been a reduction in the validity period for UAE freezone visas, which has been reduced from three to two years.

5-Longer grace periods to exit UAE after visa expiry:

After a residency visa is cancelled, a grace period of 60 to 180 days is usually allowed to leave the United Arab Emirates. Compared to 30 days ago, this is an increase.

6-Passport visa stamps are replaced by Emirates ID:

Resident visa stickers on passports have been abolished in the UAE. Residents are instead required to show their Emirates ID as proof of their residency.

7-Permit for reentering after over 6 months abroad:

Residency was previously revoked due to staying outside of the UAE. Nevertheless, these residents can now request a reentry permit with a specific reason. Within 30 days of the date of approval, the applicant must enter the country.

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