UAE: New Regulations on the Entry and Residence of Foreigners

April 21, 2022 Jessie Butchley

Key Points 

  • New Golden Residence permit changes announced for foreign nationals entering the UAE  
  • Simplification of requirements for family members of Golden Residence permit holders 

Overview  

On 18 April 2022, the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) introduced changes to the regulations on entry and residence of foreign nationals in the country. The following changes have been introduced:  

Golden Residence 

  • An amendment was introduced that will allow the Golden Residence holder to sponsor their family members, including a spouse and children regardless of age, and sponsor support service (domestic) laborers without limiting their numbers. Additionally, there will be no restrictions on the maximum duration of stay outside of the UAE for the sponsored individuals of Golden Residence holders.  

Golden Residence for Scientists 

  • This residence permit is intended for scientists and researchers with high achievements and influence in their field based on the recommendation of the Emirates Scientist Council. Eligible applicants must hold a PhD or master's degree in the disciplines of engineering, technology, life sciences and natural sciences and hold research achievements in these fields.  

Golden Residence for Professionals 

  • This residence permit type is intended for highly skilled workers with educational qualifications and professional experience in many disciplines, including medicine, sciences, engineering, information technology, business and administration, education, law, culture and the social sciences. Qualified applicants will need to hold a valid employment contract in the UAE and should have classified requirements set by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization. Applicants must hold at least a bachelor's degree or equivalent and have a monthly salary of at least AED 30,000.  

Golden Residence for Exceptional Talents 

  • This residence permit type is for talented individuals in vital fields. To qualify, applicants will require recommendation or approval from a federal or local government entity.  

Golden Residence for Real Estate Investors 

  • This residence permit type is intended for real estate investors who have purchased a property in the UAE worth at least AED 2 million. Under the new amendments, investors who have purchased a property with a loan from a specific bank will also qualify.   

Golden Residence for Entrepreneurs 

  • This residence permit is intended for an entrepreneur who owns or is a partner in a startup firm registered in the UAE. The startup must be classified in the small or medium enterprises (SMEs) category and generate an annual revenue of at least AED 1 million. The startup must also have received approval from a business incubator, the Ministry of Economy, or a competent local authority.  

Golden Residence for Outstanding Students and Graduates 

  • This residence permit is intended for high performing students in a UAE secondary school or an outstanding foreign national graduate from a top university. 

The government of the UAE also introduced a Green Residence permit for skilled employees. This new permit scheme will grant skilled foreign national employees a five-year residence permit in the UAE. Eligible applicants must hold a valid employment contract and should meet the qualifications established by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization. Applicants must hold a minimum of a bachelor's degree and have a minimum salary of at least AED 15,000.  

For additional information on these new residence permit routes, check here. For additional information on the UAE's Golden Visa check here. The government of the UAE also published new information on its entry visas, which can be found here.

What are the Changes?  

The government of the UAE published new residency schemes for foreign nationals entering the UAE. In addition, new rules were set for dependent family members of residence permit holders in the UAE. The government stated that the new regulations aim to attract and retain global talent and skilled workers while boosting flexibility of the job market. The UAE also released new entry visas, which can be seen here. 

Looking Ahead  

Continue to check the government of the UAE’s website and Envoy’s website for the latest updates and information.  


For more news and insights from around the world, please sign up for Envoy’s Global Blog Digest, emailed to you every Wednesday morning. 

Content in this publication is for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an attorney at one of the two U.S. Law Firms working with the Envoy Platform or another qualified professional. On non-U.S. immigration issues, consult an Envoy global immigration service provider or another qualified representative.

About the Author

Jessie is Envoy's Global Immigration Writer.

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