ABU DHABI 26 January 2021: Apart from the regular Visit, Study and Work visas, how many types of other visas does the UAE offer to foreigners?
In recent years, the UAE has updated residency and visa procedures recently highlighting the country’s approach to promoting the values of tolerance and openness to other countries and their peoples.
Expatriate Students: A UAE Cabinet resolution issued on Sunday, which allows expatriate students to bring their families to the country and sponsor them, is aimed at boosting the country’s international position as a leading education and work destination, reinforcing its competitiveness in regional and global indexes related to residency and entry visa flexibility, said Wam.
Medical Treatment Visa: Over the past four years, the UAE has adopted a series of key updates to its residency and visa requirements. In 2017, the country announced the launch of an updated medical treatment visa allowing foreign patients to be issued with individual or group visas for 90 days, which are renewable if required upon a request from the hospital, boosting the country’s international stature in the field of healthcare and treatment tourism.
Retirement Visa: In September 2018, the UAE Cabinet approved a law to provide retired residents over the age of 55 a long-term visa for a period of 5 years, which can be automatically renewed if the retiree owns a real estate investment worth Dh2 million, or if their financial savings are worth at least Dh1 million, or if they have proof of income of Dh20,000 per month or over.
UAE Golden Residency: In 2019, the UAE adopted the long-term “UAE Golden residency visa, a 10-year residency visa, which benefitted investors, entrepreneurs, talents, scholars in sciences and knowledge, PhD holders, doctors and engineers, as well as overachievers who graduated from Emirati universities with a GPA of 3.8 or more.
Humanitarian Visa: The changes and developments to the UAE’s residency and visa systems are not limited to the investment and tourism sectors, they also address humanitarian factors. In 2018, the UAE Cabinet issued a resolution granting the citizens of countries suffering from wars and disasters a one-year residency visa while allowing widows, divorced women and their children to renew their residency visas without a sponsor for one year, renewable once.
Visa Extensions: On 28th December, 2020, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, instructed those concerned to extend the visas of visitors for one month free of charge, because many countries have temporarily closed their airports or suspended flights as a result of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
During the pandemic, the UAE made several decisions related to residency and tourism visa procedures, to support the financial and living conditions of residents and tourists and ensure their safety and security.
In March 2020, the UAE Cabinet issued a resolution extending residency permits that expired on 1st March, 2020, by three months, which could be renewed without additional fees. People who visited the country at the start of the pandemic were also given a one-month extension, which is renewable once.