The New UAE Residency Visa Updates 2022

Wondering how to get a UAE visa? The UAE government recently launched a new visa scheme in April 2022. Find out the new changes here and what you can do to secure yourself a UAE residency visa.

Why get a UAE residence Visa?

Foreigners seeking to live and work in the UAE for extended periods must acquire a UAE residency visa.

Over the past decade, the UAE has become one of the most popular jurisdictions worldwide for work opportunities and high-quality living. There are many reasons why most people prefer the UAE as their ideal work and retirement destination, including:

  • Being able to open a bank account and even get a loan
  • Visa-free access to a number of countries
  • Get access to government health services and insurance
  • Allow your children to study in the country
  • Ability to live and work anywhere in the UAE
  • Multiple entry and exit to the UAE
  • Competitive processing costs for issuance and renewal of the UAE visa
  • Local presence of internationally recognized financial, tax and legal service providers
  • Primary hub with access to international business
  • High-quality life
  • Political stability in the region
  • Tax Benefits
    • Tax relief through a network of double tax treaties

What’s new in 2022?

Major changes have been introduced to the UAE Visa requirements in 2022. The UAE government recently announced two new UAE residency visa schemes along with several updates to the existing visa schemes.

The new visa schemes are aimed at enhancing  flexibility of the labor market, sector growth, skills development and knowledge transfer, while ensuring greater stability and security for the UAE residents.

  • Green Visa, valid for 5 and 10 years for UAE residency visa effective in 2022.
  • Permanent Residency for investors, entrepreneurs, specialized talents and researchers.

Amendments to UAE Residency Visa in April 2022

Newly launched 5-year multiple-entry UAE visas allow visitors to enter the UAE several times over 365 days or stay for 90 days at a time with the option to further extend their visa for an additional 90 days.

The new Visa permits also allow for the extension of:

  • Business trip permits from 3 to 6 months
  • Humanitarian residency for 1 year
  • Children’s age limit on parents’ residency from 18 to 25 years
  • The grace period upon job loss or retirement to 90 to 180 days

Amendments to Golden Visa Holders (long-term 10 year residence permit)

  • No sponsor or employer required
  • e-visa valid for six months is provided before the residence visa issuance
  • Sponsor his/her family members including spouse and children regardless of their age.
  • Family members of the Golden Visa holders can continue to stay in the UAE in the event of the primary Golden Visa holder till the end of their residence permit.
  • Real Estate Investment visa with the purchase of property valued over AED 2 Million with a bank loan from specific banks
  • Real Estate Investors are also eligible for a residence visa when buying one or more off-plan properties worth over AED 2 million from approved local real estate companies.
  • Startup ideas approved by one of the following:
    • an official business incubator
    • Ministry of Economy or
    • the competent local authorities
  • Founder of a project that was sold for over AED 7 million is entitled to a Golden Residence Visa. (subject to approval of the Ministry of Economy or the competent local authorities) source: Gulf News
  • Outstanding students
    • High Performing students of the UAE secondary schools
    • Top graduates of UAE universities
    • Top graduates of top 100 universities in the world who meet the specific criteria.

Source:  Khaleej Times

  • Scientists with high-achievements and recommendations from the Emirates Scientists Council.
  • Exceptional talents in vital fields without minimum education requirement subject to recommendation or approval of a federal or local government entity. The elgibible fields include:
    • culture,
    • art,
    • sports,
    • digital technology,
    • inventors
    • innovators
  • New categories introduced for professionals with a valid employment contract, bachelor’s degree or equivalent, and the monthly salary of AED 30,000+. The professionals could be from any of the fields mentioned below:
  • medicine,
  • sciences and
  • engineering,
  • information technology,
  • business and administration,
  • education,
  • law,
  • culture
  • social sciences.

Source: Khaleej Times

Additionally, the applicant should be classified in the 1st or 2nd occupational level as per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation classification.

Types of UAE Residency Visa

Fortunately, the new UAE residence visa schemes provide more visa options and opportunities for those seeking a UAE visa. Here are the 6 different types of UAE visas available:

Type Eligibility Visa Validity Period
Company investor
(Mainland and Freezone)
Mainland 3 years
Freezone 3 years
Employment Visa
(Mainland and Freezone)
Mainland 2 years
Freezone 3 years
Real Estate Investment Visa
Property value AED 750,000 3 years
Property value AED 2,000,000 5 to 10 years
Public Investments/ Entrepreneurs/Gold card visa
Public Investment AED 2M
10 year Visa
Retirees visa (55+ Years) Financial Savings of AED 1 million 5 year Visa
Income of AED 15,000 per month 5 Year Visa
Real estate investment in the UAE of AED 1.5 million+ 5 year Visa
Combined: Financial savings + Real Estate = AED 1,000,000 for one year + Real Estate (> AED 500,000) 5 Year Visa
Golden Visa ● Investors
● Specialists
● Entrepreneurs
● Exceptional talents
● Scientists and professionals
● Outstanding students and graduates
● Humanitarian pioneers
● Frontline heroes
Source: Khaleej Times
10 Year Visa

Eligibility And Requirements

You can find the most suitable UAE residence visa option for you by looking into the eligibility criteria and the requirements for each type of visa given below:

UAE Employment Visa Requirements

There are different types one can come into the UAE for work-related purposes. You can either be employed by a UAE-based company, for remote work or as a freelancer.

The employment visa is applicable to new employees of a UAE company. They can be eligible for a 2-year employee visa if working on the mainland or a 3-year employee visa on the free zones. The UAE residence visa processing time for this group is about 10 to 15 working days.

Those planning to work remotely in the UAE can get their 1-year visa which should be processed within 7-10 business days.

On the other hand, those seeking to work in the UAE as freelancers can apply to get a 3-year or 5-year visa. Freelancers are self-employed workers based in the UAE in various fields, including but not limited to marketing, event management, social media, web development, graphic design, journalism, management consulting, art (such as musicians), etc. The UAE residence visa processing time for freelancers takes 6-8 weeks to finalize.

Document requirements

  • Valid Trade license
  • Valid Immigration Card
  • Company trade license copy
  • Current passport copy
  • Medical fitness result
  • Emirates ID registration
  • Valid UAE health insurance

Investors Visa Requirements

The United Arab Emirates has re-evaluated its visa entry requirements for investors, making it much easier to get and with less stringent requirements.

If you are a shareholder in a UAE company, you can qualify for an investor visa that lasts 2 years if you’re on the mainland or up to 3 years in the free zones.

The same applies if you have invested in a UAE property as an individual, where you’ll be eligible for a real estate investment visa. You get a 3-year property visa if your property is valued at AED 750,000+, while those whose properties are valued above AED 5 million are eligible to get a 5-year property visa.

Those who hold investments in the UAE are eligible to apply for Golden visa. An accredited UAE business incubator and those with an AED 500,000+ project qualify for a 5-year visa, while those holding a public investment of at least AED 2 million can be eligible for a 10-year visa.

Some of the key requirements for real estate investors to get a real estate visa include:

  • The property value must be more than AED 750,000 for 3-year visa
  • The property value must be more than AED 2 million for 5-year visa
  • The property must be constructed and fit for habitation
  • Minimum 1 million (fully paid, not mortgaged)
  • Property can be one or more
  • One applicant must hold the property share of worth 1 million
  • Husband and wife can share one propert (attested marriage certificate required)

Document requirements for a real estate investor visa

  • Current passport copy
  • Number of properties under the applicant’s name in the UAE
  • Title deed, which reflects the property value
  • Latest Utility bills/ security deposit slip
  • Valid UAE health insurance

Document requirements for a public investment visa

  • Current passport copy
  • Company License copy (parent company (translated and super legalized) & UAE company)
  • Corporate bank account statement reflecting a deposit of AED 10 million for 3 years
  • Memorandum of Association or equivalent
  • Company establishment card
  • Audit report

Retiree visa Requirements

Those above 55 years and wishing to obtain a permit to live in the UAE can also apply for a retiree visa. You can be eligible to obtain a 5-year visa whose processing time is 6-8 weeks.

The conditions for one to obtain a retiree visa include:

  • Real Estate Investment: UAE property owner with the minimum property market value of AED 1 million (approximately. USD 270,000)
  • Financial Savings: Fixed deposit for 3 years or cash savings in the UAE personal bank account of no less than AED 1 million (approximately. USD 275,000)
  • Monthly Income: Income proof of not less than AED 15,000/month (approx. USD 4,084)
  • Combination of Property and Financial Savings:

Document requirements for a retiree visa

  • Current passport, UAE visa copy
  • UAE bank account statements reflecting financial savings of no less than AED 1 million or income of AED 15,000 per month, or property worth AED 1 million
  • Valid UAE health insurance

Specialized talents and researchers Visa Requirements

Scientists and researchers with exceptional backgrounds can apply for a 10-year specialist visa. Those in this category basically have to meet certain academic and professional criteria to be eligible for a visa. A specialist visa in the UAE has a 6-8 weeks processing waiting time.

Some of the key requirements for one to be eligible for a UAE specialist visa include:

  • Must be a holder of a Ph.D. degree from one of the top 500 universities in the world Mohammed bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence
  • Contribution to major scientific research
  • Published articles/scientific books in distinguished publications
  • Membership in an organization associated, which requires excellent work
  • 10-year professional experience
  • Specialization in areas of priority to the UAE (additional requirement for doctors)
  • Emirates Scientists Council must accredit scientists

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a residency visa in the UAE?

A Residency visa permits foreign nationals to live and work in the UAE for a specified period.

How can I get residency in the UAE?

You first have to apply for a residency visa, depending on your category. The UAE has different eligibility criteria for different groups of people, so it would be important first to identify your category before making an application.

How long is a UAE residency visa?

The length of your residency visa depends on the type of visa you’re on. Some can last for only months, while others can go up to 10 years before you’re needed to renew.

What is a UAE Golden Visa?

The UAE Golden Visa essentially provides long-term residency to people belonging to special groups: entrepreneurs, investors, and those with outstanding talents. With this visa, you can get legal permission to live, work, and have your family in the UAE for as long as 10 years.

Is the UAE Golden visa renewable?

The time limit hasn’t been currently placed as each type of Golden Visa is renewable once you’ve stayed beyond the permissible period. This is how many international families living in the Emirates have been able to stay here for generations.

How can I get a Golden Visa?

Those searching for a Golden Visa in the UAE need to register their interest to the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA). Although the process seems straightforward, it can be quite tedious, especially for first-time applicants.

Luckily, Hexagon Advisory has extensive experience assisting a broad spectrum of clients – from individual entrepreneurs and local SMEs to wealthy international families, to established blue-chip companies and multinationals with multi-jurisdictional interests in securing an

alternative residence and domicile in the UAE.

If you require to get a UAE Golden Visa, the process is as simple as reaching out to Hexagon Advisory.


Reference Links