Monday, December 26, 2022

All that you need to know about the new UAE visa reforms

Travelling to the UAE has become much simpler with the newest reforms made by the UAE government. Now you can take a luxurious trip to Dubai and the other Emirates in a more relaxed way, since the 60 days visa is finally here! The year 2022 saw a lot of changes being made to the visa reforms for the UAE as well as its residents. It is all about lesser working hours, extended stays for the investors and entrepreneurs coming to the UAE, and a lot more! Below, you can find out more about the 4 major reforms announced by the UAE government in 2022 that you should know about.

New Visa Schemes

A newly expanded golden visa program, a new 5-year green visa, multiple tourist visas, and an on-demand employment permit are among the many immigration changes introduced by the United Arab Emirates government in 2022. These can be considered the primary entry and exit visa changes in the history of the UAE.

Under these new reforms, investors and entrepreneurs worldwide can apply for a business visa without needing a sponsor or host. Furthermore, the new 5-year tourist visa does not require a sponsor anymore. It lets the visa holder stay in the UAE for 90 days, their stay can be extended for another 90 days. Temporary work visas have been introduced for foreign workers - those coming to work in the UAE on probation or project-based work.

Study/Training Visa:
This visa type is for individuals or students who want to attend any educational course, training, or internship program. The student or training visa can be sponsored by academic and research institutions in the public and private sectors.

Family Visa:
Formerly, parents could only sponsor their children under the age of 18 years. However, with the new reforms coming into effect, male children can now be sponsored for up to 25 years. Children having any kind of disabilities are also eligible to receive special rights. Furthermore, unmarried daughters can be supported by their parents indefinitely.

Work Visa
: This is introduced for individuals searching for better job opportunities within the UAE. This visa does not require a sponsor or a host. It will be granted to individuals with a Bachelor's degree or its equivalent, recent graduates from the world's top 500 universities, and those who are recognized as first, second or third skill levels according to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

Green Visa
: The green visa is issued to skilled workers, freelance workers, self-employed people, etc. This five-year visa lets its holders bring their families to the UAE without requiring a sponsor or an employer. Other requirements include a Bachelor's degree or equivalent and a minimum salary of AED 15,000.

Golden Visa
: The UAE has announced a 10-year golden visa for many professionals and investors. This includes people investing "Dh2 million plus" in the real estate market, scientists, skilled workers, extraordinary students, talent-filled artists, and entrepreneurs.

Workers Reforms

No more stressing about lock-in periods with your employer contract! The United Arab Emirates government has abolished the 3-year cap on fixed-term employment contracts. Now it will allow the employer and employee to decide on the length of time they want to work together.

From October, the validity of the free local visa issued in the United Arab Emirates was reduced from 3 to 2 years. The grace period for leaving the country of UAE to have a residence visa cancelled has increased from 30 days to 60 to 180 days in most cases, depending on the type of visa.

From February 2022, workers can choose part-time work in addition to their primary job under the new labour law without requiring permission from their employer. They only need a part-time work permit and ensure they only work 144 hours every three weeks to avoid burnout and keep themselves healthy and safe.

Another great news is that now workers can change jobs more quickly because the new law prohibits employers from withholding workers' permits and forcing them to leave the country when the employment relationship ends. Instead, workers will be allowed to stay in the country and change their job. Employers will also be liable to make all the payments for recruitment costs without deducting any charges directly or indirectly from the employee's end.

4-Day Workweek

A good news for those who have always wished for their weekends to be longer! From January 1, 2022, the United Arab Emirates has shortened the work week and changed the weekend for the public sector. The work week has been changed from Monday to Thursday, with Friday being a half day. Official working hours are 7:30 am to 3:30 pm, Monday to Thursday and noon on Fridays. However, Sharjah has shifted to just a 4-day work week from January 1, with Friday, Saturday and Sunday making up the new weekend.

Emiratisation Law

The United Arab Emirates Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) has made it compulsory for firms that have 50 or more employees that 2% of the company's qualified employees must be Emiratis. This will increase by 2% annually, reaching 10% by 2026. If this target is not met, a penalty of AED 6,000 per month will be collected from January 2023 for every Emirati who has not been hired. This would cost a firm AED 72,000 per year. The fine will be increased by AED 1,000 per year. Additionally, the fee levied as a fine will be more for bigger firms with more than 100 or more employees.

These were the 4 new reforms the UAE government made in 2022. We would like to see more such reforms into general laws of the government that will take the economy of the UAE to the next level and make this country every investor's go-to choice of land for their investments!

About The Author

Robeena Brown is a travel blogger & destination expert living in UAE and works for local tourism companies like Arabiers. If you have been looking forward to touring Dubai, getting a visa, extending your stay, and exploring the city, you can follow her on social media.

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