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New UAE visa system to grant 10 year stay for investors and professionals

UAE cabinet resolves to grant ten year visas to Doctors, engineers and their families in new changes expected to attract and retain both investments and key talent

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The UAE Cabinet meeting chaired by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai on Sunday adopted a new system of entry visas for investors and professionals that will provide them with a long-term visa for up to 10 years
The UAE Cabinet meeting chaired by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai on Sunday adopted a new system of entry visas for investors and professionals that will provide them with a long-term visa for up to 10 years

The United Arab Emirates has made a resolution to enact sweeping changes to its residency system that are expected to further boost its position as a primary destination for international investors and top talent from around the world.

The UAE Cabinet meeting chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai on Sunday adopted a new system of entry visas for investors and professionals that will provide them with a long-term visa for up to 10 years.

Doctors and engineers and their families are among those who will be eligible for long-stay visas.

Specialists working in medicine, science, research and technical fields will also be eligible.

The new visa system will increase the chances of attracting investors and competencies to the UAE and thus, further boost the country's economic competitiveness globally.

The global investors' ownership of UAE-based businesses is expected to reach 100% by the end of the year.

Presently, companies are required to have a local partner that owns 51% of the business. Only those based in free zones are currently entitled to 100% ownership.

The system also grants five-year residency visas for students studying in the UAE, and 10-year visas for exceptional students.

Students would also be able to secure five-year visas and "exceptional" graduates could remain in the country for 10 years. At present students must apply to renew their visa every year.

"The UAE will remain a global incubator for exceptional talents and a permanent destination for international investors. Our open environment, tolerant values, infrastructure and flexible legislation are the best plan to attract global investment and exceptional talents to the UAE," said Sheikh Mohammad.

He also directed the Ministry of Economy, in coordination with the concerned parties, to implement the resolution and follow up on its developments, and to submit a detailed study in the third quarter of this year.

He said an "open environment, tolerant values, infrastructure and flexible legislation are the best plan to attract global investment and exceptional talents to the UAE".

Long term residential visas and greater flexibility for retirees would encourage more expats to invest in the UAE - bringing a huge boost to the local economy, according to The National, quoting an assessment by property experts and long-term expats.

Sunday’s cabinet meeting also discussed more flexibility for retirees, although there was no specific mention of that at Sunday's Cabinet meeting.

Analysts believe that a more permanent, rather than transient workforce would bring economic benefits to the UAE.

Expatriates in UAE often prefer to invest their money abroad, either into property, saving schemes or any other businesses, funds that could be spent in the local economy if the option for long term settlement was available, according to analysts.

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