The United Arab Emirates, home to financial hubs Abu Dhabi and Dubai, is loosening its residency laws and will grant long-term visas for up to 10 years to investors and highly-skilled professionals. The 10-year residency visas will be granted to specialists in science, medicine and research, and to “exceptional students.” The state-run WAM news agency says the plan aims to attract global investment and innovators.
The UAE Cabinet approved the new rules on Sunday, saying plans are also on track to allow foreign investors 100 percent ownership of their UAE-based companies this year. Under current laws, foreign companies must have an Emirati owning 51 percent of the shares, unless the company operates in a free zone. Major brands Apple and Tesla are believed to be exceptions to the rule.
In a cabinet meeting today we approved reforms including replacing the bank guarantee system for private sector employees, with a low-cost insurance scheme. This will release AED 14 billion back to the private sector companies and will further lower the cost of doing business . pic.twitter.com/4BYNzldJ0S
— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) June 13, 2018
Eight moves to enhance the UAE’s economic competitiveness:
– A new system in place to replace the bank guarantees required for private sector employees’ visas
– Release the current bank guarantees totaling AED 14 billion back to private sector companies
– Implement a new insurance system for private sector employees valued at AED 60 per year to replace the AED 3,000 bank guarantee per employee
– Facilitate the process for job seekers in the UAE and grant a six-month temporary visa without fee
– Exempt transit tourists from entry visa fees for the first 48 hours of their stay
– Grant a two-year visa for talented and outstanding students
– Allow visa status adjustment without having to leave and re-enter the country
– Facilitate the voluntary departure of people overstaying their visa without incurring a ban
(With inputs from The Associated Press)