The UAE is a much sought after destination for entrepreneurs and businesspeople from around the world – hence its 80%-plus expatriate population. These new residents help to support and diversify the country’s growing economy and are therefore welcomed with open arms.
For this reason, the UAE has made several changes to the visa process and eligibility requirements over the years, making it easy for global citizens to live and work out here. In this article, we’ll look at one such initiative – the Green visa. We’ll cover the following:
- What is a UAE Green visa?
- Benefits of a Green visa in the UAE
- Difference between Green visa UAE vs Work visa UAE
- UAE Green visa requirements
- Why choose BIZ?
What is a UAE Green visa?
The UAE Green visa is the latest in a long line of initiatives designed to make it easier for people across industries to relocate to the UAE. Others include the Golden visa, Freelancer visa, and the Long-term visa.
Green visas allow the holder to live and work in the UAE, invest in property and other assets, and start a new business out here. Green visas are valid for between two and five years depending on the applicant’s eligibility, after which they can be renewed indefinitely. Renewed visas offer the same benefits as the original visa and will run for the same amount of time.
UAE Green visas are available to investors, entrepreneurs, students and graduates, skilled workers, business owners and the self-employed.
Benefits of a Green visa in the UAE
The Green visa offers many incredible benefits above and beyond the standard UAE residency visa – particularly for family members of the holder.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of the Green visa is that it doesn’t require sponsorship. Or rather, the holder sponsors themselves. This means that you do not require a job offer to obtain a residency visa in the UAE and that an employer cannot cancel your visa, giving you much more security.
The Green visa also makes it easier to bring family members with you when you relocate to the UAE. Once again, this is a great incentive to foreign citizens wishing to relocate out here for the long term.
When you hold this type of visa, you can sponsor the residency permits of your spouse, dependent children and parents, and any first-degree relatives, providing you both meet the eligibility criteria. This includes male children up to the age of 25, and children with special needs regardless of their age.
Green visa holders are also granted a flexible grace period of six months to stay in the UAE after visa expiry. Leaving and re-entering the country is easy too. The Green visa allows you to travel freely around the world with no immigration file issues on your return.
Finally, the Green visa allows you to relocate or start a new business in the UAE with the same benefits afforded to any citizen. This means 0% income tax on both corporate and personal income, and access to the country’s free zones which offer 100% customs tax exemption, 100% foreign ownership, capital and profits repatriation and zero currency limitations.
After getting to know your requirements, Business Incorporation Zone (BIZ) will act as your Dubai free zone business guide, advising on the location that is best suited to your needs. We can also advise and assist with mainland setups, visa applications, bank account opening, and much more.
Difference between Green visa UAE vs Work visa UAE
There are a few key differences between the Green visa and a standard UAE work visa. As mentioned above, the most notable is that Green visa applicants can sponsor themselves and do not require an employer or job offer to relocate, work and live in the country.
When you sponsor yourself for your visa application, you remain in complete control. You are not at the mercy of your employment, meaning as long as you meet the eligibility criteria, you are permitted to stay for as long as you please, pending successful renewals.
Green visas also allow for the sponsorship of older children, up to 25 years old for males, compared with the usual 18 years old.
UAE Green visa requirements
The eligibility requirements for the UAE Green visa differ slightly depending on which category the applicant falls into.
Freelancers and the self-employed must hold a bachelor’s degree or specialised diploma and have evidence of self-employed income from the previous two years.
The minimum salary requirement for self-employed individuals is AED 360,000. If you do not meet this criteria, you may also be eligible if you can prove your solvency for the duration of your stay in the UAE.
Investors and partners are permitted to establish or participate in commercial activities providing they can show proof of the approved investment by competent local authorities. Investors and partners are permitted to stay in the UAE for up to five years, three more than with a standard UAE residence visa.
Skilled employees can also apply for a Green visa. Unlike the other categories on this list, employees do require an employment contract.
Applicants must be employed in a role considered by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation to be in the first, second or third occupational level. This includes managers and business executives, and professionals and technicians in scientific, technical and humanitarian fields.
The visa application process is the same regardless of the type of visa you require. This involves a medical and fitness test, chest X-ray and blood test. You will also be required to undergo biometric scanning for your Emirates ID card, a compulsory document for all residents and citizens.
Why choose BIZ?
Business Incorporation Zone are the experts in all things relating to business setup in Dubai. Our expert team is always on hand to assist with trade license and visa applications, visa sponsorship, office solutions, bank account opening and much more.
Because we know that every business is unique, we’ll always first take the time to fully understand the nature of your organisation and its requirements. Once we’re all on the same page, we will plot the most suitable path forward to get you up and running in the UAE. We’ll take care of everything, so you can relax, knowing you’re in safe hands.