UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - New Visa Rules Bring Positive Changes
On 21 October 2018, the UAE cabinet approved a number of new visa rules that will prove beneficial to numerous categories of foreign nationals in the UAE, including tourists, retirees and students and the widows, divorcees, and children of foreign nationals.
Here’s a quick look at the changes that have been immediately implemented:
Tourist Visas May Now Be Extended In-Country
Foreign nationals who enter the UAE on Tourist Visas may now renew their visas twice in-country for an additional 30 days each time, giving them a total extension of 60 additional days without need of leaving the country.
Visas Now Available for Newly Widowed or Divorced Women with Children
The UAE government will now grant a one-year residence visa without need of a sponsor for foreign national women already in the UAE in the event that they are widowed or divorced from their foreign national husbands. The intent is to protect their residence rights and those of their children by giving them a one-year period in which to make arrangements for employment or other means to qualify on their own for a separate, non-dependent visa.
New Visa for Graduating Students and New Adults
Children who had been sponsored for dependent visas by their parents may now extend their stay in the UAE upon graduation from a college or high school or upon turning age 18 years of age. Upon graduation or their eighteenth birthday, they may now apply for a one-year independent visa to continue studies or find full-time employment. The initial one-year visa is eligible for renewal for an additional year.
The same cabinet action also put into motion the process for implementation of one additional positive change for expats expected in the next year:
New Five-Year Expat Retiree Visa Coming
In the coming months, a new five-year visa will be introduced for foreign nationals over the age of 55 years who retire in the UAE. The new visa will include the qualifying criteria of investment property worth at least AED 2 million, savings of at least AED 1 million, or monthly income of at least AED 20,000. More details are expected closer to implementation sometime in 2019.
Foreign nationals and their employers who may be affected by the new rules are encouraged to consult their immigration specialist for specific advice.