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Should South Africa consider adopting the new UAE Visa changes with added benefits?

The UAE Government Media Office posted a couple of circulars with new information regarding the visa scheme of the country. The new types of visas fall under entry, residence permits, and Golden visas.

This came as the UAE Cabinet, headed by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, approved the executive regulations of the Federal Decree-Law on Entry and Residence of Foreigners.

The executive regulations shall come into force after 90 days from the date of its publication in the Official Gazette.


The eligibility criteria and categories of benefits have been expanded for Golden visa holders

The Golden visa is a 10-year residency granted to investors, entrepreneurs, talents, scientists and professionals, outstanding students and graduates, humanitarian pioneers and frontline workers. Some conditions for some applicants include:

Golden Residence holders can sponsor his/ her family members regardless of their age, including spouses, children and an unlimited number of domestic workers. There is also no restriction related to the maximum duration spent outside of the country for the residency to remain valid, whereas previously, it was limited to 6 months. Family members are also allowed to stay in the UAE in the event of the death of the original holder of the Golden Residence until the end of their permit duration.

Professionals: applicants should have a valid employment contract in the UAE and should be classified in the first or second occupational level as per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation classification. They must hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent and have a monthly salary of no less than AED30,000.

Real estate investors: when purchasing a property worth no less than AED2 million.

Entrepreneurs: should own or be a partner in a startup registered in the country in the category of small and medium enterprises and generates annual revenues of not less than AED1 million. Obtaining approval for a startup idea from an official business incubator or from the Ministry of Economy or the competent local authorities. If the person is a founder of a previous entrepreneurial project that was sold with a value of not less than AED7 million, to be entitled to this residency.


The new types of entry visas include visas for jobs, business, tourism, visit, studies and temporary work mission, without a sponsor

All entry visas are available for single or multiple entry and for different visa types for different purposes. This is a first as it does not require a host or sponsor the visas’ duration depends on the visitors needs. They can be renewed for similar period and are valid for 60 days from their issuance date. Some conditions for some applicants include:

Job visa: granted to those classified in the first or second or third skill level as per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation and the fresh graduates of the best 500 universities in the world. The minimum educational level should be a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.

Tourist visa: This visa allows a person to stay in the uAE for up to 90 continuous days and it may be extended for a similar periosm provided that the entire period of stay does not exceed 180 days in one year. This visa requires proof of having a bank balance of $4,000 or its equivalent in foreign currencies during the last six months prior to submitting the application.

Entry permit to visit relatives or friends: A visitor can apply for this entry permit if he or she is a relative or friend of a UAE citizen or resident. It does not require a sponsor or a host.

Temporary work mission: requires a temporary work contract or a letter from the employer clarifying the visit purpose and proof of health fitness to work.

Studies or training: The sponsor can be universities or educational or research institutions licensed in the country or government or private entities. It requires a letter from the entity, clarifying the details of the study or training or internship programme and its duration.

Should South Africa consider adopting the new UAE Visa changes with added benefits?
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