The UAE announced a new Visa Sunday that will allow foreigners to work in the country without being sponsored by an employer, easing residency requirements in a bid to boost economic growth.
Foreigners in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates generally only get limited visas linked to their work, and long-term stays are hard to come by.
But those who have the new “green visa” can work without corporate sponsorship and sponsor their parents and children up to age 25, officials said.
“It is aimed at highly educated individuals, investors, business people, entrepreneurs, as well as exceptional students and postgraduates,” said Foreign Trade Minister Thani al-Zeyoudi.
Resource-rich Gulf states such as the UAE are increasingly seeking to diversify their economies and reduce dependence on oil.
The coronavirus pandemic is also impacting tourism and business in the UAE, whose economy has already slumped in recent years due to low oil prices.
In 2019, the UAE launched the 10-year “Golden Visa” to attract wealthy individuals and highly skilled workers, the first such scheme in the Gulf.
Similar programs have since been launched in other resource-rich Gulf states, such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Riyadh said in June 2019 that it will offer permanent residence for 800,000 riyals ($213,000) and a one-year renewable residency costing 100,000 riyals, allowing expatriates to conduct business and purchase real estate without a Saudi sponsor.
Doha has also opened up its property market to foreigners, with a scheme entitling those who buy houses or shops to obtain long-term or indefinite residence permits.
Foreigners account for 90 percent of the 10 million inhabitants of the UAE, the Arab world’s second largest economy after neighboring Saudi Arabia.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NewsMadura staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)