In a push to boost the economy, the United Arab Emirates announced a massive plan to ease stringent residency rules for expatriates as the country seeks to overhaul its finances and attract foreign residents and capital.
What is new in the new “green visa”?
- Green visas are work permits with residency for pioneers, entrepreneurs and other professionals.
- Freelance visa will help people work independently.
- Those holding the new "green visa" will be able to work without company sponsorship, and can sponsor their parents and children up to 25 years old.
- It will allow people who’ve lost their jobs to remain in the country for up to 180 days, a major boost as most visas are tied to employment contracts.
- 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 programmes have since been launched in other resource-rich Gulf countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Reason behind the initiative
- Foreigners account for 90 percent of the 10 million population in the UAE, the Arab world's second-largest economy after neighbouring Saudi Arabia.
- Further, the UAE is seeking 550 billion dirhams ($150 billion) of inward foreign investment over the next nine years and aims to be among the 10 biggest global investment destinations by 2030.
- It will focus on investments from countries including Russia, Australia, China, and the U.K.