Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) especially Keralites, who constitute the largest share of the Gulf diaspora, are elated at the shake-up of United Arab Emirates (UAE)‘s immigration policy which comes into effect on October 3.
They say that the new visa rules are highly beneficial to expatriates, investors and tourists travelling to this Gulf Cooperation Council nation. “ The multiple-entry visit visa is sympathetic to NRI students pursuing their studies in India or other countries. Besides, the new immigration allows the expatriate community to bring their family members and friends to the UAE for longer stay,“ Rajesh Rudran, a legal consultant, based in Abu Dhabi, said.
The advanced visa system includes a 10-year expanded golden visa scheme, a five-year green residency and new entry permits, including one for job seekers. While the multi-entry tourist visa allows visitors to stay in the UAE up to 90 days, the five-year green visa is favourable for skilled workers, freelancers and the self-employed.
The job exploration visa for degree holders does not require a sponsor or host. It will be granted to those classified in the first, second or third skill level as per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation and fresh graduates of the best 500 universities in the world. Parents can also sponsor their male children till the age of 25, up from 18, allowing them to remain in the UAE after school and university programmes.
The amendment in the golden visa allowed more professionals in the field of medicine, sciences and engineering, information technology, business and administration on salaries of AED 30,000 (approximately ₹6.7 lakh) a month to secure a 10-year visa. Additionally, these visa holders can also sponsor any number of domestic labourers and their visa will also remain valid irrespective of the days they stay outside the UAE.
Under the new system, expatriates will also get a flexible grace period of up to six months once their residency visa expires. The existing grace period is 30 days.
Salahuddin Hassan, MD attached to ATC Group in Dubai says that the multi-entry and job exploration visas will encourage investors and Small and Medium sized Enterprises to explore business and investment opportunities in the UAE.
“The job exploration visa will enable companies to avail timely assistance of experts for speedy completion of projects,“ he adds.