SPECIAL REPORT: New Visa Laws in the UAE

UAE Visa Rules

Fraser Clarke

Big changes in the United Arab Emirates’ visa system have been introduced, and they’re great news for medics moving to the country.

What’s Happened?

In an attempt to attract more of the world’s top specialists, a new ten year visa is being introduced in the country.

It’s hoped that the new, more relaxed, longer-term option will help convince more people that their future could lie in the Emirates.

Whether or not the new visa is a permanent residency type - akin to the United States’ GreenCard system - is still to be confirmed, but either way it represents a step in the right direction for a country keen to attract the best possible talent.

Who is Eligible?

The criteria for the new visa is strict, aimed at singling out the specialist talent the country needs. As a result the system will be open to investors, and specialists in the medical, scientific, technical, research and engineering fields.

Students classified as having ‘exceptional talents’ meanwhile will also be eligible to apply.

Why is this being Introduced?

There are two main reasons for the new visa system’s introduction at this moment in time.

Firstly the Emirates are keen to continue developing areas away from oil, and this makes it vital that it attracts the world’s leading talent in other fields. By offering long-term security, high wages and the opportunity to shape the country’s future, hopes are high that a move will be too attractive for many to turn down.

The second reason is far simpler. If people have the security of a long-term future in the country then they should be more inclined to invest in property, giving the slow market a much needed boost.

How has it been Received?

The response has, understandably, been exceptionally positive, with some of the Emirates’ most prominent businessmen hailing the introduction.

Speaking to Gulf News, CEO of NMC Health, Prasnath Manghat, said: “This move would get the UAE one step closer to its aim of making the country a thoughtbed for incubators and creators and a dream destination for investors.”

Whilst Dr Azad Moopen, Chairman of Aster DM Healthcare, added: “This will exponentially increase the flow of talent and capital to UAE, which will become a paradise for entrepreneurs and professionals.”

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