The UAE has said foreign executive directors will be eligible for long-term residency permits if they earn a monthly salary of AED30,000 ($8,200), in a sign the Gulf nation is easing regulations to ensure sustained growth in the economy.
Applicants will also need a bachelor’s degree and no less than five years of work experience to apply for a 10-year residency visa, according to a presentation by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship seen by Bloomberg. The news was first reported by Gulf News.
The move indicates further opening in a country where 80 percent of the population is made up of foreign expatriates, some of whom have lived in the UAE for decades with no long-term residency guarantee. A recently introduced residency law was criticized for mostly offering rights to millionaires.
“The 10-year visa would increase the propensity for expatriates to save and invest in the UAE given the outlook for longer-term residency, and we would expect strong demand for the visas,” said Monica Malik, chief economist at Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.
Executive directors seeking the visa would need to present a valid work contract and must show health insurance for himself and dependents during that entire visa period, according to the presentation.
The offer is being made under the so-called “Golden Card” program announced earlier this year, which restricts the total number of 10-year visas for 2019 at 6,800. That “relatively limited” number will cap the benefits for the economy, Malik said.
On Tuesday, Al Marri said 400 people have so far been granted the gold card residency visas.
The UAE's new permanent visa is intended to generate foreign investment and attract top engineers, scientists, and star students.
The gold card visa is issued is renewed automatically every 10 years, so long as they satisfy the GDFRA’s terms and conditions and are still in the employed in the same activity.
The gold card is offered to a number of categories, including CEOs and real estate investors (property of more than AED5 million), inventors, entrepreneurs and specialized doctors and teachers in rare fields.For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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