Authorities in the United Arab Emirates are expected to implement extended visas to attract top international talent, including scientists, engineers, doctors, investors and university graduates.

Key points:

  • Scientists, engineers, doctors, entrepreneurs and investors are eligible for 10-year residency visas.
  • Foreign students are eligible for five-year visas (10 years for exceptional students).
  • Foreign students in the UAE may apply for two-year extensions of their residence permits upon graduation. Talented and outstanding students with excellent grades, particularly male dependents who are over the age of 18 and who can no longer be sponsored by their parent or by their university after completing their university term, will be granted two-year visas to allow them to remain in the country and search for a job.

Additional information: The package of visa reforms was approved by the UAE Cabinet in May and June and is awaiting implementation by relevant authorities.

BAL Analysis: The changes will help the UAE retain highly qualified experts and investors. Students, who currently lose their student status upon graduation, will also be able to remain in the country to seek work or other opportunities. The changes are expected to be implemented before the end of the year and employers should anticipate some processing delays as the government introduces several major reforms.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network partner Sesam Business Consultants in the United Arab Emirates. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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