Virginia, US

Nov 18 2020

Expanded Eligibility for Long-Term Residence Permit

United Arab Emirates

At a Glance

  • The Cabinet of the United Arab Emirates announced that additional categories of foreign nationals will become eligible for a long-term residence permit, effective December 1, 2020.
  • The categories include UAE residents with a PhD, doctors and specialists in virology and epidemiology, and engineers, among others.
  • The expansion of categories for the long-term residence permit will allow the United Arab Emirates to retain highly-qualified individuals in a competitive global market.

The situation

Effective December 1, 2020, additional categories of foreign nationals will become eligible for a long-term residence permit.

A closer look

  • Application process. It has not yet been announced if the long-term residence permits for these new categories will be issued through government nomination or if applicants will be able to submit their applications directly to the relevant government authorities in the United Arab Emirates. Currently, most eligible categories of foreign nationals obtain their permits through government nomination, but some foreign nationals are able to lodge their application through an online portal.
  • Eligibility. The below table outlines the categories of foreign nationals who will be eligible for the long-term residence permit as of December 1, 2020. Some of these categories have been eligible for the long-term residence permit since the initial announcements were made and federal regulations were implemented in November 2018; however, it is not clear if the criteria for these categories has changed or if individuals in these categories are eligible for a five-year or a ten-year visa.

 

Categories in the latest Cabinet announcement Was this category included in the November 2018 announcement? Have changes in the eligibility conditions for this category been announced?

UAE residents with a PhD degree

Yes, although it applied mainly to foreign nationals from select categories, including scientists and doctors.

No. However, it is unclear if the individuals are eligible for a five-year or ten-year visa.

Top UAE high-school graduates and their families

Yes.

No. However, it is unclear if the individuals are eligible for a five-year or ten-year visa. Currently, they are eligible for the five-year visa category.

Top graduates from UAE-accredited universities with a grade point average of 3.8 and above

Yes.

Yes. The grade point average was previously 3.75.

Doctors and specialists in virology and epidemiology

Yes, doctors were included; however, there was no mention of the virology and epidemiology specialties.

No. However, it is unclear if the individuals are eligible for a five-year or ten-year visa.

Electrical engineers, computer science engineers, electronics engineers, programming engineers and biotechnology engineers

No.

This is a new category and it is unclear if the individuals are eligible for a five-year or a ten-year visa.

Specialists in artificial intelligence and the big data field

No.

This is a new category and it is unclear if the individuals are eligible for a five-year or a ten-year visa.

 

Impact

The expansion of categories for the long-term residence permit will allow the United Arab Emirates to retain highly-qualified individuals in the country.

Background

 

Looking ahead

The United Arab Emirates will likely continue to expand its long-term residence permit categories as the country seeks to compete in the competitive global market for a highly-skilled foreign workforce.

Additional information is expected to be released on the duration of the long-term residence permit for certain categories of foreign nationals as well as the application process. Fragomen will provide updates once they become available.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to  [email protected].