Why NRIs are upbeat about UAE’s new 'green visa'
A few weeks ago, the United Arab Emirates announced a new ‘green visa’ scheme which allows foreigners to work in the country without the need for sponsorship by an employer. Foreigners in the oil-rich Emirates were so far generally given limited visas tied to their employment, with long-term residency very difficult to obtain. The new visa eases the residency requirements in an attempt to boost economic growth. Holders of the new green visa will be able to work without company sponsorship, and can sponsor their parents and children up to 25 years old, officials said.
“It is heartening to see that the UAE’s leadership has decided to commemorate the country’s golden jubilee through a series of futuristic initiatives that outline the roadmap for the next 50 years. The new projects have the potential to transform the economy and drive growth in the country. The residency reforms, including the launch of the green visa, will have a tremendous impact on attracting and retaining top talent in all sectors, especially healthcare,” said Dr. Shamsheer Vayalil, NRI entrepreneur and chairman and managing director of UAE-based healthcare services group VPS Healthcare.
Yusuffali MA, chairman and MD of Abu Dhabi based retail giant Lulu Group, too feels that the green visa is among some of the landmark initiatives being launched by the UAE leadership to attract, nurture and retain investors, entrepreneurs, professionals and experts. “The whole idea is to make UAE the global hub of talented and influential human resources, moving away from just being an oil driven economy. The focus is increasingly on AI, coding, space research, academic excellence.”
This UAE already has a golden visa scheme, launched in 2019, that is issued for 5 or 10 years and offered to high-net-worth individuals, who bring large investments into UAE, as an opportunity to live in the country without having to renew their visa every year and without the need for a sponsor. “Through the golden visa scheme, the country's leadership has already extended a wholehearted welcome to experienced medical professionals. The new reforms will continue to bring in all types of skilled personnel who are invaluable resources in fortifying the healthcare sector. These initiatives will also provide the necessary fillip to healthcare providers to improve their reach and quality. Strengthening the country’s human capital is a step in the right direction for the progress of the nation. Such projects will foster a sustainable future and unlock a new era of growth in the country,” Dr Vayalil said.
The green visa targets highly skilled individuals, investors, businesspeople, entrepreneurs, as well as exceptional students and postgraduates, according to UAE’s minister of state for foreign trade Thani al-Zeyoudi.
“This is another very progressive move by the UAE to attract the right talent pool to their already burgeoning economy. The fact that green visa holders can sponsor their children up to the age of 25 years and can remain in the country 180 days post the loss of a job will go a long way in adding a sense of permanency in the UAE to these visa holders,” says Shivaz Rai, CEO, Migrate World India, a company with headquarters in Dubai which helps Indians acquire citizenship and permanent residency through the investor route. He feels that the UAE is taking big strides to shape up its human resource, a move that complements its rapid economic development.
Foreigners account for 90 per cent of the 10 million population in the UAE, the Arab world's second-largest economy after neighbouring Saudi Arabia.