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Changes to visa regulations 2018


Sweeping changes were announced to the UAE residency system earlier this year with extended visa validity for investors and in-demand professions plus student visa applicant benefits. Walid Emara, general manager, ATI Solutions reveals all

A progressive nation in every respect, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai, announced a raft of exciting changes to current visa regulations as the country continues to develop its appeal as a ‘global incubator for exceptional talent and permanent destination for international investors’.

Foreign investors looking to establish a business of their own or invest in the UAE will be eligible for (discretionary) visas of up to 10 years. An added bonus, and long-awaited decision to permit foreign companies 100% foreign ownership (in mainland businesses) will negate the requirement for a local partner who owns 51% of a business.

In-demand professions and specialists working in the field of medicine, science, research and technology, will also be eligible for 10-year visas (along with their families).

And the next generation of CEOs and leaders will also be granted five-year student visas rather than having to renew annually with ‘exceptional graduates’ potentially eligible for stays of up to 10 years.

A review of the current residency system to allow a two-year extension of the residency period for family dependents after finishing university studies is also currently under discussion while, this summer, the government also exempted transit passengers from all landing entry fees for the first 48 hours of their stay.

Most recently (September 2018), the UAE Cabinet unveiled plans to allow property owning non-Emiratis aged 55 years or older to secure a five-year retirement visa. This is based on ownership of property valued at a minimum of AED2 million. financial savings of AED1 million, or a monthly income of AED20,000-plus.

A tentative timeframe of end 2018 for the new residency regulations to be enacted has been mooted, although this is yet to be confirmed.

With all these changes, getting to grips with the new visa regulations can be daunting, and that’s where the team at ATI Solutions can help.

We are here to debunk the legislative myths, streamline processes and take care of the behind the scene minutiae of setting up in the city or getting your business up and running so you can really concentrate on the things that matter – doing business and enjoying life in Dubai.

That’s everything from hands-on assistance with document translation and attestation, visa processing and medical check-up facilitation to driving license renewal, Ejari services and even visa cancellation.

ATI Solutions’ clients also benefit from exclusive access to an on the ground team of local government experts who are the go-to resource for the latest updates on government legislation. We definitely have our finger on the pulse when it comes to understanding the nuances of business and everyday regulation.

And, as always, we have your best interests at heart with a flexible business model that offers 24/7 year-round access to the full spectrum of government administrative functions with a choice of either pay as you go (single transaction) services aimed at individuals, start-ups or solo entrepreneurs or annual contract agreements for larger companies looking to save money, add value and outsource the PRO role or department.

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