As you may know, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) introduced a new five-year residency visa (Green Visa) last year as part of a new set of rules aimed at attracting skilled workers and investors from around the world.
The new 5-year Green Residence Visa will be focused on outstanding talents, skilled professionals, freelancers, investors, and entrepreneurs, with the goal of increasing job market flexibility and attracting exceptional workers in all fields.
What is Green Residence Visa?
The Green Visa is a type of residence visa that allows international talent to sponsor themselves, removing the need for employment in the UAE.
The Green Visa provides visa holders and their families with more benefits than the standard residence visa. The ability to sponsor sons up to the age of 25 and unmarried daughters of any age is one of the benefits.
The UAE Green Visa is valid for five years and provides a variety of visa options for professionals, freelancers, investors, and business partners. It is worth noting here that the Green Visa is also renewable for the same term upon its expiry.
Benefits of UAE’s Green Visa
The UAE’s Green Visa offers several benefits to international talents, investors, and entrepreneurs. With long-term residency, self-sponsorship, and flexibility in the job market, the Green Visa is attracting exceptional workers in all fields.
- Self-sponsorship: The Green Visa allows international talents to sponsor themselves, eliminating the need for employment to reside in the UAE.
- Long-term residency: The Abu Dhabi Green Visa offers long-term residency and more benefits to visa holders and their families than the standard residence visa, providing stability and security.
- Flexibility: The Green Visa enhances flexibility in the job market, attracting exceptional workers in all fields, including freelancers, skilled professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs.
- Family sponsorship: The Green Visa allows the visa holder to sponsor sons up to the age of 25 and unmarried daughters, regardless of age, providing the opportunity for families to stay together in the UAE.
- More options: The Abu Dhabi Green Visa is valid for five years and offers a wide range of visa options for professionals, freelancers, investors, and partners, catering to a diverse range of individuals and their needs.
Who Can Apply for the Green Visa?
The Green Visa is open to freelancers, skilled workers, and investors. Here’s a breakdown of the eligibility criteria and the process for applying for each category.
1. Green Residence for Skilled Employees
This new visa offers skilled employees a 5-year residency without the need for a sponsor or employer. According to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, applicants must have a valid employment contract and be classified at the first, second, or third occupational level. A bachelor’s degree or equivalent is required, and the starting salary cannot be less than AED 15,000.
To apply for a Green visa, skilled employees must:
- have a valid employment contract
- be classified in the first, second or third occupational level as per Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation
- hold a minimum of bachelor’s degree or equivalent
- have a salary of not less than AED 15,000 per month.
2. Green Residence for Freelancing and Self-Employment
In line with the growing importance of flexible work models, this track offers freelancers and self-employed individuals a 5-year residency in the UAE without the need for a sponsor or employer.
It is necessary to obtain a freelance/self-employment permit from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, have a bachelor’s degree or specialised diploma and have an annual income from self-employment of at least AED360,000 for the previous two years, or demonstrate financial solvency throughout the applicant’s stay in the country.
Freelancers and/or self-employed people who wish to apply for a Green visa need to submit:
- a freelance/self-employment permit from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation
- proof of a bachelor’s degree or a specialised diploma
- evidence of annual income from self-employment for the previous two years amounting to not less than AED 360,000, or proof of financial solvency throughout their stay in the UAE.
3. Green Residence for Investor or Partner
This residence permit is intended to encourage investment by providing investors who establish or participate in commercial activities with a 5-year residency permit. It takes the place of the previous residence, which was only valid for two years.
Investment approval and proof of investment are among the requirements. The total invested capital will be calculated if the investor (partner) has more than one licence. The approval of the appropriate local authorities is required.
Apply for Green Visa
To apply for a Green Visa in the UAE, applicants must go to the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs, and Port Security (ICP) website at
The website provides information on the Green Visa eligibility criteria and required documents for each category, including the Green Visa for freelancers/self-employed, skilled workers, and investors.
Applicants must ensure that they meet the eligibility requirements for the specific category for which they are applying and submit all required documents in accordance with the guidelines. Depending on the category of the Green Visa, the required documents may include a valid work permit, proof of income, proof of financial solvency, and attested educational certificates.
The UAE’s introduction of the five-year Green Visa is a significant step towards enhancing flexibility in the job market and attracting exceptional talent from around the world. This visa is designed to support skilled professionals, freelancers, investors, and entrepreneurs and provide them with long-term residency in the UAE.
The Green Visa offers several benefits over the standard residence visa, including the ability to sponsor family members, access to education and healthcare services, and a wider range of visa options. The application process for the Green Visa is straightforward, and applicants must follow the guidelines set by the ICP to apply successfully.
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