New retirement expat visa from the UAE 20/09/2018

The United Arab Emirates will launch a new residency by investment program for retired foreigners. It is a significant shift from the traditional strick immigration rules of the country. The seven emirates changed their point of view on the immigration of investors because they intend to bolster the national economic growth.

The new law will enter force in 2019. The details of the scheme were set out following a meeting of the Cabinet chaired by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

Only retired applicants (over the age of 55) may apply for the extended visa, which runs for five years and they can later renew their resident status. The requirements include a real estate investment worth two million dirhams (1,167million EUR) and they have to prove savings of no less than one million dirhams (234,000 EUR), and it will also be necessary to have a monthly income of at least 20,000 dirhams (4,670 EUR).

The implantation of the new program will be a beneficial solution for the expatriates working in the UAE because the country usually does not let foreign residents (expats with working permit) extend their residence time beyond the time frame of their work permits.

Meanwhile, the UAE has raised its retirement limit from 60 to 65, so that expatriates may work for a further five years. This move, which included in the widespread change in labour laws in the Emirates will allow expats to secure work visas up to the age of 65.

The relevant Ministry will start accepting requests from January 2019 to issue the “over-60 permits”. Moreover, the same fees will apply as to such licenses for workers 60-and-under.

Under previous labour regulations, employers could refuse to issue a certificate of no-objection, so the expatriate workers had to leave the country for six months.

According to the information from the Arabic Business portal, the amendments aim is to keep expat workers from leaving Dubai and to “empower” the labour market.

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