New UAE Visa Reforms: Expats get 6 Month Grace period after Losing Job


The UAE’s government just announced a series of new UAE visa reform to the current immigration law which will benefit ex-pats amid the covid-19 crisis. That is to say, ex-pats who have lost their jobs can stay in the country for up to six months. The UAE law allows employees to leave the country within a month. But the immigration authorities are allowing a grace period from 3 to 6 months after they lose their job.

In this article, you learn everything you should know about the new UAE visa reform and how it will benefit employees. Similarly, here you find all the relevant information about the UAE project of the 50. Likewise, make sure to read about the additional regulatory amendments and other UAE visa reforms. Let’s observe:

1. What is the new UAE Visa Reform?

A minister announced a series of visa reforms that will retain and innovate talent in the country. Moreover, among the new laws are a federal freelance permit, a ‘green visa’, and to exit the country 6 months after losing their jobs.

These measures are announced as the government presented the first set of 50 new projects that will begin in September 2021 for theYear of the 50thcalled Project of the 50.

“We are presenting a visa for workers not attached to any company. Therefore, the visa holders will be self-dependent and may sponsor their parents and children up to 25”. Announced the Minister of State for Foreign Trade referring to the new Green Visa.

2. Projects of the 50: Modernisation of visa, work permit

The UAE Projects of the 50, is a series of reforms that will make an impact on the UAE’s economy. However, government spokespersons started to announce the projects in November. Similarly, Sunday’s conference was the start of the plan.

The project’s main focus is to enhance the participation of Emirati citizens in private companies. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Nahyan announced the program at the Royal Palace in Abu Dhabi. 24 billion Dhs have been disposed to support the project.

In other words, The Projects of the 50 will include 50 and they aim to create 75,000 jobs in the private sector.

Among the programs are:

  • Campaigns to attract new foreign investment.
  • New Visa Schemes.
  • Strategies to support the private sector.

3. 10 principal rules for the next 50 years

The Minister of Cabinet Affairs began the conference with a set of rules for the next 50 years:

  1. The main priority is the strengthening of the country’s union: development for the country is the best way to consolidate the union.
  2. The biggest national focus is the economic development: all sectors have the responsibility of creating the best local economic environment.
  3. The UAE’s foreign policy is to serve the higher national goals: and the goal of our economy is to produce the best quality of life for the citizens.
  4. The principal driver for growth is human development: the UAE must improve its educational system to keep captivating skilled talents. Therefore, retaining specialists are what will keep the country at the top.
  5. Good neighbourliness: we must develop a social and stable relation with our neighbours, that is one of the priorities of the country.
  6. Secure the reputation of the UAE globally: the UAE is an economic, a tourist, an industrial, an investment, and a cultural destination.
  7. Science and digital quality: the country must strengthen its position as an important place for talent that will make companies and investments in these sectors establish here.
  8. The UAE will base on tolerance: the country will respect the national identity as well.
  9. UAE’s foreign humanitarian aid: our foreign humanitarian aid is not tied to religion, race, color, or culture.
  10. Dialogue to resolve: in conclusion, striving with regional partners and global friends to establish regional and global peace is a fundamental driver.

4. Additional regulatory amendments

The UAE government announced a series of reforms that will benefit ex-pat amid the coronavirus crisis. Therefore, all ex-pats who lost their jobs will be able to stay up to 6 months within the UAE. However, this law also allows employees to leave the country within 30 days.

Learn about challenges companies have during the covid-19 outbreak and how to face them.

The government has passed these laws to improve the ambitious and flexible economic markets in the UAE. In addition, this will smooth the sector’s growth, boost the knowledge and skills development. Moreover, it will create security and stability for the residents of the country.

In other words, this measure will benefit the ex-pats massively, they will get time to find other jobs without leaving their respective emirates.  The UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Trade said “We will ease the grace period the ex-pat gets to leave the country. Instead of the previous 30 days, people will have from 3 to 6 months to leave the UAE.”

The spokesperson also clarified that some extensions in the visa processes will also take place due to the UAE visa reform.

There are other regulatory reforms including:

  • Business trip permits will extend from 90 to 180 days.
  • Sponsorship of parents with the visa of family members.
  • Humanitarian cases will get a full year residency extension.
  • Children’s age limit extended to 18 to 25 years
  • Grace period upon job loss extended from 3 to 6 months.

Read More About : Things to know about : Labour Card in UAE

5. Other UAE visa reforms you need to know

As we mentioned earlier in the article: UAE’s Minister of Foreign Trade; Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, disclosed the launch of the new Green Visa’ for investors, entrepreneurs, graduates, and top students.

However, enabling its holders to sponsor themselves is an advantage of the new green visa, distinguishing itself from work permits and residencies. In addition, holders of this visa may sponsor their sons until the age of 25 and will grant them a grace period from 3 to 6 months.

The holders may also sponsor their parents.

In addition, the government announced freelance visa for workers who are not attached to any company. Therefore, this visa is especially for self-employed workers who are in the UAE fields such as blockchain, digital currencies, and artificial intelligence.

Read More About : Unified Public and Private Sector Holidays in UAE

6. Dubai Remote Work Visa

The cabinet also approved the ‘The Dubai Remote Work Visa’, or Virtual ‘Nomad Visa’ early in 2021. This new visa scheme will allow individuals employed overseas to obtain a working visa that will allow them to live in the UAE.

This important step is the first of its kind in the Middle West. The scheme will provide skilled workers and entrepreneurs to innovate in the UAE. Firstly, you must apply through the ‘Visit Dubai Visa’ portal to obtain the Visa. Secondly, the program grants its holders the services that residents of the UAE benefit from.

7. Students will be able to have part-time jobs

Citizens between the ages of 15 and 18 years old may apply for a one-year valid part-time work permit. Expats and residents may apply for this temporary visa scheme and work in the United Arab Emirates with their guardian’s approval.

8. Dubai Golden Visa

The Dubai government launched the Dubai Golden Visa scheme to stimulate and provide opportunity to “talented people and great minds”. However, these long-term residency visas only apply to certain types of people. Visas are valid from 5 to 10 years and depending on the visa you choose you can renew it.

Similarly, this UAE visa reform will grant the application of this long-term residence without needing a local sponsor. However, holders of this visa can renew it on a conditional basis. The main focus is to lead, retain high-skilled individuals and provide opportunities in Dubai.

9. Advantages of a UAE Golden Visa

  • Security: this visa grants the holder the assurance and safety of being a resident for an extended period of time (from 5 to 10 years). Similarly, this type of visa is renewable.
  • Cost: if you compare the price of the Dubai Golden visa to visas in other countries, you will realize that this visa is affordable.
  • Can extend to relatives: this visa grants its holder the opportunity to pass the visa to their family, for instance, spouses and children.
  • Multiple entries: other types of visas mandate that the holder must be physically in the UEA every 6 months, in other words, golden visas grant the holder multiple entries within a  5- or 10- year period, depending on your type of visa.
  • Special services: The General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs grants several benefits and services to the holders. For instance, the “You are special service”. This service allows proper guidance to every holder of the golden visa.

10. UAE’s new visa and investment plans

The UAE keeps seeking to maintain the good course of its finances and attract foreign investment and visitors. In addition, one of the aims of the reforms is to stimulate the economy and ease up the rigid residency laws for foreigners.

However, the country’s plan is to attract foreign talent over the next decades reflects a big contrast with other sheikhdoms. The country is making reforms and efforts to still be at the top of business-friendly countries in the Middle East.

Moreover, 2022 is the 50th anniversary of the unification of the UAE, the government announced a series of reforms we mentioned earlier. The country will accelerate these reforms to rebrand itself for a post-pandemic future. Therefore, the government promised to release $13.5 billion into the economy and $155 billion by 2030.

Subsequently, special projects are yet to be announced. $1.35 billion have been designated by the Emirates Development Bank to support the various industries.

  • These new plans give ex-pats give residents:
  • Three months of period of grace in case they lose their jobs.
  • Allow parents to sponsor their children until the age of 25
  • Ease up visa restrictions on widows, divorced people and freelancers.

The UAE visa reforms are a big shift from the traditional way from the Gulf Arab States of treating its labor workforce. The country’s ministers said that the country is pursuing to double the economy in the next 10 years. The country is planning major trade agreements with the United Kingdom, India and Turkey. Above all, the country is making trade agreements with Israel after a recent improvement to normalize relations with the country.

      11. How can ConnectHR help you take advantage of the UAE Visa Reforms?  

Now you are aware of the government plans to boost the UAE’s economy; the new UAE visa reforms, and the investment plans.

ConnectHR specializes in bringing your company the best services, you can easily acquire any type of service for yourself or if you are an employer for one of the members of your staff and start taking advantage of all the previously mentioned benefits. 

You may also want to check other our services that will boost your company’s growth. In addition, to improve your Human Resources Department, you can request our HR consultancy services, attendance, or insurance.

Our services include:

You may want to learn about the differences between an automated vs manual payroll system.   

We have been working with worldwide companies since 1998, our main goal is to help your company growth by providing you with the most methodical tools services and solutions.

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