Should expats be excited about the new visa ruling?

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Ground-breaking changes to the visa system in the UAE have been announced that will allow some residents to make the country a long-term home.

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE, announced that a new visa for up to ten years will be available from the end of this year.

The permit will be available to specialists in medical, scientific, research and technical fields and their families, as well as for all scientists and innovators.

Five-year visas will also be granted to students studying in the UAE, with ten-year visas being offered for ‘exceptional students’.

Helping to attract commerce and business to the UAE, Sheikh Mohammed also announced that international investors will now be allowed to own 100 percent of their UAE-based companies.

In the past, all companies were required to have a local partner who would own 51 percent of the business, with the exception of businesses in the free zones that can already be completely foreign-owned.

“The UAE will remain a global incubator for exceptional talents and a permanent destination for international investors,” His Highness said.

“Our open environment, tolerant values, infrastructure and flexible legislation are the best plan to attract global investment and exceptional talents in the UAE.”

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