(UAE) The United Arab Emirates on Sunday announced a new class of visas, the latest step in a series of measures aimed at attracting talent and boosting growth, Green Visas will allow ex-pats to apply for work without being sponsored by an employer, targeting highly skilled investors and workers, as well as top students and graduates. Holders of a green visa will be able to sponsor their parents and children up to the age of 25 on their permits.
The government also said it would allow people who lost their jobs to stay in the country for up to 180 days, an important incentive since most visas are tied to employment contracts. And in an effort to relax the labor market, it is allowing the hiring of temporary workers over the age of 15.
Foreign residents makeup over 80% of the UAE’s population and have been a mainstay of the economy for decades, doing most of the private sector jobs and spending their money on property or shopping at some of the malls. biggest in the world.
Oil-rich Gulf states have long resisted offering a permanent residence, much less citizenship, to their millions of foreign workers, protecting the generous privileges enjoyed by their citizens. But forced by falling oil prices in 2014 to prepare their economies for a post-fossil fuel world, they now seek to lure wealthy people to stay, a trend that was reinforced during the Covid-19 pandemic. when governments took steps to ensure those who lost their jobs could stay.
Both Saudi Arabia and Qatar have taken steps to allow permanent residence for some expatriates.