From lower workers fees to short term visas, these changes will take the UAE to new heights
14 June 2018| Last updated on 14 January 2020
The UAE cabinet has announced a number of major changes to the UAE’s visa rules for visitors and residents alike after a meeting that was chaired by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai on Wednesday, June 13th. These changes includes lowering fees, becoming more lenient with some of the visa regulations and providing job seekers with more time in the country to help them find a job.
All of the changes that have been announced are aimed at enhancing the ease of conducting business in the country.
Here is what you need to know:
1. A new insurance scheme has been introduced:
The previously mandatory AED 3,000 deposit per worker has been replaced with a new insurance scheme that annually costs AED 60 per worker. The insurance scheme is beneficial to both employers and employees as it provides a wider coverage of workers’ rights, secures these rights and reduces the burdens on employers.
The insurance policy covers the following items:
- End of service benefits
- Vacation allowance
- Overtime allowance
- Unpaid wages
- Worker's return ticket
- Cases of work injury
The coverage amounts to Dh20,000 per worker.
This new insurance scheme will also enable approximately Dh14 billion to be released back to companies that represents the value of current guarantees paid by employers. Returning these fees to employers will enable them to invest it back into and develop their companies. They also hope that it will enhances the ease of doing business in the UAE, and in turn contribute to the market prosperity and growth.
2. No more entry fees for transit passengers
Transit passengers will be happy to know that they are now exempt from entry fees for the first 48 hours. This can further be extended to 96 hours by paying a fee of only AED 50. The transit visa can easily be obtained from a number of express counters at the passport-control hall across UAE airports.
3. No “No entry” stamp after overstaying your visa if you leave willingly
You don’t need to worry about receiving a “no entry” stamp on your passport if you have been overstaying. Visitors will no longer receive the “no entry” passport stamp if they voluntarily leave the country.
4. 6-month visa for job seekers
Job seekers will also be happy to know that a new temporary visa will become available for people who overstayed their visa but really want to work in the UAE. This temporary visa will enhance the UAE’s position as a land of opportunities and a destination for talents and professionals. This temporary visa is valid for 6 months and will be free of charge.
5. Illegal immigrants can leave the country with little consequences
Residents who illegally entered the UAE now also have the option to leave the country and only receiving a “No entry” stamp which will be valid for 2 years. During those two years these individual will not be allowed into the United Arab Emirates.
Individuals need to provide a valid return ticket in order to make use of this.
6. No more visa runs
You no longer need to leave the country if you need to adjust or renew your visa. Residents can simply adjust or renew their visa by paying a small fee. It is hoped that this will help ease the financial burden of individuals.
7. Empowering people of determination
Another important decision that was made in the cabinet meeting was the decision to empower people of determination. The cabinet wants to enable people of determination to easily access the job market and find equal employment opportunities in various sectors in line with the Government's social development programs for all segments of the society.
It was also decided to host the headquarters of the Asian Paralympic Committee in the UAE. This headquarter will serve as a unique sports hub in Asia and provide training courses and workshops for "People of Determination."
8. Mutual exemption of visa requirements for UAE and Russian citizens
The Cabinet adopted an agreement between the Government of the UAE and the Russian Federation allowing mutual exemption visa requirements to visit each other’s countries. This means that new opportunities are being opened for tourism, investments and trade in the two countries.