UAE Cabinet extends Remote Work Visa from Dubai to all Emirates

The UAE Cabinet adopted legislation on 21 March to provide for the introduction of a new ‘Remote Work Visa’ that enables employees from all over the world to live and work remotely from the UAE for one year, even if their companies are based in another country. It also approved a multiple-entry tourist visa for all nationalities.

The one-year remote working visa was introduced in Dubai last October and about 2,000 visas have since been approved, with some 400 of these granted to British citizens. This has now been extended to the entire UAE.

To qualify for the remote visa, applicants must have a passport with a minimum validity of six months and be earning a minimum of USD5,000 per month as either an employee or business owner. It costs USD287 per year, plus medical insurance with valid UAE cover and a processing fee per person.

The five-year Multiple Entry Tourist Visa can also now be issued for all nationalities and enables tourists to enter multiple times on self-sponsorship and remain in the country for 90 days on each visit, which can further be extended for another 90 days.

“We also see a direct effect from the more than 18,000 people already in the city leveraging the complimentary tourism visa extensions, many of whom are now choosing Dubai as a more semi and permanent base for themselves by opting to choose to live and work remotely from here,” said Issam Kazim, chief executive of the Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing.

Dubai is now seeking to position itself as a more long-term destination for foreigners. Before 2018, a two-year residency visa tied to a person’s place of employment was the sole option for those seeking to become residents. That has now changed.

In 2018, five-year retirement visas were introduced and the following year five or 10-year ‘golden visas’ were brought in for high-profile investors and entrepreneurs, which was extended to more sectors in 2020. In January 2021, the government announced it would offer Emirati citizenship to expats for the first time.

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