(Bloomberg) — The United Arab Emirates said foreign executive directors will be eligible for long-term residency permits if they earn a monthly salary of 30,000 dirhams, in a sign the Gulf nation is easing regulations to ensure sustained growth in the economy.
Applicants will also need a bachelor’s degree and no less than five years of work experience to apply for a 10-year residency visa, according to a presentation by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship seen by Bloomberg. The news was first reported by Gulf News.
The move indicates further opening in a country where 80% of the population is made up of foreign expatriates, some of whom have lived in the UAE for decades with no long-term residency guarantee. A recently introduced residency law was criticized for mostly offering rights to millionaires.
“The 10-year visa would increase the propensity for expatriates to save and invest in the UAE given the outlook for longer-term residency, and we would expect strong demand for the visas,” said Monica Malik, chief economist at Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.
Executive directors seeking the visa would need to present a valid work contract and must show health insurance for himself and dependents during that entire visa period, according to the presentation.
The offer is being made under the so-called “Golden Card” program announced earlier this year, which restricts the total number of 10-year visas for 2019 at 6,800. That “relatively limited” number will cap the benefits for the economy, Malik said.