Asia Business

What is the UAE’s blue visa and who can apply?

The UAE has announced a new long-term residency visa. Known as the blue visa, it will grant a 10-year residency to people who have made “exceptional contributions” towards protecting the nation’s environment.

Announced after a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday led by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, the decision aligns with the country’s long-term goals of making the UAE more sustainable.

The new visa is the latest to be introduced in the UAE, following in the footsteps of the golden visa, which also offers a 10-year residency. A number of other initiatives, such as the green and remote working visas, have also been issued in recent years.

One of the country’s leading recruiters said the visas offering long-term stays in the UAE had been a big success so far.

“The biggest benefit [of a ten-year visa] is that it has made it possible to live here without needing to be under the sponsorship of a company,” said David Mackenzie, group managing director of recruitment agency Mackenzie Jones. “It gives you so much freedom.”

The newly introduced visa will also go some way to not only attracting talent but also enticing those currently living in the UAE to extend their stay, said a leading sustainability expert.

“It will help retain talent because not everyone stays here for 10 years because they are tied to the standard visa, sponsored by their employers, which lasts for two years,” said Ivano Iannelli, senior adviser for sustainability at Emirates Global Aluminium.

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