Relaxation in the new visa policy of the United Arab Emirates: But how can Pakistanis benefit from it.
The changes that the United Arab Emirates announced last month in its new visa policy have been implemented since October 3, 2022.
Under the new visa rules in UAE implemented after the change in the country’s immigration policy, the duration of stay on tourist visas has been extended while longer stays have been provided for skilled persons. Changes have been introduced to the 10-year Golden Visa scheme for entrepreneurs, investors and skilled workers.
These changes in the visa policy are also important for Pakistan because according to semi-official data, around 16 to 17 lakh Pakistanis reside in the UAE for employment purposes.
The new visa policy is seen as a major change in the UAE’s policy decisions in recent years. According to the UAE government, a new visa policy has also been introduced to attract more investors, tourists and professionals to the country.
Apart from employment, a large number of Pakistani tourists also visit the UAE every year. People traveling to the UAE on a tourist visa will now be able to stay for up to 60 days and will have the option of multiple entry.
But how useful are the already announced visa policies for the UAE for Pakistanis? It is important to read before knowing what are the features of the new visa policies.
The United Arab Emirates has announced that the green visa policy has come into effect from October 3. Under this policy, the visa will be granted for a period of five years and it is possible to extend it.
A spokesperson of Pakistan Overseas Employment Promoter Organization, says that the green visa policy has some simplifications unlike the previous visa categories and the period of stay in the UAE has been increased.
He said that under this policy, no one needed any kind of sponsorship from the United Arab Emirates, but any individual can prove himself eligible for this visa through his investment, capacity, ability, education, skills. can
Skilled people, investors, freelancers, highly educated people are eligible to apply for this visa.
According to the spokesman, holders of this visa can bring their partner (husband or wife) to stay with them in the UAE. Apart from this, children up to the age of 25 years, close relatives can also benefit from this facility. However, unmarried daughters and disabled children will be exempted from this. Holders of this visa can also get an extension of six months at the end of the visa and the visa can be renewed for five years.
He said that the best thing about this visa is that its holders did not need sponsorship for any UAE citizen visa.
Ten-year Golden Visa
The Golden Visa Scheme was implemented in 2020 to attract the best talent to the UAE. However, now by changing this visa, the duration of the visa granted under the Golden Visa Scheme has been increased to ten years.
The Golden Visa is granted to entrepreneurs, researchers, medical professionals, experts working in science and related fields, investors in the UAE and highly talented students and graduates.
Golden visa holders will enjoy many benefits. Holders of this visa will have 100% ownership of their business. Earlier, the right of those staying outside the country (UAE) for six months was terminated, but this restriction has been removed in the ten-year Golden Visa Scheme. The limit on the number of migrant domestic helpers under this scheme has been removed.
Under the new scheme, Golden Visa holders can sponsor their spouse and children of any age in the UAE. If a golden visa holder dies, his family members can still stay there until the visa expires.
Under the golden visa, skilled people related to science, engineering, medicine, IT, business, administration and education will be allowed to reside in UAE.
Previously, such professionals were required to earn 50,000 dirhams per month to live there, but now it has been reduced to 30,000 dirhams.
Although the changes in visa policies have come into effect, it is yet to be seen how far Pakistanis will benefit from it. The BBC has spoken to some Pakistanis in the UAE who have benefited from visa policies in the past.
‘Five lakhs of dirhams have been invested but the results are not as expected’
“I got a golden visa two years ago after spending more than 100,000 dirhams. I have invested five lakh dirhams. But the business situation that was expected has not happened yet. More investment is required after which the business may turn profitable.’
This is said by a Pakistani, who is currently running his company in Dubai.while talking with a renowned broadcast company. He had sold all his business and almost all assets in Pakistan to get Dubai Gold Visa.
He says that there is no doubt that there are many opportunities in UAE and Dubai, but the competition there is also quite tough. “Many Indian companies have invested heavily which they are benefiting from. Pakistanis are also there in large numbers, but not many Pakistanis have benefited yet.
Regarding the Golden Visa, this idea is there, but another Gateway Free Zone Visa was also introduced by the UAE along with the Golden Visa. The thought of Pakistanis is somewhat different regarding this.
Another Pakistani of Punjab Province, who is currently living in Dubai after obtaining a free zone visa, says that “I have not only settled in Dubai by spending more than ten thousand dirhams, but also doing trading work.” I have been.’
Similarly, a resident of Abbottabad, says that ‘I had obtained a Jap Explore visa. I benefited a lot. After this visa I have found a good job for myself.’
He believes that whether Pakistan and Pakistanis benefited from this is a debatable issue because every picture has two sides.
He said that ‘I think that generally Pakistani investors and business people do not have that much capital, but Indian investors, apart from having more capital, also have more business understanding than Pakistanis. So they are getting good results by getting golden visa.
The Pakistani resident said that ‘I and many Pakistanis like me are currently fighting for our survival because if the capital sinks, we will have nothing left.’
However, another Pakistani National story is somewhat different. He says that ‘I spent 10,000 dirhams to get a free zone visa and arrived in Dubai and spent some other capital here. I have also received many facilities from the government. After which I have got enough of trading work. My trading work has been done in two or three countries, Pakistan is not included in these countries.
Another Pakistani living in UAE said that there are many opportunities here while in Pakistan the opportunities are very few. “The law is respected here, there are facilities for doing business, while in Pakistan we have to face different kinds of problems.”
An other Pakistani while talking with a renowned media regarding relaxation visa police in United Arab Emirates said that, ‘I am an engineer by profession. My last salary in Pakistan was fifty thousand rupees whereas now in Dubai I am getting very good salary and benefits. I got a Jap Explore visa to look for a job in Dubai.’
The golden visa stages start from one lakh dirhams to one million dirhams and even after that, investment is required. “Few investors in Pakistan have such a large amount of money, which is why few people go there under this visa.”
He said that many Pakistanis have benefited under Free Zone Visa and Jap Expat Visa. A large number of them were Pakistanis who were staying in Dubai but had to issue visas every little while. Now they take visa only once for two years.’
Those who had skills got jobs etc. but those who were not skilled and had less skills faced disappointment.
Now that the Jogreen Visa policy is being implemented, there is not much information regarding the investment yet, but it seems that there is no talk of a big investment like the Golden Visa. Which can potentially attract Pakistani investors and entrepreneurs.