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EDITORIAL ANALYSIS: Changes in the UAE’s immigration rules

 Source: The Hindu

 

  • Prelims: Current events of international importance, India-UAE relations, etc.
  • Mains GS Paper II: Significance of UAE for India, Bilateral, regional and global grouping and agreements involving India or affecting India’s interests.

 

ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Federal Authority of UAE for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security began the trial run of the Advanced Visa System.

 

 

INSIGHTS ON THE ISSUE

Context

India and UAE:

  • India and the UAE established diplomatic relations in 1972.
  • India’s Prime Minister visit to the UAE: The greater push has been achieved in bilateral relations when the visit of India’s Prime Minister to the UAE in August 2015 marked the beginning of a new strategic partnership between the two countries.
  • Comprehensive strategic partnership: Further, during the visit of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi to India in January 2017 as the chief guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations, it was agreed that bilateral relations were to be upgraded to a comprehensive strategic partnership.
  • This gave momentum to launching negotiations for an India-UAE comprehensive economic partnership agreement.

Salient features of CEPA:

 

 

UAE visa rules can be classified into three categories:

  1. Entry visa
  2. Green visa
  3. Golden visa

 

What are the changes?

  • Entry visa:
    • Do Not require a host or sponsor for visitors now.
    • Will now be available for single or multiple entries and will be valid for 60 days unlike the previous 30-day period
  • Golden visa: Designed to enable exceptionally skilled foreigners to live, work and study in the UAE without the need for a national sponsor.

 

Different types of visas:

  • Job exploration visa: It will be granted if the applicant is classified in the first, second or third skill level as per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.
    • A fresh graduate of the best 500 universities in the world, or has a minimum educational level of a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.
  • Entry permit visa:
    • It allows employers to sponsor visitors for temporary work assignments on projects.
    • Universities can also sponsor visitors for attending training and study courses.
  • Business entry visa: It allows investors and entrepreneurs to explore business and investment opportunities in the UAE.
  • A five-year multi-entry tourist visa: enables them to enter multiple times on self-sponsorship.
    • They can remain in the country for 90 days on each visit, which can be extended for another 90 days.

 

Changes to the green residence and golden visas:

  • The new five-year green residence visa: It is aimed at attracting exceptional talent, skilled professionals, freelancers, investors, and entrepreneurs.
    • It replaces the previous residence visa that was valid only for two years.
  • A grace period of up to six months: To stay in the country has been introduced after the residence permit is canceled or expired.
  • Amendments to the golden visa scheme: Allowing more categories of people to secure the coveted 10-year visa.
    • Scientists, skilled workers, exceptional talent, real estate investors, entrepreneurs, students, humanitarian pioneers, doctors and nurses have also been included in the list.
  • Skilled professionals: They can get the long-term residency, if they have a minimum monthly salary requirement of AED 30,000 a month.
  • Investors: They can also get the visa when purchasing a property worth at least AED two million.

 

Way Forward

  • The Indian expatriate community: They approximately constitute about 30% of the UAE population and they will be benefited to a larger extent.
  • Boost country’s image: The restructuring of its entry and residence system will further boost the country’s image as an ideal destination for work and investment.
  • Hassle free vacation: Thousands of talented professionals are expected to find employment in the UAE and tourists can now experience a hassle-free vacation with the simplified visa system.
  • Attractive export destination for India: As we are witnessing a big turnaround in manufacturing, the UAE would be an attractive export market for Indian electronics, automobiles, and other engineering products.

 

 

QUESTION FOR PRACTICE

  1. India’s relations with Israel have, of late, acquired a depth and diversity, which cannot be rolled back.”Discuss.(UPSC 2018)

(200 WORDS, 10 MARKS)