Immigration weekly update: November 26, 2020

Immigration updates for Abu Dhabi, China and Dubai


China: Issuance of PU Invitation Letters and entry visas for suspended dependents – UPDATED

There has been an update on visa denials since the last the announcement. Updates include:

  • United States
    • San Francisco – dependent family members denied an entry visa despite being included in a PU Letter; primary employee was not issued the Health Declaration Form by the embassy in time to catch his intended flight
    • Washington – Chinese embassy informed the primary applicant that no visa applications will be accepted even if a PU Letter is provided

No source available at the time of writing.

Disclaimer: The above information is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have any further inquiries regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Debra Jane Beynon, Regional Immigration Manager (APAC).

Europe, Middle East and Africa

Abu Dhabi: Non-citizens can obtain Freelance licensesDubai, UAE

The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (DED) has permitted non-citizens and residents to obtain freelancer licenses and conduct 48 types of business activities in the Emirates. The licenses were previously issued to UAE citizens only.

The new license will allow foreign nationals to work without the need for a local service agent or citizen as a partner and create freelance job opportunities for specified sectors, support talents, innovations and expertise available locally to achieve economic diversification.

In summary, the freelancer license will:

  • Enable business to tap into the broad experiences and expertise available in the market
  • Eliminate the need to employ people in specialisations that are only required periodically
  • Provide workers with flexibility to work remotely or from authorized locations
  • Boost the income of various groups including retires, housewives and university students

To apply for the freelancer license:

  • Applicants must prove relevant skillset
  • Prior approval is required for UAE residents working in the government sector, or from private sector employers if the freelance activity relates to their regular role

Benefits include:

  • Applicant and their families may apply for UAE residence visas
  • No requirement to take office space.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from the Department of Economic Development.

Dubai: Eligibility list for ”Golden” visa extended

The list of professionals who can obtain the 10-year golden residency visa in the UAE to retain experts and boost the economy has been extended. The UAE will implement the 10-year visa for eligible high skilled professionals from December 1, 2020.


Under the new list of 10-year Golden Visa professionals, residents along with their families will be granted long term residency visa in the following exceptional fields:

  1. PhD degree holders: Under the law, professionals holding PhD degree will be awarded with the Golden Visa. The individual should be holding PhD degree from one of the top 500 universities in the world.
  2. Doctors: The authorities may allow all doctors to obtain a 10-year visa to cope with the pandemic and meet shortfall of medical professionals in the country. Doctors specializing in viral epidemiology will be awarded with the Golden Visa.
  3. Engineers: All engineers in the field of computers, electronics, programming, electricals, electronics, active technology, AI and Big Data can obtain the golden visa.
  4. Highly qualified individuals: The UAE will offer 10-year visa to highly qualified individuals who have achieved high scores of 3.8 or more from approved universities.
  5. Researchers/Scientists: Researchers and scientists who are specialist of their respective fields. Scientists must be accredited by Emirates Scientists Council or holders of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence.
  6. Inventors: Investors must obtain a patent of value, which adds to the UAE’s economy. Patents must be approved by Ministry of Economy.
  7. Artists: Creative individuals in the field of culture and art will be awarded with the golden visa. Creative individuals in culture and art must be accredited by Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development.
  8. Investors: Foreign investors who have invested Dh10 million or above can also apply for the golden visa. This investment can be in the form of deposit in an investment fund, establishment of a company or investment in the real estate or any other strategic sectors.

All categories are required to have a valid employment contract in a specialized field of a priority in the UAE and there will be several further requirements applicants will need to meet.

Now only those who are invited to apply are eligible. However, an exception to this rule is that companies located in the Dubai International Finance Centre can nominate their own employees who meet the eligibility criteria. The Golden Card is valid for up to 10 years and is renewable indefinitely, provided card holders continue to meet the requirements.

This summary was prepared using information obtained from Emirates News Agency.

Disclaimer: The above information is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have any further inquiries regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Laxmi Vikraman, Regional Immigration Manager (EMEA).

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