In an attempt to boost its economy, the United Aran Emirates (UAE), has introduced a new visa that would allow foreigners in the country without being sponsored by an employer. The newly introduced 'Green Visa' will allow a foreign national to work without the sponsorship of a firm, as well as sponsor her parents and children up to the age of 25. The new decision has come as a part of the country's effort to reduce its dependency on oil to attract "highly skilled individuals, investors, business people, entrepreneurs, as well exceptional students and postgraduates."

The initiative will also give the holder a three-month grace time to hunt for new employment if they lose their current one. If a person was fired under the prior rules, she had only 30 days to depart the country. However, the exact day on which the visa will take effect is unknown. Details on how to apply for it are also unknown.

Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi Warren Little/Getty Images for XCAT

What is the need for such a policy in UAE?

Despite the fact that expats account for more than 80% of the UAE's population, their residency and work permits are strictly enforced. This is gradually changing, as the government becomes more open to the concept of lowering regulatory barriers for rich expats and investors. The latest coronavirus outbreak has exacerbated the problems faced by the Middle Eastern economy, which is already suffering from low oil prices.

Burj Khalifa
The Burj Dubai tower is pictured prior to the opening ceremony of the Burj Dubai towerMartin Rose/Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic has had an impact on tourists and businesses in the United Arab Emirates, whose economy had already been suffering due to low oil prices in recent years. The UAE introduced the 10-year "Golden visa" in 2019, the first of its kind in the Gulf, to attract wealthy individuals and highly talented workers. It is pertinent to note that other resource-rich Gulf countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have since established similar programmes.

(With inputs from IANS)