UAE Authorities Announce Historic Changes to Citizenship Law

This decision will attract more talented personnel for the development of the country, according to the government.

The United Arab Emirates will give foreigners the opportunity to obtain citizenship. It can be issued by investors, scientists, doctors, artists, and inventors. This was reported on Saturday, January 30, by the state news agency WAM.

“Investors, talent in their field and professionals, including scientists, doctors, engineers, artists, writers, and their families will be eligible for naturalization under the new amendment to the citizenship law,” said the ruler of and the Prime Minister of the UAE Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

According to him, the UAE Cabinet of Ministers, local Emir courts, and executive councils will determine persons eligible for citizenship in accordance with clear criteria established for each category. The law allows persons who have received a passport to retain their existing citizenship.

UAE government officials said the amendment “aims to assess talent and expertise and bring brighter minds to the Emirati community.”

Foreigners in the UAE generally hold renewable visas, valid for only a few years, linked to employment. Recently, the government has made visa policies more flexible by offering extended stays for certain types of investors, students, and professionals.

The government expanded its visa system last year. Which grants the right to 10 years of residence in the Gulf State to some specialists and holders of special diplomas.

The UAE also has a growing community of wealthy expatriates who are attracted by the low tax regime as well as major projects and tourist attractions.

According to Bloomberg, the Emirates became the first Gulf country that is ready to grant citizenship to foreigners, whereas previously it could only be obtained as an exception, for example, to work in the civil service. The publication notes that the citizens of the UAE enjoy “generous privileges”, while the country is more than 80% composed of residents of other states.

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