On 20 May 2018, the UAE Cabinet announced changes to the visa regime in the United Arab Emirates, to take effect across all Emirates.

There will be a new visa system, under which investors and professionals in the scientific, research and technical fields (including scientists, innovators and creative people) and their families will be granted ten year visas. This means such individuals will be authorised for residency for ten years, without having to go through any renewal processes. Current visas are capped at three years.

The systems aims at attracting international investors, professionals and talented individuals across the vital sectors of the national economy.

The new visa system will also grant five year residency visas for international students, with the potential for ten year residency visas for particularly high achieving students. There will also be a review into the potential to extend residency visas for young adults sponsored by their parents, after the completion of their university studies. This will aim to encourage such young people to remain resident in the UAE following completion of their studies.