What is the UAE’s new Blue Residency Visa? All you need to know

How to apply, eligibility, and requirements – everything you need to know about the new 10-year visa

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The UAE recently introduced an innovative new visa category aimed at environmental champions and sustainability leaders from around the world.

Known as the Blue Residency Visa, it offers a 10-year residency for exceptional individuals making significant contributions to protecting the environment and promoting sustainability.

Who can apply for the Blue Residency Visa?

The Blue Residency Visa targets a very specific group – people who have demonstrated outstanding efforts and achievements in fields related to environmental protection. This includes:

  • Marine and land conservation
  • Improving air quality
  • Developing sustainable technologies
  • General environmental advocacy

To qualify, applicants must be able to show they have made tangible, impactful contributions through their work, initiatives, inventions or activism focused on sustainability and combating climate change.

How to apply

Those interested in obtaining the Blue Residency Visa have two application pathways:

  1. Direct application through the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security
  2. Nomination by relevant UAE authorities who can recommend deserving individuals

Applicants will need to provide documentation and evidence of their environmental credentials and contributions.

Why is it important?

The Blue Residency Visa represents the UAE’s commitment to positioning itself as a global hub for sustainability. By attracting the best minds in environmental conservation, green innovation and climate solutions, the country aims to supercharge its own sustainable development.

This comes after the UAE hosted the UN climate talks, COP28, last year which brought together environmentalists and global leaders in sustainability.

“Building on the momentum of COP28, which concluded last December with the landmark UAE Consensus, this initiative further cements the UAE’s role as a global leader in sustainability, environmental stewardship, and nature conservation,” said Dr Al Jaber in a statement marking the adoption of the Blue Residency Visa System last week.

“This initiative aligns perfectly with the UAE’s extended Year of Sustainability, reflecting the nation’s remarkable success in hosting COP28,” he added.

According to Dr. Al Jaber, the climate conference was a “paradigm shift, showcasing the UAE’s unwavering commitment to multilateralism, international cooperation, and developing a united global approach to the challenges of climate change.”

The visa aims to build on these efforts and help the UAE further establish itself as a global frontrunner in tech development to address climate change.

For talented environmental professionals, it offers an incredible opportunity to live and work in the UAE for an extended period while helping drive the country’s sustainability agenda.

Other long-term residency visas in the UAE

The Blue Residency Visa is the latest addition to the UAE’s suite of long-term residency programs aimed at attracting global talent across diverse fields.

Some of the other key visa schemes include:

Golden Visa: Offering 10-year residency, this is awarded to outstanding professionals like investors, entrepreneurs, doctors, scientists, and top students. Property investors can also qualify.

Green Visa: Valid for 5 years, the green visa enables expatriate investors, entrepreneurs and freelancers/self-employed individuals to establish themselves in the UAE without being sponsored by an employer.

Remote Working Visa: Introduced in 2022, this allows employees from across the world to live and work remotely from the UAE for their overseas employers.

Five-Year Retirement Visa: Available for expatriates 55 years or older, this long-term visa enables those who have met certain financial requirements to retire in the UAE.



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