United Arab Emirates: How permanent residency is acquired, lost and re-acquired; whether birth in the UAE entitles a child to permanent residency status
|Publisher||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa|
|Publication Date||26 May 2009|
|Citation / Document Symbol||ARE103173.E|
|Cite as||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, United Arab Emirates: How permanent residency is acquired, lost and re-acquired; whether birth in the UAE entitles a child to permanent residency status, 26 May 2009, ARE103173.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4b7cee761a.html [accessed 2 March 2015]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
In a telephone interview with the Research Directorate, a visa officer at the United Arab Emirates (UAE) embassy in Washington, DC stated that the UAE does not have a system to grant permanent residency status such as the "green card" in the United States (UAE 21 May 2009). Articles published by Reuters and the Cairo-based Mist News corroborate that the UAE does not have a permanent residency status for foreigners (Mist News 4 Sept. 2008; Reuters 16 Feb. 2009).
According to the UAE Visa Officer, foreigners can reside in the UAE either on a work permit or residency permit (UAE 21 May 2009). A work permit is granted to an applicant who has an employment contract with an employer; the residency permit allows dependents of such a worker to reside in the UAE (ibid.). The Visa Officer stated that these permits are usually valid for two to three years depending on the type of job and are renewable provided the worker continues to be employed (ibid.). Rights to residency are lost if the person is away from the UAE for more than six months, although he or she can re-apply (ibid.). The Visa Officer stated that birth in the UAE does not entitle a child to permanent residency: if the child's father is a UAE citizen then the child would also become a UAE citizen; if the child's father is a foreigner, the child would acquire a UAE residency permit (ibid.).
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Mist New. 4 September 2008. "Dubai Home Buyers Fear Residency May be a Mirage." (Factiva)
Reuters. 16 February 2009. Daliah Merzaban. "UAE Plans Law Granting Residency to Property Owners." (Factiva)
United Arab Emirates (UAE). 21 May 2009. Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, Washington, DC. Telephone interview with visa officer.
Additional Sources Consulted
Oral Sources: Attempts to reach officials at the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Ottawa were unsuccessful within time constraints.
Internet sources, including: Al Bawaba, Amnesty International (AI), Freedom House, Gulf News, Legislationline, United States (US) Department of State.