Dr. Björn Kjerfve says the new ten-year visa is a ‘landmark’ move to build a knowledge-based economy

The UAE’s new ten-year visa will help it build a knowledge-based economy, according to the chancellor of the American University of Sharjah.

Dr. Björn Kjerfve called the move a ‘landmark’ with significant benefits for the UAE’s education sector.

“This is a landmark in the UAE’s visa system, which will have a great impact on all sectors including expatriate students and graduates…. We expect the announcement will improve the future of students residing and settling in the country, and will support the country’s investment in building a knowledge based economy,” he said.
The visa will be made available to investors and specialists in medical, scientific, research and technical fields, as well as scientists, innovators and ‘exceptional’ students. However, it is not yet clear if teachers and professors are included in the category.

Lance E. de Masi, president of the American University in Dubai, believes academic talent will be counted in to ultimately improve the industry.

“I trust that professors and students are included under the provisions of the law, as the attraction of top-tier academic talent, especially as researchers, and the facilitation of graduates’ giving back to society following completion of their studies would be encouraged through inclusion of the academic community under the new regulation,” he said.
De Masi said the new law is part of the UAE’s plan to boost its business environment.

“Overall, I believe the new law has the potential to put real “teeth” in the UAE’s strategy for innovation, including a bolstering of entrepreneurial activity. I think this law must be viewed within the context of the leadership’s overall efforts to enhance societal sustainability through the retention of productive human capital and competitiveness.

This is another “first” by the UAE and is in itself a reflection of the country’s openness to new ideas and approaches in support of future prosperity,” he said.

The ten-year visa was announced alongside the new ownership law, allowing 100% possession of companies in the country, which was previously limited to freezones.

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