Monday, December 29, 2008

Residency Visas with property purchases in Dubai and Ajman

If you own property in Dubai, Ajman, or Ras Al Khaimah then you are probably entitled to apply for a residency visa. There are some conditions and restrictions thoughThe residency visa is only available to the first named owner of the property (consider which name to put first if it's a joint purchase).

The residency visa is not available until after the property is completed.

You can only apply for a residency visa under this scheme if you don't have any other way of obtaining a residency visa.There will be a charge (about 5000 dhs in January 2008) for the residency visa application. For that, the developer makes the application on your behalf. That's not something you have a choice about.

Owning a property does not guarantee successful application for a residency visa. The immigration department decides that, not the property developer.

The residency visa only entitles you to live here, not to work here - you still need to apply for a work permit for employment.

Expat residents can still be deported for the normal deportation reasons.
In early 2008 there was a report that residence visas could be applied for before completion of property but no further information found to confirm that. Treat with skepticism any comments from property agents that indicate you can do this.

In mid-2008, the whole residence visa with property thing was in a state of flux in Dubai, due mostly to property developers and real estate agents misleading customers by advertising a "guaranteed residence visa" with property purchases, when there was no way they could "guarantee" a visa. Some developers have put applications on hold, and some reports say that authorities are no longer issuing residence visas on this basis. Get information from either the DNRD or the master property developer before committing to a purchase if your decision depends on whether or not you are eligible for a residence visa. Treat whatever a real estate agent or developer says (other than the master developer - and even then be careful) with a pinch of salt.

Residency visas have been on hold or suspended since around mid-2008 for most/all Dubai and Ajman property purchases - check with the master developer or the relevant government authority (RERA in Dubai), don't take the word of the real estate agent or property developer as some have been issuing misleading advertisements about the residence visa eligibility. Ras Al Khaimah property purchases may still allow application for a residency visa.