Friday, January 8, 2010

UAE property visa questions and conflicts -Visit visa or residence visa?

A "residence" visa gives the holder more rights in the UAE with respect to applying for driving licences etc so the distinction is important.
Most reports refer to a "multi-entry" visa implying it is a long visit visa. Other residence visas for the UAE are multi-entry by default, that point is never highlighted. Whereas visit visas are usually single-entry unless specifically described as a multi-entry visa.
WAM, the official UAE news agency, in its 03 May 2009 report refers to a "multi-trip entry visa" and "multi-entry permit" which is terminology more often associated with visit visas, not residence visas. The report does not specifically refer to a "residence" visa, or even make the implication that it's a residence visa. Similarly, comments from Brigadier Nasser Al Awadhi Al Minhali, Acting Director-General of the Federal Naturalisation and Residency Department (FNRD), subsequently reported in the press refer to "multiple entry visas", not residence visas.
03 August 2009 update: In a WAM news report about the implementation of the the new visa, the heading said "DNRD discusses with property developers implementation of multi visit visas" implying that it was a form of visit visa, not a residence visa, which would probably mean no bank accounts, Dubai driving license, health card, and other facilities that expat residents are entitled to apply for.