The minimum financial requirement to apply for a three-year visa through investment in Dubai’s booming residential property market has been reduced to Dh750,000 from Dh1 million, according to information available on the Dubai Land Department’s website.
The visa facility, available through DLD’s Taskeen Programme, allows an individual who owns a property valued at Dh750,000 or more at the time of purchase to apply for a three-year renewable residency visa with a provision for sponsoring the spouse.
Realty consultants said the lowering of the investment level would give an added impetus to the Dubai's real estate market, which is witnessing a remarkable rebound and growing global investor appeal on the cusp of the largest international event in the region, Expo 2020 Dubai, opening on October 1.
The DLD’s official sales price index shows that August 2021 was the second-highest month since December 2013 in terms of the number of sales transactions in one month, with 5,780 sales transactions worth Dh14.97 billion, becoming the best August in 12 years. In August 2021, 55 per cent of all sales transactions were for secondary/ready properties and 45 per cent were for off-plan properties.
According to a residency law expert, documents required for applying this type of visa include the passport of the investor and an electronic copy of the title deed certificate. The applicant must have a property with a minimum value of Dh750,000. In case the property is mortgage, 50 per cent of the property value or at least Dh750,000 is to be paid to the bank. A non-objection letter in Arabic along with a mortgage bank statement will be required to proceed with visa application.
The husband and wife can share one property, provided an attested marriage certificate is produced, according to the information provided by the website. In case the application is submitted by a third party on behalf of the investor, power of attorney is required. For obtaining children’s visas, a no-objection letter from the father, attested by the notary public, (in case the mother is the sponsor), is required.
Investors in a jointly owned property are eligible to apply if each individual’s share is worth at least Dh750,000, said the expert.
The investment must be in a single residential property and not in commercial properties. The visa offer is applicable to freehold residential properties only and it is not possible to apply for this visa with an off-plan property. The visa length varies between three to five years and can be maintained for as long as the investor owns property in the country.
The three-year visa facility is available to individuals who have purchased a property of Dh750,000 or more, while the five-year visa requires ownership of property worth at least Dh5 million. The amount invested in real estate must not be on loan basis and the property must be retained for at least three years.
Visa by investment in a company is applicable to individuals who chose to invest in or start a business in Dubai’s mainland or its various free zones. Currently, the Dubai Economy offers more than 2,100 types of business licences to start a business in the mainland. Recent reforms have allowed, for the first time in the country’s history, a complete foreign ownership of companies in Dubai’s mainland, by annulling the requirement for commercial companies to have a majority Emirati shareholder or agent.
Investors who meet specific criteria are eligible for a five or 10-year residency, depending on the size of their investment in the country. The investor’s spouse, children, one manager and one advisor are also eligible to apply.
The 10-year long residency visa, or golden visa, is applicable to investors of at least Dh10 million, either through a deposit in an investment fund inside the country or establishing a company in the UAE with a capital of at least Dh10 million, or partnering in an existing or a new company with a share value of not less than Dh10 million, or having a total investment of Dh10 million in all areas mentioned.
“The long-term visa is only issued to those who meet an additional set of standards set by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs-Dubai. For example, this system grants long-term residencies for selected individuals with specialized talents such as scientists and innovators in medical, scientific, research and technical fields,” said the residency expert.
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