Tuesday, 5 May 2009

The home owner visa: Starting date and the cost.

As you'll see below, a further government statement has been made regarding the new visa for expat property owners in the UAE. Of course, there's no information on where a purchaser applies for the visa, what paperwork is required (except "get the certificate of title from the local authority") or a helpful link to a government website in English/Arabic/Hindi which gives all the necessary information.

The cost of the new visa has been announced - AED2,000 for each 6 month visa. Assuming that cost is per person, a family of mum, dad and two kids and the maid will have to pay AED10,000 every 6 months when they do the visa run out of the country. Hmm, there's a thought. Can a person who holds this new category of visa sponsor their maid/driver ?

If you want/need to work in the UAE while living in your debt free property, you'll have to obtain the usual sponsorship visa through your employer. As nobody can have two visas, if you work this new multiple entry visa is not for you.

I've read about the advantages of forming a company in RAK and then registering a property in the name of the company but most ordinary people don't have the resources (financial or where-with-all) to do that. Company formation also doesn't address the primary requirement of the new visa and that is that the property concerned must be debt free.

Sorry, maybe I'm a bit slow (it has been remarked on in the past) but I just don't understand how this new visa is going to encourage a recovery in the UAE property market. If anything, it may have the reverse effect.

UAE officials said on Monday that multiple-entry visas for expat property owners meeting the eligibility criteria, will be issued from June 1.

The news follows Saturday's announcement, which marked a departure from the previous visa regime where regulations, in the absence of federal measures, were different in each emirate.To be eligible for a multiple-entry visa, which runs for six months, the property owner must first obtain the title of the property from the registration authority in the relevant emirate.

In addition, the property should be worth at least 1 million dirhams and the owner must earn at least 10,000 dirhams or foreign currency equivalent a month. The visa does not give the property owner the right to work inside the country.

Owners of empty plots of land will not benefit from the new rules, even if they can produce documents to support their ownership.

The visa will cost 2000 dirhams to renew every six months. Each time it expires the visa holder will have to leave, either to his home country or any other GCC state, before returning again to stay for a similar period of time.

While many are agreed the new rules will ease the confusion resulting from previously differing rules operating in the various emirates, the jury is still out on the likely impact of the new measures on the depressed domestic property market.

One argument says the duration of the visa is insufficient to encourage many would-be purchasers to take the plunge. Others have said that existing homeowners could fall afoul of the new rules in the event of job loss where no alternative income source is available.

1 comment:

  1. What happens to anybody who holds a valid 3 year Property Residence Visa? Does it get cancelled on 1st June? If it does, this would be the most ridiculous thing to ever happen!