Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Back to the visa drawing board

Guess what. There's been more 'clarification' about the property-linked visas, clarification which, as is the way with most clarifications we get, contradicts earlier statements.

Thanks to JadAoun who alerted me to a report in Gulf News datelined 3pm today, Tuesday.

This later report says:

Realty visa can be renewed instantly with no waiting time, officials clarify.

It was reported earlier that people who complete six months stay need to stay out of UAE for at least a month before being able to renew the visa. However, the Interior ministry on Tuesday confirmed there is no waiting time before renewing the visa.

The visa can be renewed once the person leaves the country.

So the earlier clarification was wrong and needed clarifying with this new clarification.

OK. So where are we?

It's not a residence visa it's a six-month visit visa. Which can be renewed instantly if you do the traditional instant-turn-around visa run. It may be renewed any number of times as no limit has been set against it.

This means that for Dh4,000 a year you can live here on a visit visa, without a break. Other than a quick return flight to, say, Qatar. Or a run across the land border at Hatta.

I hate to suggest it but I think we need clarification.

Would it be wrong of me to suggest that perhaps a trip back to the drawing board might be in order. You know, for a bit of a rethink about the visa.

And perhaps if when all the wrinkles are ironed out, there could be a full briefing to anyone who might possibly talk to the media. Just so that before they do so they're clear what it is they're announcing and the details which they're clarifying.

The new clarification of the earlier clarification is here.


Umar in Dubai said...

something tells me we are going to see a lot more clarifications on this over the next few days and weeks.

The Wizard of D said...

I don't trust any of these statements.... there can be a turn around any time. And this is the problem. Lack of consistency on policies. When the whole world was advertising 99 year visa, the govt let it be because it worked for them.

Wait for a few more clarifications in the next few days

Anonymous said...

the most important part of the law that I believe Gulf News intentionally hid, to mislead current expats in Dubai to force them to buy is :

"Officials from the Department of Naturalisation and Residency (DNR) reiterated that applicants would have to own a property worth at least Dh1 million and earn at least Dh10,000 a month, or its equivalent in foreign currency. The income must come from outside the UAE; visa-holders will not be allowed to work here. "

from http://www.thenational.ae/article/20090505/NATIONAL/705049810/0/FRONTPAGE

Now this will mean you can actually sue Gulf News for giving intentionally misleading information to support Government spin in Dubai. And you have so called real estate experts going on about how if you lose your job in dubai the 10000 dhs will be a problem. YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO WORK UNDER THIS VISA, AND YOU NEED 10000 DHS EXTERNAL INCOME PER MONTH, NOT FROM UAE. Now let us see how many people buy!

Rose in Dubai said...

>>visa-holders will not be allowed to work here. " <<

Ok, excuse me for misunderstanding but does this mean that property owners are not allowed to work here??

I'm sure it doesn't but...... ok, I'm not so sure!

Seabee said...

In the usual way information is given here Rose it's a simple concept which is expressed so badly that it actually conveys an incorrect meaning.

Residence and visit visas don't allow the holder to work here, they never have. A labour card is needed for that, which is a separate part of the system. Simple as that, but our 'journalists' seem almost incapable of putting anything clearly.

Anon@11.57, it's unlike me to come to the defence of our esteemed media, but you're mistaken. From the earliest reports of the new visa Gulf News has included the Dh10,000 a month income condition.

Anonymous said...

Gulf News did mention it seabee, but what i understood from the gulf news mention of 10000 dhs is that i need to have a salary of 10000 dhs to qualify for this visa. so i understood that I could work in UAE, and have a salary above this, and qualify. which is what most expats working in dubai want to know, so they can now go and buy.
what i understand now from National is, i cannot work in UAE with this visa, the moment i find a job, i have to get a work visa, and my property based visa gets cancelled. and as long as live on the property based visa, i cannot work, and i need to show an income of more than 10000 dhs coming to me from outside UAE to even qualify for this Visa.

So what i think it means is, this visa is strictly meant to bring money from outside, not permitted for employees in Dubai. But i wouldn't be surprised if i have got it all wrong. There is a limit to my comprehension skills too.

Seabee said...

Anon@2.56, none of us has the necessary comprehension skills to work out exactly what the 'officials' and 'journalists' are trying to say! That's not our fault, it's theirs.

This new visa is a visit visa and like all visit (and residency)visas it does not permit the holder to work in the UAE.

To work here we need a Labour Card - and when we have that we have to be on our sponsor's residence visa.

In that case we can also buy property if we wish to, but we won't have, or need, the new property-linked visa.

You're right that it's not for people who work here, it's for people from overseas, or retired people.

ZeTallGerman said...

seabee, over at ArabianBusiness.com there are a LOT of very angry reader's comments about this. Why should anyone buy property if after 6 months the powers-that-be can just turn around and reject your visa renewal without giving any reason? (you know it'll happen, just wait.) Also, how many people currently own property that isn't worth 1 Mio Dirhams? Take Studio apartments for example; in certain areas prices have crashed (no, not "corrected." CRASHED). What about these investors / owners? Tie that together with the recent statement by Ahmed Al Mansoori, the director general of *Watani* who said that expats should "integrate more into UAE culture" (numerous reader's comments about how we are not immigrants with rights, we are simply temporary guest workers, so why integrate?) this whole issue of how welcome we may really feel in the UAE is definitely in the headlines again.