Monday, July 25, 2011

Silence on property 'residence visa'

At the end of last month I was talking here about the new so-called 'residence visa' for property owners, which the media and real estate spokespeople were lauding as a great move forward.

It was nothing of the sort of course, and not even a residence visa. It was a three year multi-entry visit visa for which, in spite of all the applause, we were given no details.

We were told that holders would have to leave the country every six months...which was 'clarified' a few days later by a statement that holders would not have to leave every six months.

The only other information was that holders would need proof of a bank account either here or overseas and a salary of Dh10,000 a month, and the visa would only apply to property 'worth Dh1 million'. They would also have to have medical insurance renewable every six months (strange) and take a medical here every two years.

But the real detail that property owners, and potential buyers, need wasn't, and still hasn't, been given. The announcement was made, then nothing.

Value of property for example. Based on what? The original price paid?  Even with the burst bubble, apartments in my building that were originally bought for Dh450,000 are currently over Dh1 million - and they've been much higher than that of course. But if the original purchase price is the yardstick, none of the owners qualify for the visa.

Or is it based on current value?  Two problems with that. One, who decides what current value is? Two, value fluctuates all the time depending on many factors. Something that's worth a million today may be worth less than a million in a month's time if interests rates go up, mortgages become even more difficult to find, a large supply of similar apartments is released.

Then as it isn't a residence visa, can holders apply for all the things that require a res. visa, such as a driving licence, DEWA connections and so on? Or are they treated the same as other visit visa holders?

And what's the cost? The original plan for a six month visa required the holder to exit the country and apply for a new visa to come back in...at Dh2,000 a time. That soon adds up if it's a family on the visa. We had no indication of the cost of the latest version.

Far from helping the real estate sector, this kind of part announcement leaving vital questions unanswered damages it even more.

5 comments:

Dubai said...

I heard that before but thay say that even though residence visa is hard to have, you will get an additional fee if you process it with sticker.

dubai visitor said...

Are there any updates on the residence visa rule

Seabee said...

No updates (or 'clarifications') that I'm aware of.

William King said...

Nice post according to the current situation about the residence visa in Dubai. We should always have a look at the official sites relating to the visa policies of the country we are traveling to. Another nice way is to consult an agent or any travel agency because they are always being updated with the new and any change is the current rule of the visa. Perhaps this way would be a little time consuming but at the end we have the appropriate information about it.

dbx said...

Ooof!!!! I hear so much about the 99 years...what is that???joke???