Friday, October 10, 2008

Property-linked residence visas

The main headline in this morning's Gulf News business section is Ajman freezes freehold visas

It's a subject I've posted about in the past because it's a case of moving the goalposts while the game is being played. I gave my opinion of the policy change in that previous post, so I don't need to repeat it here.

The report says:

Ajman is the second emirate to have made an about turn on the crucial issue after Dubai - after years of assurance of visa sponsorship linked to property ownership.

A source has told Gulf News that Ajman will not only stop issuing new visas, they will also not renew previously issued visas.

The reason for the change in Ajman, as given by 'the source', simply doesn't make sense.

"This step was taken in order to regulate the visa rules. Some used to buy an apartment to obtain a residence visa and then sell the apartment to somebody else who already had a visa"

But the answer to that problem is so simple that I just can't believe this is the reason for the change of policy. There must be another reason.

If the visa is linked to property ownership, the sale of the property should result in the cancellation of the visa.

A blanket ban on all visas is a sledgehammer to crack a nut. And it's very bad business.

Gulf News story is here.

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