Monday, January 12, 2009

Proposal for federal freehold visa rule

There are reports that the federal government is reviewing property-linked residence visas with the aim of having a national approach rather than different rules for different emirates.

I've posted about this in the past because it's been a misinformation and moving-the-goalposts issue.

'Misinformation' because many developers and real estate agents included the word 'guaranteed' in relation to the visa. It never was guaranteed, it was quite rightly subject to the applicant meeting all the requirements of the Immigration Dept.

'Moving the goalposts' because no authority stopped the offer from being made. Some people bought property on the basis of being able to live here but several years down the track were told that the rule had changed in Dubai and Ajman.

Now a report in Gulf News tells us:

The UAE federal government is reviewing the issue of freehold property visas linked to foreigners' ownership of properties in different emirates, a top Dubai Government official told the media on Saturday.

"The Advisory Council [of Dubai Government] has submitted a proposal to the Federal Government on the issue of property-linked visas to review," Nasser Bin Hassan Al Shaikh, director-general of Dubai Government's Department of Finance, said at a media briefing on the sidelines of the government's 2009 budget announcement.

"Since a number of emirates have developed their own freehold visa arrangements, there are thoughts at the federal level to streamline the process and announce a unified guideline for all the emirates."

That doesn't tell us whether the proposal is to allow or stop property-linked visa, but hopefully it's to allow them to approved applicants.

But it does make sense to have a federal rule applying throughout the country because residence visas allow holders to live in the UAE, we are not restricted to one emirate.

I recall that when Ajman decided to stop allowing the visas an offical said in effect that they were losing track of people because visas were issued but property was being on-sold and the original owner then had a visa to which he was no longer entitled.

The answer is patently not to stop offering visas but to simply link the paperwork. In the same way that an employer cancels the visa of an ex-employee, the master developer sponsor would cancel the property-linked visa upon sale of the property.

The Gulf News report is here.


Dave said...

Seabee, I don't have faith that the UAE has the ability to link property related visa's to the master developers.

The UAE seems to have problems communicating beteween Govt departments and between Emirates, let alone to outside developers.

Hence the outcome that the National ID card is now an additional requirement rather than replacing labor cards, healthcare cards, driver licences & e-gate cards (etc) that was the initial intention. I think this is currently beyond capability here....

Mohammed said...

I found this article on the National and this kind of cracked me up:

[i]“Women in the US have a long way to go until they become like the women here,” said Tahani Aboushi, a third-year law student at Syracuse University in New York state. “In the US we are still trying to get a job with equal pay to men.”

Erica Charles, an Arabic and nursing student at Portland State University, said: “Women here are getting the same salaries as men, entering the same fields and even have the option of staying at home and maintaining their dignity and respect.”[/i]

Seabee said...

Dave it's nothing more than basic, simple administration, but it does seem to be beyond the ability of anyone here.

The vast majority of the problems we face, in every field, are unnecessary and would have been avoided with a bit of thought, planning and admin.

I'm also not hopeful that it will change anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

Currently property owner nationals from countries without the right to a visa on arrival can only use their property via applying for 28 day tourist visas every time they wish to come.

What makes it even more ridiculus is you ususaly have to pay for a 4 day stay in a hotel to get a tourist visa even though you own a property!

sunil said...

these are all excuses. it's called living in a sheikdom where one man decides the fate of all. dont you just miss democracy?