Dubai is the pinnacle global hub for expatriates, investors and entrepreneurs alike, and is widely considered a hidden gem for people who are looking to expand their portfolios internationally.
According to the World Bank Open Data Census, there are 9.54 million people residing in the UAE, of which 88.52% of the population is international expatriates with Dubai being the home to 35.7% of the population. Thus, the UAE attracts expatriates from every corner of the globe and have several different ways in which the expatriates, investors and entrepreneurs can establish their residency within the UAE. However, in this article I will be addressing how you can obtain a residency visa within the UAE when investing in residential property and the pros and cons in doing so.
The investment program used when purchasing residential property in the UAE is known as the Taskeen Program. This service allows an investor to apply for a residential visa where the value of his residential investment unit is equal to or exceeds One Million Dirhams (AED 1,000,000.00).
The service provided by the Real Estate Investment Promotion and Management Center is fairly straightforward and simple for investors to complete, nevertheless, it is still important to understand all the necessary requirements when investing in residential property in Dubai.
The terms and conditions of the property investment:
Investment Visa Requirements:
Request for Investment Visa (Taskeen) Fees:
There are several advantages for investors who use the Taskeen Program to gain residency within the UAE. First, the investor’s ability to not only obtain a residency visa for themselves, but, they can also gain residency visas for their spouse and children. Second, the investor will gain access to the UAE banking system enabling them to open bank accounts within the UAE. Third, there is no cap on the amount of times the investor can renew their 2 year residency visa once they invest in residential property equal to or exceeding One Million Dirhams (AED 1,000,000.00).
When reviewing the Taskeen Program in detail, there was only one significant disadvantage for investors. It is important to understand that when obtaining a residency visa through the Taskeen Program, the investor is not permitted to work within the UAE. The residency visa issued to the investor simply allows the investor to reside within the UAE without obtaining employment. If the investor obtains employment after receiving the residency visa, the investor will need to cancel their residency visa and use the employment visa issued by the company.
Over the past year the UAE Cabinet has been busy approving a new long term visa proposal which were announced in early 2018. Despite receiving some information from the UAE Cabinet regarding its process and requirements, it is still a mystery as to when it will be enacted and exactly what the criterion will entail.
For now, I have listed the speculative guidelines which may in fact turn out to be the UAE’s new long term visa program.
Option 1: Five (5) year residency visa, which can be obtained when the investor invests a minimum of Five Million Dirhams (5,000,000.00) in residential property or any other type of investment within the UAE.
Option 2: Ten (10) year residency visa, which can be obtained when the investor invests a minimum of Ten Million Dirhams (10,000,000.00), of which 40% of the investment can be residential property and the remaining 60% invested in non-real estate investments.
Finally, the long term residence visa can be used to gain residence for the spouse and children of the investor, including one executive director and one advisor, and the UAE Cabinet will be extending the long term visas to entrepreneurs, executives, business professionals working in scientific and research fields and students who demonstrate academic excellence.
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