I have been in Dubai since 2007 and have been running my own company for the past two years. I now have to move out of the UAE, so I need to cancel my company registration and hence the current residency visa. I own two apartments in Dubai – one valued at Dh930,000 and the other one at Dh540,000. Both apartments have already been rented out and fetch me more than Dh10,000 per month. I will get the title deed for both my apartments in February 2016. Can I apply for a property visa in relation to both of these properties? What is the process and fees involved? Do I need to cancel my current visa before I apply for the property visa or after? BI, Dubai
To be considered eligible for a property-related visa, an individual must own a property that is registered with a value of Dh1 million or more. The value of the property at the time of purchase has to have been more than Dh1m and this must be for one property only and cannot be the value of two or more combined. Any increases in value are not taken into consideration. So if, for example, someone bought a property for Dh900,000 and it is now considered to be valued at Dh1.2m, this will not count. The property must also be owned outright. Although BI is not eligible to apply for a property-related visa given the information provided, applications should be made to the Dubai Economic Department and Dubai Land Department for consideration, and visas are not granted automatically but are subject to case-by-case approval. Applicants have to provide the title deed, a certificate of good conduct from the police and upon approval should receive a visa that is valid for up to two years. For emirates other than Dubai, visas are issued for six months. In accordance with standard Dubai rules, applicants must undergo a medical examination and must have Dubai Health Authority-compliant medical insurance. A property related visa does not permit an individual to work in the UAE, only to reside here. The fees are Dh1,100 for the visa plus a clerical fee of Dh410 and an annual licence with a fee of Dh2,000 per year.
Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with over 20 years’ experience. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @FinancialUAE.
The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only.
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