Thursday, February 19, 2009

Residency Visa for freehold property owners to be introduced soon

A senior government official has revealed that a federal regulation capable of granting residency visas to freehold property owners will be introduced within a year.

The proposal permits the owners to obtain a six-month renewable residency visa, irrespective of their nationality, size or value of the property. The proposal has been much appreciated by property developers.

The Acting Director General of the Federal Department of Naturalization and Residency (DNR), Brig. Gen. Nasser al Minhali, said that the project aims to create a unified visa system pertaining to home purchases.

Brig. Minhali termed the proposal as a "Security organizational procedure". The proposal will prevent each emirate from developing procedures of its own, thereby, unifying it under the Ministry of Interior, he added. The Residency Visas that have been granted so far will continue to remain valid, but, it would not be possible to renew them until the federal regulation is implemented.

Brig. Minhali did not reveal further details, as the proposal is being studied. Several emirates, including Dubai, follow the norm, wherein prospective homeowners seek residency through property developers, with the latter acting as sponsors for visas.

The three-year visa, which permits the holder to live in the emirate, but does not permit to work, serves as a major incentive for several buyers, particularly from Pakistan, Iran and India.

However, confusion prevailed, as people were unsure if developers could actually guarantee these visas, as promised, and if so, whether DNR would issue them. Sources within the industry, however, mentioned that a unified nationwide system was vital in this aspect, to ease confusion over which emirate had which entitlement. This would also help in restoring confidence in the market, it is believed.

A prominent Indian Industrialist, Surjit Singh, said that the unified property regulation could help in reducing property price discrepancies across the emirates. Such an initiative indicates the concern by the Ruler towards the interests of expatriate community.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This was the same promise made by the Dubai Government when Freehold started - they went back on their word and basically cheated thousands of foreigners who bought property in good faith and on the promise of being granted residency visa.
During the property boom, the Dubai government sat back and enjoyed the windfall and made money everyway they could.

Now that there is a property slump, the same Dubai government is having to take desperate measures to prop up a crashing market.

The Dubai government can no be trusted, they change their mind like the wind, reverse decisions and flip flop in any way to make a quick buck.

Why would we trust you ?