I currently live in New Delhi and have been told by a major Dubai property developer that if we invest in property worth Dh1 million, we can obtain a family residency and then we can live there and work. This residency gets renewed every three years, as the government checks whether we still hold the property. Is this true? KD, India

It is worrying that a major company is providing their potential customers with misleading information. While it can be possible to obtain a residency visa based on property ownership the rules are strict, there are no guarantees and such visas absolutely do not permit a person to undertake any form of employment in the UAE.

To obtain a property related residency visa, a person cannot have an outstanding mortgage of more than 50 per cent of the purchase price and must have paid at least Dh1 million for it. They must have an income of at least Dh10,000 per month from a verifiable source, but not from employment in the UAE. Any application must be made to the Dubai Economic Department and Dubai Land Department for consideration and visas are granted on a case-by-case basis and approval is by no means auto­matic. Visas are issued for two years under the current rules but these change from time to time. In accordance with standard Dubai rules, applicants must undergo a medical examination and must organise their own Dubai Health Authority-compliant medical insurance. I would reiterate that a property-related visa does not permit an individual to work in the UAE, only to reside here, so if they take up employment the property visa must be cancelled.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser and senior partner with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with over 20 years’ experience. Contact her at keren@holbornassets.com. 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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