The UAE’s latest long-term visa reforms in 2019

  • Better Informed
  • 24 Jul, 2019
The UAE’s latest long-term visa reforms in 2019

“Welcome to Better Informed, our first series of video from Betterhomes to educate and inform our customers and the market as a whole about everything here in Dubai and the UAE.

Our first topic for today is visa reform; something you may read about in the press for the last couple of months and something that I think that is very well-intentioned by the government here in UAE.

The reform we are seeing is to give longer-term visas more certainty, more security to expats living here with obviously the hope that the people will put down more roots which include purchasing property and really making a home for themselves here in Dubai and the other Emirates.

5-year Retirement Visa

So, what have we seen back in 2018?
We started to see the announcement of the new visas. One of the first ones is the retirement visa that was announced last year and coming into effect this year. I think it was a smart move by the government to attract people over 55 from across the world. People with means, people with wealth here to the Emirates to enjoy their retirement and you can get a 5-year renewable retirement visa.

If you fall into one of the three following criteria:

  • One must have AED 2 million property here in Dubai
  • Financial savings up to AED 1 million
  • Prove of an active income of no less than AED 20,000 a month.

5-year Investor Visa

Secondly, we’ve seen the introduction of 5-year investor visa. Fairly simple, if you invest AED 5 million into UAE property you can get yourself a renewable 5-year visa.

The criteria for this is:

  • The property must be ready. It can’t be an off-plan property. If you do invest in an off-plan you have to wait to hand it over to you.
  • AED 5 million value must be held in equity by the owner. It can’t be mortgaged; it must be fully owned and that’s the value of AED 5 million.
  • The property must be held for 3 years.

We started to see the visas coming to play. We had 20 or so issued by the DLD over the past week. In fact, we are sure we have more and more of these are coming to play in the market over the next months and year.

10-year Investor Visa

There is also a 10-year investor visa that was announced, very similar to a 5-year visa. The main difference being is you have to

  • Invest AED 10 million into the economy for which only 60% can be allocated to property and the other 40% must be in other assets.

Golden Visa

Most recently and probably the newest that got most air time in the press is the announcement of the new Golden visa. It has been called the permanent residency but it’s more accurately really long-term visa plan again for 10-year.
So far we’ve seen roughly 400 of these issued to some prominent business people within Dubai but the government is looking to issue 6,800 of them this year so we do expect to be opened up in quite a big way in the coming months. That will be for:

  • Some higher grade students.
  • People within the business world.
  • People with special talents, special jobs within the science, health, technology industries and the field of art and culture.

These will be linked to employment contracts.

Finally, it has also been announced, perhaps the most exciting thing to me, the 10-year visa criteria is also going to include

  • Executives earning AED 30,000 and above.

That’s for me is exciting because it suddenly opens up this opportunity for longer-term security and certainty around visa and residency status for the far wider audience.  And obviously wider audience potentially has a far bigger impact on the property market here in Dubai.

There’s is a lot more clarity we need on that section of legislation and we’re hoping to get that in the coming few weeks. And when we do we certainly will share it with you. “

Richard Waind

Betterhomes Group Managing Director

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