Investment in property no surety for residence visa

DUBAI - An impending law defining the relationship between a real estate developer and an investor will clear the confusion regarding developers facilitating residency visas, according to the immigration authority.

By (By Mary Nammour and Zoe Sinclair)

Published: Thu 28 Aug 2008, 1:33 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 5:11 PM

Investors say their contracts promised residency visas as part of the property deal but many developers recently stopped accepting visa applications on the advice of the Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD).

Director of the DNRD Major-General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri told Khaleej Times on Tuesday that there is no explicit text in the law that stipulates the property purchaser is entitled to residence visa. “We have said in the past and we have reiterated it over and over again that there is no link between residence visa and property ownership,” Major- General Al Marri stressed.

There would be a law in this regard soon. “We are expecting a law that would organise the relation between the real estate developer and the investor.”

As to any practices that might have been done in the past, the DNRD Director noted that the expected law would address all previous inconsistencies.

The law would be in the interest of both parties, he added. Sultan Butti bin Mejren, Director-General of the Land Department, told Khaleej Times that a team comprising representatives of the Land Department, DNRD and the General Command of Dubai Police has handed over a proposal to the authorities concerned.

“It stipulates that the property investor should be given a special type of entry permit rather than a residence visa. That is exactly what foreign countries do with the real estate investors. “There would be different types of entry permits. It would also have features in accordance with the investment itself. It should expire when the investor sells the property.”

Bin Mejren added if the new visa was adopted, the status of people who have already got residence visas through investment would be rectified. Abdul Rasheed, an Indian national, said the change in policy had made him to put his plans for property investment on hold.

“It is very good if you return to your home country and you’re not dependent on anyone to have a residency visa,” he said. “But now there are rumours that the law has been cancelled.

“I was buying a property but now I haven’t. Either I’ll go to another emirate where the residency visa is given or I’ll still try for Dubai.” Rasheed said although the confusion raises concern, he is still likely to invest in Dubai because his residency visa was guaranteed by his business ownership.

Wasim Islam, a Jumeirah Beach Residence owner, had a similar philosophy, detailing his business ensured his residency visa. “It says very clearly in my sales contract (with Dubai Properties) that I’m entitled to a residency visa and it sets out how to go about it,” Islam said. “It’s easier to get a residency visa through a business and that’s a small amount of money compared to what has to be invested in the property market here.”

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