Up-to-date rules on UAE property visas

My husband is British and owns two properties in Dubai. Both are worth over Dh1 million. One is rented out and he owns this outright; the other one, which is where we live, has a mortgage on it. He has an income of Dh10,000 per month that comes from the UK and from rental on the Dubai property. Can he apply for a property visa in relation to either of his properties? How can he apply? How much does it cost and what is the validity? Can I, as his wife and dependent, also be added to the property visa? SS, Dubai

The rules regarding property-related residency visas in the UAE have changed several times over the past 10 years, but these are the current regulations: either a six-month multi-entry visa or a two-year residency visa is available depending on the circumstances. In all cases, the property must be worth in excess of Dh1m and must be for one property only. The title deed is usually in one name and only that person can apply for residency, even if ownership is deemed to be joint. The property must be complete and suitable to live in. The six-month visa is easier to obtain and has lower costs, but must be renewed every six months at a cost of Dh1,100. These multi-entry visas are available to property owners in all seven emirates, but people should apply to the Immigration or Naturalisation and Residency Department in the relevant emirate. In this case it is the Department of Naturalisation and Residency Dubai. I understand that those with a six-month property visa can sponsor family members at a cost of Dh250 a time and these must also be renewed every six months. My understanding is that exit and re-entry is required to renew and medical exams are also required. Because property-related visas are considered a type of visit visa, neither the principal holder nor the dependents are permitted to work.

In Dubai it is also possible to get a two-year visa related to property ownership, but this comes with stricter regulations. The individual must own a property that is fully habitable with a value of at least Dh1m, but they must own it outright without a mortgage. A copy of the title deed proving there is no mortgage must be provided and there is a property visa fee of Dh1,100 and an administration fee of Dh400. Applications must initially be to the Dubai Land Department, which will then provide a certificate to the Department of Economic Development that issues an investor trade licence for Dh2,000 a year. This allows the property owner to then apply for residency visas and they can also sponsor family members. Please note that applications for property-related residency visas must be made to the relevant government department.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser 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. Readers are encouraged to seek appropriate independent legal advice

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