26 January 2024, Gulf Business
The UAE introduced the golden visa programme to allow for a 10-year residency to encourage exceptional individuals and foreign investors to establish deeper ties to the country. At a time when many countries are ending their golden visa programmes, the UAE is making it easier for investors and families to come and settle in the country.
In its most recent initiative to make its golden visa accessible, the UAE has announced the cancellation of the Dhs1m ($272,294) minimum down payment requirement, as per a report by leading daily The National.
The scrapping of the Dhs1m real estate investment requirement will help widen the pool for those looking to qualify for a golden visa.
Dubai’s General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs website has not yet been updated to reflect the change however the report quoted Dubai-based property broker Allsopp & Allsopp while confirming this major development.
What changes for the UAE Golden Visa applicants?
The eligibility criteria change impacts only those applicants who are using the real estate investment track.
While the property value requirement, which is set at a minimum of Dhs2m remains unchanged as per The National, the scrapping of the down payment criteria means that investors will no longer have to pay Dhs1m as proof of investment.
This change was confirmed by law firm BSA Ahmad bin Hezeem & Associates. The firm additionally said the change means that investors can qualify for the golden visa if the property’s value is Dh2m or more, regardless of whether it’s off-plan, completed, mortgaged or not mortgaged.
Additionally, the property valued at or above Dhs2m, can be a shared one – for example between spouses, but the share of the applicant should be worth Dhs2m.
Previously, to qualify for the 10-year renewable residency programme, which was introduced in 2019, investors were required to acquire property valued at Dh2 million or above.
Furthermore, for properties bought using a bank mortgage or installment plans, homebuyers had to make a minimum down payment of Dhs1m, or 50 per cent of the property’s value, to the bank or developer to be eligible for the golden visa.
UAE Golden Visa for exceptional individuals
The UAE introduced the golden visa programme to allow for a 10 year residency to encourage exceptional individuals and foreign investors to establish deeper ties to the country.
In 2022, amendments were introduced to the golden residency initiative to simplify the eligibility criteria and expand the categories of beneficiaries.