There has been a lot of talk about Dubai in recent years and it is all because of one reason, money. It’s true, Dubai has been the haven for excess and wealth for more than a decade now and I don’t see this stopping any day now.
Americans are looking at ways in which they can maximize their investments by entering the Middle Eastern market. For this reason Americans are opening company branches in Dubai and are living in Dubai full time.
Dubai welcomes foreign investment, in fact they encourage it. So much that they have created various investment programs to welcome Americans and other citizens of the world to come into their country.
The Middle East is famous for its strict immigration system, but it is still possible to become a resident and an eventual citizen of Dubai. Here are some of the ways in which you can obtain residency in Dubai.
The most common way that Americans are using to obtain residency in Dubai is through employment. A company in Dubai needs to sponsor the visa for the American worker, in a similar way to how an H-1B visa works.
There is a little more complications involved as the company in Dubai needs to be registered and must apply to obtain permission to hire a foreigner. The company also needs to submit its business license and describe why it is vital for the company to hire somebody outside of the United Arab Emirates.
Another way in which an American can get residency in Dubai is to purchase property anywhere in the United Arab Emirates. This is a great way of getting residency for someone who doesn’t want to work in the country or register a company.
The value of the company bought must not be less than One Million Dirhams (about $273,000 as of the writing of this article). Once your purchase is approved under your name you become resident of Dubai for two years, you will have to continue renewing your visa.
One of the fastest ways to get a residency in Dubai is to set up a corporation in the United Arab Emirates. The whole process can take a couple of weeks, but there are some roadblocks that you have to avoid in order to fulfill this.
Your company needs to be approved by the relevant authorities and you have to open a corporate bank account on your name. What is great about this option is that you won’t have to do any actual business in the country. Just having a corporation set up under your name with money attached to it is fine.
As I mentioned before the resident visa in Dubai has a duration of 2 years that needs to be renewed constantly. This is one of the great advantages and disadvantages that Dubai has over other countries.
While it is fairly easy to renew your residency visa if your status in the country remains pretty much the same, it is hard for the residency visa to turn into a citizenship in the United Arab Emirates.
The United Arab Emirates have long failed to open any kind of citizenship path to any foreign national. The rules are simple in Dubai regarding citizenship, you are either a citizen or you are not.
Just keep in mind that these are all residency programs. They rarely, if ever, lead to citizenship or a second passport. If you want to live in Dubai and get a second passport, you’ll probably need to buy one from a country like St. Lucia or Dominica.
Although Dubai and the United Arab Emirates have some solid and concrete laws regarding immigration, they are constantly creating amends and introducing new programs such as the ten year visa for residents.
You qualify for the ten year visa program if you are a doctor, an engineer, an investor or possess any other high skilled profession. One other detail regarding this program, you have to be an Expat to be able to qualify.
I expect the United Arab Emirates to continue creating similar programs to this one as they wish to expand and continue being the haven for wealth and money they currently are. They won’t be able to do this without outside help.
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