ABU DHABI // Experts said a growing number of expatriates are investing in businesses or establishing free zone companies as a loophole to allow them to continue living here after retirement.
Companies are allowed to force their expat workers to retire at the age of 60. Foreigners have 30 days to exit the country after their employment visa is cancelled.
“We see many expatriates looking for an alternative to an employment visa,” said Laxmy Nair, at Diamond Business Management Consultants in Dubai.
“Many people are coming to us as a company formation consultant and we provide them with solutions, such as an investor visa.”
An investor visa provides temporary residence to its holder, which lasts for a maximum of three years and enables them to sponsor family members.
To qualify for the visa, expats must prove they have sufficient funds to make a significant investment into a UAE company, or to create a business in the country.
Immigration authorities must approve the investment.
Ms Nair said an investor visa is more flexible than one where a person is sponsored by an employer.
“Investor visas do not have any age limit so if they wish to stay here or have a residency visa then having an investor visa or company is the best way to stay,” she said.
Ms Nair said such visas were competitively priced, with a three-year visa costing about Dh3,500 on top of the investment.
“I always suggest people come forward and set up a business of their own if they want to stay on in the UAE.”
Ms Nair, who comes from India, said that a growing number of people were looking for this type of visa, especially those who wanted to avoid returning to home countries that are in turmoil.
Updated: July 30, 2016 04:00 AM