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UAE can be one of the several migration options if you're seeking tax residency through investment!


If bustling Dubai is more to your taste for retirement or a holiday home, you'll be pleased to learn it's not excessively expensive to qualify for tax residency there. The emirate offers visas to foreign nationals who invest a minimum $272,000 (nearly Dh1 million) in a property.

The reason why this is interesting for many is that there has been a bit of bustle recently surrounding places that have been looking to offer tax residencies at a lower cost in the aftermath of COVID-19.

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But what is 'tax residency'?

Right off the bat, it is vital to understand what the term 'tax residency' means to an everyday reader and how does this differ from obtaining tax residency through investment in real estate or any other means.

Tax residency, also known popularly as 'fiscal residency' or 'residence for tax purposes', is undoubtedly an essential concept for all taxpayers living and working abroad.

Your tax residence, simply put, is the country, in which you are legally obligated to pay personal income tax.

It essentially determines how you are treated with regard to taxation in a particular country. The criteria for 'residence for tax purposes' or 'tax residency' vary considerably from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

What legally makes you a tax resident in any country?

Often, a major determinant of an individual's status as a resident for tax purposes is whether he or she maintains an abode in the country and are "present" for 183 days or more (one-half of the tax year) – a thumb rule followed by almost every major country.

For the vast majority of the global population, their tax residency is identical to their home country—the country in which they were born, where they live, and where they work. And as long as the last two factors do not change, the tax residence will not change.

Is there an alternative way of getting tax residency status in a country?

A number of countries also offer 'citizenship by investment', programs where money — normally invested in real estate — can actually get you a second passport, and the status that comes along with owning citizenship or tax residency in another country.

Economists say many more countries could follow suit in relaxing their respective investment-cum-citizenship criteria as the pandemic currently forces many countries to implement measures that will attract more foreign investment.

UAE can be your migration option for tax residency through investment

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The UAE does not grant permanent residency to expatriates but only multi-entry residency visas.

For real estate investments lesser than Dh1 million, you are granted a six-month multi-entry residency visa. It is much like having a tourist visa, but with the ability to make multiple entries over six months.

The three-year property investor visa is granted for those that invest Dh1 million and more, and for those who invest in property worth over Dh5 million are eligible for a five-year residency visa.

Apart from that there are also three- and five-year multiple entry Dubai property visa that comes at a higher investment cost.

Golden visa is available to those who provide a minimum investment of Dh10 million, but only 40 per cent of that can be in real estate.

You can qualify for tax residency in other popular destinations – at a cost, of course!

So it would hence be beneficial to know which countries currently provide tax residency cheaply and what the migration possibilities are there if more such opportunities arise in the coming future and most important of all - what are the risks! Read the full story on Gulf News.


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