SLG Newsletter: September 2020

SLG Newsletter: September

 

Dear Friends and Clients,

The long awaited Retirement Visa for the UAE is finally here!

You will find the exact conditions in the newsletter below. In summary, you must be 55 years old, have either a monthly income of AED 20,000 or a cash amount of AED 1 million. Real estate with a value of 2 million is also an alternative.

The bar is set relatively high, at least compared to other retirement destinations. In Southeast Asian countries you need about one third of the mentioned monthly income to be eligible for a retirement visa. However, UAE issues 5-year visas, in most other countries it has to be renewed annually.

We can also otherwise compare the conditions for obtaining residence permits in the countries we service. The easiest way to become a resident is in Myanmar and Cambodia, followed by the UAE, more difficult in Thailand and especially complicated in Singapore.

Please note that the deadline for fulfilling the conditions of the Corporate Substance Regulations expires at the end of the year. All companies and businesses registered in the UAE have to assess if they must pass the economic substance test. If so, and if the conditions are not met, you will not retain a certificate. And without one, your UAE company will not be considered a suitable business partner for European companies. This means, among other disadvantages, that incoming invoices from such UAE entity are not deductible as operating expenses in European companies.

And of course, all tax-friendly structures with BVI, other Caribbean or Channel Island offshore companies have also died. However, the UAE offers such a CSR audit and certificate. We would be happy to help you to examine your company from this perspective and to meet the requirements. But please not in the last 10 days of the year, but now.

In the end, we have also noticed that our consulting services on restructuring and insolvency law are increasingly being accepted. We can refer to decades of experience in this legal area and have also developed promising solutions for cross board insolvencies. Our goal is to lead the owner out of the crisis free of debt – and we succeed in almost all cases.

In my three decades as an insolvency administrator in Austria, this profession was often derogatorily referred to as “academically certified undertakers”. I have always rejected this, because it was my goal to keep the companies alive after restructuring, which in almost all cases was also to the advantage of the creditors. We therefore changed this term to “academically certified resurrection helpers”.

With this in mind – turn to us with confidence even in a crisis. 

Yours,

Theodor Strohal

UAE: Resumes issuance of entry permits

The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship has announced that it has resumed issuing entry permits starting September 24, 2020. The suspension of issuance of visas was implemented last March 2020 to curb the spread of virus. On the other hand, issuance of work permits is still on hold.

Dubai starts with retirement visa

The Dubai Government has announced the launch of Retire in Dubai spearheaded by the Department of Tourism and the GDFRA. It is a global retirement programme that offers resident expatriates and foreigners aged 55 and above the chance to enjoy the emirate as their retirement home. Eligible applicants will be provided a Retirement Visa that can be renewable online after 5 years as long as the retiree meets the eligible criteria. The initial phase of the programme will focus on UAE residents working in Dubai who have reached retirement age. A retirement visa holder is considered a resident of the UAE and, therefore, is able to leave and enter the UAE at their convenience. It is also permitted to work as independent workers, advisors, board members, consultants, etc

Requirements:

  1. You must be at least 55 years old.
  2. You must have a valid UAE health insurance – to be purchased before visa application. Health insurance providers offer a 30-day refund period after the purchase in case the application is not approved.
  3. You must fulfil the following financial criteria:
    1. Option: AED 20,000 (approx. USD 5,500) monthly income – The applicant should provide evidence in the form of bank statement showing the minimum deposit of AED 20,000 in their account on a monthly basis or what equates to AED 240,000 annually.
    2. Option: AED 1 million (approx. USD 275,000) savings.
    3. Option: AED 2 million (approx. USD 550,000) property – The applicant must provide a Dubai property title deed showing the stipulated AED 2 million value of the property.
    4. Option: A combination of Options 2 and 3 valued at least AED 2 million (approx. USD 550,000) – with combination of proofs that sum up the required amount.

Retirees are able to sponsor their spouse and children when under the visa. Boys should be under the age of 18, while girls should be under 21.

If you have further questions regarding the visa, please contact us directly.

Abu Dhabi: New centre to settle real estate disputes

The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD) and Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) have signed an agreement that sets up the Real Estate Dispute Settlement Centre in Abu Dhabi. It will be compromised of qualified real estate conciliators to settle disputes and reduce the number of real estate dispute cases in courts. The initiative is one of priorities of DMT to improve the real estate and investment environment of Abu Dhabi.

Ras Al Khaimah: RAKEZ offering Virtual Educational License

RAKEZ is offering Virtual Educational License starting from AED 10,500. An ongoing promotion is valid for until 31 December 2020 which enables the license holder to do online training or e-tutoring services. Benefits for the package include:

  • 1-year and 3-year package options;
  • Free residence visa – available only for first cycle and should be availed within 6 months of license issuance;
  • Free medical and emirates ID;
  •  Access to Mazeed value-added services;
  • Free access to RAKEZ business centers and co-working spaces.

Ras Al Khaimah: RAKICC giving discounts for new incorporations

RAKICC has announced new promotions for business entities giving discounts on new IBC incorporations.

  1. First Entity – Normal Fee;
  2. Second Entity – 25%;
  3. Third Entity – 50% upward that will be reflected on your portal balance on Monthly basis till the end of the year.

Any company incorporated in a period of a month above 3 incorporations will be given a 50% cash back on the wallet.

Saudi Arabia: Ban on international flights lifted from January 1st, 2021

Saudi Arabia will start to allow its citizens to exit and re-enter the country after January 1, 2021, provided that precautionary measures are followed. Lifting of complete restrictions will open all land, sea, and air ports. The specific date for the reopening of the borders will be announced 30 days prior to January 1, 2021.

Kuwait: No payments for expats stuck abroad

The Kuwait Civil Service Commission has stated that foreign employees who have been unable to return to the country are to be treated as absent from work and will not receive compensation. If employees are unable to come back due to travel restrictions, they have the right to request for a holiday depending on their leave holiday balance, including unpaid leave for a maximum of 15 days.

Far East:

Myanmar: Work from home due to Covid-19

The Government of Myanmar has announced that it will again implement a work from home policy due to the rise of COVID-19 cases. 50 per cent of workforce in companies should go to work while the rest must work from their homes. The policy was first implemented in April and May and was halted in June.

Myanmar: Support of business until end of year due to Covid-19

Myanmar’s Ministry of Planning, Finance, & Industry on September 7 issued Notification 3/2020, which extends existing support measures to businesses until year end due to the crisis brought by the pandemic.

  1. Extension of tax reliefs to prioritized sectors from September 30 to December 31
  2. Exempt exporters from a 2 % withholding tax on exported goods up to September 20
  3. Income tax payments for the second to fourth quarters of the financial year are extended up to December 31

Commercial taxes from March to November can also be paid by December 31.

Thailand: Safest destination to visit during Covid-19; Thai Cabinet approves long-term tourist visas

Thailand ranked first as the world’s safest destinations to visit during the COVID-19 pandemic. The country has recorded a low number of infected cases and was scored 85 for International Health Regulations. In July, Thailand also topped the worldwide list for its ongoing COVID-19 recovery effort.

On 15 September 2020, the Cabinet agreed to allow in foreign tourists who agree to go through a 14-day quarantine and stay for at least 90 days to help stimulate Thailand’s economy. Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha said that the government would issue special tourist visas for long-stay visitors. The most critical condition would be a 14-day quarantine. He also said that “visitors can arrive for tourism or health services, and they can stay at alternative state quarantine facilities, specific areas, or hospitals that function as quarantine facilities.”

The visa can be renewed two times each for another 90 days.

However, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the country’s international borders will still remain closed for international short term tourists until further notice. Even returning nationals and residents have to suffer a 14 days’ quarantine in a hotel room upon arrival in Thailand.

Thailand: Industrial estates very attractive to foreign investors

The Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand has confirmed that the number of applicants wanting to invest in industrial estates increased in the past 3 quarters of the year. The Industry Minister also pointed out that businesses in food and medical equipment sectors are also keen to relocate their production bases to industrial estates in the country. There have been submissions for new investment and existing business expansion but actual investments are delayed due to travel restrictions implemented by the government.

Strohal Consulting Thailand supports clients in all import and customs matters

All goods that are imported into Thailand must be reported to the Thai Customs Department. The steps required to import products into Thailand legally are outlined below.

The procedures for importing goods into Thailand have been centralized into the online e-Customs system. In order to register for the e-Customs system, the importer must first obtain a “digital certificate” prior to registration. A digital certificate is an electronic signature file used to confirm the identity of the sender of electronic documents and the authenticity of said documents.

Once a digital certificate is obtained, the importer may then proceed to register for the e-Customs system. Companies can either register with the system directly (i.e. at their own office) or through an agent. If a company decides to register through an agent, the agent will handle all aspects of the registration process.

Cambodia: Tax deal with Indonesia reached

Cambodia and Indonesia Double Taxation Avoidance (DTA) can be implemented by January 1 once remaining approval procedures are completed this year. Its goal is to boost bilateral investment between both countries and avoid double taxation. It will allow businesses and investors to pay income tax to the country where they get more profit.

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