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Family - Dependent Visa

29 July 2019

A family visa is necessary if you are entering UAE with family members. This visa permits sponsoring of parents, spouse, and children (below 18 years of age). While your employer acts as a sponsor for you to live and work in the UAE, you can sponsor for your spouse, children and other dependents. Here’s the brief-up on the documents required and other important information for family sponsorship.

Basic family sponsorship requirements

  • Expatriate residents can sponsor their families in the UAE, provided, they have a valid residency permit. Male residents employed in the UAE can sponsor their immediate family members subject to conditions that include minimum salary of Dh.4000 or Dh.3000 plus accommodation.
  • Since March 2019, the type of profession is no longer the condition for an expatriate worker to sponsor his family. The government has amended the earlier rule that an expat employee can bring his family members to UAE, provided he belongs to one of the professions listed by the government that are eligible to seek family sponsorship. Now, an expat employee can sponsor his family, without bothering about his profession, provided, he meets the minimum wage requirement.
  • If the father residing in the UAE meets the criteria for sponsorship to sponsor their children, the mother is not permitted to sponsor them.
  • Wives are also allowed to sponsor their husbands, provided, they meet some extra requirements.As a sponsor, you can also sponsor you can also bring in workers such as drivers, nannies maids, although some restrictions are applicable.
  • For both granting a new family residence visa and also for renewal, male and female dependents over the age of 18 will have to undergo and pass medical fitness tests at government approved health centres. All applicants will be tested for communicable diseases, particularly HIV and tuberculosis. If found unfit, they will be deported immediately.

Dubai Family Visa Rules

What is the duration of a family residency visa?

If applying for dependents' residence visa, a resident sponsor should do so, within 60 days of entering the UAE. The status will then have to be modified from an entry permit holder to a resident visa holder.

Family members are issued visas for one, two or three years, depending on the nature of work, labour contract of the sponsor, etc. For example, expat employees are issued residency visa for a year or two depending on the labour contract, but, expat employers are issued the residency visa for three years.

After the above said duration, except adult males who are pursuing their education and sponsored parents are allowed to enjoy the same visa duration as their sponsor. For adult males and parents, residence visa is granted on yearly basis irrespective of the sponsor’s visa duration.

Note: The conditions are subject to change from time to time. So, check with the GDRFA (General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs) https://gdrfad.gov.ae/to know more details.

To sponsor your wife and children

As an expat resident, you can sponsor the residence visa for your wife, provided, you meet the basic sponsorship requirements set by the GDRFA. To sponsor your wife, you need to present your authenticated marriage certificate duly translated into Arabic by a certified translator.

You can sponsor your daughter/s only if she/they are unmarried.  In case of son/s, he/they can be sponsored only if they are 18 or below 18. Beyond the age of 18, the son can be sponsored only if he is continuing his studies in the UAE. On providing the proof that he is studying here, he can be granted visa until the age of 21. The residence visa will be granted only on yearly basis, and shall be renewed until he completes his education.

The new rule, effective October 2018, says that students who graduate from their universities or secondary schools or complete 18 years of age, will be granted a one-year residence visa, renewable for a period of another year, from the date of graduation or on completing 18 years.

For such a visa, parents do not have to place any bank deposits, as per the new rules. The visa cost would be Dh.100 when issuing first time, and renewal. Parents will, however, have to submit duly attested graduation certificates from universities or schools, within the country or abroad.

In the case of stepchildren, an expat resident can also sponsor the, provided, he will have to pay a deposit for each child and a written no-objection certificate from the biological parent. Such residence visas are also valid for a year, renewable annually.

Documents required for sponsoring wife and children

  • Online application or through registered typing office
  • Passport copies of wife and children with at least six months validity
  • Photos of wife and children
  • Medical Clearance Certificate for wife and children over 18
  • Copy of husband's employment contract or company contract
  • Salary certificate from employer
  • Authenticated marriage certificate (for wife)
  • Duly certified birth certificate (for children)
  • In case of daughters over 18 years of age, a written statement testifying they are unmarried.
  • Registered tenancy contract
  • Latest utility bill
  • Requisite fee for each application

How to sponsor your parents in Dubai?

As an expatriate employee, you can sponsor your parents for a year's stay by paying a deposit as a guarantee for each parent, as stipulated by the respective immigration department.

You can sponsor for your parents, provided, you submit a proof that you are their sole support and that there is no one to take care of them back home. In case of individuals with single parent (divorcee or widow/widower), the related official document should be submitted as justification to the reason for sponsoring only one parent.

The minimum salary criteria will have to be met for sponsoring parents, apart from obtaining a medical insurance policy for parents with minimum coverage for each, to be renewed annually. According to Dubai Government, a minimum salary of Dh.20,000 or a monthly pay of Dh.19,000 plus a two-bedroom accommodation is necessary to sponsor parents’ visa.

What are the rules for a woman to sponsor her family?

In Dubai, a woman can get approval to sponsor her family if her monthly salary is over Dh.10,000. A special permission from Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD) is also necessary.

A single mother is allowed to sponsor her child, but, the authorities may ask for documents similar to that mentioned in this article to sponsor stepchildren.

However, in Abu Dhabi the rules are different, wherein, a woman can sponsor her husband/children if she hols residence permit with her profession being that of a teacher, doctor, nurse or any profession in medical sector, and her monthly salary is not less than Dh.10,000 or Dh.8000 plus accommodation.

Renewal of Family Residency Visa

The family residency permits are linked to the residency permit of the sponsor. So, if the sponsor's residency visa is cancelled, it also requires cancellation of visas of the dependents.

The dependents granted a 30-day grace period from the day of expiry of their visa to obtain a new residence permit. If the sponsor fails to renew or cancel the visa of his dependents, then they would be considered as illegal residents and may be liable for legal penalties.

Robin Vinod

Writer/blogger who writes on topics such as travel, real estate, employment and everyday life on GCC countries.

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