Married couples can sponsor each other for a residence visa in Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and rest of the UAE. However, the sponsorship is only for a residence visa, and is not the same as that of work permit / labour card / employment visa. If the spouse is working, she / he would require a work permit from the employer.
However, according to latest regulation by the Labour Ministry in 2011, residents in the UAE, under the sponsorship of their spouse, can now work without a permit.
The law stipulates that residents listed on the visa of their spouse, will only require a written permission from their spouse (husband or wife) to secure work. Husbands can act as sponsors for their wives, and the other way round.
Earlier, if a husband was sponsored by his wife, he would require a separate work permit application to receive employment in the UAE. Only husbands, whose wives were into professions such as medical and teaching fields, were exempted from such a rule.
An expatriate woman planning to work with husband's visa in Dubai, will only need to obtain a labour card, which should be renewed every year.
Husband sponsoring wife
Expatriate men living and working legally in UAE are permitted to bring their wives into UAE. Any man can sponsor his wife, provided, he abides by the residency laws here. However, Muslim expatriate men, with more than one wife, can sponsor only one of them for residency visa.
Wife sponsoring husband
According to conditions specified by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs in the UAE, a wife can sponsor her husband if:
- The wife is employed as a doctor, engineer or teacher
- Should draw a minimum salary of Dh.3000 (inclusive of accommodation) or Dh.4000 (excluding accommodation)
- An attested marriage certificate, labour contract and tenancy contract (if salary is in the range Dh.3000 to Dh.4000)
- For husbands working in different professions, an application seeking exemption from profession requirement should be addressed to General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs. The minimum salary in such a case should be Dh.9000 (with accommodation) to Dh.10,000 (without accommodation)