UAE Family Sponsorship: Easy Steps for Residency and Visas

A Simple Guide to UAE Family Sponsorship

The UAE, with its diverse expatriate community, holds great appeal for families. UAE Family sponsorship Opens in a new tab.is a vital process for those eager to bring their loved ones into the country. This guide will simplify the procedures, regulations, and prerequisites for family sponsorship in the UAE.

Family Visa Requirements: Before initiating the process, check your UAE visa status. The requirements vary for sponsoring a spouse, children, or parents.

Types of UAE Family Sponsorship

Sponsoring Wife:

To apply for a spouse visa in Dubai, residents must adhere to specific requirements:

  1. Proof of Relationship: Provide a marriage certificate in Arabic to demonstrate the relationship with the spouse.
  2. Meeting Eligibility Criteria: Meet the eligibility criteria, including income requirements and other conditions specified above, to qualify as a sponsor for the wife.

Sponsoring Two Wives:

In certain cases, male sponsors may be granted permission to sponsor two wives, subject to the rules and regulations set by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA)Opens in a new tab.. This involves compliance with specific guidelines to ensure adherence to legal and cultural norms.


Sponsoring Children in the UAE – Key Requirements

When it comes to obtaining a UAE residence visa for children, the requirements vary based on their relationship with the sponsor.

Sponsoring Daughters:

Residents can sponsor daughters, but there is a specific condition:

  • Requirement: Daughters must be unmarried to be eligible for sponsorship.

Sponsoring Sons:

Residents can sponsor their sons with the following considerations:

  • Age Limit: A resident can sponsor a son until he reaches 25 years old.
  • Special Needs: There is no age limit restriction for sponsoring sons with special needs.

Sponsoring Newborns:

For babies born in the UAE, certain steps must be taken:

  • Timeline: A residence visa must be applied for within 120 days of the child’s birth to avoid fines.

Sponsoring Stepchildren:

Sponsorship of stepchildren is possible under specific conditions:

  • Requirements: Sponsors must submit a deposit for each stepchild and provide a no-objection certificate from the biological parent.
  • Visa Duration: The government grants a residence visa for stepchildren for one year, with the option for annual renewal.

Sponsoring Children for Single or Married Women:

Single or married women have the opportunity to sponsor their children with adherence to specific guidelines set by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA). This allows women to independently sponsor their children, emphasizing the importance of compliance with the stipulated conditions.


Sponsoring Parents in the UAE

Sponsoring parents in the UAE involves specific requirements and responsibilities for the sponsor. Here are key guidelines to keep in mind:

  1. Medical Insurance Requirement:
    • Mandatory Coverage: The sponsor must obtain a medical insurance policy for their parents, ensuring coverage for health-related expenses.
    • Annual Renewal: The medical insurance policy must be renewed annually to maintain continuous coverage.
  2. Financial Obligations:
    • Deposit Requirement: When sponsoring parents for a year’s stay, the sponsor is required to pay a deposit for each parent. This deposit serves as a financial commitment.
  3. Joint Sponsorship:
    • Sponsorship of Both Parents: The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) mandates that both parents must be sponsored together.
    • Proof of Sole Support: The sponsor needs to provide evidence demonstrating that they are the sole support for their parents and that there is no one else to look after them back home.
  4. Special Circumstances:
    • Dealing with Loss or Divorce: If one of the parents has passed away or is divorced, the sponsor must provide official documents as proof or justification for sponsoring only one parent.
  5. Minimum Salary Requirement:
    • Financial Capability: To sponsor a family of five, the minimum salary required is AED 10,000. For a family of six, the minimum salary increases to AED 15,000, emphasizing the financial capacity of the sponsor.

Eligibility Criteria:

Any expatriate with a valid residency permit is eligible to sponsor their family according to the updated family visa rules in the UAE.

Salary Criteria for Family Visa Sponsorship in UAE:

Sponsoring your family in the UAE involves specific salary criteria and guidelines. Here’s a detailed breakdown:

  1. Minimum Salary Benchmark:
    • For Male Sponsors: The minimum salary required for sponsoring a spouse or children is AED 4,000. Alternatively, sponsors can meet a benchmark of AED 3,000 plus accommodation.
    • Occupational Freedom: There is no longer a restriction on the applicant’s profession, provided the salary benchmark is met.
  2. Wives Sponsoring Husbands:
    • Empowering Wives: Wives have the right to sponsor their husbands in the UAE, offering greater flexibility in family sponsorship dynamics.
  3. No Occupational Limitations in Dubai:
    • Open to All Professions: Dubai allows sponsors to bring their families without imposing occupational limitations, creating an inclusive approach to family sponsorship.
  4. Work Permits for Husbands Sponsored by Wives:
    • Professional Opportunities: Husbands sponsored by their wives are eligible to apply for work permits in Dubai/UAE, enabling them to pursue professional opportunities.
  5. Special Cases for Mothers:
    • Mother Sponsoring Kids: In special cases approved and verified by the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, and Ports Security (UAE ICP), mothers can sponsor their kids. This acknowledges unique circumstances where mothers may need to take on the role of the primary sponsor.
  6. Sponsorship by Foreign Students:
    • Educational Opportunities: According to a resolution by the UAE Cabinet in January 2021, foreign students studying in UAE universities can sponsor their families.
    • Housing Requirement: Students sponsoring their families must have a suitable housing option, emphasizing the importance of providing appropriate living conditions.
  7. UAEICP Official App:
    • Hassle-Free Process: To streamline the sponsorship process, individuals can download the UAEICP official app, available for both Apple and Android devices, ensuring a convenient and efficient experience.

Medical Fitness Requirements:

A medical fitness test is mandatory for individuals 18 years and above, conducted at a government-approved health center. Those declared medically unfit may not be granted a visa.

Medical Fitness Requirements for Family Visa in UAE:

When applying for a family visa in the UAE, meeting specific medical fitness requirements is crucial.

  1. Mandatory Medical Fitness Test:
    • Age Requirement: Individuals aged 18 years and above are required to undergo a medical fitness test at a government-approved health center.
  2. Test Components:
    • Blood Test and X-ray: The medical fitness test typically includes a blood test and an X-ray, ensuring a comprehensive evaluation of the individual’s health.
  3. Additional Health Conditions Testing:
    • Dependents: Dependents, including family members, may also be subjected to testing for other health conditions as part of the overall assessment.
  4. Outcome of Medical Fitness Test:
    • Declared Medically Unfit: If an individual is declared medically unfit based on the test results, they will not be granted a visa.
  5. Pulmonary Tuberculosis Considerations:
    • Inactive or Dormant Tuberculosis: Individuals detected with inactive or dormant pulmonary tuberculosis are considered medically fit.
    • Health Fitness Certificate: Such individuals will be granted a one-year ‘Health Fitness Certificate for Residence,’ contingent on the applicant’s treatment and follow-up check-ups by the Department of Preventive Medicine or an equivalent government health authority.

The medical fitness requirements are in place to ensure the well-being of individuals entering or residing in the UAE. The specifics may vary, and individuals are advised to refer to official government sources or consult with relevant health authorities for the latest and most accurate information.


Duration of Sponsorship and Time Limits in the UAE:

When sponsoring your spouse, children, or parents in the UAE, understanding the duration of sponsorship and associated time limits is essential.

  1. Upon arriving in the UAE, sponsors have a 90-day window to initiate the application process for the residence visa of their spouse, children, or parents.
  2. Upon application, individuals are provided with an entry permit upon arrival.
  3. Sponsors have 60 days to convert the entry permit into a valid residence visa for their sponsored family members.
  4. In emirates other than Dubai, the entry permit is referred to as “Tasheera.”
  5. This entry permit can be obtained online or from a typing centre, streamlining the process for sponsors.
  6. Sponsors can also extend their sponsorship to parents, with the residence visa being granted on an annual basis.
  7. The duration of the parents’ residence visa is not tied to the sponsor’s visa duration, providing flexibility.

Required Documents for Family Visa Sponsorship in Dubai:

When sponsoring a family member in Dubai, meticulous documentation is essential. Here’s a categorized list of the required documents to facilitate the process:

Required Documents for the Sponsor:

  1. Passport:
    • A copy of the sponsor’s passport.
  2. Residence Visa Copies:
    • Copies of the sponsor’s residence visa.
  3. NOC Letter (Father’s Consent):
    • For sponsors who are mothers and are sponsoring boys below 18 years and girls below 21 years, an NOC (No Objection Certificate) letter from the father is required.
    • The NOC letter should be attested by the notary public.
  4. Proof of Mother’s Status (If Father is Sponsor):
    • In cases where the father is the sponsor, provide proof of the mother’s status, including a copy of her residence or Emirates ID.

Documents Required for Dependent Children or Parents:

  1. Passport Copy:
    • A scanned copy of the dependent’s or parent’s passport. The passport should be valid for more than 6 months.
  2. Previous Residence Visa Copy (if applicable):
    • Copy of the previous residence visa, if applicable.
  3. Legalized Birth Certificate:
    • The birth certificate must be legalized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the UAE Embassy in the country of origin.
    • Followed by a legal Arabic translation.
  4. Alternative Proof of Relationship:
    • If a birth certificate is unavailable, a letter from the consulate proving the relationship should be obtained.
    • This confirmation must be from the consulate and attested by MOFA, translated into Arabic.
  5. Digital Photo as per ICP’s Specifications:
    • Provide a digital photo meeting the specifications outlined by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICP).
  6. National ID Card for Specific Countries:
    • Applicants from Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya should include their National ID card.
  7. Father’s Unmarried Undertake Letter:
    • A signed letter from the father undertaking the unmarried status of the dependent while applying through the online portal.

Required Documents for Spouse:

  1. Legalized Marriage Certificate:
    • The marriage certificate must be legalized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the UAE Embassy in the country of origin.
  2. National ID Card for Specific Countries:
    • Applicants from Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya should include their National ID card.

Note: Document requirements may be subject to change, and individuals are advised to verify the latest information through official government channels or consult relevant authorities.


Family Visa in UAE: Validity and Renewal Guidelines

Understanding the validity and renewal process for family visas in the UAE is crucial.

  1. The family visa is typically valid for a duration of two to three years.
  2. If the sponsor’s visa is valid for three years, the sponsored relatives are likely to receive the same duration.
  3. Parents and adult sons, however, receive a residence visa in the UAE for one year, even if the sponsor’s visa is valid for a longer period.
  4. If the sponsor’s visa is cancelled, the dependents’ visas will also be cancelled.
  5. Upon the expiration of the dependent’s residence visa, or in case of cancellation, there is a 30-day window to obtain a new permit.
  6. Failure to renew the dependents’ visas within the specified timeframe can lead to their designation as “illegal residents.”
  7. Overstay fines may be applicable in such cases.

Note: The guidelines for visa validity and renewal are subject to change, and individuals are encouraged to refer to official government sources or consult with relevant authorities for the latest and most accurate information. Staying informed about visa status and renewal procedures is essential to avoid legal implications.


Family Visa Cost in Dubai:

Family Visa Cost: The family visa cost in Dubai varies based on the type and duration of the visa. Costs can be paid online, and the validity of the visa is generally two to three years. Individuals are advised to visit Amer’s official website for the most up-to-date and specific information regarding the cost of a particular service. It’s crucial to stay informed about any changes in visa fees to ensure accurate financial planning.

Sponsoring family members in the UAE involves understanding the rules, meeting income criteria, and fulfilling specific requirements. This guide aims to simplify the process, but it’s crucial to stay informed about any updates in UAE immigration laws.


Deena

Human Resource professional and writer.

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