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Expatriate employees who have valid residence visas and meet the salary requirements as well as other eligibility conditions can sponsor their dependents.


Married couples can sponsor their spouse and children for a residence visa in the UAE. Same-sex marriage and unmarried partners are not recognized under UAE law.  The residence visa process for the dependents can only be begun once the employee has entered UAE and completed the residence visa stamping on the passport.


In addition to submitting the marriage and birth certificates (only for children) attested through UAE embassy in home country, a proof of residence in the form of registered tenancy contract is also required.


What is the validity of dependent residence visas?


The dependent visa validity could be 1, 2, or 3 years and will depend on the sponsoring employee’s employment contract, nature of his work and jurisdiction. The residence visa for the dependents will be issued for the same number of years as that of the sponsor. Meaning that if the sponsor’s visa is issued for 2 years, the dependents will also be eligible for a 2-year visa.  At the same time, it is not necessary for the dependent visa to have the same expiry dates as that of the sponsoring employee, as the visas are not directly linked to the expiry date but sponsor’s visa duration. 


The residence visa for a dependent son 18 years of age or above continuing his education, parents and domestic help is issued for 1 year only.


What is the salary requirement to sponsor wife and children?


Any male resident, who draws a salary of AED 4000 or AED 3000 with accommodation can sponsor his wife and children. The profession is no longer a criterion for sponsoring family as long as one meets the income and other document requirements.


Can a woman sponsor her husband and children?


An employed woman can sponsor her husband and children provided the specified requirements are met, as defined by respective jurisdiction or emirate.


For instance, in Dubai, a female employee in any profession may be eligible for sponsoring the dependents as long as her monthly salary is AED10,000 and above. While meeting certain professional levels may be a requirement in other emirates.


Additionally, if the father resides in UAE and meets the eligibility criteria to sponsor kids, the mother cannot sponsor the children.


Can sons above 18 years of age be sponsored?


An expat resident can sponsor the son up to 18 years of age. However, male children who are continuing their studies in a university would be approved a one-year visa. Additionally, students who graduated from universities will be eligible for one-year residence visa, which can be renewed for another year from the graduation date. A copy of the attested university or school certificate is required.


What are the steps for procuring a dependent residence visa?


The residence visa application for the dependents are submitted once the employee has procured the residence visa in the UAE. There is no option to submit a simultaneous application for the dependents along with the employee. Additionally, a proof of adequate residence by way of attested tenancy agreement is required.


The basic steps in procuring the dependent residence visa are as follows:

1. Attestation of marriage and birth certificates

2. Application for the Entry permit

3. Entry into UAE /Change status

4. Medical Examination (aged 18 and above)

5. Emirates ID Application and Biometrics (biometric is required for any one aged 15 and above)

6. Health insurance enrolment

7. Residence visa approval and visa endorsement on the passport

8. Issuance of Emirates Id card


Sponsoring stepchildren in the UAE


A legal resident can sponsor his or her stepchildren on meeting certain eligibility criteria set by the UAE authorities. In addition to meeting basic eligibility to sponsor the dependents, the biological parent should hold legal custodian documents. The custodian document is a proof that the parent is given the custody of the children by a competitive authority. This has to be attested by the UAE Embassy in the country of issuance. The application is reviewed and approved by a special committee and there may also be a requirement to make refundable deposit of AED5,000 at discretion of the authorities.


Residence Visa for the newborn child in UAE


The residence visa for the child born inside UAE can be procured once the passport is issued by the home country Embassy in the UAE. The birth certificate is issued by the Ministry of Health & Prevention and it has to be attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) before submitting the residence visa application. The newborn can directly procure the residence visa after registering for the Emirates Id card.


There is a grace period of 120 days from the date of birth to apply for the newborn’s residence visa. Overstay fines would be applicable for each day thereafter.


Any child born outside the UAE will have to get the birth certificate attested through the UAE embassy in the country of birth. The standard residence visa application process to be followed.


Sponsoring parents in the UAE


A UAE employment residence visa holder can sponsor the parents on meeting certain conditions. To sponsor parents, the sponsoring resident must qualify the following requirements:

1.         Produce proof of monthly salary of AED 20,000 and above

2.         Should own or rent a two-bedroom accommodation

3.         Enroll into a medical Insurance policy with basic coverage before the issuance of residence visa


The expat can sponsor both of his parents together. One of the parents can only be sponsored where the other parent has passed away or the parents are divorced. The official documents to validate the request to sponsor just one parent would be essential.


How can BM Strategies assist?


BM Strategies is a UAE corporate immigration service provider. We guide our clients on the best and most efficient options and provide end to end services in managing employee immigration as well as company document compliance. Please reach out to us for more information on our immigration service offering.



Note: The information provided here are only for the purpose of providing an overview regarding the UAE immigration processes. The immigration regulations are subject to change from time to time from one jurisdiction to another. Hence the information provided hereby should not be considered an opinion or advice from BM Strategies but only a practical guide for general information.

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Posted on 24-Jul-2020.

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