Sponsoring your wife and children
An expatriate resident may sponsor the residence visa for his wife and children if he fulfils the above mentioned sponsorship requirements set by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA).
To sponsor his wife, the expatriate resident must prove an existing marital relationship by submitting an authenticated marriage certificate in Arabic or duly translated into Arabic by a certified translator.
Sponsoring two wives
In strict cases, a Muslim resident may be allowed to sponsor his two wives, if he meets certain terms and conditions set by the respective GDRFA.
An expatriate resident can sponsor his daughter/s only if she/they is/are unmarried.
A resident can sponsor his son/s only up to the age of 18. If after the age of 18, the son is studying in the UAE or abroad, he can be sponsored until the age of 21 on providing the proof that he is studying. However, for his residence visa to stay valid, he has to enter the UAE at least once every six months. The residence visa is granted on a yearly basis, renewable until the person finishes his education.
Note: New rules for children’s visa sponsored by parents
Starting from 21 October 2018, 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 another year from the graduation date or on completing 18 years.
For this type of visa, parents are not required to place bank deposits. The visa will cost AED100 for first time issuing and renewal.
To avail this service, parents must present duly attested graduation certificates from universities or schools, whether inside the country or abroad.
An expatriate resident can also sponsor his stepchildren, subject to GDRFA’s conditions which include a deposit for each child and a written no-objection certificate from the biological parent. Their residence visas are valid for one year; renewable annually.
Required documents to sponsor wife and children include:
- online application or through a registered typing office
- passport copies of the wife and children
- photos of the wife and children
- medical clearance certificate for the wife and children above 18
- copy of the husband's employment contract or company contract
- salary certificate from the employer stating the employee's monthly salary
- legalised marriage certificate
- registered tenancy contract
- latest utility bill.
Residence for family members of university students
In January 2021, the UAE Cabinet approved a resolution to allow foreign students studying at the UAE’s universities to invite their family members to the UAE, as long as they can afford suitable housing. The resolution aims to achieve moral stability, which will support the country’s education sector and reinforce its position as a leading global destination for work and study.
Read related news coverage on WAM.
Validity and renewal
The duration of residence visa depends on the type of sponsor and the person sponsored. It is issued for one, or two or three years. Visa is renewed subject to conditions similar to those of fresh visas.
The family's residence permits are linked to the residence permit of the sponsoring expatriate employee. If the sponsoring family member's visa is cancelled, it requires cancellation of the visas of the dependents.
Dependents are granted a 30-day grace period from the date of expiry or cancellation of their visa to obtain a new residence permit. If the employee fails to renew or cancel the visa of his dependents, the dependents would be deemed illegal residents and could be liable to pay a fine.
Updated on 11 Mar 2021