Everything you need to know about sponsoring your family in the UAE

sponsor your family

It’s not a secret that over 80% of the UAE’s population is made up of expatriates seeking a better future.

If you, too, are planning to settle in the Emirates with your family or if you have already settled without your loved ones, and you have no idea on how to sponsor your family members, we can assist you in the process of residence visas for your relatives.

In fact, nothing could be simpler than sponsoring your spouse, your children, and sometimes even your parents.

Our company offers you a guide for bringing together the different possibilities to sponsor your family members in the Emirates and live together in a burgeoning city in the middle of the dunes. By the end of this article you will have no doubts about the procedure for sponsoring one or more members of your family.

What documents to sponsor your family members?

Recently, the authorities have taken care to make sponsorship procedures more flexible and accessible to all.

First and foremost, expatriates who wish to sponsor their family must have a valid residence in the territory of the United Arab Emirates.

In order to support your family member’s sponsorship application in the UAE, the GDRFA will require:

  • A work contract
  • Pay slip or employer’s certificate
  • UAE certified personal bank statements
  • a rental agreement in your name, registered in the UAE (better known as “Ejari”)
  • a marriage certificate translated and certified in Arabic
  • the children’s birth certificate translated and certified, if applicable
  • passport copies of all people applying to be sponsored
  • identity photo in passport format

All documents must be certified in the country of origin. The documents will need to pass three consecutive stages to be valid in the UAE:

  • Certified by a lawyer in the country of origin;
  • Certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country of origin;
  • Certified by the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates for certification in the country of origin.

If you are in UAE:

  • Certified by UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
  • Certified translation from English to Arabic;
  • Certified by the Ministry of Justice of the United Arab Emirates.
  • Depending on the specifics of the situation, there may be additional requirements to consider (see details below).

The conditions for sponsoring a family member are different depending on the person you want to sponsor.

A Husband Sponsoring a Wife:

A resident employed in the UAE can sponsor his wife and children, justifying a minimum monthly salary of AED 4,000 or AED 3,000 plus accommodation allowance.
As of 2019, there are no further conditions regarding the nature of the job. It is now possible for all employees in any job type to sponsor their family as long as the monthly salary is greater than or equal to AED 4,000 or AED 3,000 plus accommodation allowance.

Also, it is mandatory to provide a marriage certificate (for the spouse) and birth certificates (for the kids) certified in Arabic or translated and certified in Arabic.

Note: A Muslim resident may be allowed to sponsor multiple wives if they meet the requirements of GDRFA.

A Wife Sponsoring a Husband:

Basic category

A woman can sponsor her husband and children if she earns a monthly base salary of AED 3,000 plus housing allowance or a total monthly salary of AED 4,000 without housing only if she is a teacher or working in the medical sector.

In Abu Dhabi, the female sponsor must be a teacher, engineer or work in the medical sector; and their salary must be greater than or equal to AED10,000 or AED 8,000 plus housing allowance.

Other categories

For women employed in other categories, they can still get permission to sponsor their family if the monthly salary is over AED 10,000 and with special permission from GDRFA.

Mother Sponsoring Her Children

A woman can sponsor her children if she holds a valid residence visa and her monthly salary is not less than AED 10,000 or AED 8,000 plus accommodation allowance. She must have a valid Ejari rental agreement in her name. She may also have to provide additional documents requested by the respective authorities.

If it is the mother who wishes to sponsor, she will also need to obtain a letter of no objection (NOC) from the husband stating that he has no objection to the children being under their mother’s sponsorship. This letter must also be duly notarized and certified from the country of origin.

Also, if the father is resident in the Emirates and meets all the conditions to sponsor his children, then the mother is not allowed to sponsor them.

Noted: As far as single mothers are concerned, they can definitely sponsor their children. Authorities could request documents similar to those required to sponsor stepchildren (see below).

Sponsoring Children Over 18

An expatriate resident can sponsor his/ her daughter(s) for life as long as the latter are not married.

As for his/ her sons, it is possible to sponsor them only until they are 18 years old. They can then continue to be sponsored until age 21 only with proof that they are studying in the UAE or abroad.

Note: for a residence visa to remain valid, a resident must enter the UAE at least once every six months. The resident will have to post a deposit with the GDRFA for the son’s visa. The residence visa is granted on an annual basis, renewable until the person completes their studies.

Sponsoring Stepchildren

An expatriate resident can also sponsor stepchildren, under certain conditions imposed by the GDRFA. This includes:

  • a deposit for each child
  • a written certificate of no objection from the biological parent.

Their residence visas will be valid for one year; renewable annually.

Sponsoring Parents

An expatriate resident can sponsor their parents and their current spouse’s parents for a one-year stay by paying a deposit as a guarantee for each parent to GDRFA.

An expatriate employee cannot sponsor only one of their 2 parents, both parents must be sponsored together. The expatriate must also provide proof that they are the sole supporter of their parents and that others cannot take care of them in their country of origin.

If one of the 2 parents is deceased or if the parents are divorced, the official documents ruling on their situation must be presented to the authorities to request the sponsorship of only one parent.

To sponsor parents, the expatriate resident employee must earn a minimum wage of AED 20,000 per month or a monthly salary of AED 19,000 plus a two bedroom accommodation (one bedroom must be reserved for parents). They must also provide health insurance for parents (renewable annually).

 The Duration of Visas for Sponsored Persons

The period of validity of the sponsored person’s visa will depend mainly on the nature of the sponsor’s job as well as their employment contract.

  • For example, if the sponsor’s visa is a three years, the people dependent on their visa will probably have the same duration.
  • This excludes parents and adult sons, who can only obtain a UAE residence visa valid for one year.

If the sponsor’s visa is canceled for any reason, the dependents’ visas will also be automatically be canceled.

When the dependent’s visa expires or is canceled, he/she has 30 days to get a new one. If they don’t, they will become illegal residents and may also have to pay an overstay fine.