UAE residence visa: Can a Muslim expat sponsor two wives at the same time?

An expat is given 60 days to apply for his dependents' residence visas after flying into the country under an entry permit

By Web Desk

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File photo used for illustrative purposes
File photo used for illustrative purposes

Published: Sat 10 Jun 2023, 6:01 PM

Last updated: Sat 10 Jun 2023, 11:57 PM

Whether they are building a family or flying their loved ones in from their home countries, expats in the UAE are welcome to enjoy the incredible opportunities here with their spouses and children, even their extended families.

Rules have been laid out allowing expats to sponsor their family's residence visas. In fact, as the country works on attracting more talent from around the world, some visa regulations have been made flexible in recent years.

Both employers and employees with valid residence visas can sponsor families, according to the UAE Government.

"Unlike before, employees can sponsor their families regardless of their job titles — if they earn a minimum salary of Dh4,000 or Dh3,000 plus accommodation," it said on its official website.

An expat is given 60 days to apply for his dependents' residence visas after entering the country under an entry permit. However, certain conditions will have to be met before these are granted. For example, those who are "medically unfit" will not be allowed to obtain a visa. Dependents above the age of 18 will have to pass a medical fitness test as part of the process.

According to information on the UAE Government's website, Muslim expats may be allowed to sponsor two wives at the same time — in strict cases.

The authorities stressed that the sponsor will have to meet certain terms and conditions set by the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security.

"To sponsor the wife, the expatriate resident must prove an existing marital relationship by submitting an attested marriage certificate in Arabic or duly translated into Arabic by a certified translator," according to the guidelines.

The rule on getting visas for daughters is different from the process for sponsoring sons.

A daughter can be sponsored only if she is unmarried and no age limit has been set. Sons, however, can fall under the sponsorship of their parents only until he is 25. Those with special needs can be sponsored with no age restrictions.

Expats may also provide residence visas for stepchildren, subject to GDRFA conditions which include a deposit for each child and a written no-objection certificate from the biological parent, according to the government's website.

For babies who are born in the UAE, parents should apply for the visa within 120 of their birth. Otherwise, fines shall be imposed.

Requirements to sponsor wife and children

  • Application form — either online or through a registered typing office
  • Passport copies of the wife and children
  • Photos of the wife and children
  • Medical clearance certificate of the wife and children above 18 years
  • Copy of the husband's employment contract or company contract
  • Salary certificate from the employer stating the husband’s monthly salary
  • Attested marriage certificate
  • Registered tenancy contract

Take note that family members' residence visas are linked to the visa of the sponsor. If the husband or father (or wife or mother) loses the visa, the dependents' sponsorship should also be cancelled/

"Dependents are granted a 6-month grace period from the date of expiry or cancellation of their visas to obtain a new residence permit. If the sponsor fails to renew or cancel the visa of his dependents, he could be liable to pay a fine," according to the government.


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