UAE updates residence visa rules: Expats must have Dh10,000 minimum salary to sponsor 5 relatives

The authorities will review applications for more than 6 relatives


Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Published: Wed 1 Mar 2023, 2:16 PM

Last updated: Wed 1 Mar 2023, 8:35 PM

UAE expats wishing to sponsor five relatives on a residence visa must have a minimum monthly salary of Dh10,000, a report said on Wednesday. The sponsors must also have adequate housing.

Ali Mohammad Al Shamsi, chairman of the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security, has issued a resolution to this effect, with regard to the conditions and controls of the Cabinet resolution No. 65 which were implemented on October 3, 2022, according to a report on Arabic newspaper Al Khaleej.

Those who plan to sponsor six relatives must have a higher salary of at least Dh15,000. In this case, the director-general will review applications of expats wanting to bring in more than six relatives.

The new decision outlines the conditions and rules that cover all visas across various types and durations. This includes more than 15 types of visas, such as tourist entry visas, golden and green residencies, entry permits for truck drivers through land ports, those covering neighbouring countries, for workers on cruise ships and such, and entry permits to visit friends or relatives, among others.

The new criteria and rules also include the conditions for visas to explore business opportunities, as well as for holders of specific international residence visas and for humanitarian cases.

The resolution also explains procedures and requirements in cases where passports or ID cards are lost or damaged, whether the holder is inside or outside the country. These include contacting the relevant government offices within three working days to complete the procedures after submitting a request to enter the country through the ICP’s smart services platform and reporting the loss of the documents.

The ICP said it had approved the guidebook on the unified system for tourist, medical and student visas, defining the responsibilities, powers, procedures, criteria and conditions for the issuance of each type of entry visa, as well as applicable administrative and financial fines.

Entering UAE through border ports

According to the Cabinet resolution, foreigners may be granted an entry visa at border-entry points for a 90-day period. The visa holders can enter the UAE multiple times as long as the visa is still valid and stay every time for a period not exceeding 48 hours.

The visa holder must be a resident of the neighbouring border country and is not allowed to work in the UAE with or without pay.

Entry visas to the UAE

The resolution explains that visit visas allow their holders to enter the UAE once or multiple times, as determined by the issuing entity. However, the visa holder is not allowed to stay in the country for more than 180 days.

Entry visas are valid for 60 days from the date of issuance and permit the holder to stay in the UAE in accordance with the type of visa issued.

The decision also explains the amended rules for granting a visit visa to someone who wants to come to the UAE to visit a friend or family member.

Humanitarian cases

The Cabinet decision stipulates the issuance of a residence permit which is valid for one renewable year, depending on the availability of a sponsor or host.

The resolution also lists five conditions that must be met to issue a residence visa for expats from countries affected by disasters, wars, or unrest. It also states that those wishing to bring their families must meet certain requirements to obtain a residence permit.

To meet the requirements for residency in the UAE, one must have the following: Citizenship of a nation that is not classified as being in a state of war, disaster, or unrest by the authority’s chairman, physical presence in the UAE, adequate financial stability and appropriate housing arrangement.

Exempt cases

The resolution also lists 3 categories of individuals who are exempted from having their residence visa cancelled if they stay outside of the country for a period of more than 180 days. These include; Golden visa holders and their families and holders of green visas and their families. Also people who have been granted exemption by the GDRFA for valid reasons and have paid the required fee will be allowed to keep their residence permits until they expire.


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