New UAE residency policy: Foreign students can sponsor families


Photo: HHShkMohd/Twitter
Photo: HHShkMohd/Twitter

Dubai - The students’ families will be able to live with them in the Emirates, provided that they have sufficient income to support the move.

By Nandini Sircar

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Published: Mon 25 Jan 2021, 3:15 AM

Last updated: Mon 25 Jan 2021, 10:27 AM

Foreign students in the UAE can sponsor their families, according to a new Cabinet decision approved by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

A top education destination in the region, the UAE has more than 77 universities and tens of thousands of students, Sheikh Mohammed tweeted announcing the decision on Sunday.

The students’ families will be able to live with them in the Emirates, provided that they have sufficient income to support the move.

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The decision, many universities said, will give a boost to student enrollment in the UAE universities.

“The landscape of the higher education industry continues to evolve rapidly under the wise leadership of the UAE’s leaders. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s decision to open Dubai to families of expat university students will play a big role in student enrollments,” said Dr Vajahat Hussain, Amity Education ME CEO.

“This sends a clear message of safety and security to parents around the world. During these unpredictable times, family is the most important thing. Giving parents the option to live close to their children is an unprecedented decision anywhere in the world. The UAE continues to prove why we are number one,” said Dr Hussain.

UAE universities are currently conducting online classes as a Covid precautionary measure, and are expected to start in-person classes by Spring semester.

Dr Yousef Al Assaf, pPresident of Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), said the ability of students to sponsor their families will come with a lot of advantages.

“Psychological well-being of students is a main point to consider since having their family support is critical at the early stage of their studies.”

“Many excellent master and PhD students are married and may have children and it is difficult to attract them to study in the UAE if their families don’t join them. Diversifying the economy and attracting global talents are also key outcomes that would be seen.”

He said the flexibility to sponsor families will give students the ability to make long-term commitment that would encourage them to start their entrepreneurship journeys in the UAE.

“At RIT Dubai, our aim is to increase the global talent to at least 50 per cent, and this decree will help us achieve this goal,” added Al Assaf.

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