New family sponsorship policy for UAE expats comes into effect
Abu Dhabi - The Cabinet decision was approved earlier this year.
Expatriates will no longer be hampered by their job titles to sponsor dependents after the new family sponsorship policy for UAE expats came into effect on Sunday.
This means any UAE resident, male or female, can sponsor family members (spouse, under-18 sons and unmarried daughters), provided he/she earns a monthly salary of Dh4,000 or at least Dh3,000 plus accommodation provided by the company, according to the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (FAIC).
Cabinet Decision No 30 for the year 2019 regarding expats who want to bring their families in UAE was approved early this year.
Nasser bin Thani Juma Al Hamli, UAE Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, previously remarked "that the decision of the UAE Cabinet to consider the income of foreign workers that apply to bring their family members to the country, rather than their profession, will improve the family lives and social ties of private sector workers."
Reacting to the development, lawyer Barney Almazar, a director at Gulf Law, told Khaleej Times: "The new provisions for sponsoring family members of an expatriate ease the requirements without compromising the interests of the state."
"By making income as one of the criteria instead of profession, the law has become more inclusive to cover not just professionals but skilled workers as well," he added.
Almazar noted that the previous requirement of looking at the job title as a requirement to sponsor a family was outdated.
"It is not uncommon that skilled workers, having years of experience, have been promoted to higher salary grades but cannot obtain a managerial position stamped on their visa due to lack of educational degree. But now, they can sponsor their families as they can demonstrate their ability to support their dependents based on their income."
Expatriates welcomed the visa policy reform. Abu Dhabi resident Imtaaz Hassan said: "With the amendment to the visa law, I believe all workers with reasonable income who would like to stay with their families will now be able to do so, as it has become easier for them - unlike before when certain professions were not allowed to sponsor families."
(With inputs from Ismail Sebugwawoo)
How to applyAll of the family members should have health insurance as long as they're living with the sponsor in the country.
Their information should be registered with the concerned authorities, including the population record and they should apply for an Emirates ID as well.
The sponsored members can stay in UAE as long as the sponsor's residency is valid.
Major General Saeed Rakan Al Rashdi, Director General of Foreigners Affairs and Ports at the FAIC, said that the decision enables a stable environment for expats in the country, which will in turn raise their productivity and contribution to the national economy.
He added that the decision allows UAE to attract high skilled workers and professionals and make UAE one of the happiest countries in the world.
Al Rashdi explained that for an expat to apply, he/she must submit the following documents:
- Marriage contract authenticated and translated into Arabic.
- Birth certificates of children authenticated and translated into Arabic.
- A recent proof of salary.
- Salary certificate for expats working at the public sector, and or the work contract with bank statement of the last three months for employees in private sector.
For a woman wanting to sponsor family:
- She should get a written approval from the husband.
- A widow or a divorced woman can also sponsor family, however, she has to submit a (spouse) death or divorce certificate.
- Have documentated proof that she has custody of the children.
Al-Rashdi urged residents to abide by the law of the country, and to refrain from illegal activities.