UAE visa reforms for families: Longer grace periods after residency expiry, sponsorship rules eased

Four points to note for expats who are sponsoring their families in the UAE


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Mon 15 Aug 2022, 12:01 PM

Last updated: Mon 3 Oct 2022, 6:21 AM

[Editor’s Note: The UAE’s new visa scheme — which includes sweeping changes to the country’s entry and residence system — is expected to come into force today, October 3. This explainer on the benefits for families first appeared in August, in preparation for the system's roll-out.]

The UAE has amended its laws, including those related to family visas, to make the country more attractive to skilled expatriates.

According to details announced by the UAE Cabinet earlier, more benefits are offered to facilitate family members’ residence. After residence permits are cancelled or expired, residents will get “longer flexible grace periods that reach up to six months” to stay in the country. It’s not immediately clear if this applies to all residence types.

Here are the key changes to note for you to sponsor your family in the UAE:

1. Sons & daughters sponsorship extended

The new UAE visa rules allow parents to sponsor their sons till the age of 25, unlike 18 years earlier. While unmarried daughters can be sponsored for an indefinite period and disabled children get a special permit.

2. Green Visa

Under the five-year Green Visa for Investors, which doesn’t require a sponsor or employer, the individual can bring the family for five years now as compared to two years under the previous rule. Green Visa is applicable for skilled workers, self-employed and freelancers etc.

Other requirements include Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in a specified field and a salary not less than Dh15,000. Green Visa holders can sponsor first-degree relatives also. Children of determination are granted a residence permit regardless of age.

3. Golden Visa

The 10-year visa holder can sponsor his/her family members without age restrictions. Also, the number of years they and their families can stay outside the UAE to keep the validity of the visa has been removed.

In the event of the death of the Golden Visa sponsor, family members can stay in the UAE till the end of their residency permit. They can also sponsor domestic workers without any limits.

Golden Visa can be obtained by scientists, entrepreneurs, exceptionally-talented people, frontline heroes, top students and investors who purchased Dh2 million-plus worth of property.

4. Humanitarian cases

A residence permit will be issued for a female resident whose husband passed away and she has a child or more. It will also applicable to the parents of children of UAE citizens who hold foreign passports.


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