‘We’ll save big on visa fees’: How UAE’s new sponsorship rules will benefit families

Expats hail the government’s decision to allow parents to sponsor their sons up to the age of 25

File photo
File photo

Nasreen Abdulla

Published: Tue 4 Oct 2022, 5:55 PM

Last updated: Tue 4 Oct 2022, 6:21 PM

Several UAE parents expressed relief and gratitude as the sweeping visa reforms now allow them to sponsor their sons up to the age of 25.

The amendment is part of the advanced visa services system that came into effect in the country on Monday. Previously, parents could sponsor their sons only until the age of 18.

Dubai expat Bobby Hussain was confused about what to do with his son’s visa when he turned 18 this year.

“When we went to renew his visa earlier this year, immigration officials told us that a renewal wouldn’t be possible,” he said. “However, since my son was still in school, they agreed to renew the visa on a humanitarian basis.”

The new law would be a big help for Bobby and his family. “My son has joined a university here and my wife and I were exploring possibilities of getting him a visa from his college when this news came,” he said.

“I couldn’t be more thankful. I am so grateful to the UAE leadership for this move. It will definitely help a lot of people,” he added.

Typing centres have earlier confirmed that the new visa application forms are now active on the system. Under the scheme, no age limit has been set for the sponsorship of unmarried daughters.

For Mohammed Shah, father of a 20-year-old university student, the news also meant monetary relief.

“My son has been studying in Sharjah and we have been taking a yearly residency visa for him,” he said. “This new legislation will take some weight off our shoulders as we no longer have to renew every year."

Back in the 1990s, he said, his wife's family had no option to sponsor her brother when he turned 18.

"[This is why we] consider ourselves lucky," Mohammed added. "A big kudos to authorities for bringing about a change to this.”

The advanced visa system has introduced several new residency permits, including the Green Visa. The availability of a multiple entry 5-year visit visa as well as a job-seeker visa are other significant changes.

Requirements for the coveted Golden Visa have also been relaxed and can be obtained by scientists, entrepreneurs, exceptionally talented people, frontline heroes, top students and investors who have purchased Dh2 million-plus worth of property.

With his two sons and daughter studying abroad, A. Shanavas is happy with the rule change. “My elder son used to come on a visit visa and my younger son’s visa is up for renewal,” he said. “Now, I can get a residence visa for both of them, just like I have for my daughter. It is always easier for travel and more convenient when the children have residence visas in Dubai. This new rule is certainly a game-changer for parents like us.”


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