UAE Family Visa Requirements are fairly simple, but the process can be troublesome if the appropriate channels and requirements are not followed. The UAE has provided expats with a range of visas while keeping every individual’s requirements in mind, be it a business owner, a freelancer, or a dependent of an employed expat.

There are different requirements for each visa type. Here is a list of requirements for a family visa or a dependent visa.

A major percentage of expatriates (or working population in the UAE) lives away from their family and most of them come to the country while leaving their wife and children behind.

Expatriates (employers & employees) holding a valid UAE residence visa are eligible to sponsor their families as well as immediate family members (e.g. wife and children), this is a relatively inexpensive affair.

Male residents, or husbands who are employed in the UAE and are receiving a minimum salary of AED 4,000/month and living in a one-bedroom accommodation (or larger) can sponsor their immediate family members.

Family members are issued 2-3 year visas depending on the jurisdiction (Dubai Mainland or Free zone) where the sponsor is employed as well as their visa status.

As per the UAE regulations, expatriate employees are each issued 2-3 year residence visas, while the expatriate employers or investors are each issued 3-year residence visas. A sponsored resident gets the privilege of enjoying the same visa duration as their sponsor. The visa, however, must be renewed prior to the expiry of the sponsor’s visa to avoid overstay penalties.

Documents Required to Obtain a Family Visa or a Dependent’s Visa

An expatriate resident can provide a residence visa for his wife & children by fulfilling the following sponsorship requirements (UAE Family Visa Requirements) set out by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA):

 

Sr. No. REQUIRED DOCUMENTS 
1 Passport copies of the wife and children (valid for six months)
2 4 Passport size photos of the wife and children with a white background
3 Original Emirates ID of Sponsor
4 Insurance copy of the Sponsor
5 Original Marriage Certificate attested and translated in Arabic – (attested in a UAE Embassy, the home country, and the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
6 Original Birth Certificate of the child attested and translated in Arabic – (attested in a UAE Embassy, the home country, and the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
7 Passport and Residence visa color copy of the sponsor (high resolution)
8 Original Salary Certificate from the employer stating the employee’s monthly salary (if from a free zone company, then you will need the letter from the relevant Free Zone Authority in Arabic)
9 Original Labor Contract of the sponsor
10 Ejari of the sponsor’s house (1BHK)
11 Latest Water & Electricity Bill under the name of the sponsor
12 Trade License color copy (High Resolution) – in case of an Employer or Investor
13 Memorandum & Articles of Association copy of the company (High Resolution) – in the case of an Employer or Investor
14 Original 6-month Company or Personal Bank Statement of the company – In case of an Employer or Investor

The Time Frame Required to Obtain a Family Visa or a Dependent’s Visa

On average, it takes between 10 to 15 working days if you have met the UAE Family Visa Requirements listed above. In some cases, it may take more time to receive the approvals from the Immigration Department of the respective emirate.

Important Things to Know About Family Visa

  • If the dependant is outside of the UAE, we will need to first apply for an entry permit or an E-visa, once they enter the country, the visa stamping must be completed within 60 days.
  • The marriage certificate should be first attested by the embassy in the home country, then it needs to be cross-attested by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The marriage certificate also needs to be translated into Arabic.
  • Medicals will be treated as “Urgent Medical (VIP)” unless specified by the client. The normal medical cost is AED 500.
  • If the dependant’s age is below 18, the medical is not required.
  • If the sponsor is holding an investor visa, a bank guarantee of AED 3,050 has to be deposited to the Immigration Department under the current regulations.
  • If the resident dependant is overstaying, they will be subject to a fine of approximately AED 120 for the first day, and thereafter, AED 25 for each day under the current regulations.
  • If the dependant is in the country on a visit visa and is overstaying, they will be subject to a fine of approximately AED 200 for the first day, and thereafter, AED 100 for each day under the current regulations.
  • The dependants should not be out of the UAE for more than 6-months, else, the visa will be invalid for use in the future should the dependant enter the country again.

Why Outsource Your Visa Processing to us?

After you have read through the UAE Family Visa Requirements, you may wish to consider outsourcing the visa processing to a reliable and experienced PRO service provider. Here, we list a few benefits our clients avail when they hire our services.

  1. Collection & Delivery Services:

Document processing with us is hassle-free because we pick up documents from your doorstep and deliver them back to you right after clearing them at the government offices.

  1. Your Dedicated Consultant:

We offer you a centralized point of contact for all of our services!

  1. Time Saver:

We enable you to devote your time to your personal and company’s important matters while we process the visa from obtaining the entry permit to visa stamping on your behalf.

FAQs:

Q1: Why do I need a family visa?

A: A family visa is required if you are entering the UAE with family members. This visa allows you to sponsor your parents, spouse, and children under the age of 18. If you are employed in the UAE you will most likely be able to provide visas for your dependants (refer to Q3).

Q2: How can I get a family visa in the UAE?

A: As mentioned above, we will collect your:

  • Passport copy with a valid visa page (colored)
  • Dependants’/family members’ passport copies (colored)
  • Dependants’ photographs (with white backgrounds)
  • Original & attested marriage certificate
  • Original & attested birth certificates

Q3: What is the minimum salary for a family visa in the UAE?

Male UAE residents, who are employed, can sponsor family members such as their wife and children (AKA immediate family members) if their salary is at least AED 3,000-4,000 + they have accommodation in the UAE.

Q4: What are the new rules for family visas in Dubai?

A: The mandate allows foreign residents of any gender to sponsor family members, such as the spouse, children aged under 18, as well as unmarried daughters to stay in the UAE, as long as the family income (wife’s or husband’s) is at least AED 3,000-4,000 and accommodation is available.

Q5: What are the documents required for family visas in Abu Dhabi?

A: The documents required are the same as mentioned above: family members’ colored passport copies, passport-sized photographs of all sponsored family members with white backgrounds, the sponsor’s original passport, and the sponsor’s original Emirates ID.

Q6: Can we hold family visas in the UAE?

A: If approved by the relevant authorities, family visas can be held without cancelation, while the sponsor changes his/her visa to another employer. If you are outside of the UAE, you cannot hold a family visa (e.g. if the members are on a vacation)

Q7: How can I sponsor my family in the UAE?

A: As mentioned above, you require official employment in the UAE. If you meet the requirements, you can sponsor your family. Wives can sponsor their husbands, however, they will be subject to additional requirements by the relevant authorities.

Q8: Can I sponsor my sister in the UAE?

A: Your sister is classed as a first degree relative, first-degree relatives are your parents, siblings, and children. In certain cases, second-degree relatives are applicable for visit visas to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, as well as other emirates.

Q9: Can we change our visit visas to family visas in the UAE?

A: Status changes are applicable to investor, partner, employment, family, and residence visas. Tourist visa holders are required to exit the UAE and re-enter with a new visa.

Q10: How can I renew my family visa in the UAE?

A: You will need to follow this quick and easy process:

  1. Contact Dubai Business Advisors
  2. Submit the details required for visa renewal
  3. Submit all your documents to our office or courier
  4. Pay the necessary fees
  5. Enjoy your renewed family visa after the processing period!

For any further assistance or a free business consultation, you can contact us by calling: +971 54 329 7867; or by dropping an email here.

Contributed by: ASHWIN CHANDRASHEKAR

“Ashwin Chandrashekar is a specialist in processing, renewing & canceling all types of visas including Maid Visas, UAE Family or Dependent Visas, Employment Visas, and Ladies Work Permits. He has hands-on experience in dealing with government authorities during every stage of the process. His additional expertise is in Company Formation including Dubai Mainland or LLC Companies, Free Zone Companies, Offshore Companies, de-registration or liquidation of companies, VAT registrations, and VAT filing Services.”

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