UAE residence visa: Everything you need to know

Expats require a residence visa to live in the UAE and it is usually sponsored by the company employing the expat. Expatriate employees are issued residence visa for one year or two years based on their labor contract, while expatriate employers are issued residence visa for three years.If an expat wishes to sponsor his family, he must earn a minimum salary of AED 4,000 per month or AED 3,000 plus accommodation.
An expat needs to submit an authenticated marriage certificate if he wishes to sponsor his wife and in the case of Muslim residents, he can sponsor two wives, provided he meets the criteria set by the respective GDRFA.

Expats can sponsor daughters till their marriage only and sons up to the age of 18.  If the son continues to pursue his education after 18, he can be sponsored until the age of 21, after providing proof for the same.

Documents required to sponsor wife and children:

  • passport copies of  wife and children
  • photos of wife and children
  • medical clearance certificate for wife and children above 18
  • copy of the husband’s employment contract or company contract
  • salary certificate from the employer stating the employee’s monthly salary
  • legalised marriage certificate
  • registered tenancy contract
  • latest utility bill

Regulations vary while sponsoring your parents in the UAE. You cannot sponsor only one of your parents and also, deposit fee must be paid as guarantee for each parent. Moreover, proof stating that the sponsor is their only support needs to be provided. In cases, wherein one parent has expired or the parents are divorced, related official documents need to be submitted.

Visa must be renewed upon its expiry and failure to do so will result in fine or legal consequences. 30 days grace period will be given to residents by the relevant General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), after the expiration of visa.

Recently, the government has come up with long-term residence visa scheme for expats, that permits people from certain categories to stay in the UAE for up to 10 years. This will be applicable to investors, real estate investors, entrepreneurs, talented people like doctors, researchers, innovators and outstanding students. There are certain terms and conditions that will be applicable for an expat to apply for a long-term visa.

With the new residence visa scheme, UAE expats can prolong their stay in the country and contribute to its economy.

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