California, US

Jul 02 2019

Dependent Sponsorship Eligibility Now Based on Income, Not Profession

United Arab Emirates

At a Glance

  • The government of the United Arab Emirates is starting to implement a decision that allows foreign residents to sponsor residence permits for their dependents if they earn at least a specified minimum salary. The implementation time may vary by emirate.
  • Previously, certain categories of foreign nationals, including domestic workers and laborers, were restricted from sponsoring dependents based on their profession.

The situation

The government of the United Arab Emirates is starting to implement a decision that allows all eligible foreign residents to sponsor residence permits for their dependents, without limitations by gender or profession. The implementation time may vary by emirate.

Eligibility for sponsorship

The following are the criteria to sponsor a dependent’s residence permit:

  • The foreign resident must earn a minimum monthly salary of AED 3,000 (USD 804) (if employer provides accommodation); or AED 4,000 (USD 1,073) (if employer does not provide accommodation);
  • The foreign resident must provide valid health insurance to each sponsored dependent; and
  • The foreign resident must have appropriate accommodations, according to the provisions of the law.

 

Previously, some categories of foreign residents were not allowed to sponsor dependents.

Impact

Low-skilled workers, including domestic workers and laborers, can now sponsor dependents, if they meet the above conditions.

Background - dependent sponsorship trends in other countries

Out of the 132 countries for which Fragomen maintains relevant data, 130 countries allow family members to qualify as dependents in immigration applications, with many allowing family members to work. The below map shows where dependents are automatically qualified to work:

Looking ahead

In addition to the relaxed rules regarding dependents, the UAE government has also recently waived administrative fines and created a long-term residence permit in an effort to attract investors and foreign workers. More programs are likely to be developed that will continue to bring transparency to and improve the employment environment for foreign workers and their employers. Fragomen will report on relevant developments.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to [email protected].