Family Residence Visa UAE – Requirements, Costs and More

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To sponsor your family members in the UAE, you must first hold a valid residence visa in the country. This might be a work visa from your employer or a visa that you've sponsored yourself, such as a Green Visa, Investor Visa, or Golden Visa. 

After securing your visa, you're eligible to sponsor your loved ones. 

In this guide, we'll dive into family residence visa UAE and explore details such as the necessary requirements, the associated costs, benefits, and more to help you through the process.

Key Takeaways

  • A valid UAE residence visa is necessary for sponsoring family members.
  • Several types of family residence visas are available, catering to spouses, children, parents, university students' families, and special cases.
  • Eligibility criteria vary, including minimum salary requirements and proof of relationship.
  • Essential documents for the application include passport copies, photos, medical certificates, and more.
  • The cost involves multiple fees such as those related to file opening, entry permit, medical fitness test, Emirates ID, and visa stamping.

What is a Family Residence Visa UAE?

Residence visa in the UAE is a permit that allows expatriate residents to sponsor their families to live with them in the country. 

As we discussed earlier, to sponsor your family members, you first need to have a valid residence visa yourself — this could be a work visa from your employer or a self-sponsored visa like a Green Visa, Investor Visa, or Golden Visa. 

Once you have your residence visa, you can sponsor your family, provided you meet certain conditions.

Types of Family Residence Visa UAE

Several types of family residence visas are available —

  1. For Spouses and Children: Expatriate residents can sponsor their wives and children under the family residence visa. The sponsorship requirements include a minimum salary plus accommodation. 

Note: The type of profession is no longer a deciding factor for eligibility. 

  1. For Parents: Expatriates can also sponsor residence visas for their parents, provided they meet specific salary requirements and can show that they are the sole providers for their parents. This visa is granted annually, regardless of the sponsor's visa duration. 

It’s important to note that there are additional requirements for sponsoring one parent in cases of death or divorce​.

  1. For University Students' Families: Following a relatively recent resolution, foreign university students in the UAE can invite their family members provided they can afford suitable housing. 
  2. Special Cases: Women, under certain conditions, can sponsor their families. For instance, in Abu Dhabi, women in professions such as engineering, teaching, or related to the medical sector, earning a minimum salary, can sponsor their husbands and children. Similar conditions apply in Dubai, with specific salary requirements and potentially requiring special permission​.

Eligibility Criteria for Family Residence Visa UAE

You need to meet the eligibility criteria for family residence visa UAE as given below —

  1. For Spouse and Children

  • Hold a valid UAE residence visa
  • Meet the minimum salary requirement of AED 4,000 or AED 3,000 with accommodation
  • Ensure all family members over 18 pass medical fitness tests
  • Prove your marital relationship with an attested marriage certificate
  • For Muslims, sponsoring 2 wives is possible under certain conditions
  • Daughters can be sponsored without age limits, provided they're unmarried
  • Sons are eligible for sponsorship until age 25, with no age limit for those with special needs
  • Newborns must be sponsored within 120 days of birth
  • Stepchildren can be sponsored with specific conditions including a deposit and a no-objection certificate from the biological parent
  1. For Parents

  • The sponsor must hold a valid UAE residence visa
  • The sponsor must meet the minimum salary requirement (AED 20,000 for Dubai — conditions may vary by Emirate)
  • medical insurance for parents with minimum coverage stipulated for renewal each year
  • Proof that the sponsor is the sole provider and caretaker for the parents
  • In cases of sponsoring one parent due to death or divorce, official documents are needed as justification
  1. For University Students' Families

  • The student must be able to provide suitable housing for their family
  1. Special Cases

  • Mothers can sponsor their children under specific conditions approved by the ICP
  • Residents can sponsor parents annually — regardless of the sponsor's visa duration —- with specific salary requirements
  • A UAE citizen’s foreign spouse, parent, or child can obtain a visa for 5 years without employment in the UAE — sponsored by the UAE citizen

Getting the Documents Attested and Taking Care of the Extras

The very first thing to do, even before beginning the visa application process is to get the prescribed set of documents attested by concerned authorities in your home country as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the UAE (MOFAIC). The list of documents varies slightly depending upon who is entering the country. E.g., for your kids, you will need an attested copy of their birth certificate, and for spouse you will need an attested marriage certificate. 

The cost of getting documents attested for a resident visa is AED 160, if you contact MOFAIC directly. However, if you take assistance from a typing centre, you may have to pay service charges as well. As a sponsor, you will also need to have a lease contract in place. 

Minimum Salary Requirements for Sponsorship in the UAE

The minimum salary required to get a family resident visa is AED 4,000 or AED 3,000 + accommodations for male sponsors. If female UAE residents want to sponsor their family in the UAE, they require a minimum salary of AED 8,000 + accommodations or AED 10,000. These two conditions are applicable only if you want to sponsor your spouse and/or children. If you want to sponsor your parents as well, your minimum salary must be AED 19,000 + accommodations or AED 20,000.

Documents Required for Family Resident Visa Application

  • Passports of all family members who are to reside in the UAE
  • Sponsor’s passport
  • Sponsor’s Emirates ID.
  • Passport size photos of prospective family members. 
  • Attested marriage certificate for sponsoring spouse.
  • Attested birth certificate for sponsoring children. 
  • Attested death or divorce certificate if single women want to sponsor their children.
  • All attested degrees. 
  • Medical clearance certificate for family members older than 18 years.
  • A copy of Ejari or lease contract. 

Check out the table below for the family residence visa UAE costs —

Fee Type

Cost (AED)

File opening charge

269

Entry permit (outside UAE)

500

Entry permit (inside UAE)

1,180

Change of status

675

Medical fitness test

320

Emirates ID

170 (1 year) to 1,198 (10 years)

Visa stamping

500

File Opening Fee – AED 269

There is a file opening fee of AED 269 for initiating the process. The file is opened with the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs UAE. You/the applicant will be called the sponsor in this file. The file opening fee is independent of the number of family members you are sponsoring. The standard fee is applicable every time you open a file. Noteworthy is the fact the you’ll have to request for a new file opening every time you switch your job in the UAE. 

The logic here is that every time you switch your job, your sponsor in the UAE changes as well. Your employer in UAE is your sponsor while you are the sponsor for your family members. Change in your sponsor needs to be reviewed and updated for your family members as well. So, every time you get a new job, you are required to pay AED 269 as file opening fee.  

Entry Permit Fee – AED 500

The entry permit is AED 500. The entry permit is valid for 60 days and the person relocating needs to enter the country within 60 days. Any delay in doing so attracts a fine of AED 25 per day.  

Change of Status Fee – AED 675

The change of status fee only applies to your family member’s visa if they are already in the UAE on another kind of visa. A change in status request can also be sent if your previous visa has expired but you still hold your job in the UAE. once the status change request has been processed, your file gets transferred to your new sponsor, your employer. In case of your family members, the file gets transferred to you, the sponsor. The change of status fee is AED 675.

Medical Fitness Test Fee – AED 320

Family members aged 18 and above are required to take a compulsory fitness test. The results of this test are a mandatory document for obtaining a visa application. The medical fitness test fee is AED 320 and the results arrive within 2-5 days. Standard screening test results take 48 hours while fast screening test results are made available in 24 hours. You can also opt for VIP service to get the test resuts in 4 hours. The cost for VIP medical test service is AED 570. The list of medical fitness tests to be taken includes:

  • HIV AIDS test and screening 
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Leprosy 
  • Pulmonary Tuberculosis 

Getting Emirates ID – Varied Fee as Per Validity 

The cost of your emirates ID will depend on the validity you choose for your visa. The same validity will apply to your emirates ID as well. You will have 1, 2 and 3 years for your resident visa. You can also apply for a golden visa now which holds a 10-year long validity. The fee to get an emirates ID with 1-year validity is AED 170, 2-year validity is AED 270 and 3-year validity is AED 370. If you have a golden visa with 10-year validity, the fee applicable to get an emirates ID with 10-year validity is AED 1,070. 

Visa Stamping Fee – AED 500

The final step to getting your family their resident visa is getting their passports stamped. The fee for visa stamping is AED 500 which also includes courier charges. 

Once you have all your documents ready, you can either visit a typing centre or the ministry for submission. Submit your passport with the documents to get the visa stamp or sticker. The Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security has recently announced that visa stamping is no longer mandatory to get residency in the UAE. The small pink-coloured sticker on your passport initially served as the main document to prove your residence status in the UAE. Now, your Emirates ID will be the identifying document to prove your residency status. Although Dubai residents may still be required to get their visa stamped. Residents moving to other 6 emirates do not need to get a visa stamp on their passport. 

How Long Does It Take to Get a Family Residence Visa in UAE?

Obtaining a family residence visa in the UAE can be quite efficient if all required documents are correctly prepared and submitted. 

As per experts, the whole process can be completed within a week. The time frame depends on the approval of the application, which can sometimes be granted on the same day. However, note that appointments for medical fitness tests and Emirates ID biometric scans might extend the timeline.

How to Apply for Family Residence Visa UAE?

To apply for a Family Residence Visa in the UAE, you can use the official website of the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs & Port Security (ICP) at icp.gov.ae. Alternatively, you can head to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) of the respective emirate, such as gdrfad.gov.ae for Dubai.

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Frequently Asked Question

From where do I get my resident visa documents attested?

You have to get your documents attested from MOFAIC as well as relevant authorities in your home country.

How do I change my visa status in UAE?

Initiate a ‘change of status’ request to change your visa status if you’re already in the country on some other type of visa.

Do I need to leave UAE to change my visa status?

No, you can change the status of your visa by initiating a ‘change of status’ request without leaving the UAE.

What is the cost of a change of status in the UAE?

The fee applicable for applying for ‘change of status’ is AED 675.

Who needs to take the medical fitness test for a UAE resident visa?

All the sponsored candidates aged 18 or above must undergo a fitness test.

What are the documents needed for UAE medical fitness test for a resident visa?

You will need the following for fitness test:

  • A copy of your passport
  • Entry permit for resident visa purposes 
  • Two passport size photos
What is the cost of emirates ID renewal?

The cost of renewing your emirates ID is AED 100 for 1 year. 

Do I need a visa stamp for a Dubai resident visa?

Yes, prospective Dubai residents may still need to get a visa stamp for their resident visa but it’s not compulsory.

What is the visa stamping fee in UAE?

The visa stamping fee is AED 500 including delivery charges.

Do I need an entry permit for my family if they are already in the UAE?

Yes, an entry permit must be obtained whether your family is in the UAE or outside. If they are in the UAE on another kind of visa, they will have to initiate a ‘change of status’ request within 60 days after getting the entry permit.

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