Having gone through the seemingly endless rigmarole to get your own residence permit to remain living and working in Dubai, you now have to go through the process all over again if you’re going to be sponsoring your family to live in Dubai with you.

The process is time consuming, tedious and it can be complicated if your personal circumstances are not straightforward – for example if you’re a professional woman who wants to sponsor her husband, or if you’re a single parent for example.

If you want to sponsor your spouse, child/ren and/or parents to live with you in Dubai, this article will provide you with all the information you need, and detail the processes you need to go through to get them their residence permits.

It is possible that you’ve moved to Dubai with your family in tow and that they are in the emirate on a visit visa.  If not, and they have yet to arrive and are waiting for your to sort out their entry visa, then this is of course where you need to begin.  Assuming you have your residence permit in place, you can get your family into Dubai if you earn 3,500 dirham a month and you receive housing from your employer, or if you earn 4,000 dirham a month.  You have to be able to prove this level of income, and the only proof acceptable is your labour card.  So, whatever arrangement you have with your employer, you need it detailing that you earn at least this level of income or you will be living alone in Dubai.

To get your family into the emirate on a temporary visa you need to go to the Immigration Department with your passport, copies of each family member’s passport who is to be sponsored, and your labour contract.  There is a specific desk called the Family Entry Permit Counter which will assist you.  You leave all your documents there and then in a few days you can return and collect the entry visa/s.  You need to fax these to your family and then go to the airport with the originals, which you can leave at the visa desk in the arrivals hall for your family to pick up when they arrive.  Ensure you explain to your family that they have to go and pick up the originals!

Once your family is in Dubai it’s wise to get the residence permit ball rolling as soon as possible.  Your family members will first have to get their medical cards and undergo the health checks that you endured and which are covered in our article entitled Getting Your Health Card When Living in Dubai.  With the medical cards in hand, you need to again go to the Immigration Department – where you will be very familiar with everything by now!  Take with you your passport, your family member/s passports, their health cards and test results and attested birth certificates for children or an attested marriage certificate for your spouse.  The fee for each permit is 300 dirham, although allow a little more for the typing services, and you can either wait about a week for the paperwork, or pay another 100 dirham per visa for the paperwork to be carried out on the day.

If your family is already living with you in Dubai on a visit visa you either have to pay 500 dirham to have the visit visa changed for a residency permit, or your family members have to leave Dubai and re-enter on the new permit.

Now, if you’re a woman working in Dubai who wants to sponsor her husband and children to live with her, this is only permissible if you’re employed in certain professions such as health care or education.  You have to be earning a high salary and you really must check in advance of taking up a job in Dubai that you will be allowed to sponsor your family.  It is not the norm, therefore ensure that you will be given permission…otherwise you could end up in a very difficult situation.  If you do sponsor your husband and he then goes on to find a job in Dubai too, he doesn’t need to change his sponsorship status to that of employer sponsored, but the company who employs him will have to apply for his labour card.  This works the same for wives sponsored by husbands who go on to find work.

If you want your parents to come and live in Dubai with you, you may be grated permission but you may not!  The case will be reviewed by a special committee that will consider the age of the parents, their health and your salary…the case will be re-reviewed annually.  And finally, if you’re a single parent and you want to sponsor your children to live with you in Dubai, you either need attested acceptance from the other parent that the children can live with you, or a divorce or death certificate or sole custody paperwork that is also attested.