Dh10,000 pay for family visa in Dubai

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Dubai’s new rule applicable for first timers of all nationalities

Sponsoring families in Dubai has become dearer for expatriates who must now draw a minimum individual monthly salary of Dh10,000, or Dh9,000 with accommodation.

The decision to hike the eligibility level by Dh6,000 (it was Dh4,000, or Dh3,000 with accommodation before) was made last week in Dubai. It has been in force in Abu Dhabi for three years. The revised rule covers all Dubai expatriates who plan to bring their families to the emirate but will not affect those renewing the residence visas of their families already living here.

An official source told Khaleej Times on condition of anonymity that the decision to raise the minimum salary limit by Dh6,000 was enforced a week ago. “The decision is applicable to all nationalities,” he confirmed. Employees at typing centres said the changes were indeed implemented and many applicants were turned away at their counters. ‘‘We were informed about this a couple of days ago and are asking expats to check their salaries to ensure they draw a Dh10,000 minimum per month before we begin processing their papers,” one of them said.

An Indian resident, who preferred to go with his initials, R.R., said he had been married for four years and was planning to obtain a UAE residence visa for his wife, who had been living in India. “But when I went to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Al Jafliya, they said I was not eligible anymore. I met officials at the immigration counter who said I was drawing too little — Dh5,000,” he said.

Officials of a company said the immigration department, in some cases, could take into consideration the number of years of service of an expatriate before issuing a residence visa for his family. The grade they are in also matters, which means a manager who earns Dh8,000 may be allowed to sponsor his wife based on his years of stay in the UAE.

The list of documents required for a family residence visa includes the spouse’s recent passport photograph, passport copies of both husband and wife, and children, and a copy of the applicant’s valid residence visa.

Application forms are available at accredited typing centres at the headquarters of the GDRFA in Al Jafliya area, or at any of the over 20 external centres.

A salary certificate for government employees or a contract of employment for private staff is also a must. The applicant will have to produce an attested marriage contract, a tenancy contract, a recent electricity and water bill, a copy of the Emirates ID card, medical insurance, as well as an attested birth certificate in case of children.

Expatriates aghast

Abu Abdullah, an Egyptian who earns Dh4,500, said, “This is too much. How can I get my four-member family here with my salary. I have been away from them for 13 years.”

“I cannot live without my family. I will have to submit my resignation and travel back home,” said Sameer, an Egyptian who hoped the authorities would reconsider the decision.

Mohammed Ukasha, Sudanese national, said he did not expect to have his pay packet raised by Dh3,000. “How can someone like me ever think of bringing my family here under these conditions,” he said.

Umm Nada, Egyptian, said most of her friends were working as teachers in private schools. “They can hardly meet the Dh4,000 salary limit. How are they going to manage the Dh6,000 jump?”

Khalid Mohammed is under the sponsorship of his wife who is drawing around Dh9,000. “I am only staying here with my wife because I cannot leave her alone. I have tried hard to get work in vain.”

He added that he worked as a private driver for some time, but it did not work. “I worked some days and did not most of the time. Now, the situation has become completely tough. I have no option. I think this will be our last year here in the UAE.”

Others like Essam said this salary limit hike had compounded the already escalating rents which would force most residents to send their families home. “Egyptians and Syrians, in particular, will suffer more since they have to meet the Dh10,000 salary limit even when applying for a family visit visa.”

Visit visas

Immigration officials clarified that the conditions remain unchanged for visit visas for families — Dh4,000 or Dh3,000 with company accommodation. “Applicants of all nationalities except two countries need to be drawing a monthly salary of only Dh4,000 or Dh3,000 as well as accommodation as was the case before,” he said.

“Only Egyptian and Syrian applicants for a family visit visa are required to be drawing a monthly salary of Dh,10,000 or Dh9,000 plus accommodation – the same condition as in family residence visa,” he said.

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