Navigating Family Visa Applications in the UAE

Akshay Vinayak

Akshay Vinayak

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When you think about groundbreaking business concepts and abundant job prospects, the UAE immediately springs to mind. This translates to a large expatriate population residing in the country, willing to sponsor visas for their loved ones. While getting a family visa in the UAE isn’t overly complicated, overlooking important details can add unnecessary challenges. Fortunately, recent adjustments to the rules have paved the way for more individuals to obtain family visas.

Read on to discover the start-to-finish process of obtaining family visas in the UAE.

Key Points for Obtaining a Family Visa in the UAE

The UAE has made several updates to its family visa rules to facilitate easier sponsorship for expatriates. Here’s a comprehensive breakdown:

Eligibility for Sponsorship:  Both employers and employees with a valid residence visa can sponsor their families. The minimum salary requirement is AED 4,000, or AED 3,000 plus accommodation. Since March 2019, the applicant’s profession is no longer a factor for obtaining a family visa in Dubai.


Sponsorship Conditions: If the father resides in the UAE and meets the sponsorship conditions, the mother is not allowed to sponsor the children. Family visas are issued based on the sponsor’s job nature and labor contract, with a maximum validity of up to three years. Sponsors have a 60-day window to apply for their dependents’ residence visas after their arrival in the UAE.


Medical Fitness Requirements: Applicants aged over 18 must undergo and pass a medical fitness test at government-approved health centers.


Documentary Requirements for Sponsoring a Spouse: A marriage certificate authenticated and translated into Arabic by a certified translator is mandatory.


Special Provisions for Muslims: Muslims may sponsor two wives if they comply with the stipulated conditions.


Sponsoring Children: Residents can sponsor an unmarried daughter regardless of age. Sons can be sponsored up to the age of 18, and if studying, until the age of 21. Sponsorship of stepchildren is subject to guidelines set by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA).


Sponsoring Parents: An employee can sponsor both parents by providing a guarantee for each parent, as required by the immigration department.


Female Sponsors: Women can sponsor their families if they hold a residence visa, earn a minimum monthly salary of AED 8,000 or AED 10,000 plus accommodation, and work in specific professional fields such as engineering, nursing, teaching, or in the medical sector.


These guidelines are designed to streamline the process and make it more accessible for expats wishing to bring their families to the UAE. Ensuring all criteria and documentation are met is important for a smooth and successful application process.


How to Apply for a Family Visa in the UAE

Applying for a family visa in the UAE, whether in Dubai or elsewhere, can be done through both online and offline channels. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to navigate the application process:

Document Preparation:

Before beginning the application process, ensure you have all the necessary documents ready. The required documents and conditions may vary depending on whether you are sponsoring your children, spouse, parents, or stepchildren. Typical documents include:

  • Sponsor’s original or photocopy passport/visa


  • Sponsor’s original Emirates ID


  • Applicant’s photo with a white background


  • Applicant’s original or photocopy passport


  • Salary certificate (if working for a free zone company)


  • Three months bank statement and memorandum of agreement (if an investor or partner)


  • Labor contract (if working in the private sector)


  • Attested marriage certificate (if sponsoring a spouse)


  • Attested birth certificate (if sponsoring children)


  • Ejari (if renting) or title deed (if owning a house)


  • DEWA bills


  • IBAN number


  • Opening file number


  • Medical result


  • EIDA application


  • Family medical insurance

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Application Process

Once you have gathered all the necessary documents, you can initiate the application process for a family visa. The steps typically involve:

  • Accessing the relevant online portal or visiting the appropriate government office to obtain the application form.
  • Filling out the application form accurately with all required details.
  • Uploading or submitting physical copies of the supporting documents along with the application form.
  • Making the necessary payment for the visa processing fees. The fees for a UAE residence visa may vary depending on the category of the visa being applied for.

Submission and Processing

After completing the application and submitting all required documents, the processing of your family visa application will commence. This may involve:

  • Verification of submitted documents by the relevant government authorities.
  • Medical fitness tests for applicants above 18 years of age at designated health centers.
  • Review of the sponsor’s eligibility criteria, including financial stability and residency status.

Visa Issuance

Upon successful processing of your application, you will be notified of the approval of your family visa. The visa will be issued electronically or as a physical stamp on the passport, depending on the specific procedures followed by the UAE immigration authorities.


Post-Visa Arrangements

Once the visa is issued, make necessary arrangements for your family’s entry into the UAE, including booking flights and accommodation if required. Ensure that all family members comply with any additional entry requirements set by the UAE government, such as COVID-19 testing and quarantine regulations.

By following these steps and ensuring all documentation is in order, you can navigate the process of applying for a family visa in the UAE smoothly and efficiently.

Cost Estimation for a Family Visa in the UAE

The cost of a family visa in the UAE varies based on several factors, including the applicant’s location, the visa duration (two or three years), the type of insurance required, and whether you choose normal or express service.

Approximate Costs (Two-Year Visa):

  • Applicant in Dubai without insurance: ~AED 3,500


  • Applicant in Dubai with insurance: ~AED 5,272


  • Applicant outside Dubai without insurance: ~AED 2,200


  • Applicant outside Dubai with insurance: ~AED 3,972

Approximate Costs (Three-Year Visa):

  • Applicant in Dubai without insurance: ~AED 3,700


  • Applicant in Dubai with insurance: ~AED 5,472


  • Applicant outside Dubai without insurance: ~AED 2,400


  • Applicant outside Dubai with insurance: ~AED 4,172


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Reasons to Opt for Meydan Free Zone for Your Visa Processing

Navigating visa processing can be daunting, but Meydan FZ can makes it seamless with their reliable and experienced PRO services. We simplify the documentation process and handle all government clearances. Our team provides a centralized point of contact for all your needs, saving you time and effort. Let us assist you in securing your family visa in the UAE. Contact Meydan Free Zone today for more information!


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