How to Sponsor Your Family in UAE: A Guide For Women Seeking to Work in Dubai

Dubai is known to offer a plethora of lucrative job opportunities in sectors like hospitality, banking, oil and gas, real estate and aviation. It is a progressive city in the UAE that is among the most popular employment hubs in the gulf region. It is safe and culturally advanced, which is why a rising number of women now want to work in Dubai.A working woman seeking to bring her family to the UAE by sponsoring them will first need to have a residence permit which requires her to be sponsored in the first place.


1- Search for a job – Look for a job in any one of the following realms – engineering, medical or teaching. As per the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – Dubai, jobs in these spheres help you easily sponsor your family. Use one of the many job search portals to speed up the process and seek an opportunity according to your education and background.

The United Arab Emirates considers these three disciplines as significant specializations for expat women. It gives great weightage to women seeking to be medical professionals and teachers.The gulf country is also in need of women engineers to fill up several vacancies in the fields of engineering and technology.State-owned Emirates National Oil Company has been looking to hire professionals for engineering and technical roles. Of its 6,000+ employees, only one-third are Emiratis, leaving a majority of positions for expats. These sectors are said to be beneficial for the growth and development of the nation and are hence promoted more.


2- Apply for openings and give interviews – Once you come across a good job opportunity, apply for it and wait for an interview call. Make sure that when you go for an interview, you carry a hard copy of your CV. You must keep a duly attested transcript of your certificates and records. Though it is not obligatory, it is better for expats to be fully equipped, especially during walk-in interviews for vacancies for immediate hiring.


3- Keep your documents attested and ready – Prepare in advance as once you get an offer from the recruiters you will need to immediately present the following –

–  Your marriage certificate

–  International driver’s license

–  Bank account and credit card details

Attestation will require authentication of your documents that you will submit as proof of your qualifications. The UAE Federal Labor Law will need proof of qualification along with an application for employment visa. This shall then be attested by the UAE embassy in your home country. Since this process is carried out outside the UAE, it is advisable to carry the already-attested documents when you enter the country.


4- Apply for Employment Visa – Residency and employment in Dubai work under an officiated system of sponsorship. As a new employee, you are required to seek employment and residency visa from your employer. Thus, it is necessary to be hired before you apply for an employment visa.


5- Become a temporary resident – Once you apply for the employment visa your employer will sanction your application and the residency visa will be stamped on your passport. Once you are approved for residency in the UAE, you become a temporary resident and therefore are eligible to sponsor your family.


6- Invite your family members – You can initially invite your husband and children into the country on tourist visa. Then you may become a secondary sponsor for them. This means that as you are a working expat and a secondary resident serving as a secondary sponsor for your family, based on which they can now live with you for as long as you work in the UAE. As their secondary sponsor you are entitled to bring in family members as dependent, which implies that you become responsible for supporting them financially and are accountable for their conduct.


7- Pay for their costs – Being their sponsor, you are in charge of their visa processes, processing fees and other associated costs to secure their residency permits. This will not be the responsibility of your employer and the company may not be able to offer any aid beyond its consent to this secondary sponsorship. However, there are special cases where employers may grant certain visa-assistance benefits to employees for bringing their families over.


8- Get approved for secondary sponsorship – An expatriate woman seeking to sponsor her husband and kids will need the approval by the Department of Labour as well as the Department of Immigration and Naturalization. Approval is easily granted if you are in a profession of economic and strategic importance (including medical and teaching)


9- Seek residency visa for them – If you wish to sponsor your husband make sure your monthly earnings should be equal to or more than AED 4000 without accommodation. With the accommodation allowance separate, it should be more than AED 3000. The visa issued will be a one year residency visa which can be renewed later. You can also sponsor children under the age of 21 years and unmarried daughters even above the age of 21 years.


10- Submit documents for sponsoring family – You must present an attested copy of your marriage certificate along with the labor contract. If your salary falls between AED 3,000 and AED 4,000, you will also have to submit a tenancy contract which maybe in your name or is provided by the company. You also require –

– The application form from the Immigration Department’s Typing Center

– Two photos of your family members

– The initial entry permit of your husband and children, which may be their tourist visas

– Your and your family members’ original passport and their photocopies

– Valid medical certificates

– The attested employment contract of the sponsor (you)

– Your attested salary certificate

– Your residence visa – both original and copy

– Health insurance for your husband and child

– Duly attested marriage certificate with husband

– Duly attested birth certificate of child

But most importantly, you need the primary sponsor’s (your employer’s) signatures before you can sponsor your family. This will be a major deciding factor for your application.


11- Medical test of sponsored spouse – Your husband will then need to undergo blood tests and the process of x-ray from an authorized medical facility. This medical certificate should be retained for visa processing.


12- Visit the Typing Centre – You, your husband and children will then have to together visit the typing centre of the immigration department. There you will be submitting the necessary documents, filling up the application forms.


13- Pay the necessary fees – The fees you will be paying is AED 100 per annum. This spousal sponsorship usually lasts for three years. For the entire tenure of three years, you will have to pay AED 370 after additional charges are included.


14- Find employment for husband – Once your family is sponsored in Dubai, your husband can seek employment. However, for that he must hold a labor card, employment visa or work permit.


15- Seek exception in case of a different profession – If you are working in a profession other than engineering, medical or teaching, make a petition to the department for exemption from this particular requirement. The department will then contemplate and pass its resolution of rejection or acceptance of secondary sponsorship.


16- Submit proof for approval – In case you are not working as a doctor, teacher or engineer, you will need to show that you have a basic salary of more than AED 10000 or AED 9000 plus accommodation allowance. Only then will you be able to sponsor your family members for residency visa.



–    If you are a woman expat seeking to relocate to Dubai, you must inform the recruiters in advance. If they will have to sponsor you and your family, they have the right to know in advance.

–    Once they decide to appoint you, remember to negotiate terms with your employer so that that they will provide complete assistance in not only getting you your employment visa, but also allowing you to sponsor your husband and offspring.

–    Make sure your entire family has health cards and ID cards in order to expedite the process of becoming residents in the UAE.

–    You are also allowed to sponsor a household help who can work for you. To sponsor the maid you should earn a monthly salary of more than AED 6,000.

–    Remember, only what is printed on your labor contract will be taken as the proof of your earnings.

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Categories: Working in the UAE

About Devika Arora

Devika Arora is a professional writer currently focusing on the extensive domain of employment in the gulf. She has written various articles, news stories and blog posts for the employment sector.

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