UAE Family Visa – How To Get a Family Visa for Dubai

Dubai UAE Family Visa

If you’re considering making Dubai your family’s new home, obtaining a UAE family visa is a crucial step in embracing the vibrant lifestyle this city has to offer. Typically, a family visa in Dubai is granted for a duration of one to three years and can be renewed accordingly. In this How To Get a Family Visa for Dubai guide, we will explore the requirements, procedures, and benefits of obtaining a family visa in the UAE.

Whether you are an expatriate already residing in the UAE or considering relocating to this remarkable country, this information will provide valuable insights into the family visa process and empower you to make informed decisions for your family’s future.

I. The Importance and Eligibility Criteria of UAE Family Visa in Dubai

A. Discover the Benefits of a Dubai Residence

  • Applying for a driving license: With a UAE residence visa, you can apply for a local driving license, allowing you to legally drive in the country and making transportation more accessible and convenient.
  • Opening a bank account: With a valid residence, you can easily open a bank account in the UAE, enabling you to manage your finances conveniently and access a wide range of financial services.
  • Accessing financial facilities: A residence visa allows you to apply for various financial facilities, such as personal loans, car loans, credit cards, and mortgages, which can support your personal or business ventures.
  • Accessing government health services and insurance: As a visa holder, you are eligible to access government health services and enrol in health insurance schemes. This ensures that you and your family have access to quality healthcare facilities and services.
  • Enrolling children in schools: UAE residents can register their children in government schools, which offer quality education, as well as in private schools that cater to a variety of curricula and educational approaches.
  • Working and investing: A residence enables you to get a Job in Dubai and pursue career opportunities. Additionally, as a resident, you can invest in various sectors and contribute to the country’s economy.

It’s important to note that specific benefits may vary depending on the type of visa and the regulations set by the government. It’s advisable to consult official sources or relevant authorities for the most up-to-date information.

B. Eligibility criteria to sponsor your family in UAE :

In the UAE, expats can apply for their dependents’ residence visa if they have a valid residence visa. The sponsor must also meet specific visa requirements such as

  • Minimum Salary Requirement: Expatriate residents must have a minimum salary of AED 4,000 or AED 3,000 plus accommodation to be eligible to sponsor their families.
  • Medical Fitness Tests: Both male and female family members who are 18 years old or above are required to undergo and pass medical tests at approved health centres in the UAE.
  • Mother’s Sponsorship: In special cases approved by the ICP (Identity and Citizenship Authority), a mother can sponsor her children.
  • Timely Application: The resident sponsor has a 60-day window to apply for their dependents’ residence visa after they enter the UAE using an entry permit.
  • Parent Sponsorship: A resident can sponsor their parents, and the residence visa will be granted yearly, regardless of the duration of the sponsor’s visa.
  • Profession Requirement: The type of profession is no longer a condition for expatriate workers to apply for a Dubai family visa.

By fulfilling these requirements and following the proper procedures, expatriate residents of the uae can sponsor their families, allowing them to reside together and enjoy the benefits of living in this vibrant and diverse country. Please note that the conditions may be subject to changes periodically. It is advisable to verify the latest information with the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICP) or GDRFA.

II. Sponsoring Family Visa in UAE

Expatriate residents can sponsor their family members’ residency visas in the UAE. The following categories of people are eligible for sponsorship:

A. Sponsoring your wife and children

Expatriate residents in the UAE or abroad have the opportunity to sponsor the residence visa for their wives and children, provided they meet the necessary sponsorship requirements. Here are some important details regarding the sponsorship of wife and children:

  • Sponsorship for Wife: To sponsor your wife, you must provide proof of an existing marital relationship by submitting an attested marriage certificate in Arabic or a certified translation in Arabic.
  • Sponsoring Two Wives: In exceptional cases, a Muslim resident may be permitted to sponsor his two wives, subject to specific terms and conditions set by the ICP (Identity and Citizenship Authority).
  • Sponsoring Daughters: An expatriate resident can sponsor his unmarried daughter(s) without any age restrictions.
  • Sponsoring Sons: Both male and female residents can sponsor their son(s) until they reach the age of 25. There are no age restrictions for sponsoring sons with special needs.
  • Sponsoring Newborns: If a baby is born in the UAE, a residence visa must be applied for within 120 days of birth to avoid penalties.
  • Sponsoring Stepchildren: Expatriate residents can sponsor their stepchildren, subject to the conditions set by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA). These conditions may include a deposit for each child and a no-objection certificate from the biological parent. Residence visas for stepchildren are valid for one year and can be renewed annually.

B. Sponsoring your parents

When it comes to sponsoring your parents there are several important factors to consider. By meeting these requirements, expatriate employees in the UAE can also sponsor their parents for a year’s stay, enabling them to stay in the country with their children.

  • Deposit Requirement: The sponsoring expatriate employee must pay a deposit as a guarantee for each parent, as per the regulations set by the immigration department.
  • Sponsorship for Both Parents: It is necessary to sponsor both parents together; sponsoring only one of the parents is not allowed. The employee must provide evidence that he is the sole supporter of his parents and that there is no one else to take care of them in their home country.
  • Special Circumstances: If one of his parents has passed away or if the parents are divorced, official documents need to be submitted as justification for sponsoring only one parent.
  • Minimum Salary Requirement: the Department of Naturalization and Residency (DNRD) sets a minimum salary of AED 20,000 for sponsoring parents’ visas, as mentioned on the Amer website.
  • Medical Insurance: It is mandatory to obtain a medical insurance policy for parents with the minimum coverage required for each parent. The insurance policy should be renewed annually.

C. Wife Sponsoring Husband 

In Dubai, there are no specific job restrictions when it comes to sponsoring a family. As long as the sponsoring wife earns a minimum salary of AED 10,000 or AED 8000 plus accommodation, she can sponsor her husband. However, it is crucial to acquire special permission from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs Dubai (GDRFA) or the Department of Naturalisation and Residency Dubai (DNRD), as stated on the United Arab Emirates government website

By fulfilling these requirements and obtaining the necessary permissions, wives in the UAE have the privilege of sponsoring their husbands, allowing them to reside in the country and explore potential work opportunities.

D. University Students Sponsoring Family Residence Visas in UAE

The UAE government allows the family members of foreign students studying at universities already in the UAE to obtain a residence visa, provided they can afford appropriate housing. This policy is implemented to foster moral stability for the students. As a result, families can stay together and support their loved ones’ educational journey, creating a nurturing environment that contributes to the overall well-being and academic success of the students.

III. Documents Required For Family Visa Application

Dubai Residence Visa

The required documents for obtaining a UAE visa may vary depending on the specific circumstances and the type of visa being applied for. However, here is a list of common documents that may be required:

  1. A recent coloured personal photo with a white background for the dependent.
  2. A copy of the passport of the dependent.
  3. Emirates ID Application receipt.
  4. Housing lease contract (Ejari) or proof of owning a residence.
  5. A copy of the sponsor’s passport with a valid residence.
  6. Job contract of the sponsor.
  7. A medical fitness certificate (for dependents above 18 years).
  8. Entry permit.
  9. Attested birth certificate of the dependent (for children).
  10. Mother’s residence photo (for newborns).
  11. Medical insurance or health card.
  12. Divorce or death certificate (for divorced women and widows).
  13. Proof of housing (for divorced women and widows).
  14. Proof of the woman’s ability to earn a living (for divorced women and widows).
  15. A certificate issued by the university or institute specifying the study duration (for students).                                      

By ensuring all the necessary documents are submitted, the visa processing of family members can be completed successfully, allowing them to legally reside in the UAE and enjoy the benefits associated with their family status.

IV. Medical Fitness Test for a Residence Visa 

To obtain a work or residence visa in Dubai, foreign nationals are required to meet certain health conditions, the government requires individuals who are 18 years old and above to undergo a medical test at a health centre approved by the government. This comprehensive evaluation includes a blood test as well as an X-ray examination. Additionally, dependents may be subjected to screenings for various other health conditions. They must be free from communicable diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis (TB).

In addition to the general requirements, specific categories of workers have additional testing requirements. Workers in nurseries, domestic workers (including housemaids, nannies, and drivers), food handlers and workers in restaurants and cafes, workers in salons and beauty centres, and workers in health clubs must also test negative for syphilis and Hepatitis B.

The screening process for pulmonary tuberculosis varies between the emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai. In Abu Dhabi, foreign nationals are screened for tuberculosis through a chest x-ray. However, in Dubai, this specific screening is not conducted.

A Cabinet Resolution was passed in 2016, which mandates that all resident expatriates must undergo tuberculosis screening when renewing their visas. If any individuals are found to have scars, active TB, or drug-resistant TB, they will be issued a conditional fitness certificate and granted a residence visa for one year. These individuals will then be required to undergo treatment in the UAE.

B. Different channels for Medical Examinations: 

 The UAE government has its eServices specifically for medical examinations. These services aim to make the medical testing process more efficient and user-friendly. some of them are: 

  • Examination of medical fitness for a residency visa
  • Regular Visa Screening-ِ Abu Dhabi
  • Medical typing centres- Dubai
  • Medical Fitness Centres- Dubai

V. How to Apply for a Family Visa in UAE?

A. Different Channels to apply for a family visa 

Digital channels (GDRFA website/smart application):

  1. Log in to the smart services system through (UAE Pass or username).
  2. Search for the service to be applied for.
  3. Fill in the application data, where applicable.
  4. Pay the service fee (if any).

Customer Happiness Center:

  1. Visit the nearest Customer Happiness Center.
  2. Get the automated turn ticket and wait.
  3. Submitting the application that fulfils all conditions and documents (if any) to the customer service employee.
  4. Pay the service fee (if any).

Amer Service Center:

  1. Visit the nearest Customer Happiness Center.
  2. Get the automated turn ticket and wait.
  3. Submitting the application that fulfils all conditions and documents (if any) to the customer service employee.
  4. Pay the service fee (if any).

B. Step-by-step procedure to obtain a Dubai family residence visa

  • Check eligibility: Ensure that you meet the minimum salary requirements set by the government for uae family sponsorship.
  • Gather required documents: Collect all necessary documents listed above.
  • Complete the visa application form: Fill out the visa application form accurately and thoroughly, providing all required information.
  • Apply: Submit the completed application form along with the supporting documents to the relevant authorities. This can usually be done online or through the designated visa processing centres mentioned above.
  • Pay visa fees: Pay the required visa fees, including application processing fees and any additional charges.
  • Obtain an entry permit: If your application is approved, you will receive an entry permit for your family members, allowing them to enter the UAE.
  • Welcome your family to the UAE: Once your family arrives in the UAE, you need to apply to obtain a residence permit for your family members.
  • Medical Test: Undergo a medical test conducted by certified medical centres to obtain a fitness certificate for the family visa application.
  • Emirates ID: Apply for an Emirates ID, It’s a mandatory identification for Dubai residents.
  • Provide medical insurance coverage: As a sponsor, it is your responsibility to provide medical insurance coverage for your family members.
  • Maintain valid residency: It is crucial to keep track of the visa renewal and initiate the renewal process well in advance to avoid any disruptions in your family members’ residency status.

When sponsoring a family visa to bring your family to Dubai UAE, it’s crucial to understand that the valid residence permits of family members are tied to the sponsoring family member’s residence. If the sponsoring family member’s visa is cancelled, the visas of their dependents will also be cancelled.

Here are some key points to note regarding current visa cancellation and renewal:

  • Cancellation Process: If the sponsoring family member’s visa is cancelled, it is necessary to cancel the visas of his dependents as well.
  • Grace Period: Dependents are granted a 6-month grace period from the date the visa expires or cancellation to obtain a new residence permit.
  • Renewal or Cancellation: It is the responsibility of the sponsor to either renew or cancel the visas of their dependents within the designated timeframe. The UAE government grants and renews residence visas.
  • Potential Fines: Failure to comply with the visa renewal or cancellation requirements may result in fines imposed on the sponsor depending on the duration of your residence 

By staying aware of these procedures and taking timely action, expatriate residents can ensure the smooth processing of their family’s residence permits 

VI. Expenses Associated with a Family Visa in Dubai

In Dubai, the fees associated with family visas can vary depending on the specific visa category and the sponsorship relationship. Here are some common types of fees that may apply:

  • Application Fee: This is the basic fee to start the visa application process. The amount can vary depending on the visa category and may be non-refundable.
  • Medical Fitness Test Fee: All individuals applying for a residence visa in the UAE, including family members, are required to undergo a medical fitness test. The fee for the medical test is typically paid directly to the approved medical centres.
  • Emirates ID Fee: An Emirates ID card is mandatory for residents in Dubai. Each family member will need to obtain an Emirates ID, and there is a fee associated with its issuance.
  • Typing and Processing Fees: There may be additional fees for typing and processing the visa application. These fees are often paid to typing centres or authorized service centres.
  • Refundable Deposit: In some cases, a refundable deposit may be required for certain visa types, such as sponsoring parents or in-laws. The deposit is typically refunded when the sponsored individual departs from Dubai or cancels their visa.

It’s important to note that the exact fees and their amounts can change over time, so it’s recommended to check with the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) 

Common Questions and Answers Family Visa Dubai

Can a Dubai Freelancer sponsor a family in the UAE?

Yes, under certain conditions, a freelancer in Dubai can sponsor their family members for a residence visa. The criteria for freelancers to sponsor a family typically include meeting minimum income requirements, having a valid freelance permit or license issued by the relevant authorities, and demonstrating a stable source of income. The specific requirements and eligibility criteria may vary, so it’s important to check with the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) or consult a reliable immigration agent for up-to-date information.

Can I apply for a family visa in UAE online?

Yes, it is possible to apply online through the official channels. The UAE government has implemented an online system called “eVisa” or “eChannels” for various visa services, including family visa applications. The specific process and requirements may vary depending on the emirate where you reside, such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, or Sharjah. Generally, you would need to create an account on the official immigration website of the respective emirate and follow the instructions to complete the application online.

Can a Woman Sponsor Her Family Members for a UAE Family Visa

Yes, a woman can sponsor her family members under certain conditions. Women in the UAE, including both UAE nationals and expatriates with valid UAE residence visas, can sponsor family members for residence visas, including spouses and children. The eligibility criteria for sponsorship include meeting the minimum income requirements, having a valid residency permit, and meeting other specific requirements 

Conclusion – UAE Family sponsorship

In conclusion, the family visa system in the UAE on a residence visa provides a valuable opportunity for residents to bring their immediate family members and create a strong sense of togetherness. It emphasizes the UAE’s commitment to family unity, cultural exchange, and the well-being of its residents. By understanding the requirements, documentation, and process involved in obtaining a family visa, individuals can navigate the system effectively and provide a stable and nurturing environment for their loved ones.

Points to Remember:

  • Eligible family members include spouses, children, parents, and spouse’s parents.
  • Ensure that you meet the sponsorship requirements, such as valid residency permits and suitable accommodation.
  • Family visa durations typically range from one to three years.
  • Stay informed about any changes or updates to visa regulations through official government sources.
  • Prepare the necessary documentation, including passports, marriage certificates, birth certificates, and medical records.
  • Renew family visas on time to maintain the legal status of your family members.
  • Understand your financial obligations as a sponsor, including supporting your family members’ living expenses, healthcare, and education.

By considering these points and staying informed, individuals can successfully navigate the UAE family visa process and create a nurturing and stable environment for their loved ones in the country.

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Aeliya Fatima

I am Aeliya Fatima co-founder of, and my mission is to connect top talent with amazing job opportunities in Dubai and beyond. With a strong background in recruitment and HR, I bring a wealth of expertise in identifying the perfect candidates for a wide range of roles. From entry-level positions to executive leadership, I have the insight to make the right matches. Let's connect on LinkedIn and unlock your career potential!


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