Just moved to Dubai?

Thinking about bringing your family here back from home?

We do not blame you. Life in Dubai is one to aspire for!

Yet, you probably know by now, that you need to apply for a visa to bring them to live with you. This article will introduce all you need to know about the visa process application, including the costs you will have to pay for a sponsored family visa in the UAE.

Steps for Applying for a Sponsored Visa for Your Family

applying for sponsored visa

1. Get the important Documents Attested

Once you decide to get the visa application process going make sure that you have all documents needed. This includes your marriage (or divorce) certificate in Arabic and the birth certificates of your children, the educational degrees of your spouse or children.

Now, you need to get these documents attested by two bodies. The first is your home country’s authority, while the second is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MOFAIC) in the UAE.

Cost Note: The attestation process will cost you 160 AED for each paper.

2. Eligibility & Opening A File

If you are a resident of the UAE with the residence visa stamped on your passport and have a valid Emirates ID with a minimum salary of 4000 AED or 3000 AED plus accommodation, you are eligible to sponsor your family in the UAE. If you meet these requirements, you need to prepare the following documents to start the visa sponsorship process:

  • A copy of your passport
  • Your Emirates ID
  • Your labour contract
  • Your salary certificate
  • Ejari, or tenancy contract (depending on the Emirate you live in)
  • Latest utility bill
  • Copies of your family members’ passports (valid for at least six months)
  • Passport-size photographs with white background

Once these documents are ready, you can proceed to open a file with the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA). Previously only certain professionals were able to sponsor their family members here in the UAE. But now, everyone who meets the said above requirements is eligible to sponsor their family.

Sponsoring Your Children

When it comes to sponsoring your children in the UAE, the requirements are a bit different for sons, daughters and stepchildren.

Daughters can only be sponsored by the parent if they are unmarried. For sons, the age limit is only up to 18 years, unless the son is studying abroad or in the UAE. In this case, the parent can sponsor the child till 21 years of age providing attested certificates from schools or colleges where the son is studying. During this period, the validity of the residency visa will be for one year and needs to be renewed each year. Furthermore, the child will have to visit the UAE once every six months if he is studying abroad to maintain the validity of the residence visa in the UAE.

The validity of sponsorship of stepchildren is for one year and can be renewed annually. To sponsor stepchildren one has to meet the requirements of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) including making a deposit for each child and obtaining a no-objection certificate from their biological parent.

Sponsoring Your Parents

If you want to sponsor your parents in the UAE, there are also certain criteria to be met.

  • Proof that there is no means of care back home
  • Make a deposit as a guarantee for each parent
  • Minimum salary of 20,000 AED or 19,000 AED
  • A two-bedroom accommodation
  • Minimum coverage insurance policy for each parent
  • In case of the death of one parent or divorce, provide documentary evidence.

Wife Sponsoring Husband and Children

If the wife working in the UAE wishes to sponsor her husband and children, her profession should be an engineer, teacher or working in the medical sector. She must be receiving a minimum salary of 10,000 AED or 8,000 AED plus accommodation and provide additional documents required by relevant authorities. Moreover, the husband can attain a work permit from an employer with the wife’s visa and vice versa.

Visa Validity

The duration of the sponsored visa is based on the duration of the labour contract of the sponsor. If the labour contract of the sponsor has a validity of 2 years, then the family visa will have a validity of 2 years. The same condition applies to a 3-year labour contract. In the case of stepchildren, the validity of the sponsored visa will be only for 1 year and must be renewed each year.

Cost Note: opening a file costs you 269 AED regardless of the number of your family members.

But in any case, if you have changed your job while you started the process, then you’ll have to pay the fee once again to open the file to sponsor your family.

3. Apply for Entry Permit

You are almost set to bring your family to live with you in UAE. You need to apply for an entry permit from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) for them. Otherwise, they won’t be able to enter UAE. The permit is valid for 60 days, during which your family should enter UAE.

Cost Note: the cost for the permit is 500 AED each if your family is outside UAE. If your family already lives in UAE, the permit will cost you 1,180 AED each. It is also valid for 60 days, during which the family needs to make the change of status, which costs 675 AED each.

4. Go through the Medical Fitness Test

Your spouse and children who are above 18 need to go through the medical fitness test. Usually, the results appear within 24 hours if you choose the normal application for the visa. If you choose the VIP service for visa application, you will get the results of the test in 4 hours.

Cost Note: As part of the normal application process, the test costs you 320 AED each. As part of the VIP application process, the test costs you 570 AED each.

5. Apply for Emirate IDs for Your Family Members

Now, almost all that is left is to apply for your family’s Emirates IDs. The cost and the validity of the ID depend on the type of visa you apply for. You can apply for the standard visa or for the Golden one.

Cost Note: the standard two-year visa will cost you 270 AED each, while the Golden 10-year one costs you 1,070 AED each.

You can check the status of your Emirates ID after you have submitted your application.

6. Get Your Visa Stamped

It has been announced that passports no longer need to be stamped after getting your visa unless you are a resident of Dubai. In that case, the passports will be collected, stamped and returned to you in a matter of 4 working days.

Cost Note: Stamping the passport will cost you 500 AED each.


If you are planning to bring your family to the UAE, get your documents ready, and pay all that you need to pay. The experience is totally worth it. We hope that you all enjoy your new life together in this beautiful country.