Family Visa Guide for Dubai

Easy Family Visa Guide for Dubai: Bring Your Wife and Kids

Table of Contents

Applying for a Family Visa in Dubai: A Comprehensive Guide

Dubai, known for its towering skyscrapers and vibrant expat community, offers a streamlined process for expatriates looking to bring their families to the city. The family visa application procedure has been simplified, making it more accessible for those wanting to reunite with their loved ones. This guide provides a step-by-step approach to applying for a family visa in Dubai, ensuring you can navigate the process with ease.

Introduction to the Family Visa Process

The Dubai government has made significant strides in easing the family visa application process. Expatriates can now manage the entire procedure through AMER Centres, eliminating the need to visit the Immigration Office directly.

Understanding the Fee Structure

When applying for a family visa, applicants will encounter various charges, including deposit fees, courier services, and file opening charges. These fees are consolidated and handled through AMER Centres. It’s important to note that any refunds are directly credited to the sponsor’s bank account, necessitating the provision of an IBAN (International Bank Account Number).

Document Preparation

A successful application hinges on the preparation and submission of specific documents. Required documents include color passport copies of the wife and children, a recent photograph with a white background for each individual, the sponsor’s passport and Emirates ID, and original marriage and birth certificates attested and translated into Arabic.

Accommodation and Financial Stability

Proof of stable income and suitable accommodation is paramount. The sponsor must demonstrate a minimum salary threshold and provide a valid tenancy contract or EJARI certificate, ensuring the living arrangements accommodate the family adequately.

Visa Application and Approval Process

Upon submitting the required documents and application fees at an AMER Centre, applicants will receive updates via SMS regarding their application’s status. Following approval, the visa is emailed to the applicant, with options available for different visa types depending on the applicant’s country of origin.

After Arrival in Dubai

New arrivals have a 60-day window to complete further formalities, including Emirates ID registration, medical testing, and visa stamping, to solidify their residency status.

Special Considerations for Investors and Partners

Investors or partners face additional requirements, including a higher deposit per family member. These specifics ensure that the sponsor has sufficient financial backing to support their family in Dubai.

Labour Contract Requirements

  • Minimum Salary

    The sponsor must earn at least Dh3,000 plus accommodation or Dh4,000 without accommodation.

  • Contract Accessibility

    The Labour Contract can be obtained from the MOHRE website, Typing Centres, or Tas’heel Centres using just a passport copy for printing. No attestation is needed.

Salary and Visa Fees

  • Original Salary Certificate

    Required for sponsors employed in Free Zones, Semi-Government, or Government sectors.

  • Visa Application Fees

    Dh489 for the visa and Dh270 for file opening, payable at AMER Centre. Previous payment receipts for file opening should be brought for scanning.

  • Reduced Fees for Government Staff

    Government or Semi-government employees pay a reduced fee of Dh439.

Financial and Legal Documentation

  • Sponsor’s IBAN

    Necessary for processing refunds.

  • Confirmation Letter for Unmarried Daughters Over 18

    Must be in Arabic and signed by the sponsor.

Visa Entry and Renewal

  • Entry Window

    Visa holders must enter the UAE within 60 days of visa issuance and complete all formalities within 60 days of entry.

  • Renewal Options

    If entry isn’t made within 60 days, the visa can be renewed for Dh360 plus a typing charge, allowed twice.

Inside Country Visa Processing

  • Application Fee

    Dh1,320 for applicants inside the UAE on a cancelled, visit, or tourist visa.

  • Status Change Fee

    Dh644, with required documentation including the receipt, original passport, and visa.

Additional Requirements for Investors/Partners

  • Deposit

    Dh3,020 per family member, refundable upon visa cancellation.

  • Essential Documents

    Trade license copy, partners list, LLC agreement (with share value not less than Dh70,000), and bank statement for the last three months.

  • NOC for Child Sponsorship by Mother

    If the sponsor is a mother, a notarized NOC in Arabic from the husband is required. If the husband is outside the UAE, the NOC must be attested by the UAE Embassy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs inside the UAE.

Immigration Clearance and Restrictions for All Nationals in the UAE

When planning to move to the UAE or sponsor family members for residence, it’s important to be aware of the immigration clearance requirements and any restrictions that may apply based on nationality. Here’s a comprehensive overview to guide all nationals considering residence in the UAE:

General Immigration Clearance Requirements

  • Entry Permit

    All individuals looking to reside in the UAE must obtain an entry permit or residence visa prior to arrival, sponsored by a relative, employer, or in some cases, through self-sponsorship options available for investors or entrepreneurs.

  • Security Check

    Applicants undergo a security check to ensure they have no criminal records or security bans that would prevent entry into the UAE.

  • Medical Fitness

    Applicants within the UAE must undergo a medical examination at authorized health centers to prove they are free from communicable diseases, such as tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and hepatitis B.

  • Health Insurance

    Mandatory health insurance is required for residents in some emirates, including Dubai and Abu Dhabi, to ensure access to healthcare services.

Specific Requirements and Restrictions

  • Family Sponsorship

    Sponsors must meet minimum salary requirements and provide proof of suitable accommodation. The minimum salary threshold varies depending on the emirate and the sponsor’s occupation.

  • Age Restrictions for Sponsoring Parents

    Sponsors looking to bring their parents to the UAE must meet specific income thresholds and provide a higher level of health insurance coverage.

  • Nationality-Specific Restrictions

    Some nationalities may face additional scrutiny or restrictions based on bilateral agreements or diplomatic considerations between the UAE and their home countries.

    • Emigration Clearance from India

      Indian nationals are not required to obtain emigration clearance for their spouses when sponsoring them under a residence visa.

    • Restrictions for Bangladeshi Nationals

      Bangladeshi nationals face specific restrictions on family visas, which may require additional documentation or approvals.

Visa Renewal and Status Change

  • Renewal

    Residence visas in the UAE typically have a validity of 1 to 3 years, depending on the sponsorship type, and must be renewed before expiry.

  • Status Change

    Individuals already in the UAE on visit or tourist visas can apply for a status change to a residence visa without the need to exit the country, subject to meeting all requirements.

    Check your Visa Validity 

Additional Considerations

  • Overstay Penalties

    Overstaying a visa can result in fines and restrictions on future entry into the UAE.

  • Legalization of Documents

    All foreign documents (marriage certificates, birth certificates, etc.) must be attested by the UAE embassy in the country of issuance and by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the UAE.

Understanding the specific immigration clearance requirements and any potential restrictions is crucial for a smooth transition to life in the UAE. It’s recommended to consult with the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) of the respective emirate or a professional immigration consultant for personalized advice and the latest information.


Applying for a family visa in Dubai has been streamlined for efficiency, accommodating the city’s diverse expatriate community. By following the outlined steps and preparing the necessary documentation, applicants can anticipate a smooth process in reuniting with their families in Dubai.

This guide aims to demystify the family visa application process, providing clear and concise information to aid expatriates in navigating the system effectively. Whether you’re an investor, employee, or partner, the path to securing your family’s presence in Dubai is now more accessible than ever.

Applying for a Family Visa in Dubai: A Comprehensive Guide

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Visa Change for Visit/Tourist Visa Holders

Can I change my wife’s Visit/Tourist Visa to a Residence Visa without leaving the country?

Yes, it’s possible to change to a residence visa internally. An additional fee of Dh1,200 for visa issuance and status change applies.

Obtaining a Labour Contract

How can I get my Labour Contract if I haven’t received it yet?

Labour contracts can be printed from the MOHRE website, any Typing Centre, or Tas’heel Centre with just a copy of your passport.

Submitting Family Visa Applications

Do I need to visit the Immigration Office to submit my family visa application or collect the visa?

No, there’s no need to visit the Immigration Office. Submit your application online through a typing/Amer centre, and the visa will be sent to your email.

Employment Visa Concerns

What if my Employment Visa is not yet stamped on my passport?

You must have a stamped visa on your passport to apply for a family visa. Show your labour contract at Immigration to prove your salary, which is issued after your visa is stamped.

Passport Endorsements

Is endorsing my spouse’s name in my passport required for a family visa?

No, an attested marriage certificate suffices for the application.

Visa Processing Time

How long does the family visa process take?

If all required documents are correct, visas are typically issued the same day.

Housing Requirements

Can I apply for a family visa if I have a studio flat?

Yes, a studio flat is acceptable for sponsoring your wife and children.

Tenancy Contract Issues

What if the Tenancy Contract is in my wife’s name?

That’s acceptable. Attach your wife’s passport copy and your marriage certificate with the application.

Sponsoring Wife with Tenancy in Her Name

Can I sponsor my wife if the tenancy contract is in her name?

Yes, submit a no objection letter from your wife stating she permits using the tenancy contract for her residence visa under your sponsorship.

Investor/Partner Visa Deposits

As an investor/partner, do I need to make a deposit for each dependent’s residence visa?

Yes, a deposit of Dh3,020 is required for each dependent’s visa at Immigration. This is refundable after cancelling the visa. To refund the deposit for your investor visa, follow the steps at the Immigration head office, Jafliya.

Obtaining IBAN

How can I get my IBAN?

Generate your IBAN through the official website of your bank. This includes major banks in the UAE and Amer Business Centres across Dubai, offering comprehensive government transaction services.

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