If you’re one of those who have already experienced living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), one question you’ve been probably thinking is — Can I sponsor my parents to come to the UAE?
UAE, boasting a robust economy and a high standard of living, offers a unique opportunity for expatriates like you to sponsor your parents (and even other immediate family members). This sponsorship is a part of the government’s commitment to ensuring the social well-being of its residents. This, in turn, allows you to have your loved ones close, which can contribute positively to your stay in the UAE.
What is a parental sponsorship in the UAE?
Parental sponsorship in the UAE is a provision that allows you to bring your parents to the country and provide them with legal residency status. This sponsorship is typically valid for one year and requires annual renewal. Note that this one is independent of the duration of your own visa.
However, if your own resident permit expires or is canceled, the legal status of your sponsored family members, including your parents, is affected. In such a scenario, they would no longer have a valid sponsorship, as their residency is contingent upon your status as a legal resident in the UAE.
Another key regulation is that you must sponsor both parents together. However, there are certain exceptions. For instance, your parents are divorced or one of them already passed away. In such cases, you must provide official documentation to support your claim.
In some situations, you may also need to provide evidence that they are the sole provider for their parents and that no one else in the home country can take care of them. This requirement is designed to prevent misuse of the sponsorship system.
Before proceeding with the application, you must ensure you meet all the requirements. Generally, these include:
- A minimum monthly salary of AED10,000 (if you’re sponsoring up to five family members, including parents) or AED15,000 (if you’re sponsoring up to six)
- A suitable accommodation, with a two-bedroom house or flat as the minimum
- Documents proving your relationship with them, including a copy of their valid passport and a passport-size photograph
- Health insurance for parents (the policy must meet minimum coverage requirements and you must renew it annually)
- Proof of your identification, residence, and financial stability, including:
- Your Emirates ID
- Passport and residency page
- Tenancy contract
- Employment contract
- Bank statements in the past three months
- NOC or No Objection Certificate from relevant authorities to show that no one is against your plan of sponsoring your parents
- Application fee worth AED1,750 and a refundable deposit of AED5,000
Note that the minimum salary requirement varies per city or emirate. Hence, you must check with the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICP) for the newest requirements.
How to sponsor your parents in the UAE
Are you planning to sponsor your parents in the country? Here are the steps to follow.
Step 1: Gather the requirements
First, you must secure all the required documents, as mentioned above. To avoid any hassle, double-check if the information is accurate and up-to-date.
Step 2: Submit through the GDRFA
The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) is the government agency where you must submit your application. You have two options: You can submit online or via AMER centers.
Step 3: Track your application
Usually, it will take 48 hours to process your application. If you want to track the progress, you may use the reference number provided to you and enter it on the ICP website (if you’re in Dubai, you can use the GDRFA-Dubai website).
Tips when sponsoring your parents in the UAE
For a smoother experience, follow these tips.
- Meticulously check your eligibility and documents. Verify if you meet the sponsorship requirements (e.g., salary and accommodation requirements). Typing centers are also available in major cities to help with accurate document preparation.
- Be proactive with visa and health insurance renewals. Getting your parents to the UAE is one thing; ensuring they legally stay is another. Track visa and health insurance expiry dates for your parents. Renew these before they expire to avoid penalties.
- Understand your responsibilities. As the sponsor, you must know the legal implications and grace periods following visa expiry to prevent fines and legal issues. Beyond fulfilling legal and financial obligations, you must dedicate time, energy and resources to care for and guide your parents while in the country.
The UAE is one of the best countries for expatriates to live in. And knowing how to sponsor your parents in the UAE is a key step in protecting family unity while enjoying the perks of living in this part of the globe.
Remember: This process entails diligent preparation and faithful adherence to the legal processes. Staying informed and being consistently responsible is key to a successful sponsorship journey in the UAE.
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