UAE’s income-based expat family sponsorship law now effective

ICA reveals salary and housing requirements for male or female expat workers wishing to bring their families to reside in the UAE

ICA has adopted the new resolution.
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ICA has adopted the new resolution.

Foreign workers in the UAE can start bringing family members to the country as the UAE’s Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) adopts Cabinet Resolution No. 30 for 2019, which now focuses on income of the individual rather than employment sponsorship.

The new resolution allows expats in the UAE to bring their family members — classified as wife to husband, sons under the age of 18, and unmarried daughters — to reside in the country, with the total family income required to be $816.7 (AED3,000) per month if accommodation facilities are provided by the employer, or $1,089 (AED4,000) per month without housing facility allowance. 

Expats that are potential beneficiaries of the new law are required to possess proof of housing and health insurance for their families, as well as Emirates ID, which signifies their registration in the national population database, to avail of the service, according to UAE state news agency, Wam.

Commenting on the move, director-general of Foreign Affairs and Ports at ICA, Maj Gen Saeed Al Rashidi, said the resolution aimed to ensure the stability of foreign workers in the UAE by allowing them to bring their families to the country, adding that the UAE Cabinet had instructed national authorities to research the resolution’s potential effects and offer basic services.

Under the sponsorship law, the expat sponsor – whether male or female – is required to provide a certified marriage certificate and their children’s birth certificates translated into Arabic, as well as proof of their monthly income.

Al Rashidi said the resolution requires families to declare one sponsor, either a husband or wife.

A wife wishing to sponsor her children must attach a certified written agreement from her husband, Al Rashidi said, adding that widowed and divorced women can also sponsor their children by providing a recently issued divorce or death certificate to prove custody.

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