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UAE revises family sponsorship requirements

On April 16, 2019

Migrant workers' eligibility to bring family members to the UAE will now be based on their income alone, rather than on their profession.

Under the previous regulations, migrants who earned above the income threshold still faced difficulties sponsoring their families if the job category listed on their visa did not meet the exact visa requirements. Companies hoping to expedite the visa process might alter the job desgination from the worker's actual role, subjecting migrants to a burdensome appeal process.

The changes to the law are welcome for many migrants, though it is unclear if the income thresholds will remain, and if they will remain different for men and women. Currently, men need to earn Dh4,000 (USD1,080) or Dh3,000 (USD816) plus accommodation to sponsor their families, while women in Dubai and Abu Dhabi must earn a minimum of Dh10,000 (or Dh8,000 + accommodation in Abu Dhabi).

The high cost of living may still pose a deterrent to family unification, but the revised law now permits more migrants to make this decision for themselves.