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Residency Visa Procedures in the UAE



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Residency Visa Procedures in the UAE

Spouse sponsorship:

A husband may sponsor his wife’s residency in the UAE only if his total earnings amount to AED4000 per month or more. If the husband is the sole provider in the family then he should make all the necessary applications for a spousal visa hopefully with the assistance of his employers.

A wife may sponsor her husband if she is employed as a doctor; engineer or teacher and she should be earning more than AED5000 per month. However, there have been conflicting reports in the media with regards to a wife sponsors employment stating that if she is employed in a similar field to the ones mentioned above and has a salary of AED10000 or more the UAE government may consider allowing her to sponsor the husband.

Here are the documents that the sponsor and spouse will need to bring to the typing office:



  • The application form available from the local typing centre at the immigration department.

  • Two photographs of the sponsored spouse N.B. It is useful to always have extra photographs handy as a precaution.

  • The original entry permit of the sponsored spouse, this could be a tourist visa.

  • The original passports of the sponsor and the spouse and their photocopies.

  • Original and valid medical certificate.

  • Sponsor’s employment contract, attested.

  • Sponsor’s salary certificate, attested.

  • Sponsor’s residence visa and copy.

  • Tenancy contract in the sponsor’s name or if company provided.

  • Health insurance for spouse.

  • Marriage certificate; duly attested in home country and attested again by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs (04 404 0001) for AED200. N.B. They only ask for this part to be completed sometimes but it is better to do it just in-case and to save you wasting time!

They then have 60 days to complete the residence process with a medical test from a selected government clinic that involves both a blood test and a chest x-ray to rule out tuberculosis and HIV. This can cost anywhere between AED350 to AED750 depending on how quickly you need the results, though it usually takes no longer than a week and should retain the certificate for visa processing.

Collect the medical report from the hospital and, together with the original entry permit and your spouse’s original valid passport and two passport photographs, head back to the DNRD to get a three year residence visa stamped. You’ll be able to get the passport back the same day.



  • The sponsor and spouse should visit the typing centre at the immigration department together. Have all the documents ready and fill the application forms in and pay the necessary fees here.

  • Fees are AED100 per year and spousal sponsorship is usually valid for three years. The total fee for a three year visa usually amounts to AED370 after extra charges are added.

  • Please be aware that a sponsored spouse is not allowed to be employed unless they have a labour card, work permit or employment visa.

Sponsoring children:

Male children can be sponsored by their families up to the age of 18, and thereafter to the age of 21 only if they are enrolled in a full time university or college degree. A female child can be sponsored by her family as long as she remains unmarried.

Here are the documents that the sponsor will need to bring to the typing office:


  • The application form available from the typing centre at the immigration department.

  • Two photographs of the child; N.B. It is useful to always have extra photographs handy as a precaution.

  • The original passports of the sponsor and the child and their photocopies.

  • Original and valid medical certificate.

  • Sponsor’s employment contract, attested.

  • Sponsor’s salary certificate, attested.

  • Sponsor’s residence visa and copy.

  • Tenancy contract in the sponsor’s name or if company provided.

  • Health insurance for the child.

  • Birth certificate; duly attested in home country.

    Here are the steps to follow;





  • The child should have his/her blood tests and x-rays completed at an authorized medical facility and should retain the certificate for visa processing. N.B. Only required if child is over 16 years of age. No medical for children under 16!




  • The sponsor should visit the typing centre at the immigration department. Have all the documents ready and fill the application forms in and pay the necessary fees here.




  • Fees are AED100 per year and like spousal sponsorship, child’s sponsorship is usually valid for three years. The total fee for a three year visa usually amounts to AED370 after extra charges are added.

    Always double check the requirements for a residency visa with the immigration department before you go there to avoid unnecessary trips to and from the department. Always bring original documents and their copies in both black and white and colour to have with you just in case they are needed. Remember to carry lots of photographs as a precaution if any extras are needed.



Summary - What you will need!

Marriage certificate - attested in home country

Birth certificates for kids - attested in home country

Your original labour contract - attested (they do this at dnrd)

Original passports and copies for all of you

Passport photographs for each person you are sponsoring

Numerous amounts of forms to be typed, make sure you allow a day for all the red tape

Your wife will need a medical, if your kids are under 16 they won't

You will initially receive a 60 day "residence" visa for each. This then has to be changed to a full residency visa, you might as well wait until your wife's medical is done.

You can get it all pretty much done in a day, other than the final part. The medical result should only take a few days.



The Hatta Oman Visa Run

Many people who come to Dubai find that they need to do a visa run once or twice before their residency visa is taken care of by their company. Most people find it easiest to drive up to Hatta in Oman in order to do this. The process is not difficult although it can be time consuming. The drive from Dubai to Hatta is around 250km and the entire visa run process takes up to four hours, depending on the queues. Oman is a popular tourist destination so the border will be busier on weekends and public holidays.



What you will need:-

  • Your Passport

  • A pen

  • Cash/Credit Card/Debit Card

  • Car insurance papers

The Process :

  • The road to Hatta/ Oman is quite straightforward and the road signs in Dubai are visible. However it is advisable to download the route from Google or to use your GPS device.

  • You will pass a few checkpoints where you may be asked to show your passport before you get to the actual UAE border.

  • You will come to a customs checkpoint before you exit the UAE. Here the customs officials will check your car and issue you with a customs ticket for your vehicle. Keep this ticket with you as you will be asked for it when processing your passport.



  • Next you will come to the UAE border. You will have to park your car and go to a window to take your UAE exit stamp. If you have overstayed your visa period you will have to pay all necessary fines before you will be allowed to move on.

  • Get back into your vehicle and drive for around 10km until you see a large dome shaped building. Follow the signs that say “new visa.”

  • Once you reach the building go inside and tell them that you are doing a visa run, they will immediately stamp you into and out of Oman. Remember to get your customs ticket stamped as well (the one you got for your car). The visa will cost AED50 – AED200 depending on the day and the individual serving you! The cost of the visa changes at random but lately it has been AED50. Bring lots of money just in case!

  • When you have the entry and exit stamps from Oman get back into your vehicle and drive towards Dubai. Park your car at the border again and proceed to the window of UAE immigration and get a new entry stamp and visa.

  • Enjoy the drive back to Dubai!

    Some things to remember :

  • Your visa is valid for 30 days. The government gives visitors a 10 day grace period without a fine. Thereafter you will be fined for everyday that you overstay.

  • Remember to have your car insurance with you. If you own a car than your UAE insurance is acceptable in Oman. However rental vehicles will need additional insurance for Oman.

  • Always be respectful and polite to the border officials. They can make your visa run smooth and they can make it a nightmare apparently.

  • Consider visiting Oman as a tourist for a night instead of just turning around at the border. Oman is a beautiful country with a rich history and an amazing sea.






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