What is the change? The United Arab Emirates has opened an immigration center dedicated to receiving and processing cases that require special approval, including female applicants sponsoring their spouse or children, individuals sponsoring their parents, and humanitarian cases.

What does the change mean? Cases requiring special approval must be submitted at the Al Awir Immigration Centre in Dubai.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Dependent visas.
  • Who is affected: Individuals requiring special approval, including female employees applying for family dependents and assignees sponsoring their parents in Dubai (free zones and mainland).
  • Impact on processing times: Processing time at Al Awir is three to four weeks.
  • Business impact: Individual sponsors should be aware of the new requirement and that due to space limitations only the sponsor will be allowed into the center without a representative.

Next steps: Applications to the Al Awir center are submitted at typing centers only; free zone portals do not contain an option to sponsor a husband or parent. Applicants may apply at any immigration office typing center and await an interview date at Al Awir, or they may apply at the Al Awir typing center (although it is known to be crowded)Affected individuals should work with their B·A·L legal team to prepare for their appointment with appropriate documents and other filing requirements.  

Background: The Al Awir Immigration Centre opened two months ago to handle cases requiring special approval. Sponsors in such cases will be asked for the following documents:

  • Passport.
  • Emirates ID.
  • UAE Visa.
  • Attested educational degree.
  • Attested marriage certificate.
  • Three months of bank statements.
  • Salary certificate showing a minimum of 20,000 Emirati dirhams (about US$5,440) per month.
  • Stamped and signed employment contract.
  • Ejari certificate (showing at least two bedrooms if applying for a parent’s visa).
  • Utilities bill from the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority.

In addition, for a parent’s visa, an affidavit of the relationship from the local embassy must be obtained and attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. For a parent’s visa for an Arab nationality, a copy of a family book is required.

Upon approval of the application, a security deposit of 5,040 dirhams must be paid to the government Immigration Office.

B·A·L Analysis: The new location conducts a layer of screening to these cases that adds two weeks to normal processing times. Affected sponsors should be aware that Al Awir is located in an isolated area, and because of the limited size of the center they must attend their appointment without a representative.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in the United Arab Emirates. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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