What is the change? Abu Dhabi authorities are increasingly rejecting or questioning supporting documents that are issued in Dubai or other emirates for foreign nationals who are applying for dependent visas. They will review submissions on a case-by-case basis and may request additional supporting documents or personal appearance of the sponsor.

What does the change mean? For new dependent visa applications, supporting documents should be issued by Abu Dhabi (for example, Tawtheeq, which regulates tenancy contracts, and Abu Dhabi Distribution Company, a water and electricity provider). For renewal of dependent visas, although Dubai-issued supporting documents are still being accepted, documents issued by Abu Dhabi are preferred; the policy is expected to change to one where authorities are less likely to accept Dubai-issued documents.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Dependent visa applications and renewals.
  • Business impact: The policy creates challenges for companies and expatriate employees who live in Dubai but work in Abu Dhabi.

Analysis & Comments: Employers and expatriate employees should be aware that if they live in Dubai and submit a Dubai tenancy agreement in support of a dependent visa application, there is a high likelihood that Abu Dhabi authorities will require additional supporting evidence or reject the application. Although the policy is not absolute, it will have a widespread impact, as it is very common for expatriates to live in one emirate and work in another.

Source: Deloitte LLP. Deloitte LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC303675 and its registered office at 1 New Street Square, for purposes London EC4A 3HQ, United Kingdom.