What is the change? The United Arab Emirates has made it easier to sponsor dependent sons for visas past their 18th birthday.

What does the change mean? UAE residents can now obtain one-year residence visas for 18-year old dependent sons. The visas are renewable once for an additional year. Unmarried daughters remain eligible for dependent status no matter their age.

  • Implementation: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Documents affected: Residence visas for dependents.
  • Who is affected: UAE residents sponsoring 18-year-old dependent sons.
  • Next steps: Applications are submitted through an authorized typing center.  

Background: The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship announced the change this past summer. Up until that point, dependents sons had to apply for their own work visas to stay in the country once they turn 18. UAE residents also had the option of applying for a humanitarian appeal to sponsor dependent sons past the age of 18 with additional supporting documents. Under the new process, renewals for 18-year-old sons will be granted almost immediately with an attested degree certificate or letter from the university, and applicants will no longer be required to pay a security deposit of AED5,000, as was previously mandatory for those applying for a humanitarian appeal.

Analysis & Comments: The change is welcome news because it will be easier for dependent sons of UAE residents to remain in the country after they turn 18. Dependent sons applying for the new visa will, however, need to obtain separate authorization to work in the UAE. Sponsors should note that while dependent visas for sons and daughters allow dependents to reside in the UAE, separate work authorization may be required for dependent sons or daughters who work in the UAE.

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