What is the change? The United Arab Emirates has eased requirements for sponsoring dependent spouses and children.

What does the change mean? UAE residents can now sponsor dependents provided the income of one or both spouses (family income) is at least AED 4,000 or AED 3,000 if the employer provides housing.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Residency visas for dependent spouses and children.
  • Who if affected: UAE residents bringing their spouse and/or children to live with them in the UAE.
  • Business impact: The change will make it easier to sponsor family members in the UAE and may provide an added incentive for foreign workers interested in working in the country.

Additional information: Previously, eligibility to sponsor dependents was limited to men working in certain professions and women who made at least AED 10,000. Earlier this year, the UAE announced that the limitations by profession would be lifted and that residents would be able to sponsor dependents on the basis of the income qualifications listed above. The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) announced on July 14 that the changes had been implemented. The ICA said that in order to sponsor dependents, applicants would not only need to meet the income thresholds but also provide proof of accommodation, health insurance, registration in the Population Register System and the issuance of an ID card for each dependent.

Analysis & Comments: The change expands the number of workers in the UAE who will be able to sponsor dependents for residency visas. This may provide foreign workers, particularly those in lower income jobs that were not covered by the previous rules, with a greater incentive to move to the UAE with their families.

Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), its global network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL does not provide services to clients. Please see to learn more. Deloitte Legal means the legal practices of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited member firms or their affiliates that provide legal services. For legal, regulatory and other reasons, not all member firms provide legal services.

This communication contains general information only, and none of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, its member firms or their related entities (collectively, the “Deloitte network”) is, by means of this communication, rendering professional advice or services. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your finances or your business, you should consult a qualified professional adviser. No entity in the Deloitte network shall be responsible for any loss whatsoever sustained by any person who relies on this communication. © 2019. For information, contact Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.