Thursday 30th September 2010

Dubai Expat Sponsorship Laws Relaxed

Many expatriates in Dubai are celebrating the fact that a change in the law means that they will now be able to sponsor their family.

According to reports in the region, 57 categories of visa holders in the region who had previously been prevented from sponsoring their family members will now be able to do so upon payment of Dh5,000.

Expats in the region have welcomed the news and many of them look forward to being reunited with their family. Discussing the change in law, Major General Nasser Al Awadi Al Menhali, Assistant Undersecretary for Naturalisation, Residency and Ports Affairs at the Ministry of Interior, told Gulf News:

"Previously, some professions such as drivers, bakers, tailors and cooks were not allowed to sponsor their family members, regardless of how much money they earned. Now we have solved their issues by allowing them to sponsor their families if they pay the required deposit."

Low skilled and semi-skilled workers will feel the biggest impact as people working in Dubai on these visas had previously only been permitted a visa and a right to live in Dubai for themselves, with other family members being excluded.

Impacted Visa Categories

According to The Gulf Times, the following professions will be impacted by the relaxation of the Dubai expat sponsorship laws.

  • Cooks (Arabic cuisine cook, continental cuisine cook, falafel maker, sweets maker, pastry maker, assistant cook)
  • Certain skilled categories like welder, blacksmith, goldsmith, plumber, tile worker, painter (automobile painter), engine worker, assistant mechanic
  • Laundry worker, car washer, grave digger, grocer, salesman, waiters, office boys, butcher
  • Makeup artist, hairdresser, barber, tailor, decoration jobs
  • Drivers (pick up driver and private drivers)
  • Trainers like falcon trainer and private tutor.
  • Guards
  • Laborer (construction workers)

A number of other professions are also included in the new sponsorship rules.

Not All Good News

Unfortunately the good news isn’t quite enough for some expats living in Dubai. One mother told the Gulf News of the plight she is facing in trying to raise the required Dh5,000 necessary to sponsor her son. Umm Ali, whose son is currently unable to attend school in the region because she has previously been unable to sponsor him, told the newspaper that the change in rules wouldn’t be enough for her because she in unable to afford the required deposit of Dh5,000. Talking to the newspaper she said:

"I just joined my work six months ago and I am working hard to support my little son but I cannot afford the deposit now.

"My 7-year-old son Ali Mohammad Awad who was born here is not going to school because he does not have residence visa. My heart breaks when my son asks me every day why he is not allowed to go to school. I tell him that his passport is not ready yet.”

Read the full article: http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/visa/mother-rues-failure-to-educate-son-for-want-of-visa-deposit-1.688475

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