How to get a spouse visa in the UAE

Many foreign nationals work and live in the United Arab Emirates. They often have to leave their spouses and children in their home country to begin this part of their career. This separation can lead to loneliness, stress, and even depression.

The UAE is family-oriented and does its best to help keep families together. The UAE government encourages expat residents to bring their families (including parents) to the UAE to live with them. 

If you want to get resident visas for your spouse and children, read our most recent guide to find out the requirements and the costs involved. In this article, we will explore the following topics:

  • Spouse visa requirements for expatriates
  • How to sponsor your wife and children
  • Documents required to sponsor wife and children
  • How to sponsor your parents in the UAE
  • How can a woman sponsor her family in the UAE?
  • Renewal of spouse visa
  • Why choose SPC Free Zone?

Spouse visa requirements for expatriates

Before you can sponsor your spouse for a visa, you must understand the eligibility requirements for their residence visa in the UAE.

  • Employers and employees with valid residence visas in the Dubai, UAE may sponsor their relatives to join them in the country.
  • Salaries for male expats should be at least AED 3,000 to AED 4,000 per month and have accommodation available.
  • All sponsored family members over 18 years must undergo and pass a medical fitness examination at one of the UAE’s officially recognised medical facilities.

All terms are subject to periodic review and revision. You should contact the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) or the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship if you have any questions.

How to sponsor your wife and children

Assuming you meet the requirements of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, obtaining a residency visa for your spouse and children is simple and affordable. 

You must provide an official marriage certificate written in Arabic. If you do not have one, you can get it translated into Arabic and attested at any recognized typing center.

If you are a foreign Muslim resident with two wives, you can sponsor both if you satisfy all the requirements outlined by the GDRFA.

You can sponsor your daughters only if they are unmarried. For your sons, you can only sponsor them up to the age of 18. You can continue to sponsor them until they turn 21 only if they continue their education either in the UAE or abroad. However, they must visit the UAE at least once every six months for their residency visa to remain valid. This residence visa is issued annually and is renewable for the duration of the student’s studies.

This visa does not need a financial guarantee from the parents. The initial application and subsequent renewal fees for the permit are AED 100. Parents must provide official transcripts from accredited colleges or institutions to apply for this visa.

Under GDRFA, you may sponsor your stepchildren provided you have a signed no-objection certificate from the child’s biological parents and a deposit for each stepchild. Their residency permits will be valid for one year and renewed yearly.

Documents required to sponsor wife and children

You will need to submit a selection of documents on their behalf, including:

  • Online application or through a registered typing office in the UAE.
  • Passport copies of the spouse and children.
  • Passport-size photographs of spouse and children.
  • Medical clearance certificate for the spouse and children above 18.
  • Copy of the sponsor’s employment contract or company contract. This certificate must be in English and Arabic.
  • Bank statement for last three months (with salary transaction).
  • A marriage certificate attested in the home country and by MOFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
  • Attested tenancy contract.
  • Latest utility bill (electricity, water, etc.).

How to sponsor your parents in the UAE

As an expatriate employee, you can sponsor your parents to stay in the country for a year. You will need to put down a deposit as a guarantee for each parent, as required by the appropriate immigration authority.

You cannot sponsor just one parent; you must sponsor both your parents. You must also prove that you are their primary support and that there is no way to help them back in their home country. If you are sponsoring only one parent, you must provide a valid reason, such as a death certificate or divorce, along with formal documentation as proof.

You must also earn the stipulated minimum salary per that emirate’s immigration authority to sponsor your parents. According to the Amer website, to sponsor parents for a visa via the Department of Naturalisation and Residency Dubai (DNRD) in Dubai, you must have a minimum annual income of AED 20,000. 

Additionally, you must get a medical insurance policy for each parent that meets the minimum level of cover required, and you must renew the policy yearly.

How can a woman sponsor her family in the UAE?

In Abu Dhabi, a woman may sponsor her husband and children if she is an engineer, teacher, doctor, nurse, or other medical professional with a monthly income of at least AED 10,000 or AED 8,000 plus housing. She must provide further paperwork as required by the relevant authorities.

In Dubai, if a woman is not working in one of these fields, she may still be able to sponsor her family if her monthly salary is more than AED 10,000 and she gets special permission from the DNRD.

Single mothers may sponsor their children. They will need to provide a signed no-objection certificate from the child’s biological father (if alive) and make the required deposit amount for each child. 

Renewal of spouse visa

The visa validity term varies depending on the sponsor and the sponsored individual. The valid length of time might range from one to three years. 

When a dependent’s visa expires or is canceled, you have 30 days to apply for a new residence permit. The employee’s dependents may be considered unlawful residents and subject to a fine if the employee fails to renew or cancel their visas on time. The terms for a visa renewal are the same as those for a new visa.

Why choose SPC Free Zone?

Conveniently located in the middle of Sharjah, the SPC Free Zone is a well-renowned free zone. Established in 2017, it provides a variety of state-of-the-art infrastructural amenities, including coworking spaces, office space, warehouses, and retail stores, all within a regulatory framework that is conducive to business.

SPC Free Zone promotes entrepreneurship and offers business support services, including 100% foreign ownership with zero paid-up capital to companies to help them grow and become economically contributing entities. 

Whether you need an e-commerce licence in UAE or a general trading licence, we offer more than 1,500 commercial activities. Additionally, you can apply for a dual-licensing option that provides mainland and free zone on the same licence and up to 20 visas under that licence. Furthermore, the on-site immigration services allow you to get your licence in under two hours.

Contact SPC Free Zone for help with your business setup in the UAE today!


The information contained in this website is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.

You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content in this website without seeking independent legal or other appropriate advice. The content of this website contains general information and may not reflect current legal developments or address your situation. SPC Free Zone disclaims any and all liability for actions which you take or fail to take based on any of the content contained in this website.

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