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Current Affairs

UAE scraps profession criteria for expats to sponsor family

Date: 02 April 2019 Tags: International Events

United Arab Emirates (UAE) Cabinet has approved new residency rule (criteria) for expats under which foreign workers will now be able to sponsor their family members based on certain income criteria. Earlier foreign workers were allowed to sponsor family members based on only criteria of profession.

Significance of new criteria

  • It is aimed at enhancing family stability of foreign workers and social cohesion, as well as attracting highly skilled workers while maintaining healthy balance between professional and personal lives. It also reaffirms UAE's position "as a hub for talents and land of opportunities.
  • It will benefit mainly Indians as they constitute largest part of population of the gulf country. There are appproximately 3.3 million non-resident Indians living in UAE, accounting for about 30% of the total population of UAE.

Old Criteria

  • Expatriates were able to sponsor their family members previously only if they were listed in certain 'professions'.
  • Male expats were able to sponsor their immediate family members such as wife and children if he earns monthly salary of Dh 4,000 (approximately Rs 75,000) or Dh 3,000 (Rs 56,000) plus accommodation provided by his company.
  • He was eligible to sponsor his family if he was employed in certain categories. For example, domestic helpers and certain other categories are not entitled to sponsor their families irrespective of their monthly income.
  • Similarly, female resident was able to sponsor her family only if she was employed as teacher, engineer or health professional and earned Dh 4,000 per month.
  • If she worked in any other sector that above, she was needed to have minimum monthly salary of Dh 10,000 (Rs 1.88 lakhs) and a special approval from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs.