'Can a woman sponsor her husband in Dubai?'

The Egyptian is looking for work in the emirate and wants to bring her husband over from Cairo

A general view of the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, and the Dubai skyline from the Gevora Hotel, currently the world's tallest hotel, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates June 23, 2019. Picture taken June 23, 2019. REUTERS/Christopher Pike
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I am from Egypt and looking for employment in Dubai. I work in the communications/content creation field. How can I sponsor my husband who's based in Cairo and is also an Egyptian citizen?  MM, Dubai

While it is more common for a man to sponsor his wife, it is also possible for a woman to sponsor her husband and children, if there are any, in Dubai. The process is easiest if a woman is a teacher, lawyer, engineer or in the medical profession. For other occupations, there is a general requirement that a woman earns a monthly salary of at least Dh10,000 or more. Each case is subject to approval by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigner Affairs but few cases are denied.

In MM's situation, her husband will need to enter the UAE on a tourist visa and once her residency visa has been issued, she can make an application on behalf of her husband.

Note that under current rules, although a wife may take up employment when sponsored by her husband, this is not permitted the other way around. Any man who is in employment must be sponsored directly by his employer. If he is in business, he must have his own trade licence.

I am a US citizen and in the past I lived and worked in Abu Dhabi as a staff nurse. Both times, I had a residency visa. Initially, I was in the emirate for a year, from September 2014 to September 2015. The second time, I left my position in July 2016 after only 40 days because of family reasons. Would this prevent me from visiting the UAE as a tourist or will there be any repercussions?  PM, USA

PM may be marked as an absconder if he left after a visa was issued but without notice. Nurses are usually employed on fixed-term contracts, so if this is the case it is highly likely he was given an employment ban, whether he is aware of this or not. This is usually the case when someone breaks the terms of the contract of employment. To have the visa cancelled, the employer has to file an absconding case and then replace the employee or they may not get back the refundable bank guarantee that is paid when taking on the original employee. Most employers will register an absconder, as there are costs to their business if they do not take this course of action.

When someone is legally marked as an absconder they are "blacklisted" and banned from entering the UAE for at least a year in accordance with Article 128 of UAE Labour Law which states: “Should the non-national worker leave work without a valid cause prior to the end of the contract with definite term, he may not get another employment even with the permission of the employer for a year from the date of abandonment of the work.

No employer may knowingly recruit the worker or retain in his service during such period.” As PM left in September 2015, I expect any ban to have expired by now. Assuming his employer cancelled his visa properly, as visas do not expire but must be formally cancelled, there should be nothing in the immigration system preventing him from entering the UAE as a tourist and US nationals are granted visas on arrival.

If PM has any concerns, he can contact the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship; further details can be found on the website.  www.adnrd.ae.

I am a Pakistani passport holder, work in Abu Dhabi and have a UAE residency visa. I am on leave for three weeks in Pakistan and I want to renew my passport while I am here as it is easier than doing this in Abu Dhabi. Will this be an issue when I return to the UAE? Can I come back in with my old cancelled passport that has my residency visa in it even if I have a new one? FD, Pakistan

It is not unusual for UAE residents to have their current residency visa in a passport that has expired. In this case, the individual must travel with both passports to ensure officials can see they have a current passport, the legal travel document and a current residency visa. Keep the two passports together, preferably joined by an elastic band, and do not staple them. It is possible to transfer a visa to another passport but this has a cost and is not necessary. When you get your visa renewed, it will be put in the current passport.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser and senior partner with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with over 25 years’ experience. Contact her at keren@holbornassets.com. Follow her on Twitter at @FinancialUAE

The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only