How to sponsor a son over the age of 18 under new UAE visa rules

Unmarried daughters and disabled children are granted residency permits regardless of age

Arab Youth - Group of middle eastern male friends hanging out in Dubai, UAE.
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Latest: UAE authorities say visa scheme to begin on October 3

New visa rules coming into force in October will allow parents living in the UAE to sponsor their sons at university in the Emirates up to the age of 25.

Previously, parents could sponsor their sons up to the age of 18 and then renew the visa for another three years, provided their sons were studying at a university.

The new rules offer huge relief to parents who have struggled to pay for university visa sponsorship in the UAE. Those studying abroad would come back on visit visas to see their families living in the UAE.

Unmarried daughters and disabled children are granted a residency permit regardless of their age, according to the new rules.

The rule changes were approved by the Cabinet in April, as per decision number no. 65 for 2022.

Validity of family residence visa

In all cases, the duration of residency for the son or daughter should be the same duration as their parents' residency permit, which can be for two or three years.

The residency holder — in this instance the parents — should provide a home for the children to sponsor them. The residency permit application should be accompanied by an attested tenancy contract and salary certificate, as per Article 55 of the executive regulation list.

The sponsor should also provide a document to prove the parent-son relationship, such as an attested birth certificate.

According to the executive regulations list regarding Entry and Residence of Foreigners, the child's residency visa may become invalid if the child remains outside the UAE for more than 180 days.

The children's residency permits are linked to the permit of the sponsoring expatriate employee. If the sponsoring parent's visa is cancelled, it requires the cancellation of the visas of the dependants.

Dependants are granted a 30-day grace period from the date of expiry or cancellation of their visa to obtain a new residence permit. If the employee fails to renew or cancel the visa of his dependants, the dependants would be deemed illegal residents and could be liable to pay a fine.

Overstay fines

As per the UAE immigration's fines system, the penalty to stay on after the expiration of the grace period is Dh125 for the first day and Dh25 for each subsequent day.

If the dependant's overstay is more than six months, then the fine will be Dh50 per day and Dh100 per day after one year of overstaying.

How to apply

The sponsor can apply online to get his/her child's residency on the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai website or through Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security for all other emirates.

Applicants also can visit the nearest Amer centre or typing centres to apply for a residence permit for their children.

List of documents required

Sponsor Emirates ID (Original).

Sponsor passport & residence visa page (at least minimum 6 months’ validity).

Valid Salary Certificate.

Valid Labour Contract.

Registered Tenancy contract or Ejari.

Recent Electricity Bill if house owned by a sponsor (Not rented).

Passport copies (colour) of son and one photo with white background. Passport validity should be a minimum of six months.

Emirates ID application form at the time of visa stamping or renewal

Medical test for children above the age of 18

Health insurance

Sponsor account IBAN number

For enquires, call an Amer centre on the toll free number 8005 111 from inside the UAE or +97143139999 from outside the UAE, and requests can be emailed to

Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security can be reached by calling 600522222 or email

Updated: June 21, 2023, 10:57 AM