Filipinos in the UAE and their families back home have warmly welcomed the new law, which stipulates income – not profession – as the main factor for sponsoring a family.
As per the recent rule change by the Federal Authority for Identity and Emiratisation, posted in government.ae, the official portal of the UAE government, expats earning AED4,000 without accommodation or AED3,000 with company-provided accommodation can sponsor their family in the UAE.
“The UAE government amended its previous provision under which only listed professions could apply for family sponsorship visa. Now, a foreign worker can bring over his family members to the UAE and sponsor their residence visas regardless of his profession as long as he maintains the ‘income criteria’ i. e. the minimum wage requirement, which is a minimum salary of AED 4,000 or AED 3,000 plus accommodation,” shows a post from government.ae.
“Expatriates will no longer be hampered by their professional titles to sponsor dependents with the new family sponsorship policy for UAE expats,” reports WAM, the official news agency of the UAE.
“In effect, officials at FAIE have changed the principle that income, not professional category, now determines the rules over bringing one’s family to live with them. And it’s going to change the lives of many in very positive ways,” it added.
Expression of gratitude
In a media statement, the Philippine Embassy in the UAE welcomes the announcement made on July 14 by the ICA adopting UAE Cabinet Resolution No. 30 for 2019 issued in March where skilled workers can now bring their family based on income rather than a job title.
“We agree with the UAE that the decision will enhance family stability of foreign workers and social cohesion,” embassy said in a statement.
Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes also emphasized that the policy would allow more Filipinos to be reunited again with their families in the Philippines.
“It can boost and can strengthen the ties among family members. It’s a social benefit for us, Filipinos,” Cortes said.
Asked about the ties that bond the Philippines and the UAE, Consul also said that it’s getting stronger and better.
“It’s robust healthy, the social connection between UAE and the rest of foreign communities here are so vivid, and very welcoming with each other,”
“There’s a sense of family felt between the Philippines and the rest of the communities here in the UAE,” Cortes added.
Bringing the UAE experience
It was in 2013 when Seigfred Abad, 32 brought his child and his mother to UAE. Back then, it was hard for him to process all the documents needed. He works in UAE as an assistant resident civil engineer for 11 years.
“It was hard before especially if you’re preparing for your family member because they are looking for tenancy contract,” he said. “My nanny, along with my sister-in-law went first to Singapore before forwarding to UAE using visit visa,” Seigfred added.
Seigfred also explained the cycle of having a visit visa, from entering and exiting the country again just to renew the visa, which was a bit difficult, until he processed the application for residency.
Asked about his reactions, Seigfred got excited when he learned about the new policy for expats.
“That would be great because they will base it on the income you have and not on the kind of profession. It will give ordinary expats the chance to bring their loved ones here since not everyone can afford,”
In April next year, he is planning to bring his two children here in Dubai for a vacation.
Also, 30 years old Patrick Bruce Morales from Manila already brought his relatives in the UAE. He is a physiotherapist and working for three years. Early this year, he brought his younger brother and cousin in
For him, he didn’t experience any hassle during the process. He had a travel agency who helped him processing travel papers including the issuance of tourist visa. And when he learned about the new policy, he’s
“I’m happy to know that we can now bring our family members based on our income here. I find it fair and just for everyone,” he said.
“We can easily support our family members getting their visas, and have the chance to be with them whenever we want. They would also have the chance to experience and see the beauty of UAE,” Patrick claimed.
Patrick is also planning to bring his relatives this coming winter season.
Lawyer Barney Almazar, director at the corporate-commercial department of Gulf Law in the Middle East, the Philippines, and the United Kingdom earlier said that these new measures “relaxes the requirements ensuring” that a person sponsoring his loved ones can shoulder the necessary cost of living expenses “without compromising the interests of the state.
“To sponsor their family, residence visa is needed for application,” Atty. Almazar explained.
The decision had earlier adopted by the UAE cabinet amending the provisions of the resolution especially on sponsoring foreign workers to their families in the UAE.
In a statement made by the General Secretariat of the cabinet, the provisions indicate the income as a major requirement for sponsoring family members, opposing the previous listed “professions” allowing workers to sponsor their families.
“The decision aims at enhancing family stability of foreign workers and social cohesion, as well as attracting highly skilled workers while maintaining a healthy balance between professional and personal life,” according to the statement.
“To qualify for an employment visa under the category of a manager, the candidate must present his authenticated diploma relevant to his designation. It is not uncommon that skilled workers, having years of experience, have been promoted to higher salary grades but cannot obtain a managerial position stamped on their visas due to lack of an educational degree,”
“Now, they can sponsor their families as they can demonstrate their ability to support their dependents based on their income,” Almazar claimed.