The newly adopted decision aims to help women in these circumstances to adjust
19 June 2018| Last updated on 31 March 2019
A new year-long UAE residency visa for widowed and divorced women, and their children, has been approved in a UAE Cabinet meeting this week.
The UAE Cabinet has adopted the decision to extend the visa of widowed or divorced women residing in the UAE and their children for one year from the date of the divorce or the death of the spouse, as part of the latest legislative facilitations approved by the Cabinet.
The new year-long permit, applies only to women and children on their dependent's visa residing in the country.
Women, and their children if any, will be able to continue living in the UAE without the need for a sponsor. According to states news agency, WAM, it aims to give women the opportunity to adjust their social and economic status.
Of course, this new change from the UAE will no doubt be a welcomed one - offering relief to women and families who have been sadly affected by death or divorce living as expats in the country... Away from their native countries.
When will the new one-year UAE visa be available?
The resolution will be effective by the end of 2018, with officials hoping to implement the new visas by the fourth quarter of the year.
Approving this one-year permit for women and children comes as part of the UAE government's decisions to help cater for the large expatriate populations living in the country.
As per WAM's announcement, the decision takes into consideration the humanitarian conditions of widows and divorcees, and facilitates their stay in the country after the loss of the head of the family. It also aims to maintain family stability and social cohesion, and affirms the UAE’s position as a welcoming country to all nationalities in line with its history and values of extending a helping hand.
"The head of the family" in the UAE
It is common knowledge that the UAE is a country where its traditions and customs thrive on family values. The significance of the family plays a core role in preserving the identity and culture of the country's society.
Expatriate women moving to the country to support their spouse, who is 'the head of the household', is an extremely common trend in the UAE's expatriate population - and has been for many, many years.
Undeniably these women have played an important role in their households in supporting their husband's, raising their children and maintaining the family home. As a result, it is commonly assumed that women and mothers are primarily, if not all, sponsored by their husbands in the UAE.
Nonetheless, arguably, it is becoming more apparent that expatriate women living in the UAE are equal to their spouses career-wise, if not the bread-winner themselves.
There's no denying that the new resolution approved by the UAE's Cabinet is a fantastic change in visa regulations; but it does raise the question, what about widowed or divorced men sponsored on their wives visa? It may be a few, agreed, but as the UAE's demographic of expatriate women continues to change it won't be impossible.
These circumstances and how, if any, visas will change to acknowledge these potential situations are still unclear. We only hope, that as part of the many new visa laws and changes the UAE are introducing, that more resolutions will come to help support all expatriates from all walks of life living in the UAE.