How Single Mothers Can Sponsor Her Child's Visa in Dubai: An Expat Guide
Here's what the UAE law says about residency visas for children sponsored by single or unmarried moms
3 August 2021
Moving to the UAE with your family?
With its high standards of living, zero income tax, and excellent career and education opportunities, the UAE has long been an attractive place for expatriates with children.
If you are bringing your children with you to the country, each child will need to have a dependent UAE residency visa and Emirates ID.
So who qualifies as a sponsor for dependent visas in the UAE, and what does this visa allow your children to do while living here? In this expat guide, we will explain who can apply for a residency visa for their child, and what the application process involves.
We cover the eligibility criteria, what documents you'll need, and the costs to expect for unmarried and single mothers to sponsor their child in the UAE.
Can single moms sponsor their children in the UAE?
Simply put: A single/unmarried or divorced mother can sponsor her child's UAE residence visa.
For a lot of expats moving to and living in the UAE, single parents aren’t a taboo subject. It's not uncommon to see single moms or one married parent living here with their child, while the other parent is in another country.
So if you're asking yourself, "can a single mother sponsor her children's visas in the UAE?", the answer is yes.
Whether you're an employee in the private or public sector, or a business owner in one of the UAE's free zones, you can sponsor your child's residence visa.
The requirements and process will slightly differ depending on whether you are married, divorced, or single, and your country of residency.
In cases of separated parents, divorced moms will also need to provide additional documents such as the divorce certificate and/or custody certificate, on top of the other requirements for the mom sponsoring a child in the UAE.
Do I need to be of a certain profession to sponsor my kids?
As of March 2019, an expat mother's profession is no longer a legal condition to be able to sponsor her children's residency visas.
You will need to meet the UAE's minimum wage criteria instead, which is a salary of at least AED 3,500 with accommodation provided by the employer, or at least AED 4,000 salary without accommodation.
Requirements to sponsor your child's visa as a mother
So how can mothers sponsor their child's residence visa in the UAE?
You've come to the right guide. Here are some of the documents needed for moms sponsoring their children in the UAE.
- Salary certificate (if the parent works in a UAE free-zone or public sector role), or a labour contract (if the parent works in the private sector)
- No-objection letter from the husband (for married moms who live away from their spouse while in the UAE)
- If married, a marriage certificate of the sponsor (must be attested by UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation)
- Copy of Ejari Tenancy contract or proof of property ownership
- The sponsoring parent's original Emirates ID
- Passport copies of the sponsor and child
- IBAN number
- Passport sized photo of the sponsored child, on a white background
- Birth certificate of the child (must be attested by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs or equivalent in one's home country)
If the sponsor is not a doctor, nurse, engineer, or teacher, she must provide an original bank statement for the last three years.
What about divorced moms?
If you're a divorcee in the UAE, you will also need to meet the following requirements to sponsor your child's residency visa:
- Certificate of divorce or separation.
- Divorce judgement that confirms the mom's custody of children (must be attested by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and translated to Arabic).
- Salary of at least AED 3,500 with accommodation provided by the employer, or at least AED 4,000 salary without accommodation.
- In some cases, a no-objection letter from the ex-husband.
We recommend consulting with your embassy or consulate in the UAE for any other country-specific requirements.
How much does it cost to sponsor your child's residency visa as a single mom?
Moms interested in sponsoring their child's visa in the UAE will have to pay fees and other additional costs.
Here's a breakdown of the expected costs to sponsor a child's visa in Dubai and the UAE:
- Entry permit into the UAE (if the child is outside of the country) - around AED 490.
- If the child is within the UAE, the entry permit will be AED 1,150. You can also apply for your child's in-country change of status, which will cost an additional AED 650.
- Opening or registering a new file - usually AED 255.
- Medical fitness test for dependents above 18 years old - usually AED 320.
- Emirates ID application. The Emirates ID costs AED 100 per year of validity.
- Visa stamping, which is AED 465.
The sponsor is also responsible for their family's health insurance in the UAE. Insurance in the UAE usually starts from AED 300 to AED 5,000 annually per person, and can go up to the tens of thousands for premium insurance.
How can single moms in the UAE apply for their child's visa?
Your family must enter the UAE on a tourist or visit visa. The mom must already be a UAE resident with a valid Emirates ID.
After your dependents arrive in the UAE, you have 60 days to apply for your child's residence visa and change their status from an entry permit holder to a residence visa holder.
Family members are usually issued one, two, or three-year visas depending on the nature of the sponsor's work, labour contract, and her capacity as an employee or employer.
Editor's note: The sponsorship conditions may change from time to time, so we advice checking with the Dubai GDRFA or the UAE Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship on the requirements and application process.