Stiff criterion: Expats hoping to get a residence visa for their parents must furnish proof that their monthly salary is not less than Dh20,000. Picture for illustrative purpose only. Image Credit: GN Archives

Dubai: Expatriates earning less than Dh20,000 salary will not be able to sponsor their parents on residence visas in the UAE, XPRESS can reveal.

The new ruling requires applicants to provide evidence of either having a minumum salary of Dh20,000 or a monthly pay of Dh19,000 plus a two-bedroom accommodation. The development has left many long-term residents here at their wits’ end.

“How many of us earn that kind of money to be able to qualify under the new rules,” said Jayvee Tawano, a Filipino executive in the hospitality industry who earns Dh9,000 per month.

He says the new rule has scuppered his plans to bring his wife’s widowed mother permanently to the UAE.

Earlier rules

According to earlier rules (in place until a few weeks ago), someone able to provide proof of a monthly salary of Dh10,000 or Dh9,000 per month plus accommodation should have been able to sponsor either set of parents on a permanent basis

“I don’t understand the logic behind this, but it’s going to hurt me because I do not meet the new criteria even though my wife and I together earn Dh25,000,” said 33-year-old Gourav Ghosh. He had brought his mother on a three-month visit visa in September, hoping to get her a residence visa following his father’s sudden demise.

“I am not sure if I can keep her here any longer. She can’t live by herself in India because there’s no one to take care of her,” said the university lecturer from Kolkata, whose take-home package is around Dh15,000 per month.

The minimum salary seems to be the only clause updated by the Ministry of Interior’s General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in the new list of pre-requisites for those seeking to obtain long-term stay for their parents under ‘Humanitarian Cases’.

A Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD) official confirmed this to XPRESS. At the start of the year, the requirement was Dh7,000 or Dh6,000 plus accommodation.

“I earn Dh7,000. Under the earlier rules existed I’d have been able to sponsor my father, but not anymore,” said Pakistani bank employee Mohammed Sadiq.

Residents wanting to sponsor their parents must also furnish proof that they are living in a an apartment that has a minumum of two bedrooms.

The tenancy contract should be officially attested. Similarly, the labour contract bearing proof of salary must be attested by the Ministry of Labour.

An applicant must also pay a deposit of Dh2,000 per parent after seeking approval for sponsorship from the special committee that handles such cases.

As in the past, expats must also provide documents to prove that their parents are entirely dependent on them and that there is no one to take care of them back home.

This has to be certified by a letter from the embassy or consulate of the applicant’s home country.

It’s not immediately clear how the new rule will impact expats whose parents are already in the UAE on residence visas.

No comment was available from DNRD.