Abu Dhabi: The new visa fee structure that took effect on August 1 has left the Dh5,000 annual housemaid sponsorship fee unchanged, officials confirmed.
Authorities said there is no refund of the fee, which has been the case for a number of years.
Arranging for a housemaid’s sponsorship is a two-step procedure. First an entry permit/employment visa is required for the maid to enter the UAE. Then a resident needs to apply for a residence visa for the maid. The residency department will issue a residence visa and employment contract for the maid.
Fees include Dh200-Dh250 for the entry permit/employment visa, Dh200-Dh250 for a one-year residence visa, a Dh5,000 sponsorship fee for each year the maid lives in the country, and a Dh2,000 deposit that is refunded when the visa is cancelled and the maid leaves the country.
Under the new visa fee system, the entry permit or its renewal for domestic workers sponsored by Emiratis or GCC citizens will cost Dh150 per year, while the charge for workers sponsored by foreigners will be Dh200. The visa for a domestic helper sponsored by an investor or a partner will cost Dh250.
UAE residents can sponsor a housemaid if they have a minimum monthly salary of Dh6,000, or Dh5,000 plus company-provided accommodation, are married and have immediate family members under their sponsorship.
The sponsor must choose a maid through a recruitment agency, and must then pick up the application form for an entry permit for domestic workers from any typing office and submit it to the residency department.
The entry visa should then be presented to the recruitment agency so that the maid can travel to the UAE. The sponsor must then apply for a residence visa within 60 days of the maid’s arrival.
Maids from Ethiopia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka are required to take a medical fitness test in their home countries before applying for the visa. Others can take the medical fitness tests at a governmental hospital in the UAE.
Maids must also have health insurance before they are granted a visa. Insurance companies offer a basic package for about Dh700 a year.
Many countries such as the Philippines, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have set minimum wage benchmarks for housemaids from their countries working abroad. The minimum salary for maids from Philippines is Dh1,400, India Dh1,100, Sri Lanka Dh825 and Indonesia Dh800.