Picture used for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Gulf News

Dubai: If you are on a family residence visa in the UAE, how can you transfer the visa from one sponsor to another? Dubai’s General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) posted on its social media account the process that needs to be followed for transferring the residence permit for a family of a sponsor.

With smart services being offered by UAE government entities, this process can be completed online as well as through immigration offices across the country. So, if you are looking to transfer your family visa to a new sponsor, here is all you need to know.

When you may need the service

Gulf News spoke to experts in the UAE on immigration procedures to find out the situations in which a UAE resident might need to change the sponsor of their residence visa.

According to Sirajudeen Ummer, a Public Relations Officer with Dubai-based First Gate Business Services, changing the sponsor on a family visa may be necessary in a number of situations.

“If a woman is on her father’s visa and gets married, she may need to move to her husband’s visa. Also, if a man faces a job loss, and his children are on his visa, the man’s work visa can’t be cancelled until a visa cancellation is done for his dependents. In such a situation, if the man’s wife is working and eligible to sponsor the children, the children’s visa first needs to be transferred to their mother’s sponsorship. Once this is done, the man’s employment visa can be sent for cancellation,” Ummer said.

Required documents

These are the documents that need to be submitted to apply for the change in sponsorship of a family visa:

• A copy of the sponsor’s tenancy contract or real estate ownership deed.

• Recent personal photo with a white background of the person being sponsored.

• Emirates ID application form.

• Sponsorship transfer request.

• Medical fitness certificate.

• Passport copy of the person being sponsored.

• A copy of the employment contract of the new sponsor.

You can either complete the process online, through the GDRFA website – smart.gdrfa.gov.ae – or by visiting an Amer centre.

If you are completing the process online, follow these steps:

1. Submit the required documents

2. Check if the documents have been correctly uploaded.

3. Pay the fees

4. Send the request

5. Receive a text message with the request status.

Step 1: Fill in the application form and apply for approval

You would first need to fill in the application form, which can be found online here: https://gdrfad.gov.ae/en/new-services?id=CS04.SUB05.SEG03 or by visiting an Amer centre https://gdrfad.gov.ae/en/customer-happiness-centers.

The application will then be submitted to GDRFA. Once the authority approves the application request, you can move to the second step.

If you have any questions related to Amer services, you can call the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs on 8005111

According to Moosa Bin Ali Dayani, a public relations manager based in Dubai, in this transfer of visa service, applicants do not need to pay a change of status fee.

“The application simply needs to be sent to GDRFA for approval. Once the approval comes, the visa will be issued under the new sponsor’s name,” he said.

Step 2: Apply for medical fitness test

Once you receive the approval for the transfer of sponsorship, you can then take the documents to the Authority (DHA) medical fitness centre is closest to your home for the medical fitness test.

Important note: Some Dubai Health Authority medical fitness centres are open for longer hours. Find out which service centre would be most convenient for you to visit. You can find a list of the medical fitness centres here.


Regular application - Dh320 (where the medical test results come within five working days)

Urgent – Dh410 (where the medical test results come within 48 hours)

VIP - Dh750 (where the medical test results come within four hours)

Once the medical test results are in, you will be notified via email on your registered email address.

For any medical test related queries, you can call the Dubai Health Authority on 800 342

Step 3: Get the Emirates ID

Take the Emirates ID application, which was typed at the Amer centre, to a Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship centre. A list of all the centres is provided here

Take the following documents with you:

• Emirates ID application of the family members

• Your original Emirates ID

• Photograph of your family members


Dh270 for two year

Dh370 for three years

Step 4: Get the health insurance

Health insurance is mandatory in Dubai and family members need to get at least a basic health cover – referred to in Dubai as the Essential Benefits Plan. To know more about how to get your health insurance, read our detailed report here

Step 5: Get the visa stamped

The final step is to get your visa stamped on the passport. For it, you will need to visit the Amer centre with the following documents:

• Medical fitness report

• Emirates ID application

• Original passport of the family members

• Health insurance papers

• Your (sponsor’s) original Emirates ID


• Regular - Dh460 (You will get the passport with the stamped visa in three to four working days)

• Urgent - Dh560 (Same day stamping, but the sponsor will need to go to the Immigration service)