Abu Dhabi: The UAE’s new rule to issue residency visas for dependents over the age of 18 without the need for a security deposit has been widely welcomed by families who are set to benefit from the move. The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship on Wednesday announced that UAE residents can now renew the residency visas of their children who are over the age of 18, whether they are secondary school or university graduates inside the country or the out, for up to two consecutive years.
No more deposit for sons
The authority said that earlier security deposits of Dh5,000 were no longer necessary and that residents could now apply under the general category (as is the case for depedent unmarried daughter/s and sons younger than 18).
Sharjah resident Sanath Santhosh was one of the first beneficiaries of the new visa rule.
Parents of the Indian boy, who just completed grade 12, said they were not sure if they would get his visa approved without a security deposit when they applied a couple of days ago.
“We were glad to read the news last night on the Gulf News website,” said the boy’s father Santhosh Prabhakar.
“We were still not sure if Sanath’s visas would be considered under this new rule as we had already applied. But around 12.30pm, we got the message saying that his visa had been approved and the security deposit wasn’t required. His grandmother is very happy that Sanath can come anytime without any visit visa hassles after he goes to India for higher studies.”
Santhosh said the rule has come at a crucial time for thousands of students like his son who have already left schools and are about to join university.
“They will get more time to stay back here with families and select their higher education courses,” he said.
One year renewable for another year
Under the new rules, parents can get a residence permit for one year for their dependents children in the UAE and later get it renewed for an additional year.
This benefit can be availed from the date of completing secondary education or once they leave university or reach the age of 18.
All dependent children who have a secondary school education certificate from the UAE or the outside the UAE, are eligible to apply.
For Navaneeth Venu, who is turning 18 on June 21, the news was an early birthday gift.
“He has already got admission for computer engineering in a college near our house back home. This is really happy news on the eve of his birthday,” said his father Venugopal V.G.
Ambujam Satheesh, mother of two boys, said the news offered great relief to parents like her as Dh5,000 would be an additional expense once their sons went for higher education.
“We have been taking visit visas for our first son Nrupan, who is doing engineering now. Our second son Dhruvan is turning 18 this September. His visa renewal was a concern for us. I was talking about it to my husband just the other day. This is a great help from the UAE authorities. We are really thankful to the government for such a great initiative. I think this will encourage many parents to retain their children for higher education here.”
Residents can submit the supporting documents, which include attaching the certificate of secondary education or graduation certificate or the information from the university where the dependent studied, whether inside or outside the UAE. It must be duly certified for those who completed their secondary or university courses, and attested as per regular attestation requirements in the UAE.
Where to apply
Applicants can apply normally through all the residency and naturalisation offices or other government approved outlets against a fee of Dh100 for residency permit or its renewal for one year each.
Visa fees waived for under-18 tourists
Tourists from all over the world will be offered free visit visas for their accompanying children below the age of 18 until September, the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship announced on Wednesday. The move is to encourage summer tourism and will run from July 15 to September 15 every year.
The authority said the children had to be accompanied by adults entering under tourist visas, and that the fee would be waived whether it was a short or a long-term visa.