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Abu Dhabi: Men living in the UAE on their wives’ visas are now eligible to obtain work permits to join private businesses, a senior official at the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation told Gulf News on Sunday.

The official was answering a query on whether Saturday’s announcement of work permits being issued for men on family sponsorships included spouses as well.

Dr. Omar Al Nuaimi, Assistant Under-Secretary for Communication and International Relations at the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, said: “Now, the pool of workers available for businesses to recruit has been expanded to include men sponsored by their wives, women sponsored by husbands or parents, sons and daughters, aged 18 and above, on their family’s residence visas.”

He said on Saturday, the ministry began issuing work permits for the recruitment of eligible male workers sponsored by their families.

The move is in line with a resolution issued recently by Nasser bin Thani Al Hameli, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, regarding regulations on granting of work permits.

Previously, these permits were exclusively issued to women.

Al Suwaidi said the resolution aims to provide stability to families by enabling them to increase their source of monthly income.

“Granting work permits to men and women sponsored by their families inside the country will help firms meet their demand for jobs from residents and therefore reduce operational costs in light of the recent Cabinet Resolution to reduce the fees of these two groups,” Al Suwaidi said.

According to the resolution, the new fee for a two-year work permit for a skilled or limited skilled worker is Dh300 for all categories of businesses under the ministry’s group classification.

The previous fee was in the range of Dh300 and Dh5,000, according to the firm category and skills of workers.

Al Suwaidi affirmed that these fees would be paid by the employer.

In early July, the MOHRE had reduced the fees by 50 per cent and up to 94 per cent, of 145 services and transactions.

The UAE expat community has welcomed the move saying it would tap into a large pool of talent and would encourage more professional women to come forward to take up jobs, with their husbands following suit. The move is expected to keep families together and bolster the economy.

Who is eligible to get the work permits?

  • Men sponsored by their wives
  • Women sponsored by husbands
  • Men, women sponsored by parents
  • Sons and daughters, aged 18 and above, on their family’s residence visas.