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  • Nathan Hunt

UAE Visas - Foreign Students Can Now Sponsor Family

26th January 2021

During the last few years, the UAE has overhauled its visa regulations to introduce several new categories of visas. The aim of the changes to the UAE's visas regulations is to position the country as an attractive place to live and work for skilled individuals whilst also increasing its rankings in various competitive global indexes.

The latest announcement allows for foreign students, aged 18 and over, to sponsor their families for the duration of their undergraduate or postgraduate course in the UAE. This will help to boost and support the higher education sector in attracting foreign students to the UAE's universities, of which there are over 70, including New York University Abu Dhabi, Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi, Heriot Watt University Dubai and University of Wollongong in Dubai.

Gateway has today checked with Immigration to find out what the criteria will be for students to sponsor their family members, but this information is not yet available.

We expect this announcement will be popular for foreign students and their families who are looking at university options, especially as the UAE is currently ranking so highly in its handling of the Coronavirus pandemic, focusing on the protection and safety of its citizens and residents, whilst also keeping the economy moving. The UAE has a programme rolling out a selection of three approved vaccines. Having a safe place to live and learn alongside family will surely be a priority and deciding factor when applying to universities.

UAE universities are currently providing e-learning to their students. According to media reports, it is expected that students will return to classes in person in the spring term.

Other visa changes in the UAE during the last few years include:

Remote working visa

This annual visa allows consultants and remote workers to base themselves in the UAE. There are conditions attached, including proof of a monthly salary greater than US5,000 per month and a contract with at least 12 months validity.

Golden Visa

This visa is valid for 10 years and there are two options available: investors and professionals with specialist talents. There are specific criteria for each type which we have outlined in a previous blog for your convenience.

5 Year Visa

There are three 5 year visa categories: property investors, entrepreneurs and exceptional students. The criteria for these visa types has also been outlined previously for your convenience.

Retirement Visa

For individuals over the age of 55 who own a property outright in the UAE worth more than AED2m; can demonstrate savings of at least AED1m, or have a monthly income of at least AED20,000.

How Gateway Group can help you with your UAE visas

Whether you are an organisation or an individual needing on-the-ground assistance to manage your visas, Gateway's team of experts in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are ready to help. Gateway processes all types of UAE visas on a daily basis, so we stay fully up-to-date with any changes to processes. We use clear, simple methods to keep the process as hassle free as possible for you. We also accompany all applicants to their visa medical screening, which can be a little daunting the first time. Once the visa is issued, we'll ensure you have all of the necessary information to add the individual to your WPS files (if you are a mainland company) and we'll also keep a track of expiries and inform you well in advance to ensure that you, your colleagues and family members always have valid visas and Emirates ID cards. Ask Gateway to manage your UAE visas.

☎️ +971 600 567562

Written by Nathan Hunt, Senior Managing Partner

Gateway Group of Companies, Abu Dhabi & Dubai, UAE


Gateway Group Of Companies

Frustrated and confused with questions about setting up and doing business in the UAE? Running around in circles trying to find the right answers? What license type? How to get visas? How to find a trusted local sponsor? How long does it all take? For a simplified, no nonsense approach to company formation and visas in the UAE, email the award-winning Gateway:


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