UAE : Ministry denies visa policy has changed

The Ministry of Interior has denied rumors that it has stopped issuing visas to the immediate relatives of expatriate residents. Major General Nasser Al Awadi Al Menhali, Director-General of the Naturalization and Residency Department, told Gulf News that visas are still being issued to immediate family members, and especially to parents.

He added that a husband has the right to sponsor his wife, parents and in-laws. Wives in turn have the right to sponsor their husbands, parents and in-laws. Parents have the right to sponsor their children if they are under the age of 21. The ministry takes into consideration humanitarian and social imperatives and sometimes issues visas to children above the age of 21 who want to visit their families or continue their education.

A local Arabic-language newspaper reported yesterday that the Naturalisation and Residency Department had stopped issuing visas to parents of residents, but continued to issue them to husbands, wives and children. The report prompted panicked expatriates to call newspapers and residency department offices.

Al Menhali said there had been no change in the UAE’s naturalisation and residency laws. Applicants are required to deposit a guarantee of Dh5,000, in addition to the visa application fee.