Female expat professionals in UAE unhappy about new sponsorship rules

Published:  2 Apr at 6 PM
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Tagged: Visas, UAE, Euro
Changes to the requirements for expats wishing to sponsor their families are expected to be welcomed by the majority, but will now be based on salary levels rather than job titles.

Current laws set wages at a minimum of Dhs4,000 for men and Dhs10,000 for women, but the exact amounts required by the new rules aren’t yet declared. Prior to the announcement of the changes, expats wishing to bring their families to join them in the UAE must have been working at managerial level or higher, but no mention has been made as yet concerning this rule. The UAE government is publicising the changes as a step towards making the emirate a hub for top talent and highly skilled workers who wish to have their families with them, but the huge discrepancy between the preset salary requirements for women as against those for men is causing anger amongst female professionals working in the country.

The news followed another announcement by the cabinet that long-term visas valid for 10 years are to be launched, aimed at expat specialists in the fields of education and science as well as at investors and entrepreneurs. The new visas will include the spouses and children of applicants. In the meantime, human rights groups are questioning the discrepancy between male and female expat family sponsors, with Human Rights Watch assistant researcher for the region Hiba Zayadin saying the basic move is positive but its application to female sponsors is discriminatory.

Human rights workers are already hitting out at the UAE due to the recent publicity surrounding the flight out of the country of a women fearing for her life. In addition, expat professionals at management levels and those holding degrees but earning below the specified amount are unhappy about the amounts as they prevent them from bringing in their families.
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