UAE to grant work permits to men sponsored by their families

Out-Law News | 05 Aug 2019 | 4:59 pm | 1 min. read

Private companies in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) may now employ men who have been sponsored by their families on a dependant visa, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) has announced.

MOHRE has already begun issuing two-year work permits to eligible men sponsored by their families, according to the announcement. Until now, only women sponsored by their families have been entitled to work. Men were only entitled to a work permit if covered by their employer's visa allocation.

The fee payable by an employer for a work permit for an employee sponsored by their family has also been reduced to AED300 ($81.68) regardless of the type of employment, MOHRE said. Previously, these permits were priced between AED300 and AED5,000 depending on the nature of employment and the worker's skill level. UAE work permit fees are covered by the employer regardless of whether the worker is sponsored by their employer or their family.

Employment law expert Ruth Stephen of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, said: "The new resolution means that husbands and sons can get jobs in the UAE without having to be under the company's visa. Employers will need to only apply for the work permit, cutting the time and costs associated with the recruitment process. Not having to pay the visa costs means that the provision of private medical insurance will fall on the visa sponsor, and not the company".

"Men sponsored by their wives are now welcomed into the UAE job market, giving employers a wider selection pool when recruiting. Additionally, this marks a shift in terms of gender equality, encouraging professional women to take up employment in the UAE. Home-grown UAE talent will not be lost when a son graduating from university can no longer be sponsored by his parents. Increased economic stability for families and greater spending power should go hand in hand in strengthening the UAE's economy," she said.

Saif Ahemd Al Suwaidi, undersecretary for human resources affairs at MOHRE, said that the change to the work permit rules would allow families in the UAE to increase their monthly income, while also making it easier for private sector employers to recruit staff.

Employers can apply for work permits for men sponsored by their families at TAS'HEEL service centres and via MOHRE's official app.