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04 October 2019
The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation has announced that private companies in the United Arab Emirates may now employ men who have been sponsored by their families on a dependant visa.
The ministry 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 were entitled to work. Men were entitled to a work permit only 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 Dh300 ($81.68) regardless of the type of employment. Previously, these permits were priced between Dh300 and Dh5,000 depending on the nature of employment and the worker's skill level. UAE work permit fees are covered by employers regardless of whether the worker is sponsored by their employer or their family.
Saif Ahemd Al Suwaidi, undersecretary for HR affairs at the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, has said that the change to the work permit rules will allow families in the United Arab Emirates to increase their monthly income and make 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 the ministry's official app.
The new resolution means that husbands and sons can get jobs in the Unites Arab Emirates without having to be under a company's visa. Employers will need to apply only 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.
Further, men sponsored by their wives are now welcomed into the UAE job market, giving employers a wider selection pool when recruiting. This marks a shift in terms of gender equality, encouraging professional women to take up employment in the United Arab Emirates. Homegrown 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 economy.
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