Certain residency rights of women in UAE are dependent on the rights of their spouses or anybody who is sponsoring women and their children. In case of marriage, there is a possibility that the couple might get divorced or for this article, the husband might die. In UAE, there are many women who are a resident of UAE on their husband’s visa. If in case they get divorced or the husband dies, the woman can no longer be a resident of UAE. This is a violation of women’s rights and their right to choose where they want to live in such cases. The law that deals with residency and immigration in UAE is ‘UAE Federal Law Number 6 of 1973’ which was amended in the year 1996 and became the ‘UAE Federal Law No. 13 of 1996’. This article deals with the new law that was introduced for providing an extension to divorced or widowed women, and their children with regards to their residency visa.
In UAE, to obtain a residency visa, one generally needs to be sponsored by an employer or spouse, own an eligible property, or apply for a trade licence that provides a visa. However, in the month of October 2018, a new visa that grants an extension of one year as a resident of UAE was introduced for widowed or divorced women and their children. this visa will allow a woman and her children to keep residing in UAE without the mandate of being sponsored. The extension on the residency visa is invoked from the date of death of the husband or divorce.
The new law is accompanied by a thorough revision in the nation's visa procedures, which will help foreign immigrant widows and divorcees in maintaining their citizenship. It is significant to note that the new visa introduced can be renewed only once. The processes to acquire the extension on the visa have been laid down by the GDFRA (General Directorate and Residency of Foreign Affairs). According to the procedures highlighted, the visa is processed within 48 hours of the application submitted by the widowed or divorced woman, thus granting them a chance to sponsor themselves and their children a residency in UAE.
PROCEDURE FOR APPLICATION OF VISA
The new law or rules specify the process which needs to be adhered to for the application of the extension of visa which will facilitate a woman to continue her and her child’s residency in UAE after the death of her husband or divorce.
Submissions to be made for application: Certain submissions are required which act as a pre-requisite for acquiring the extension to the visa and they are as follows:
Submission of a form provided by the GDFRA which is to be filled as a first step in applying for the visa.
The next requirement is to submit the certificate of divorce or certificate of death of the husband which differs from case to case, along with the application form.
The third requirement is to submit an existing visa as proof of residency, or any proof that shows the existence of the woman’s family in UAE.
Lastly, an affordable fee is charged which has to be paid as an application fee. The fees are AED 100 for applying for the new extension visa and the second is AED 100 which is charged by the authorities to cancel the already existing visa.
CONDITIONS TO BE MET BEFORE APPLICATION
As per the new law and the guidelines that have been laid down by the GDFRA, the woman applying for such a visa asking for an extension of a year on their residency in UAE should satisfy and fulfill certain conditions. Without meeting the prior conditions, the woman seeking an application for an extension will be considered non-eligible for the same, and no extension will be granted. Thus, it becomes vital for a woman applying for the extension to satisfy the following conditions:
The woman and her child should be sponsored by the spouse at the time of his death or their divorce, and the existing visa must be valid at such time.
Certification of divorce or death is required.
It is necessary to provide proof of a house's existence.
Proof of medical fitness for the mother and her children who are above the age of 18 shall be presented to the authority in charge, together with their Emirates ID.
Health insurance cards, if desired by the authority.
Tenancy agreement under the mother's name.
It is also necessary to show that the mother is able and earns enough to maintain herself as well as her children. In other words, the woman needs to show proof that she can earn a living.
The applicable rule or initiative will aid women whose sole source of income has been compromised, placing her and her children in legal complications. Unlike in the past, when divorced or widowed women without an occupational visa were forced to leave the nation immediately upon the divorce or death of their husband, the new legislation will give the women an opportunity to resolve the issue and either look for a job or move out of the country. The relevant legislation will permit these women to reside until the legal processes pertaining to their divorce or death are completed, without putting them in financial jeopardy.
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