Previously, we shared an article about how expats can sponsor their families in the UAE. This time around, we are going to talk about how to sponsor a maid or nanny in the country.
Living and working in the emirates could get hectic at times, especially if your family is residing here, too. You might find yourself needing extra help with regard to household chores and taking care of the kids. Hence, hiring a maid or nanny would be a great idea.
Guide to Sponsoring a Maid or Nanny in Abu Dhabi
The process for sponsoring a maid or nanny in the UAE is actually quite similar to applying for a family member’s residence visa. The residence visa for domestic workers (such as maids or nannies) is valid for one (1) year. As the sponsor, it is your responsibility to apply for your maid’s visa, to gather all the necessary documents, and to pay the corresponding fees.
Unless your prospective maid is already here in the UAE on an existing residence visa (i.e. she is transferring from another employer), you will need to arrange for a visit visa so that she can come and enter the country. Afterwards, within 30 days of her arrival, the next step would be to apply for her residence visa.
As the sponsor, your should also be aware of your responsibilities to your maid. These include paying her monthly salary on time, as well as providing accommodations, health insurance, rest days, official leaves, and return tickets to her home country every two years.
Requirements to Sponsor a Maid or Nanny
To sponsor a maid or nanny in the UAE — in Abu Dhabi in particular — certain prerequisites must be met, and important documents need to be prepared.
Prerequisites – Maid
The maid or nanny must:
- be 18-58 years old in age;
- have a valid UAE visit visa;
- not be related to the sponsor;
- have passed the medical test; and
- be a national of Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Philippines, or Sri Lanka.
Prerequisites – Sponsor
The sponsor must have:
- a valid UAE resident visa;
- a minimum monthly salary of AED 10,000; and
- living accommodations with at least two bedrooms.
NOTE: Bachelors are not eligible to sponsor a maid or nanny in the UAE. Meanwhile, sponsors who are married must present a marriage certificate.
- Cancellation paperwork from previous sponsor (if applicable)
- Maid’s passport with visit visa and stamp
- Maid’s resident ID (or any proof that application for this is ongoing)
- Maid’s medical certificate
- Copy of sponsor’s passport with residence visa
- Sponsor’s employment contract indicating salary
- Sponsor’s tenancy contract (attested through Tawtheeq)
- Copy of sponsor’s ADEWA electricity and water bill
- Passport-sized photos of maid and sponsor (three copies each)
As for the fees, the amounts are as follows:
- Resident visa fee – AED 5,080
- Deposit (refundable) – AED 2,030
- Typed application fee – AED 220
- Courier charge – AED 10
NOTE: If the maid is already in the UAE, an additional amount of AED 500 must be paid.
Procedure for Sponsoring a Maid or Nanny
Here is a step-by-step guide to sponsoring a maid or nanny in the UAE:
- Complete the application form at the nearest typing centre.
- Submit at the necessary documents to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA). Pay the corresponding fees.
- As part of the process, you will be asked for the maid’s salary. This will be entered into the maid’s labour contract.
- The labour contract should be signed by both the maid and sponsor.
- A residence stamp will be placed into the maid’s passport. This will be valid for one (1) year.
- The maid’s passport with residence visa, together with her labour card, will be sent to the sponsor/maid via courier within five (5) days.
NOTE: The deposit fee will be refunded to the sponsor when the maid leaves the UAE permanently, or when her visa is transferred to a new sponsor. Keep the receipt and show it to the residency officer when renewing the maid’s visa or upon claiming a refund.
Renewing a Maid’s Residence Visa
After one year, the maid’s residence visa must be renewed once again through the GDRFA. The processing fee for renewal is around AED 6,000 – 7,000. As the sponsor, you should still meet the prerequisites, such as a minimum monthly salary of AED 10,000 and living accommodations with at least two bedrooms. Meanwhile, the maid needs to undergo (and pass) a new medical test.
If the sponsor fails to renew the maid’s residence visa within 30 days from the expiration date, a fine shall be imposed.
Cancelling a Maid’s Residence Visa
When the maid’s labour contract ends and her visa will no longer be renewed, the next step would be to cancel her residence visa. Once again, this is the responsibility of the sponsor.
Canceling a maid’s visa will take around five (5) days. Certain requirements must be prepared:
- “Residence cancel” form at the nearest typing center
- Cancellation fee of AED 70 (plus typing fees)
- Signed waiver by maid and sponsor, stating that all money concerns have been addressed
- One-way ticket for the maid to return to her home country (unless she is transferring to a new employer)
The requirements must be submitted to the GDRFA, together with the maid’s passport and labour card. Upon cancellation, two receipts will be issued: one for the sponsor, and one for the maid (to be submitted to immigration at the airport).
At the airport, the maid’s visa will be cancelled automatically during the immigration clearance process. Meanwhile, the sponsor can refund the deposit fee at the GDRFA by showing the cancellation receipt.
Transferring a Maid’s Residence Visa
If the maid is transferring to a new employer instead of returning to her home country, the current sponsor is responsible for transferring her residence visa to the new sponsor.
The new sponsor must meet the criteria set by the GDRFA (e.g. minimum monthly salary, living accommodations, etc.). He/She also needs to pay for a new residence visa (AED 5,080) and a new deposit fee (AED 2,030). As soon as the maid’s sponsorship is transferred, the (previous) deposit fee will be refunded to the previous sponsor.
DISCLAIMER: The above guide is presented for information-sharing purposes only. For an updated list of the requirements, fees, and procedures regarding sponsorship of maids or nannies in the UAE, please visit the GDRFA official website of GDRFA.
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