It’s no surprise that the UAE is among the few nations that have been at the forefront of business, trade, and overall economy, thereby making it one of the target destinations for Filipinos for work.
Despite this (or because of this exact reason), the Philippine missions in the Gulf State have enforced stricter policies for overseas Filipinos who wish to sponsor their relatives to the UAE, requiring, among others, that they are making not less than AED 10,000 to do so.
Philippine Missions Impose Stricter Measures for Bringing Relatives to the UAE
The decision, which was to impose salary threshold requirements, aims to ensure that those bringing in their relatives can afford to accommodate them as per officials, GMA News Online reported.
The decision was enacted by authorities from the Philippine missions in the UAE, as many residents find themselves either without work, or on no-work-no-pay-arrangements, or experiencing salary cuts due to the economic downturn caused by the pandemic.
The new announcement took effect on Monday, August 24.
Commenting on the update, Consul General Marford Angeles said, “The people who are asking about the Affidavit of Support and Guarantee (ASG) said they understand that supporting someone in the current pandemic situation requires a lot of funds.”
The ASG comprises a set of documents required to be presented to the embassy or consulate when applying for a relative to travel to the UAE as a tourist.
Angeles added that those who need further clarification regarding the update should reach out to the embassy in Abu Dhabi or the consulate in Dubai with their concerns.
“We will respond,” he guaranteed.
Other relevant parties also weighed in on the new requirements, noting that the move was also meant to discourage the practice of bringing in relatives to the UAE to look for jobs.
As of late, the embassy and consulate have stranded visit and tourist visa holders as among their priorities in the government’s ongoing repatriation efforts.
The consulate has repatriated approximately 2,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Dubai, including visit or tourist visa holders to date.
Badly affected by the new requirements are travel agencies that facilitate the visas with UAE immigration authorities.
Commenting on the topic, Sid Rivera, marketing manager at Al Qadi Tourism, shared that what used to be required was a salary certificate. He explained that the new rule asks for an employment contract where the salary is indicated or a six-month payslip.
He noted that authorities have learned lessons from the ongoing repatriations.
“They just want to make sure lang po talaga na if may kukunin ka na relatives sa Pilipinas, you can support them until the end,” Rivera explained.
Rivera also pointed out that the new requirement can also be a deterrent against human trafficking.
“Maraming agency ang nagpepeke ng affidavit kaya pagdating nung tao napapahamak kung hindi man na-offload sa airport sa Pilipinas (Several agencies have attempted to create counterfeited affidavit so when travellers arrive, they either get into trouble with authorities in their country or destination if they do not get offloaded right away in the Philippines,” he explained.
According to the update released by the Philippine missions in the UAE, the new ASG requirements are as follows:
- Proof of relationship where an applicant can execute an affidavit to sponsor a relative only within the 1st and 2nd degree of consanguinity or affinity.
- Proof of income where the sponsor should show proof of income in the UAE based on the following thresholds:
- Single person = AED10,000
- Family of two = AED14,000 wherein family of two is either husband and wife or single parent and child
- Family of four = AED18,000 wherein a family of four is husband and wife with two children or a single parent with three children.
- Documentary requirements, in which, aside from the employment contract and six-month payslip, the sponsor is also required to show a tenancy contract as proof of accommodation under his or her name; or a hotel booking stating the visitor’s duration of stay as well as flight booking.
- Tourist visa issued by the UAE government.
- Residence visa of the sponsor.
- Trade license of the travel agency or the company facilitating the visitor’s tourist visa.
Birth and marriage certificates are also required.
The Philippine missions to the UAE have reported that there are approximately 750,000 documented OFW residents in the Gulf State before the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly 15,000 have been repatriated as of July, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs.