Widows and divorced women can soon apply for a 1-year visa extension. This new UAE Cabinet resolution will be implemented in fourth quarter 2018.
A new UAE Cabinet resolution allows widows and divorced women to extend their existing visa for 1 year after the death of their husband or the divorce. This will give them the opportunity to seek employment in the UAE or leave the country. The 1-year visa extension will also allow their children to complete the school year.
As for now, women sponsored by their husbands are left in legal limbo after a sudden death of their spouse or a divorce. With the loss of their sponsor, they need to leave the UAE immediately.
In the event of a husband’s death, shared bank accounts will be frozen and cannot be accessed. Often women are without money until all legal proceedings regarding their husband’s testament are completed. If the husband does not have a Sharia compliant will (for example a DIFC Will), the proceedings can take several years.
You can find more information about a DIFC Will here: DIFC Will FAQ
The UAE Cabinet decision to grant these women and their children a 1-year visa extension from the date of the divorce or the death of the spouse is much appreciated. It will be a great relief for widows and divorced women, who find themselves in a helpless situation. The new visa extension will give women enough time to adjust their social and economic status and decide about their future and that of their children.