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Ultimate Guide: Getting visa and passport for your baby in the UAE

Registering your baby's birth and getting his or her documents sorted is pretty easy here in UAE

08:00 July 9, 2017
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Congratulations!

Registering your baby's birth and getting all of his or her documents sorted is pretty easy if you do them step by step. There are time limits, so you might have to plan ahead for a few of these but you can only start most of the processes once your little one has arrived.

You have 120 days from the birth of your child to arrange the formal documents, going beyond this results in a charge of Dh100 per day-@gulfnewsguides

It's positive

Once a child is on the way, the mother must inform her employer as soon as possible to confirm paid maternity leave, usually a minimum of 45 days in private companies (read our extensive guide to maternity leave in 9 countries here). 

In the UAE, the standard is 45 days, with a further 15 days available which can be taken at the same time or spread out over the first year.


Insurance

As a resident in the UAE, it is now compulsory to have basic health insurance. In case the mother is not insured, or not insured specifically for maternity expenses, get on getting an insurance card as soon as possible.

If the pregnancy is proven before this, the insurer might charge premium amounts higher than average. Ensure that you read the fine print including coverage for C-section, elective and otherwise, along with other terms and conditions.


Documents required at all times

Regardless of which stage of the process you are at, you need the following documents with you, so make loads of copies and keep the originals with you whichever office you go to.

These are also required when you go to the hospital you will have the delivery at.

Attested and translated marriage certificate - copy and original
Husband's passport and visa - copy and original
Wife's passport and visa - copy and original
Husband's Emirates ID - copy and original
Wife's Emirates ID - copy and original
Tenancy Contract registered through the Ejari online system of Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA)

After delivery

Birth notification

Once your child has been born the hospital will alert the Health Authority; this is their responsibility. They will enter all the relevant details online and wait for the Health Authority to return the paperwork.

This can take between 24 and 48 hours. Once the documents from the Health Authority have been sent to the hospital, they will be issued to the parents. There are no fees owed to the hospital for this.

Immunisation book

This will be issued by the hospital. This can be used to get a temporary health card for the baby so he or she can get all vaccinations at public health clinics.


Birth certificate

You must get this process completed within 30 days from date of birth, so it would be smart to plan your baby's name ahead of time to ensure no delays or naming regrets.

Have you read our story on the most popular baby names in the world?

Basics

The birth certificate is issued in Arabic by the Ministry of Health. It can be issued in English as well at the same time. Both copies will also require attestation from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs as well. 

Documents required

Attested and translated marriage certificate - copy and original
Husband's passport and visa - copy and original
Wife's passport and visa - copy and original
Husband's Emirates ID - copy and original
Wife's Emirates ID - copy and original
Birth notification details from the hospital
Discharge summary from the hospital

Get the certificate

Submit all of the above documents to the Ministry of Health and Prevention to issue a birth certificate. The birth certificate is printed in Arabic, but you can have it printed in English at the same time, and then as many copies as you like - each will be stamped. Each copy is Dh50.

Some government hospitals like Dubai Hospital, Rashid Hospital and Latifa Hospital can issue an Arabic birth certificate which would then have to be translated and typed in English for attestation.

Attestation

You must then get both the Arabic and English copies of the birth certificate attested. Visit any Tasheel department across the UAE.

Each document that requires attestation costs Dh150.

Inform your insurance provider

You should alert your health insurance provider within 30 days of your child's birth. They will ask you to complete a questionnaire before they issue the card.

You will be charged Dh100 if you fail to notify them.

Also be aware that during the time taken between birth and the child's insurance card being issued, there will be vaccination expenses to be incurred. The fees vary.


Passport photos

Before you begin the process, you will need some passport photos of your newborn. For the residency visa and Emirates ID - as well as for certain passports - the child's eyes must be open.

The best way to do this is lay the child on their back on a white background and take the photo yourself. Save it to a USB stick and take it to a photo studio where they will edit it and print it to specification.


Passport processing

You have 120 days from the child’s birth to organise its passport and residency visa. The child will adopt the nationality of the father in a situation where the parents are of different nationalities.

Before your child’s delivery you should check with your respective embassy or Home Office website on what the procedure is for overseas passport applications; this, along with the fee, varies from country to country.

You should allow up to 10 weeks for this process.


Emirates ID card and visa

Just like arranging the passport for your new child, you also have 120 days to sort out the residency visa.

You must first get an application form at a Tasheel office, whereupon the typist will complete it for you (this can only be done once the passport has been issued). If you are applying for the newborn's visa yourself, take the completed application and the following documents to the GDRFA.

  1. Visa application form as prepared by the typing office
  2. Original and a copy of the newborn's attested birth certificate
  3. Newborn's passport
  4. Three passport sized photos of the newborn
  5. Original and a copy of the attested marriage certificate
  6. Passport copy of the sponsor
  7. Copy of an employment contract for the sponsor or a salary certificate
  8. Tenancy Contract registered through the Ejari online system of Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA)
  9. Fee (which varies)

Visit your nearest Emirates ID Authority and open an application for your newborn. You will require both parent's passports, visas, Emirates IDs, and the newborn's attested birth certificate.

Learn more about the Emirates ID process here.

Note that the name “General Directorate of Residence and Foreign Affairs” was adopted in 2009 to unify the various ministries across the Emirates. It is not uncommon to hear the GDRFA still referred to by its older names: Department of Naturalization and Passports or Ministry of Immigration – today they are one and the same.


Fees breakdown

Fee breakdown
Birth certificate - ArabicDh50 (per copy)
Birth certificate - EnglishDh50 (per copy)
Tasheel attestation feeDh150 - Ministry of Foreign Affairs (per individual document)
Health cardDh110
Visa feesDh250 appx
PassportVaries
MOH AttestationDh20


**This story was originally written by Martin Fullard and has been edited and updated.**