13 January 2011

our quest to sponsor a nanny

For those parents in Dubai who want to sponsor a nanny or maid by themselves (instead of getting a local to do it which is less expensive but more risky), you can check out this site.

And for those who seem to be having problems like what happened to us or want to know what to avoid so that the entire process will be easier, you can read on. I warn you though, this is a veeeery long post. So, here goes...

As I mentioned here, we had to let go of Yaya Cha-Cha because we were having problems with her sponsor. That time, hubby had just resigned and was waiting for his booking and ticket to the Philippines, so he became the houseband while I was at work. At the same time, we had asked our families back home in the Philippines to look for someone (a relative or close family friend or trustworthy person they could highly recommend) who was willing to work as a nanny in Dubai. Fortunately, hubby’s family’s nanny (she’s been with them since they were still toddlers and is considered part of their family) had a relative in Bohol who was interested. As soon as she arrived in Manila in June, we scheduled her DFA appointment for her passport. Unfortunately, the first available slot was in October...this meant that we couldn’t do anything until then and Caila had to stay in the Philippines until we were able to get a UAE Visit Visa for her nanny. Left with no other choice, we left Caila with hubby’s family, giving her time to bond with her new nanny at the same time.

Come October, as soon as we received Ate Cel’s passport copy, we immediately applied for her Visit Visa. I went to the typing centre, paid the fees, and we proceeded to the Immigration Department. However, once the officer found that Ate Cel wasn’t my immediate family, she rejected the application. So, off we went to a travel agency so they could sponsor the visa. Fortunately, it was processed right away and we received the Tourist Visa (TV) the following working day. Unfortunately, because of the darn new rule from the Philippine Consulate that all UAE Visit/Tourist Visas have to be attested, I had to postpone my trip to the Philippines because it takes 10 working days to process. Finally, the 10 days were up and that Friday, I was on the flight to Manila.

4 days later, I was at the airport again to return to Dubai with Caila and her nanny. Thankfully, the Immigration Officer at NAIA believed us when we said that my mother and Ate Cel’s mother were sisters, so we didn’t have any problems then.

Now, this is where the actual maid sponsorship procedure begins. We had heard of other families who, although they were staying in studio or 1 bedroom apartments, managed to sponsor their nannies or maids, and our tenancy contract didn’t state the type of apartment we were renting so we felt that maybe we had a chance as well. Also, although it says in the requirements that usually the male or head of the family was the one who sponsors, we thought it would be easier if I would be the one. We were wrong.

We went to the typing centre with the required documents, paid the fees, and then proceeded to Immigration. The Officer didn’t believe me when I said we were staying in a 2 bedroom flat (considering the rent and the area, I guess), so she said I had to provide an attestation or certificate from my real estate stating the number of rooms it had. She also asked how much hubby’s salary was, which I told her, and she said that he should be the sponsor.

So, the next day, I called the real estate person handling our apartment building, but she wasn’t available. The following day was a Friday, a weekend in the UAE, so there was no chance to speak to her. The next day, Saturday, I had a meeting to go to at one of our project sites. It was only until I returned to the office that I was able to call the real estate. Of course, I begged and pleaded, but they couldn’t and wouldn’t falsify the contract. I couldn’t blame them; it wouldn’t be right. So contrary to what I posted here, we had to move ASAP.

Fortunately, we found a flat within 3 days, the contract (specifically stating that it is a 2 bedroom apartment) was in our hands in 5 days, and we moved in to our new home on the 10th of December.

As for our old studio apartment, that was another problem. First of all, when I informed the real estate that we wanted to terminate the contract after 4 months of renewing it, they didn’t agree; even though we said we would pay 2 months rent as the penalty for early termination (which is what was stated in the agreement). They said we could sublease the apartment, but then their understanding of “sublease” was totally different and insane! Thus began the numerous faxes, calls and arguments. Finally, I sent them a fax saying that I didn’t agree with their condition and requested again to consider allowing us to terminate the contract if we paid the penalty, pointing out that I had been their tenant for almost 7 years, and I never created any problems. At last, they agreed, and we went to their head office to sign the papers. I sent a request to DEWA for the immediate disconnection and gave the apartment keys to the watchman of the building on the evening of December 12, paid the DEWA final bill on the 13th and sent a copy of that bill to the real estate that same day. And finally, on the 22nd, I received a call saying that I could collect the balance of my security deposit and my second cheque.

Back to Ate Cel’s visa. As instructed, we transferred the sponsorship application to hubby’s name and attached the new tenancy contract. We didn’t know which section we were supposed to go to at the Immigration so we asked a man at one of the counters. He immediately gave us a number and directed us to the area. We waited for 20 people to be served before our number was displayed on the screen. As soon as we gave the papers to the Immigration Officer, he said we were supposed to go to the next section. So again we got a new number, and this time we had to wait for 40 people to be served before us (AUUUUGGGHHHH!!!). Finally, it was our turn. After going over the papers and checking the system, the Officer called his boss. After some time, he told us to go to his boss, who pointed out to us that our daughter is under my sponsorship. In order for them to allow hubby to sponsor a nanny, we should transfer Caila’s visa to hubby’s sponsorship so that it would show in the system that there was a valid reason to hire a nanny. I really wanted to scream then. Of course, we didn’t have Caila’s original passport with us (not even a copy) so there was no chance for us to do anything else that night.

Early the following morning, I went straight to the typing centre to have the application done for the visa sponsorship transfer. That’s the only thing I was able to do because I also needed hubby’s signature on the 3 forms and he had already gone to his office. After work, hubby fetched me and we went directly to the Immigration Department (again!). We kept asking the people at the counters which section we should go to, but they kept directing us to all the wrong places. It was a wild goose chase and I was getting exasperated! Finally, I told one of them that that was where the person at the other section told us to go, and he finally directed me into the room for ladies. I took a number and sat down. There were 5 of us there and only 1 lady serving, not to mention the others who had to return and submit additional documents in between. Naturally, she took her own sweet time, talking to her colleagues who were dropping by, answering her mobile, walking to and fro. I lost 40 minutes just waiting! When my turn came, she looked at the papers, asked for my and hubby’s labour contract (which, fortunately, I had copies of), stamped and signed them, and told me to go to the typing centre. We literally ran to the nearby typing centre and gave the papers to the man there. Good thing he remembered me from that morning, so he told his colleague to type the form right away.

Once we received the form, we ran back inside Immigration. The person at the counter gave us a number and we waited again. Fortunately, it was a bit faster this time since there were many officers serving. Once our turn came, we gave the papers to the Officer, who told us to go to the other section first for Caila’s visa, then go back to that section for Ate Cel’s visa (what else did you expect?!). It was already past 7pm, but he assured us that they worked until 8pm (hurray!). So, off we hurried to the other section where hubby was able to get Caila’s new visa stamped in her passport in 15 minutes. Then we rushed back to the previous section where we had to get another number and wait again. Finally, it was hubby’s turn. The Officer finally approved, wrote on the paper, and told hubby to pay the deposit of Dhs2,000 at one of the counters at the back of the hall. As luck would have it, when hubby went to the counter, it was already closed. Naturally, he had to return the next day after work (which he did), and finally he got the Employment Entry Permit (EEP).

We got the permit on Thursday night. We had to wait until Sunday to request for the status amendment (we didn’t want Ate Cel to have to exit to Kish or wherever) since it would cost the same anyway. But, again, things didn’t go as planned. Apparently, if someone entered using a Tourist Visa and has obtained an Employment Entry Permit, s/he has to exit UAE using the TV and enter using the EEP. This was Simbang Gabi/Christmas week. Hubby and I were really busy with work so none of us could take a leave and we didn’t want Ate Cel to travel on Christmas Eve, so we decided to book her on the 23rd. She could travel to Muscat at 4pm and return on the flight arriving in Dubai at 9:30pm. Fortunately, our household leaders were kind enough to allow Caila to stay at their place that afternoon with their daughters and nannies, so that problem was solved. According to Ate Cel, her exit and return flights were ok. Since she wasn’t going to go out of the airport in Muscat, her passport didn’t require any stamp there. The only delay was when she arrived in Dubai International Airport. The queue for the eye scanning was loooong, and the queues at the Passport Control counters were even longer since most of the flights from around the world had arrived at pretty much the same time.

Fast forward to January 2, 2011. Right after work, hubby and I rushed home, changed our clothes and left again with Caila and Ate Cel so that we would reach Al Baraha Hospital in time for her to take her medical before it closed at 7pm. I went to the office to have the typing done, paid the fees, went to the counter where the man did something in their system, then proceeded to another counter for another person to do whatever and attach the stickers/labels before Ate Cel could have her medical tests. She first had her x-ray, then blood test, and had her vaccination. I expected something to go wrong, and I was right. She had her period that day, so it wasn’t possible for her to submit her urine and stool samples (an additional requirement for maids). Our hopes of getting her results the following day so that we could get her residence visa stamped on her passport just went down the drain. We had to wait for a week to make sure that no traces of blood would be seen in her samples, otherwise it would affect the test results. During the week, I asked the help of one of my company's drivers to apply for Ate Cel’s health card, and fortunately, he got it right away.

When the week was finally over, we reminded Ate Cel about her stool sample, and on Sunday morning at 10am, she pooped in the container. Since there was no chance for hubby or me to leave work for a few hours, we instructed her to put it in another container, cover it up as tightly as she could and keep it in the fridge or at least have it contained in ice. After work, hubby and I rushed home to collect the samples, and rushed to Al Baraha Hospital to submit them.

The next day, hubby received an SMS informing him that the results had been submitted to DNRD, so I asked my company's driver to collect the results from the hospital the next day and go to the typing center with the required documents for the Residence Visa Application. That same evening, we rushed home after work, picked up Ate Cel and Caila, and rushed to Immigration. Hubby had to wait his turn, but it wasn't a long wait. Once his number flashed on the screen, he submitted the documents, the Officer printed the contract which hubby and Ate Cel signed and submitted to another counter, the Officer signed the contract and returned 2 copies, and finally, he stamped the Residence Visa on her passport. Hurray! But, of course, something had to happen...and it turned out her Domestic Worker Card couldn’t be issued that night because there was something wrong with their machine. The Officer told hubby to return the next day (which he did), and on the 12th of January 2011, Ate Cel’s visa procedures were completed and she became a bonafide OFW / expat / legal resident of Dubai. Finally!!!

Next thing left to do is her Emirates ID. I wonder what we’ll have to go through to get that one(sigh).


  1. hi,

    can you say more about the harassment you were receiving? we may be in the same boat.


  2. hi! do you mean about the harassment we were getting from our former nanny's local sponsor? please send me an e-mail at blabsnthoughts@aol.com what you want me to elaborate on.

  3. Hi! I was just curious why the immigration officer rejected your application after he found out she wasn't your immediate family? I read at http://www.dubaifaqs.com/visa-maid-uae.php that "Maids that are the same nationality as the sponsor need special approval from the DNRD in Dubai, and you will need a document from your embassy/consulate to prove that the maid is not related to you". We are planning of hiring a nanny once we moved there this coming May.

    By the way, very helpful post...Thanks for the lengthy but very informative post. :)

    1. Hi Bev! Thanks for the visit. The rejected application was for a Visit Visa. To sponsor someone on a Visit Visa, s/he needs to be your relative (up to the second degree, I think). On the other hand, to get an Employment Visa for a maid of the same nationality, s/he should not be a relative. Is it confusing? Let me know if you need more clarifications. Hope to see you around when you arrive in Dubai :)

    2. oh i see...I overlooked that...reread it again and yes, it says you were applying for visit visa...hehehe...Thanks for the reply.


Popular Posts