An Arab man who has two wives and wanted to sponsor the residency visa of his second wife had his application rejected at the residency department in Sharjah after an official told him that he can sponsor only one wife, Gulf News has learnt.
Ahmad Shokry, an Egyptian who is married to a woman from his homeland and has three children said he got married to another woman, an Iraqi, and wanted to sponsor her but his application was not accepted by the Sharjah authorities.
He claimed that he was told that he can sponsor only one wife.
â€œI was told by officials at the residency department that a Muslim expatriate who is married to more than one woman, can obtain residency visa for only one wife,â€ Shokry said.
Major General Nasser Al Awadi Al Menhali, acting Assistant Undersecretary at the Ministry of Interior for Naturalisation, Residency and Borders, told Gulf News, a Muslim expatriate can sponsor more than one wife but under strict regulations.
â€œIslam allows men to marry more than one woman so we cannot prevent Muslim men from marrying more than one woman or to be with their wives, but definitely the visa for the second wife is screened very carefully.â€
Major General Al Menhali said a Muslim applicant who wants to apply for a residency visa for more than one wife must be listed in the category of those who can sponsor their families andmust have enough income to support more than one family.
He said the applicant must prove that his marriage is credible and legal and the marriage certificate must be approved by the authorities concerned.
â€œThe rules are strict in order to prevent the abuse of the residency law by some people who might try to bring in women who are not actually their wives,â€ he said.
Also, he said some people could legally marry a number of women and try to bring them here with the sole intention of human trafficking.
â€œIt is to avoid human trafficking and to prevent the abuse of the residency law in the country that we always screen thoroughly any application for sponsoring more than one wife submitted by Muslim expatriate residents here,â€ he said.