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UAE Visa Requirements and Rules

14 April 2019

General information about visa requirements and different types of visas in the UAE has been listed below. However, the visa regulations are subject to change and therefore, should be verified with the travel agent or nearest UAE embassy or consulate or your airline before travel.

Citizens from 33 countries listed herein do not require visas prior to arrival at the UAE airport. Nationals from GCC countries do not require a visa to visit the UAE. They only need to produce their GCC country passport at the entry point in UAE. However, people entering the UAE for employment, will require a visa which could be obtained through their employer or sponsor. The kind of visa required for entry into the UAE is dependent on several factors such as nationality, purpose of travel, duration of stay etc. A penalty charge of Dh.100 per day is imposed on visitors who overstay.

UAE Visa Rules

Visa on arrival granted to following categories:

AGCC Residents: are residents who are not GCC nationals, but hold high professional status such as Company Managers, Accountants, Auditors, Business People, Engineers, Doctors, Pharmacists or employees working in public sector, their families, drivers and personal staff sponsored by them, are eligible for non-renewable 30-day visa on arrival at approved ports of entry. National Citizens of the following countries: UK(with the right of abode in UK), France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Finland, Spain, Monaco, Vatican, Iceland, Andorra, San Marino, Liechtenstein, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and holders of Hong Kong SAR passports will be granted a free of charge visa for a single visit upon arrival in the UAE. It should be noted that this list is subject to change from time to time and it is therefore best to check with local UAE embassy or the airline used for travel to UAE.

Visa not required for:

AGCC Citizens: Citizens of Arab Gulf Co-operation Council member states, including Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Oman do not require a visa. Visitors, who do not fall into any of the said categories, will require a visa and a sponsor for their visit. The sponsor usually applies for the visa on behalf of the visitor. Valid Sponsors: Hotel and Tourism Companies can apply for visas on behalf of the tourist for a Tourist Visa with 30 days validity, or a Service Visa valid for 14 days or a Visit Visa valid for 30 days which could be extended by another 30 days. Airlines and Airline Handlers are eligible to apply on behalf of their crew members for a 96-hour Transit Visa. Even other organizations based in the UAE may can apply for Visit Visas and Service Visas. Individuals (friends or relatives), who are already residents in the UAE, subject to guidelines, can also apply on your behalf for a Visit Visa.

Entry Service Permit:

An Entry Service Permit is applicable to the following categories and their families, such as Company Manager'ss representatives, Account Auditors, Sales Managers, delegations from companies or establishments to carry out commercial activity in the UAE, consultants sought by the UAE companies to perform certain urgent tasks. The visa will have to be used within 14 days from date of issue, as it is non-renewable. This type of entry permit will be issued only for urgent purposes, and the holder may enter and depart the UAE through any airport. The Entry Service Permit Visa can also be availed by nationalities authorized to obtain a tourist visa, as per the decision by the Ministerial Council.

Visa delivery service to airport:

Visit visas and entry permits obtained by sponsors for visitors to UAE should be normally delivered minimum three hours in advance to the airport before the arrival of the visitor. Visitors will have to look for a DNATA or DNRD visa delivery counter at the Dubai International Airport or near the arrivals area.

Short Term Visa Types:

Other visit visas all of which require a deposit of Dh.1000 include:

Student Visit Visa

The student must be registered at the UAE University (for short-term courses) and should already hold a residence visa (for long-term course). It can be renewed twice for Dh.500.

Conference/Exhibition Visa

Is valid for 30 days for Dh.100 and is non-renewable

Medical Visit Visa

Is renewable for 90 days for Dh.500 and costs Dh.1000.

Property Visa

For most if not all of Dubai Property purchases, these pieces were suspended. Inquire with the appropriate government authority in Dubai with the master developer. Do not however take the word of the property developer or the real estate agent.

Investor Visa

For Expats who invest a minimum of Dh.70,000 share capital under a business partnership with a UAE national. This visa has a 3-year validity with a visa fee of Dh.300.

Mission Visa

There are a couple of types of mission visas in Dubai and UAE area. A 90-day visa (be careful, that’s not necessarily three months) is called a mission visa and it is for the express purpose of permitting expats to be employed there for short time; it is also for probationary workers. The sponsoring company applies for it at the department of labor. It may be multi-entry and/or renewable. A visa for special mission entry is good for 16 days and is referred to as a Dubai transit visa (do not confuse this with the transit visa that is good for 96 hours). It is good only for single entry and cannot be renewed.

Parent Visa:

UAE residents can sponsor parents for a period of one year, which could be renewed under special permission from the FNRD. A refundable deposit of Dh.5000 (per parent) and visa fee of Dh.100 will be charged.

Kindly note: Visa rules are subject to sudden change without warning. The UAE Embassy in your country or the Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD), the relevant authority in the UAE, is the only source of information that can be relied upon. The validity period for a free visit visa on arrival change often.

Robin Vinod

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