Tuesday, December 5, 2023

A Complete Guide To United Arab Emirates Visa Application


This Middle East country is one of the best tourist and business hubs in the world. To visit the United Arab Emirates, you need a valid visa along with other requirements. However, there are several countries whose nationals can visit Dubai without visas for a specific timeframe. 

Before the United Arab Emirates visa application, confirm that you need a visa to enter the United Arab Emirates and the specific number of days you can stay in the Emirates without a visa. 

Countries with UAE Visa Exemptions

UAE does not require the citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council  (GCC) countries to apply for a visa, permit, or to be sponsored by a national or a resident. However, these countries’ citizens have to produce their passport or national ID card validating their GCC nationality when entering the UAE.

The member states of GCC apart from UAE are as follows:

  • State of Kuwait
  • Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Kingdom of Bahrain
  • State of Qatar
  • Sultanate of Oman

Apart from the GCC countries, there are other countries whose citizens can apply for a visa on arrival. However, the number of days that they can stay in the UAE would differ based on their nationality. There would be 30 days visa on arrival and 90 days visa on arrival with some exemptions to the diplomatic passports.

Type of UAE Visas

UAE visa has four broad categories with subcategories in a few. The four types of UAE visa  are:

  • Tourist Visa

The visa is issued to nationals of other countries who are visiting the UAE  mainly for tourism purposes. The stay should be less than 30 days and strictly prohibits the applicant from taking up any employment and long-term residence in the UAE. 

  • Long-term Residence Visa

This UAE visa application is forindividuals who intend to stay in UAE between 5-10 years.  Applicants do not need a sponsor to apply for a long-term residence visa. However, the UAE requires foreign nationals to invest a significant amount of money to get this visa.

  • Short Residence Visa

Under this visa type, there are three categories – Work visa, family visa, and student visa. For each of these visas, you have to submit applications along with the required documents.

  • Transit Visa

This type of visa is issued to foreigners who need to transit through the UAE. The duration of the transit visa is for 2-3 days. 


Requirements for getting UAE Visa

  • Valid passport (six months after your traveling date)
  • Photocopies of the sponsor’s passport (if applicable)
  • Passport-sized photograph.
  • No objection certificate from father or husband in case a female is traveling to UAE.
  • Proof of itinerary such as travel ticket for a round trip.
  • Proof of accommodation such as a hotel, guest house.
  • A letter stating the purpose and duration of the visit
  • In case you are applying from the country you are not a resident of, then proof of legal residence in your country
  • Proof of host, previous travel, financial status, current address (if applicable to visa type)

Get more visa guides to other countries here

Application Process For Short Term Visa

·        Applying through an Airline

UAE differs from other countries in its visa application process since an applicant needs to have an authorized agent who will submit the UAE visa applicationfor the applicant. Alternatively, you can also get the application submitted through a sponsor in Dubai. Here is a list of entities that can file and submit applications on your behalf:

  • Host or sponsor living in the UAE
  • Travel agency with a license through which the applicant has booked the travel ticket.
  • Hotel or the accommodation that you have reserved in the UAE

One of the following airlines:

  • Emirates Airline
  • Etihad Airways
  • Fly Dubai
  • Air Arabia

Processing Time

Usually, it takes 3-4 working days for UAE Visa application approval. Furthermore, all the visas are valid to enter Dubai for 60 days from the date of issue. Transit visa for 48 hours and 96 hours are valid for 30 days from the issuance date instead of 60 days.

Visa Fee

The fee varies depending on the type of UAE visa you are applying for. Here is the list from Emirates.com detailing the fee charged. Other agencies and air travel companies also charge a similar fee. However, we suggest you compare the fee charged from a different agency and then make a decision.

Visa TypeDurationApproximate FeeExtensions
48-hour48 hoursUS$10Non-extendable
96-hour4-days from the date of arrivalUS$30Non-extendable
Short term tourist visa (Single Entry)30 days from the date of arrivalUS$90Can be extended by paying $230 as a fee
Short term tourist visa (multiple entries)30 days from the date of arrivalUS$175Can be extended by paying $230 as the fee
Long term tourist visa (single entry)90 days from the date of arrivalUS$190Can be extended by paying $230
Long term tourist visa (multiple entries)90 days from the first entryUS$460Can be extended by paying $230

Source: Emirates.com

Documents Required

  • Colored photographs.
  • Photocopy of your passport with three months validity
  • The original application form, available with the agency that has filled the application (English or Arabic language)
  • Copy of the airline ticket

Apart from the documents mentioned above, nationals of some countries might provide additional documents. Here is a list of countries that need extra documents.

  • Afghanistan – National ID Card
  • Iraq – National ID Card
  • Pakistan – National ID Card
  • Iran – National ID Card

·        Applying through a Sponsor

Sponsor EmployerSponsor DocumentsVisitor Documents
Emirates and Dnata StaffCopy of Staff IDA colored photograph of the passenger, a colored printout of the passport copy, visa application form, Copy of airline ticket
Government/Semi-GovernmentProof of salary (certificate) Passport of the sponsor and proof of residenceA colored photograph of the passenger, a colored printout of the passport copy, visa application form, Copy of airline ticket
Free-zone companySalary certificate from free zone authority (Arabic) Passport of the sponsor and proof of residence  A colored photograph of the passenger, a colored printout of the passport copy, visa application form, Copy of airline ticket
Private CompanySalary certificate or a copy of the labor contract Passport of the sponsor or Residency copyA colored photograph of the passenger, the colored printout of the passport copy, visa application form, Copy of airline ticket
InvestorTrading License Copy Passport of the sponsor or Residency copy  A colored photograph of the passenger, a colored printout of the passport copy, visa application form, Copy of airline ticket
PartnerPassport of the sponsor or Residency copy  A colored photograph of the passenger, a colored printout of the passport copy, visa application form, Copy of airline ticket


·        Investment Requirement for Long Term Resident Visa

Last year, the UAE came up with a new system for a long-term residence visa to grant foreigners legal autonomy to live, work, and study in the UAE. This new system does not require a national sponsor. The visa is issued for 5-10 years and can be renewed automatically. 

Eligibility for 10 Year Visa

You have to make investments of at least AED 10 million in the public sector. The investment has the following options:

  • Depositing at least AED 10 million in an investment fund in UAE
  • Setting up a company in the UAE with a capital of minimum AED 10 million
  • Become a partner in an existing or new company with a share value of a minimum of AED 10 million.

The applicant would need to make a total investment of not less than AED 10 million. However, in real estate, the investment should not be less than 60% of the total investment.

Apart from the investment amount, there are other conditions to be met:

  • Applicant should not loan amount invested
  • The applicant should remain invested for at least three years
  • Applicant should have the financial solvency of up to AED 10 million

For the 5-year visa, the total amount to be invested is not less than AED 5 million, with the same conditions to be met.

·        Application Process for Long term resident visa

You can find the entire application process of multiple entries for an entrepreneur on the official website (https://smartservices.ica.gov.ae/echannels/web/client/default.html#/serviceCards/603?administrativeRegionId=1&applicationId=12).

The steps in brief are:

  • Application submission through channels.
  • Application reception by the employee.
  • Processing of the application.
  • Completion of the service.


Can I Stay in UAE without a visa?

UAE allows nationals of specific countries to stay without a visa for a limited timeframe. However, they must provide requisite documents for proof of national identity.

Can I apply for a multiple entry visa for UAE travel?


The UAE offers you an option to apply for single and multiple entry visas depending on the visa type of your choice.

Can you renew the UAE Visa?

Visa is not renewed for a stay of 30 days or 90 days. The guest will have to exit on the due date and re-apply.

United Arab Emirate COVID 19  Restriction Guide for Travelers  

In a bid to curb the spread of the global pandemic, the United Arab Emirate’s Center for Disease Control has outlined some precautionary measures to guide UAE’s outbound and inbound travelers. Travelers coming in and out of  the  UAE are advised to adhere strictly to the COVID-19 travel guide outlined below:

Guideline Before Traveling:

  • Travelers need to run a COVID-19 test and ensure that they are tested negative before booking their flight. They must have a printed polymerase chain reaction test certificate, which they will submit to the travel agency to ascertain that they are tested negative to COVID 19 before travel.
  • The result of the test must not exceed  93  hours before traveling.
  • The COVID 19 certificate must be a polymerase chain reaction  (PCR)  test result. Every other test, including the antibody test using a home test kit certificate, will not be accepted by the UAE.
  • Children under the age of twelve and people with mild or severe disabilities are exempted from the test.

During the flight

While on the flight, you will fill an undertaking form,  indicating that you have accepted the UAE government’s compulsory quarantine upon arrival.  This form is to be submitted directly to the Dubai Health Authority personnel upon arrival. 

On Arrival  

  • Submit your form to the Dubai Health Authority personnel.
  • They may ask you to take another COVID 19  Polymerase chain reaction test.
  • They may also ask you to remain in your hotel apartment or home until you are issued your test result.
  • If the result comes out positive,  you will have to isolate yourself and adhere strictly to the precautionary measures given to you by the Dubai Health Authority.
  • You must download the COVID-19  DXB smart APP on your android device.
  • Dubai offers you free health insurance cover for your COVID-19 quarantine cost.


Dubai is one of the wealthiest economies in the world. This fact presents an excellent opportunity for tourists, entrepreneurs, and even students. Our carefully elaborated guide will assist you in following the due process of UAE visa application and make the approval process glitch-free.

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