Types of Visa in UAE

Dubai Visa Types, Types of visa in uae, uae tourist visa, uae transit visa, uae student visa, uae residence visa, uae long term visa, uae patient visa

There are seven types of visa in UAE, please note that Visa issuance is subject to certain requirements, which include passing a medical fitness test, a security check and the approval of the GDRFA in the relevant emirate.

1: Residence Visa
2: Tourist Visa or Visit Visa
3: Transit Visa
4: Student Visa
5: e-Visa for GCC Residents
6: Retirement Visa for UAE Residents
7: Patient Visa/ Patient and his/her companion entry permits

1: UAE Residence Visa:

UAE Residence visa sometimes known as work visa usually used for expats taking up a job in the UAE which is valid for 2 years for LLC and 3 years for free zone companies. Residence visa should be applied by employer (sponsor), medical is mandatory to get this visa.

In 2019, the UAE implemented a new system for long-term residence visas. The new system enables foreigners to live, work and study in the UAE without the need of a national sponsor and with 100 per cent ownership of their business on the UAE’s mainland. These residence visas will be issued for 5 or 10 years and will be renewed automatically.

For Eligibility and details of Long term residence visa, click here

2: UAE Tourist Visa – UAE Visit Visa:

Whom is a tourist visa for?
UAE Tourist visa is for those who are not eligible for visa on arrival or a visa-free entry to the United Arab Emirates. Tourist visa can be obtained for eligible individual tourists from around the world. Females below the age of 18 are not eligible to apply for this type of visa unless they are travelling with their parents.

Free Tourist Visa:
According to a Cabinet resolution passed in July 2018, children under the age of 18 years who are accompanying adults can get a free visa for their visit from 15 July to 15 September each year.

What is the validity of a tourist visa?
Depending on your plan, tourist visas to the UAE can be issued for 30 days or 90 days duration, single entry or multiple entries.

Who can apply for your tourist visa?
The UAE embassies do not issue tourist visas. In order to get a tourist visa to the UAE, you need to get in touch with a touring agency, one of the UAE-based airlines, or a hotel (where you intend to stay) in the UAE who will apply for visa on your behalf to the official visa-issuing authorities in the UAE.

Tourist visas through Travel Agencies and Hotels:
Licensed travel or tour agents and hotels in the UAE can arrange a tourist visa for you provided you purchase the ticket through them and maintain hotel reservation with the specific hotel.

It is important to check the authenticity of travel agents you are dealing with and refrain from paying or sending copies of your official documents until after you are 100% sure the tour operator is genuine. You may seek the help of the UAE embassy in your country for verification purpose.

Tourist visas through Airlines:
Each airline has some conditions, which must be met in order for your visa to be arranged by them. One of the conditions is flying with them. For more updated and specific information, check the following UAE-based airlines for visa types, facilities, terms and conditions:

Renewing or Extending UAE Tourist Visa:
All types of visit and tourist visas can be extended for 30 days twice, upon renewal without the need to leave the country. Visitors and tourists can apply for the second renewal before the expiry of the first one against AED 600 each time of renewal.

However, the new rule for extension does not apply on the following categories:

                 Visitors and tourists who are residents in GCC countries
                 Residents accompanying GCC nationals
                 Those on special entry permits
                 Those on 96-hour permit for special missions

3: Transit Visa:

There are two types of transit visas: one for 48 hours which is free of charge and another for 96 hours for AED 50 only. Transit visas are sponsored only by the UAE-based airlines and must be processed and approved before entering the UAE. Both types of transit visas are not extendable.

Who needs UAE transit visa?
If you are not one of the nationalities that are eligible for visa on arrival or a visa-free entry to the UAE, then you need a transit visa.

Transit Visa Requirements:
 To get a UAE transit visa, you must have:
  • A passport or travel document with a minimum validity of three months
  • A photo of self against a white background
  • An onward ticket booking to a 3rd destination, other than the one you are coming from.

4: Student Visa:

UAE student's visa is the 1 year renewable visa for a university or a college student studying in the UAE. It is issued to expatriate students who are residing in UAE under the sponsorship of their parents or relatives, or to foreign international students who come from abroad to join one of the higher educational institutes across UAE.

Long-term visa for outstanding students
On 24 November 2018, the UAE government approved a decision to grant a 5-year visa to outstanding students.

Eligibility conditions for a 5-year Student visa are:

School students must graduate with a grade of at least 95 per cent from secondary schools whether public or private.
University students must graduate with a distinctive GPA of at least 3.75 from universities within and outside the country.

Visa benefits will also include families of the outstanding students.

Student Visa Requirements:
To get UAE student’s visa, the applicant must obtain an official admission letter from the university he is studying at. For older students, a certificate of continuation of study is needed. Other requirements include:

                 Passing medical fitness test
                 A visa sponsor, either the university itself or a parent or relative
                 Approval of the General Directorate of Residency & Foreigners Affairs.

How can Colleges and Universities secure a visa for their students?
Accredited universities and colleges in the UAE can secure a visa for their students whether international students or students already residing in the UAE. Students should refer to terms and conditions listed in each university or college to know specific requirements for admission and visa process.

How can expatriate residents secure a student’s visa for their children?
UAE laws do not allow UAE resident expatriate to continue sponsoring their male children above the age of 18. An exception is given to male students who continue their studies in one of the higher educational institutes in the UAE or abroad. Therefore, male students over the age 18 can remain on their parent’s residence visa sponsorship as long as they provide an evidence of attendance at a higher educational institute for a minimum of one year’s course. Expatriate parents may continue to sponsor their female children for study, regardless of their children’s age.

Note: New rules for children’s visa sponsored by parents

Starting from 21 October 2018, students who graduate from their universities or secondary schools or complete 18 years of age will be granted a one-year residence visa, renewable for another year from the graduation date or on completing 18 years.

For this type of visa, parents are not required to place bank deposits. The visa will cost AED100 for first time issuing and renewal.                   
To avail this service, parents must present duly attested graduation certificates from universities or schools, whether inside the country or abroad.

5: e-Visa for GCC Residents:

GCC residents and companions travelling with GCC citizens need to apply for visa online and obtain the same before arriving in the UAE.

Notes and Conditions:
1: e-Visa will be sent to you to your registered email address once your application is approved
2: Application for GCC residents and companions travelling with GCC citizens will not be approved if the sponsor is not travelling along with them
3: GCC residents’ entry permit is valid for 30 days from the date of issue and they are allowed to stay for 30 days from the date of entry. The visa is extendable once for 30 days
4: Entry permit for companions travelling with GCC citizens is valid for 60 days from the date of issue and they are allowed to stay for 60 days from the date of entry. The visa is extendable once for 60 days
5: Upon arrival if the GCC resident’s visa is found to be expired or cancelled, he will not be granted entry
6: If the profession of the GCC resident is found to be changed after the issuance of his entry permit, the entry permit holder will not be granted entry
7: GCC residency must be valid for at least 3 months from the arrival date
8: The passport of GCC residents must be valid at least 3 months from the arrival date.

6: Retirement Visa for UAE Residents:

In September 2018, the UAE Cabinet approved a law to provide retired residents over the age of 55 a long-term visa for a period of 5 years, with the possibility of renewal, if eligibility criteria are met.

For a retiree to be eligible for a 5-year renewable retirement visa, he must fulfill one of the following criteria:

                 Invest in a property worth AED 2 million
                 Have financial savings of no less than AED 1 million
                 Have an active income of no less than AED 20,000 per month.

The visa is valid for 5 years with the possibility of renewing it if they meet the eligibility criteria.

7: Patient Entry Permit:

Foreign patients can enter the UAE for treatment under sponsorship of medical establishment and government and private hospitals. The sponsor (medical establishment) takes the responsibility of processing entry permits for treatment upon the patient’s request. The sponsor must be a hospital licensed and registered in the UAE.

Required documents to get Patient Entry Permit:
The following documents are needed to process the entry permit:

                 Patient’s passport copy
                 A letter from a registered hospital explaining reasons of visit
                 Patient’s health insurance
                 Financial security.

Also Read: UAE Visa on Arrival Countries List

Guide on types of Visa in UAE ended here, please note that UAE visa rules are subject to change, our respected readers are always advised to check with UAE embassies and consulate abroad or contact the official sources such as Federal Authority for Identity and citizenship (ICA) for latest UAE Visas rules and requirements.

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