Do You Need an Entry Permit or Visa to Enter UAE?

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Who needs an Entry Permit or Visa to enter UAE? GCC citizens do not need a visa to enter the UAE. Some of the other nationalities can obtain a visa on arrival while others need to apply for a visa in advance. Find out if you need a visa to enter the UAE.

Entry permits and visa policies:
The UAE visa and permit system works according to rules and regulations set by Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) and its affiliated Directorates of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in each emirate.

Visa-Free Entry:
Citizens of GCC countries do not require a visa or permit or to be sponsored by a national or resident in the UAE. They need to produce their GCC country passport or national ID card at the point of entry into the UAE.

Pre-arranged entry permits:
All those who do not fall into visa-free category will require an entry permit prior to arrival into the UAE and someone to sponsor it.

What type of entry permit you need?
The entry permit you need depends on the purpose of your visit. It could be for:

1: Tourism
2: Visit
3: Transit
4: Work.

Requirements for an entry permit UAE:

1: You need a sponsor to apply for your entry permit. The sponsor could be:

An Emirati citizen
An expatriate resident with valid residency permit in the UAE
A UAE-based airline
A UAE-based hotel or tour agent
A government entity
UAE companies in the private sector or free zones.

2:  Prospective visitors seeking entry permits UAE are required to have a genuine passport, valid for at least six months.

3: A ban in UAE prohibits a person from entering the country or taking up a new job. Prospective visitors must not have been deported or be banned from entering the UAE in which case, he needs to obtain special permission to re-enter the country.

4: Visitors who come to the UAE with an entry permit to work in the UAE are required to undergo medical tests at government approved health clinics in the UAE. They will be tested for communicable diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis (TB). Those found to be HIV positive or having TB will be deported from UAE.

Before you apply for UAE visa or an entry permit, check if you are eligible for a visa-free entry or to receive a visa on arrival or you need an e-Visa prior to travel or an entry permit pre-arranged by a sponsor based in the UAE.

Who can apply for your entry permit?
Many channels can apply for an entry permit for you such as your relative, friends, Emirati nationals, UAE Based airlines, agencies, hotels, government entity or a private company.

·      A relative or friend living in the UAE

A relative or a friend residing in the UAE can sponsor your entry permit to the UAE. The entry permit application can be processed at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) of the emirate of the relative or friend’s residence.

Usually, an expatriate resident can sponsor an entry permit for his first-degree relatives only such as spouse, children, parents, brothers or sisters.

Nationals can sponsor entry permits for their families and friends.

Required Documents to apply for Entry Permit UAE:

If the sponsor is a national, he/she should present:
1: A recent photo of the sponsored
2: A copy of the sponsored passport; the passport should be valid for at least 6 months
3: Proof of health insurance of the sponsored from a company operating in the UAE
A refundable financial guarantee of 1000 AED for the entry permit

If the sponsor is an expatriate resident in the UAE, he should present:
1: A recent photo of the sponsored
2: A copy of the sponsored passport; the passport should be valid for at least 6 months
3: Proof of health insurance of the sponsored from a company operating in the UAE
4: A refundable financial guarantee of AED 1,000 for entry permit
5: His salary certificate
6: His employment contract
7: His attested lease contract
8: A recent electricity bill for his accommodation
9: His attested marriage contract, in case entry permit is for his spouse.

·       The UAE-based airlines:

The UAE-based airlines can apply for an entry permit on your behalf to the visa-issuing authorities in the UAE. Each airline has some general or specific conditions, which must be met in order for your permit to be arranged by them. One of these conditions is flying with them.

·       Agencies and hotels:

Licensed travel agents and hotels in the UAE can arrange an entry permit if you purchase the air ticket through them and maintain hotel reservation with the specific hotel.

You can also contact travel agencies in your country for tourism packages to the UAE who can arrange an entry permit in collaboration with a tour operator in the UAE.

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 per cent sure that the tour operator is genuine. You can seek the help of the UAE embassy in your country for verification.

As per the website of GDRFA, hotels and tourist companies can apply for an entry permit on your behalf which will entitle you to a:

30-day tourist visa extendable to 40 days
14-day service visa
30-day visit visa extendable to 30 days

·       A Government Entity:

If you are a prospective employee of a government entity in the UAE, it can apply for an entry permit for you. Government entities include federal ministries, government agencies, Courts of Rulers and their representatives and other entities that are not governed by the UAE’s Labour Law.

·       Private Companies:

Private and free zone companies can obtain entry permits for their prospective employees. The entry permit allows the employee (worker) to enter the country within 2 months from the issuance date and to stay for a maximum period of Thirty days (30 days) from the date of entry. Employers (sponsors) must change the status of their employees (workers) into UAE residence visa within 30 days from the employee’s entry into the UAE.

Companies must submit the following documents to the respective GDRFA:

1: Initial work permit issued by Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation
2: Copy of the sponsored person’s passport
3: Copy of the company’s valid trade license
4: Copy of the establishment card
5: Copy of the PRO (Public Relations Officer) Card

Validity of Entry Permits UAE:

The validity of entry permits UAE and the time frame within which the visitor should enter the country depends on the type of entry permit issued. The validity permit for visit visas, tourist visas and/or employment visas is 60 days from the issue date.

However, the validity of entry permits for GCC residents is 30 days from the issue date.

96-hours transit visas are valid only for 14 days from the issuance day. Different validity duration applies for multiple entry visas and temporary work permits. Check with Ministry of Interior or the local GDRFA about your visa validity.

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