Types of UAE Visas

Scroll down to learn more about the types of UAE visas:

Visa-Free Entry

Visa on Arrival

Tourist Visa

Transit Visa

Work Visa

Long-Term Residence Visas

Retirement Visa

Note 1: Check out which UAE visa applications do not need a medical fitness test.

Note 2: Pravasi Bharatiya Sahayata Kendra (PBSK) is an initiative by the Government of India to provide support to the Indian Expatriate community.

VISA-FREE ENTRY

Citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have visa-free entry into the UAE. They do not need a visa or sponsorship, and instead have to show either their passport or national ID at the point of entry into the UAE.

The GCC countries are:

  • United Arab Emirates
  • Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Kingdom of Bahrain
  • Sultanate of Oman
  • State of Kuwait
  • State of Qatar

VISA ON ARRIVAL

There are two types of visa on arrival for the UAE:

14 Day Visa on Arrival: This is applicable for Indian citizens who fulfill the following three conditions:

1

They must hold an authentic passport.

2

Visit Visa issued by the USA

OR

Green Card issued by the USA

OR

Residence Visa issued by the UK

OR

Residence Visa issued by the EU

3

Visa or Green Card must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of arrival in the UAE.

Further Reading

UAE Visa Requirements for Non-US Citizens


TOURIST VISA

Individuals who are not eligible to enter the UAE either through visa-on-arrival or visa-free entry, should apply for the tourist visa.

Note: Girls under the age of 18 cannot apply for a tourist visa unless they are travelling with their parents.

There are different types of tourist visas for the UAE. They can be applied for through the airline carrier you are traveling with, agencies and hotels, as well as personal sponsors.

  • Free Visa for Minors: In July 2018, the UAE Cabinet decided to exempt children from tourist visa fees. The three conditions for this exemption are:
    • The children must be under the age of 18
    • The children must be travelling with adults. In the case of girls, they must be travelling with their parents.
    • Their visit must be scheduled between 15th July to 15th September.
  • Short-Term Single Entry: 30 days from the date of arrival in the UAE.
  • Short-Term Multiple Entry: 30 days from the date of first entry in the UAE.
  • Long-Term Single Entry: 90 days from the date of arrival in the UAE.
  • Long-Term Multiple Entry: 90 days from the date of first entry in the UAE.
  • 5 Year Multiple Entry: Announced in Jan 2020 in anticipation of Expo 2020 which Dubai is hosting.

Further Reading

Information on Tourist Visa

UAE exempts accompanying tourist dependents from visa fees

Emirates Visas Services


TRANSIT VISA

Individuals who are not eligible to enter the UAE either through visa-on-arrival or visa-free entry, but wish to stay for less than a week, should apply for the transit visa. This can be arranged only by the UAE-based airline carrier you are travelling with.

  • 48 Hour Visa: This visa is issued free of charge for passengers. The 48 hour visa has the following requirements:
    • Individual must have onward travel reservation for a 3rd destination other than the one he/she is coming from
    • The reservation must be within 48 hours from the time of arrival in the UAE.
    • Note that once a 48 hours visa is issued, it cannot be extended to 96 hours.
  • 96 Hour Visa: This visa is issued for AED 50 to passengers. The 96 hour visa has the following requirements:
    • Individual must have onward travel reservation for a 3rd destination other than the one he/she is coming from
    • The reservation must be within 96 hours from the time of arrival in the UAE.

WORK VISA

The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) is responsible for issuing employment visas and has offices in each emirate of the UAE. For any questions, you can visit its office in Dubai (Amer).

Obtaining a work visa for the UAE involves the following steps:

  1. Work permit is issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE). This work permit is valid for two months from the date of issue and allows the employee to enter the UAE.
  2. Employee arrives in the UAE.
  3. Withing 60 days, the employer/company has to complete the legal formalities for the employee:
    • Employee’s medical testing
    • Emirates ID card
    • Labour Card
    • Stamping the work residency permit in the passport
  4. After the process is complete, the employee can sponsor family members and bring them to the UAE.

Under the Ministerial Decree No. 766 of 2015 and the UAE’s Labour Law No. 8 of 1980 (amended), employees have the following rights:

  • There is no specified age on the basis of which an employee can be terminated.
  • If an employee has been terminated because their employment contract has expired, he/she can apply for a new work permit.
  • Employees can transfer their residency to a different sponsor provided they maintain legal status in the UAE.

It will also help a great deal to become familiar with the UAE Labour Law.

In recent years, the UAE authorities have taken extensive steps to tackle fraudulent activities in job recruitment. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) have set up centres outside the UAE. These centres provide information in the local language, so that applicants and potential employees can properly understand their rights, the laws, as well as the terms and conditions of their employment.

Indian citizens can also approach Pravasi Bharatiya Sahayata Kendra (PBSK) for any help. PBSK is an initiative by the Government of India to provide support for the Indian Expatriate community.

Further Reading

Getting a work and residency permit

Workers will be able to view job offers before arriving in UAE

Entry permit and visa policies

UAE Labour Law | Laws and Regulations


LONG-TERM RESIDENCE VISAS

In 2019, the UAE introduced a new protocol for long-term residence visas, which provides 100 percent business ownership rights and eliminates the need for a national sponsor. These new long-term residence visas are issued for 5 or 10 years, and are renewed automatically.

Note: 10 year visa applicants can also include their spouse and children.

Investor Visa: There are two categories available for investors:

  • 5 Year Investor Visa: Investors who are purchasing property worth AED 5 million or more are eligible for a residence visa for 5 years.
  • 10 Year Investor Visa: Investors in public investments of at least AED 10 million are eligible for a renewable residence visa every 10 years. Examples of such investments include:
    • Deposit in an investment fund
    • Establishing a company in the UAE with a minimum capital of AED 10 million
    • Business partnership
    • Total investment of at least AED 10 million, provided real estate does not exceed 40 percent

Entrepreneur Visa: Applicants must have a prior project worth at least AED 500,000, or the approval of an accredited business incubator in the UAE.

Outstanding Student Visa: This visa is applicable to public and private secondary school students with a minimum grade of 95 percent, as well as university students (both inside and outside the UAE) with a minimum GPA of 3.75 upon graduation.

Specialized Talents Visa: This visa includes doctors, specialists, scientists, inventors, as well as creative individuals in the field of culture and art. All applicants are required to have valid employment in a specialized field of priority in the UAE.

Business Golden Visa: Professionals from all over the world are invited to bring their entrepreneurial knowledge to the UAE and set up their own businesses in the country. Applicants can upload documents of their projects on the official golden visa website. The concerned government instituitions will review the applications.

Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) offers non-UAE residents, who wish to apply for the long-term visas, the opportunity to visit the UAE and to analyze their options via a six month interim visa. The ICA has activated three new services on its portal to process applications:

  • Six month visa with multiple entry for investors to complete the residency procedures
  • Six month visa with multiple entry for entrepreneurs and outstanding students to complete the residency procedures
  • Six month visa with single entry for talented individuals to complete the residency procedures

Applicants who receive the interim visa will be provided services such as:

  • Emirates ID
  • Direct licensing
  • Opening bank accounts
  • Property registration

Further Reading

Long-term residence visas in the UAE

6,000 Apply for 5, 10-year UAE Visa: Are You Eligible?

The UAE Will Now Accept Long-Term Visa Applications

Dubai launches long-term cultural visa


RETIREMENT VISA

In September 2018, the UAE Cabinet announced a 5 Year Renewable Retirement Visa for residents over the age of 55. Residents are eligible for this long-term visa if they meet certain criteria:

  • Investment in a property worth AED 2 million
  • Financial savings not less than AED 1 million
  • Active income of at least AED 20,000 per month

The Retirement Visa makes it easier for residents to stay in Dubai and the UAE even if their employment contracts have come to an end.

Further Reading

Retirement visa for UAE residents

How the UAE’s Retirement Visa is Boosting the Charm of Dubai’s Luxury Residential Property