United Arab Emirates Visa – Detailed Guide
The UAE is not just a land of unoccupied barren deserts and limited land area. It is a country that has used its odds in its favour and created masterpieces like the palm-shaped artificial islands, some of the world's tallest structures and the desert safaris to enjoy and cherish the golden sands. Its breakneck development speed, the flourishing economy and its unquenchable drive to move forward has boosted its ranks in the list of places to live, work, invest and visit. For a middle eastern country, the UAE is very open-minded and welcomes individuals of different nations creating a wonderful potpourri of culture. For all of you who have been wanting to visit the UAE read on to find out about one of the most important steps you need to take if you are entering the country, a United Arab Emirates visa .
TYPES OF VISAS IN UAE 2017
The UAE has various types of visas to best suit the individual's purpose of travel. Here I have mentioned the different types of visas, their procedures and the required supporting documents.
Validity period: 3 years
This visa type caters to individuals of different nationalities (not residing in UAE) who are interested to invest in the UAE and open a business. This allows the holder to reside in the UAE for the duration and does not make the holder eligible for a UAE citizenship. The maximum time period for a UAE investor visa is 3 years. This is an ideal step for those who want to build their own business in the UAE or invest on a business that already exists. Being a UAE investor visa holder gives the individual the Green Signal to reside and work in the country.The visa holder should follow all rules and regulations, abide by the code of conduct and laws that that the UAE has set throughout their stay.
How does an individual qualify for UAE investor visa?
There are two requirements that need to be met for an individual to be eligible for an investment visa:
1. The foreign national should make a deposit of 10000 AED or 20000 AED with the Government of UAE.
2. The foreign national should prove to the UAE government that he has sufficient money to start up a business in UAE or make a note worthy investment into an existing UAE company.
After the requirements are met and the individual applied for the visa, the UAE immigration authorities must approve the investment for the investor's United Arab Emirates Visa to get approved. After approval of visa the individual can collect it from the UAE consulate and move for residency to UAE.
Benefits of the UAE investor visa:
1.it's not required to have a job offer from a UAE Company
2.The individual does not have to pay tax throughout his stay in UAE.
2.Business Partner visa
If you are a partner of a business in UAE and wish to obtain a visa to enter the UAE, there are certain criteria that make you eligible for this visa:
1.You have to provide proof of your partnership in the UAE-based business.
2.You should have a minimum share of 48000 AED in the business.
3You must provide documents stating your role in the business. Once you have met all the criteria and obtained the visa, you can stay in the country for 2 months and work on a residency application to extend your stay.
3.Employment Visa, Residency Visa and Work Permit
Validity period: 30 days (renewable 2 times)
Who wouldn't want to work in UAE? It has a promising economy, an active entertainment scene, a diverse community and a fast pace that adds to its charm.The international city that has most benefits from all 7 Emirates is Dubai followed up by Abu Dhabi.A Dubai work visa can serve you just right and help you move forward in your career.Because of Dubai's speedy development employers are on the lookout for individuals with knowledge and skills they can benefit from.If you are daydreaming of working in UAE, the only document that can make this dream a reality is a UAE work visa.The procedures and requirements for the employment visa varies slightly from Emirate to Emirate. Since Dubai employs many foreign individuals, the visa procedure is as simple as it can get. If you have applied for a job in UAE and your employer is willing to hire you, it is his responsibility to apply for your visa and take care of all the fees and administration procedures.
This visa is valid only for 60 days starting from the date of arrival in UAE. Next, to make your stay long term the UAE government requires you to obtain a residency visa which gives you the Green Signal to stay for a maximum of 3 years.If you wish to work in the company for a longer period it can be renewed.The residency visa makes you eligible for obtaining a driver's licence and to open a bank account and get a work permit.
To get a UAE residency visa you will have to undergo certain medical checks screening for any contagious or sexually transmitted diseases.If your medical certificates come clean your visa will be issued if not you will be deported.
What are the documents needed to apply for a UAE residence visa?
To get a work permit, the individual needs to hold a residency visa which is valid for 3 years. The documents required vary depending on the visa type.The documents listed below are what is generally required for all residence visa types.
1.clear passport copies and original passport.The passport should have a minimum of 6 months validity passed the expected duration of stay. For instance, if you are willing to stay in the UAE until June 2017 then your passport should be valid until at least December 2017.
2.Passport size colour photographs
3.Bank approval letter
4.Visa application form duly filled by your employer
5.Visa application fee (which is legally the responsibility of employer )
Along with all these documents your employer is required to prove that the business is locally registered and the position for which you are being hired cannot be filled locally.
If you are applying for residency, apart from documents 1 to 5 listed above you will require the following:
6.valid business licence of the company
7.copy of a valid company card
8.entry permit issued by the Ministry of Labour
9.health certificate (this can be obtained by taking a health check at a medical clinic or Government hospital which is conducted within the country after the individual has arrived. checks taken in any other country are not valid)
once you have gotten the residency visa you are allowed a labour card or work permit. The residency visa is different from a work permit or labour card.
What does a medical check include? The medical check will cover these tests:
1.An X-ray of the chest area
2.blood test checking for leprosy,HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and hepatitis.
If your result turns positive for any of the following you will be deported. Procedure for entry and work permit
1.The employer will apply for a work permit through The Ministry of Labour. The MOL checks if there are any unemployed Emiratis who can fill in for the job role. If the application requires approval for employment in free zones the employees should apply before the employee enters UAE.
2.After the Ministry of Labour approves the work permit, the ministry issues the pink visa,formally known as the entry permit. This document allows the individual to legally enter the UAE. The permit is issued with the validity of only 30 days from the date of arrival but can be extended twice summing up to a stay of 60 days
3.Once the employee is in UAE, the employee can go ahead and apply for the labour card. In the case of employment in the free zone and ID card will be issued. The ID card and Labour card is valid for 2 years starting from the date of issue.
4.The employee should visit the Emirates ID service centre with the following documents:
- Original passport
- original entry permit
- form duly filled
5.the employee needs to obtain a medical certificate from government hospital or a certified medical clinic. The medical certificate along with the educational qualifications authenticated by the UAE Embassy in the Homeland and the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs (depends on the profession) and other supporting documents need to be handed over to the department of naturalization and Residency Dubai (DNRD) and the visa will be stamped on employee's passport
what are the documents required for work permit or labour card?
- photograph of applicant
- valid residency visa
- valid passport
- valid health certificate
- 3 copies of employment contract (one each for employer, employee and the Ministry of Labour)
- educational certificates and evidence of educational qualification
- valid business licence of sponsoring company
4.Multiple Entry Visa
Validity period: 6 months
Multiple entry visa are for those individuals who have to exit and enter UAE many times in a short duration.This was implemented because visitors have to wait for one month before re-applying for a new visit visa (this does not apply to individuals flying from countries that are eligible for United Arab Emirates Visa on arrival). passengers of Cruise ships are issued a 3 month UAE multiple entry visa because they enter and exit the UAE territory many times as per their schedule. Maximum number of days to reside in UAE is 14 days for each entry. Individuals involved in business and property investors can obtain a multiple entry visa that is valid for upto 6 months with a 30 day stay duration per visit. Business owners need to have an independent income and possessions of Property worth a significant amount.The visa is non renewable.
What are the documents needed to apply for a multiple entry visa? Documents might vary depending on the visa you are applying for. In general, these are the required documents:
- photograph of applicant
- Passport that carries the valid entry permit (if this is your first time applying for property or business multiple entry visa, bring along photographs of the personal details page in your passport and the page with the entry permit stamped)
- 6 passport size colour photographs
- fully filled application form obtained from typist at UAE immigration department
- either of these documents depending on the visa type you are applying for and your relationship with the sponsor
- marriage certificate
- birth certificate
- trade licence and Employment contract
- property title deed
bring along a copy and the original that is approved by the Ministry that is in charge of the issuing body What is the application procedure for the UAE multiple entry visa?
outside UAE: visit UAE Embassy in your country with the documents and the money
in UAE: visit Immigration department of the Emirates you are in or your sponsor resides. Head over to the typing centre with the documents and the money. They will fill up the application form and send you to the issuing counter.
Who does not get multiple entry visa?
Nationalities that obtain a Visa on arrival do not get a multiple entry visa as they can exit and enter UAE whenever they require.The VISA will be stamped at the airport check out when the individual lands or enters through any of the land borders or seaport.This is like having a multiple entry visa with an indefinite validity period.Please read the section 'upon arrival Visa' of the blog to know which nationalities receive Visa on entry.
Validity period:14 days from date of issue
Passengers who are travelling with the transit of minimum 8 hours in the UAE are eligible for a Transit Visa. The Visa will be valid for 14 days from date of issue and the stay duration is limited to 96 hours per entry.This United Arab Emirates Visa for transit passengers is only issued by Airlines.
What are the United Arab Emirates Transit Visa requirements ?
The documents that need to be submitted depend on the applicant's country of residence. Below are the mandatory documents that need to be submitted:
1.Coloured copy of passport biodata page. Black and white copies will be rejected.
2.Coloured copy of the last page in a passport.This depends on your nationality as some passports, example Indian, have important information at the back. If there is no such information at the back then a copy of this page is not required.
3.Photograph that is clear. Photos that have been copied and cropped from the passport and black and white photos will not be accepted.
4.Proof of residence is required if the individual's country of residence is different from their motherland.If the individual resides in a different country then the residency visa should also be submitted.
6.If the individual is a national of any high risk countries then their supporting document should include either of the following:
- Evidence of a valid visa or travel within the last 5 years to any of these countries: Australia, Canada,schengen countries, New Zealand, UAE, UK, USA.
- Documents proving the individual possesses investments of minimum 8000 USD.
- The individual has an annual income of minimum 8000 USD which is mentioned in the local Income Tax papers.
- Fully filled visa application form
UAE transit visa for Indian citizens
6.Long-term Single Entry Visa
Validity: 60 days from date of issue
The 90 days visit visa for UAE is categorised into 3 divisions:
This is for when an individual needs to enter the UAE for any business related activities. The documents required to be submitted for the application are:
- coloured passport copy of individual
- invitation letter of host company OR the resident permit and colour passport copy of the host
- Confirmed ticket
- Hotel reservation
- Cover letter of company
This category is applicable for those individuals who wish to visit their family or relatives residing in the UAE. These documents are required to apply for a personal Visa
- coloured passport copy of biodata page
- issued and confirmed ticket
- sponsor or host's coloured passport copy of the biodata page
- sponsor's or host's residence visa copy
- guarantee letter from sponsor or host
- proof of relationship (birth certificate,marriage certificate)
tourism or property
The individuals who wish to visit UAE for leisure purposes or to invest on real estate, these are the required documents:
- Coloured copy of passport biodata page
- issued and confirmed ticket
- Hotel reservation
- property papers (not applicable for tourists)
The necessary documents depending on the visa type will be collected and handed over to the UAE department of immigration for pre-approval. Once it has been approved, the documents with the application will be sent to the visa application centre. After the immigration approves, the individual can enter the country.
7.Short-term Single Entry Tourist Visa
Validity: 58 days from date of issue
This visa is non extendable and allows the visa holder to reside in the UAE for 30 days.The United Arab Emirates visit visa processing time is usually between 3 to 7 working days, excluding any UAE holidays and weekends. For the UAE visit visa 30 days to be issued without any trouble, the following documents should be submitted:
- Accurately filled application form
- Coloured photograph of applicant with white background
- Clear and coloured passport copy of the biodata page and additional information page depending on the nationality. make sure that the passport has a minimum Validity of 6 months.
- copy of issued tickets
UAE has a good educational front with many universities offering certified professional courses in all fields. This attracts students from many countries to come to UAE for education. Apart from that, UAE has a good entertainment front and is regarded as one of the safest countries to live in. Those who want to study in UAE require a student visa. The student visa is only valid for a year and if needed can be renewed every year until the course is completed. Responsibility of issuing the student visa is usually taken by the university. For the university to apply for the visa the student must get an offer letter and accept it. The required documents need to be sent to the university for the visa procedures to carry on. Apart from having a minimum Validity of 6 months in your passport, these are the required documents that need to be submitted:
- Coloured photographs
- Coloured copies of passport
- The offer letter received from the university which proves that the student is accepted as a candidate
- Copy of tuition fee receipt of study year
- Individuals opting for campus accommodation are required to attach a letter from the university stating the obvious
- Documents proving the certified undergraduate degree if individuals are applying for postgraduate programs
- Copy of visa receipt for the study year
- Medical certificate
How to obtain a medical certificate for student visa?
The individual has to visit a certified medical clinic or government hospital where they will perform a chest xray and blood tests screening for the following
- HIV AIDS
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
- Tuberculosis TB
If results are positive the visa procedures will be cancelled and the individual will be deported.
An individual's nationality plays a huge role during their visit to the UAE. Some such lucky Nationalities receive an on arrival Visa when they enter through any of UAE's airports, land borders or seaports. This is so exciting because the hassle of applying for a visa is reduced from your travel preparations. take a look to see which Nationalities have this privilege.
The lucky countries are
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria,Croatia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, France, Finland, Germany,Greece, Holland, Hungary,Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg,Malta, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and Slovakia.
The above mentioned country citizens are eligible for a 90 day on arrival Visa with their normal passport.The visa cannot be renewed and should be used within 180 days starting from the arrival date. All passports should have a minimum Validity of 6 months
- These Nationalities are eligible for the 30 day visa that has a grace period of 10 days. The countries are
Andorra, Australia, Brunei, China, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, Monaco, San Marino, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, The Vatican, USA, New Zealand, Canada and UK. The visa is extendable once, making the total duration of stay 60 days. This is regarded as a multiple entry visa allowing the holder to use the 30 day visa whether he is in or out of the UAE. The number of days the individual stays out of the UAE will be deducted from the 40 day validity period of the visa calculated from the issue date. The individual's passport should have a minimum validity of 6 months.
- Any GCC residents holding high level positions like managers, engineers, Doctors or public sector employees and their families will receive a 30 day visa upon arrival. This UAE visa for GCC residents cannot be renewed.
Indian citizens holding a valid USA visa, a green card or student visa, are eligible to apply for 14 day on arrival Visa at the airport. As of 2017, this visa can be extended for an additional 14 days. However, this option is not available for Indian citizens without any USA visa.
10.No Visa Entry
GCC nationals don't require a visa to enter the UA all the have to do is show the a passport ID card when entering the UA the GCC countries include Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Although Qatar is also a part of the GCC countries, the siege against them might disqualify any qatar nationals from entering without a visa.
11.Family Residence Visa
This is for the families (especially wife and children) of employees working in UAE since majority of them leave their immediate family back in their home country.The first step is to get a visit visa UAE for family also known as an entry residence if the applicants are living out of UAE. After they enter UAE, you have 30 days time to apply for a residence visa.
- monthly salary of 4000 AED or more
monthly salary of 3000 AED and accommodation
If you fall under either of these categories then you are just a few steps away from reuniting with your family. what are the required documents?
- Fully completed application form.
- Salary certificate for government employees OR certified employment contract for other employees.
- Bank statements of 3 months for long time residents. 1 month bank statement or bank letter stating salary transfer for new residents.
- Emirates ID card and Labour card along with certified tenancy papers.
- Marriage certificate certified by the UAE Embassy at home country
- Original passport and copies of sponsor and family member
- Medical certificate of wife and children above 15 years
- Three coloured passport photos of family member
- Take your wife/child to a certified medical clinic or government hospital to obtain a medical certificate.
- Visit an authorised typing centre and fill up the application form.
- Visit the GDRFA (General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs) and handover application form attached with all supporting documents and get the residence visa stamped on your family member's passport.
Please keep in mind
- For residence visa to be valid your family member should not be away from UAE for more than 6 months.
- Even if a Muslim expatriate has more than one wife he can only get one residency visa.
12.Parents Residence Visa
Expatriates holding valid UAE residence visa can apply for a residence visa for their parents or parent-in-laws. The visa is valid for a year and can be renewed. eligibility criteria
- minimum salary of 19000 AED plus accommodation
- minimum salary of 20000 AED
- If you don't fall into any of the above mentioned categories, approach the humanitarian counter at DNRD, where the individual cases will be tackled with a humanitarian perspective. According to the rules, you have to sponsor both parents and present proof that you are there only provider or caretaker.If your parents are divorced or either of them are dead, you should take with you the required documents to prove the obvious when visiting DNRD.
Obtain entry visa for parents so that they can legally enter the UAE with the entry permit.
What are the required documents for entry permit?
- fully completed application form
- sponsor's original passport
- passport copy of parents
- photo of parents
- proof of relationship from Embassy or consulate attesting the relationship
- copy of salary certificate from employer or job contract
- tenancy agreement stating clearly that you have sufficient space in your house (minimum 2 bedrooms).This needs to be stamped by the land department attesting that the house has the minimum number of required rooms. If the number of rooms are not stated in the agreement then an affidavit from the landlord should also be submitted.
- go to the GTRFA with the documents and submit with a letter from you requesting on humanitarian terms the entry visa for either or both of your parents. Make sure to enclose all these documents in an envelope with your contact number clearly mentioned. Within two weeks, the approval committee will approve or reject your application.
- If you had got an approval from Step 2, pay the fees and get a certified typist to complete your application form.
- Head over to DNRD's Residency area and submit the documents along with the form.
- The entry permit will be received immediately if you have applied for urgent visa or by 48 hours through post.
You have to keep a refundable deposit of 2000 AED which will be paid back when the visa is cancelled or the parent dies. Make sure to keep the receipt carefully as it is required during renewal or reimbursement. Once your parents are in the UAE, the entry visa should be transferred to a residency visa within 60 days starting from the date of arrival. what are the documents needed for. Parents residency visa?
- application form completely filled
- 3 photographs of parents
- sponsors original passport
- parents original passport
- Original entry permit
- health card or medical insurance of parents
- receipt of refundable deposit
- salary certificate or job contract of sponsor
what is the procedure of obtaining parents residency visa?
- Take your parents to a certified medical clinic or government hospital for a medical card.
- fill up application form from any certified typing centre.
- Attach application form with all the supporting documents and handover to the Residency section of GDRFA. The Residency permit will be stamped on your parent's passport and sent you by post.
13.House Maid Visa
Individuals who wish to work in UAE as house maids need to contact the manpower agencies that supply maids to UAE. The agencies will take care of all the paperwork and visa procedures. Please know that individuals who come to UAE on visit visa and try to get a maid visa will be fined.
EXCEPTIONS OF VISA ISSUING
- Female passport holders of any CIS countries below the age of 30 will or might be refused entry to the UAE with on-arrival visa. Pre-application for a visa is required even though they are residing in a GCC country. However, there is an exception for transit visa. Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan.
- Palestinian nationals with documents issued by Iraq or Egypt will or might be refused entry into UAE.
- Israeli nationals and passport holders won't be given any type of UAE visa with some rare exceptions for Government and sport officials.However, individuals bearing Israeli stamps on their passport won't have issues obtaining tourist and visit visas but might be refused residency visa, especially if they have lived in Israel.
- Kenyan citizens will only receive UAE entry visa if they are a graduate of a recognised University because members of Dubai royal family were detained in the Kenyan airport as suspected terrorists.