UAE Visa : Eligibility, Fees, Document Required

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is certainly one of the most popular destinations in the world, with various opportunities in terms of tourism, education, technology, and more. If you are planning to visit UAE or are currently residing in UAE and want to apply for a UAE visa, however, you would be required to keep a few things in mind.

This article will provide you with just that and much more, with all the necessary information about UAE visas being covered here. We will go through all the different types of visas and entry permits, the associated fees, eligibility, terms and conditions, and more.

Difference Between Entry Permits and UAE Residence Visas

Entry permits and residence visas are different – while the former allows foreigners to enter and stay in UAE for a short span, a residence visa is issued for a foreigner already residing there. Before moving on to the details of the visas, let’s first understand how entry permits/visas differ from UAE residence visas.

Parameters

Entry Permits / UAE Visas

UAE Visas for Residents

Meaning

It is a documented proof of official permission to enter and stay in the UAE

It allows individuals to stay in the UAE for a long term

Issued To

Foreigners who are willing to visit UAE (a sponsor would be required for an entry permit)

Foreigners who are already staying in UAE with valid entry permits (sponsors meeting GDRFA's requirements can apply for the same)

Document

Physical or an electronic form

General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) will paste a residence visa on the passport

Issued By

Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security

Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security or General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai

Types

For employment, family visit, medical treatment, mission, attending conferences, or tourism/transit

Green visa, golden visa, residence visa for retired, student visa, virtual work residence visa, UAE visa for family members, and so on

Validity

Mentioned in the document

Generally, the validity period is two months from the issue date. However, for GCC residents, the validity period is 30 days.

Depends on the type of residence visa and the sponsor

Generally, the validity period could be one, two, or three years

Keep in mind that if you live in the UAE under a residence permit and leave the country for more than 6 months, the UAE visa becomes invalid

Extension of Validity Period

Can be extended for 30 days twice, without the need to leave UAE

However, this rule does not apply to the following categories –

  • Tourists and visitors who are residents of GCC countries
  • Foreigners on special entry permits
  • Individuals on 96-hour permits for special missions
  • Residents accompanying GCC nationals

The sponsor can renew the UAE visa of a residence permit within 30 days before it expires. However, there is also an option to renew the same within the grace period, extending up to 6 months.

Duration of Stay

 

Depends on the type of entry permit

For instance, an entry permit for transit may allow staying for four days, while an entry permit for employment would allow a stay of 2 months

Depending on the type of UAE residence visa. For instance, a green visa is valid for 2 years, while a UAE visa for retired individuals would be valid for 5 years

Requirements

Visitors must have a valid passport of at least 6 months

A medical test and a security check are compulsory
 

Advantages of Having UAE Visas for Residents in UAE

If you obtain a UAE residence visa, you can enjoy the following benefits –

  • Access financial facilities like obtaining a car loan, personal loan and protection of insolvent natural persons
  • Easy process of opening a bank account with a valid UAE visa
  • Simple application process for driving licence
  • Travel visa-free to select destinations
  • Work and invest with a UAE visa conveniently
  • Enrol your children in government or private schools with a valid UAE visa

Different Types of Inbound UAE Visas for Residents in UAE

In this section, we will discuss the major types of UAE residence visas. It is to be noted that individuals working outside the UAE can also apply for UAE residence visas.

Let's go through each type of UAE visa for residents in detail –

UAE Visa for Residents Working in the UAE

Residents working in the UAE can apply for three types of visas – Standard Work Visa, Green Visa for Work, and Domestic Worker Visa based on the kind of work.

Standard Work Visa

  • Expatriates employed in the private sector, governmental organisation, or a free zone are eligible for a standard work visa
  • Concerned employers can apply for the visa on behalf of their employees
  • Generally, the standard work visa is issued for 2 years
  • Employers can apply for this type of UAE visa via any of the following channels –
  • General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs official (GDRFA)Website
  • eChannels portal
  • Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security (ICP) application
  • Dubai Now application (available on the Google Play Store and the App Store)
  • Any of the typing centres registered with GDRFA or ICP

Green Work Visa

  • A green work visa allows individuals to sponsor themselves for 5 years without requiring sponsorship from UAE nationals or employers
  • For freelancers and self-employed individuals, their annual income should be at least AED 360,000 to apply for a green visa
  • Skilled employees' monthly income should not be less than AED 15,000 to apply for the UAE visa
  • Freelancers and self-employed individuals can apply for green visas with the following documents –
  • Proof of a bachelor’s degree or a specialised diploma
  • Proof of income for the last two years
  • Proof of financial solvency throughout their stay
  • A permit from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (for freelance or self-employed individuals) 
  • The following documents should be submitted by the skilled employees to apply for the UAE visa (Green Visa) –
  • Employment contract
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent 
  • The applicant’s employment should be classified as first, second, or third occupational level as per the concerned authorities
  • Visa holders are required to follow the same process for the renewal of a green work visa
How Much Does a Green Visa UAE Cost?

Golden Visa

Golden visas enable individuals to live, work, or study in the UAE while enjoying the following benefits – 

  • Long-term renewable visa with a validity period of 5 or 10 years
  • No need for sponsorship from employer or a UAE national
  • Even if the visa holder stays outside the UAE for more than 6 months, the UAE visa remains valid
  • Golden visa holders can sponsor their family members irrespective of their age as well as an unlimited number of domestic helpers
  • If the primary holder of the golden visa passes away, their family can reside in UAE until the end of the permit duration
  • The visa holder gets the entry visa for six months with multiple entries available
  • Real estate investors, public investment investors, entrepreneurs, doctors, scientists, executive directors, athletes, specialists in engineering and service, outstanding students, pioneers of humanitarian work, and frontlines workers can apply for the golden visa, provided they pass the eligibility criteria
  • Depending on the applicant’s occupation, the tenure of a UAE visa varies. The following table provides general information related to the validity period of a golden visa –

Categories Applying for Golden Visa

 

Validity Period of Golden Visa (Years)

 

Investors in public investments

 

10

 

Real estate investors

 

5

 

Entrepreneurs

 

5

 

Outstanding specialised talented individuals

 

10

 

University students

 

10

 

Pioneers of humanitarian work

 

10

 

Domestic Worker’s Visa

  • The Federal Law for domestic workers defines 18 occupations that fall under the employment category of document workers – workers under these categories can apply for a domestic worker's visa
  • Housemaids, sailors, guards, household shepherds, cooks, housekeepers, babysitters, gardeners, personal trainers, family drivers, and personal assistants are eligible for the UAE visa or domestic worker’s visa

UAE Visa for Residents Working Outside the UAE

  • Foreigners who are employed outside the UAE can apply for a UAE visa, namely a virtual work residence visa
  • UAE visa for residents working outside the UAE is valid for 1 year under self-employed terms and per the terms stated by the authorities

UAE Visa for Students Studying in the UAE

Students residing in the UAE can apply for a UAE visa

  • It should be noted that students can apply for this visa under the sponsorship of their parents or the accredited university where they are studying
  • Expatriate residents can sponsor their male children for up to 25 years. With respect to female children, the residents can sponsor their stay until they are married (irrespective of age).
  • Male students over 25 can also apply for this UAE visa, provided they submit evidence of attending a higher educational institute
  • Family members of the students can also stay in the UAE until they can afford accommodation expenses

The following documents are required to apply for a UAE visa for students studying in the UAE –  

  • Certificate issued by the university stating the duration of the stay
  • Other general requirements specified by the authorities 

UAE Visa for Family Members of Residents

  • Anyone staying in UAE can apply for a UAE residence visa for their families, provided they have a salary of at least AED 4,000 or AED 3,000 plus accommodation
  • Family members who are 18 years old or above are required to pass the medical examination test
  • Medically unfit people wouldn’t be granted the UAE visa
  • Sponsors can apply for the UAE visa for family members within 60 days after they enter the UAE under an entry permit
  • Regardless of the profession, each employee and employer can apply for this UAE visa

UAE Visa for Retired Residents of UAE

Retired residents above the age of 55 years can apply for a UAE visa under this category

  • The UAE visa for retired residents of UAE is valid for up to 5 years
  • You can renew this UAE visa if you meet the eligibility criteria

Here is the eligibility criteria to apply for the UAE visa for retired residents in the UAE – 

  • The applicant must have worked outside the UAE for 15 years or less or should be 55 years old or more

They should qualify one of the following criteria given below –

  • Properties worth 1 million or more
  • Financial savings of not less than AED 1 million
  • Monthly income of AED 20,000 or AED 15,000 for Dubai
  • Bank statement for the last six months 

UAE Visa for Residents Doing Business in the UAE

Investors participating in commercial activities in the UAE can apply for a green visa

The requirements for this visa include the following –

  • As per the investors' rating system, approval of the ICP on the investment would be required
  • Evidence of the investment
  • Approval of local authorities

Different Types of Outbound UAE Visas

After going through the features and terms of different types of inbound UAE visas, let’s quickly go through the outbound UAE visas and their specifications –

Entry Permits for Patients and Their Companion

Foreigners can enter the UAE to avail of medical treatment under the sponsorship of the treating facility where they would seek the treatment. It must be noted that the entry permit of the patient's companion can be extended only if the patient’s medical certificate specifies that they need to continue the treatment and that their companion’s stay would be required.

You can apply for a UAE visa depending on the Emirate you are living in. In Dubai, there are only two patient companion entry permits – single entry permits and multiple entry permits. In Abu Dhabi and the Northern Emirates, on the other hand, these patients' companion entry permits are available – single entry visa, single entry visa for a family group, multiple entry visa, and multiple entry visa for a family group.

Transit Visas

The UAE Government issues two types of transit visas – the first one for 48 hours at no cost, and the other for 96 hours. You would be liable to pay the charges for the latter one.

Tourist Visas

As per the requirements of the visitor, tourist visas can be issued for 30 days or 90 days for single or multiple trip entries. Keep in mind that children under the age of 18 years, accompanied by adults, can apply for a free visa from 15 July to 15 September each year. Moreover, tourist visas cannot be obtained for female tourists below 18 years if they are not accompanied by their parents.

How to Check Tourist Visa Validity in UAE?

General Provisions of Inbound UAE Visas

Discussed below are some of the general provisions related to inbound UAE visas that you must take note of –

  • Depending on the type of your residence visa, the validity would differ. Sponsored visas can be valid for 1, 2, or 3 years, while the ones allowing the option of self-sponsorship can be valid for 5 or 10 years.
  • Applicants above 18 years have to undergo a medical test to prove they are medically fit and pass a security check as well
  • If expatriate residents live outside the UAE for 180 days or more in one go, their visa would be cancelled automatically. However, this rule exempts some categories, including foreign wives of ex-pats, domestic helpers accompanying Emiratis who have the scholarship to study abroad, investors holding valid residence visas in UAE, and so on.
  • It is advisable to renew your residence visa before it expires, as you would be penalised if you continue to stay in the UAE with a cancelled or expired residence visa
  • Once your UAE visa expires, your Emirates ID would also expire

There are two modes through which UAE visas for residents can be cancelled –

  • Sponsors can visit any typing centres registered with the ICP to cancel their UAE visas. The cancellation form shall be filled out by the office employee on behalf of the sponsor and processed online.
  • The visa holder can also visit the official website of ICP or the ICP mobile application and follow the prompted instructions to cancel the UAE visa.

Required Documents to Apply for UAE Visas

Keep the following stack of documents handy while applying for UAE visas –

  • Emirates ID application receipt
  • Coloured personal photo of the dependant with a white background
  • Proof of owning a residence such as a house leasing contract
  • A valid copy of the sponsor's photograph with the residence permit stamp embossed on it
  • For dependants above the age of 18 years, a medical fitness certificate would be required
  • Entry permit
  • Sponsor’s job contract, if applicable

Please note that other documents, as per the type of UAE visa you are applying for, may be required. Similarly, you may be required to submit additional documents if requested by the concerned visa authorities.

Fees Schedule Associated with UAE Visas

Refer to the following tables to find out the general fees for different types of UAE visas –

Inbound UAE Visas Fees

Type of UAE Visa

 

Application Fees (AED)

 

Issuance Fees (AED)

 

eChannel Service Fees (AED)

 

Urgent Application Fees (AED)

 

Other Additional Fees (AED)

 

For a newborn

50

100 (per year)

50

100

Empost services – 35

For support workers

150

100

50

100

Domestic help recruitment charge – 5,000

Insurance – 2,000

For resident family members

100

100 (per year)

50

100

Empost service fee - 35

For work permits

100

100

50

NA

Empost service fee - 35

For other permits

50

100 (per year and per person)

50

NA

Empost service fee - 35
 

Note: The same fee schedule would be applicable for renewing UAE inbound visas

Fees for Cancellation of Residency Permit

Order Fee

 

AED 50

 

E-Service Fee

 

AED 10

 

Payment Method

 

Credit Card

 

UAE Entry Permit and Outbound Visa Fees

Type of Service

 

Fees Associated

 

Issuance of multiple-entry tourist visa

Application Fee – AED 100

Issuance Fee – AED 500

eChannel Service Fee – AED 50

Urgent Application Fee – AED 100

Amendment of entry permit

Request Fee – AED 50

E-Service Fee – AED 10

Issue exit permit

Request Fee – AED 100

Issuance Fee – AED 100

Electronic Services – AED 50

Extend entry permit

Request Fee – AED 100 for tourism and visit and AED 200 for residents of GCC countries

Issuance Fee – AED 500

E-Service Fee – AED 10

Cancellation of exit permit

Request Fee – AED 50

Issuance Fee – AED 50

Electronic Services Fee – AED 10

Extension of multiple-entry tourist visa

Application Fee – AED 100

Issuance Fee – AED 250

Electronic Services – AED 50

Departure fees for each passenger for a transit visa

 

AED 30

 

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