Getting a visa for the United Arab Emirates

UAE visas

Whether you wish to visit Abu Dhabi or travel to Dubai on a business trip, you will generally need a visa to enter the United Arab Emirates. Requirements will vary depending on your country of citizenship. Visa exemptions, sponsors, supporting documents: spotlight on UAE visa application procedures.

 

Who needs a visa?

Except in visa exemption situations due to nationality, all people wishing to travel to the United Arab Emirates must request a visa before departure or get an entry permit upon arrival. The main UAE visa types are:

  • the 96-hour transit visa,
  • the tourism visa, valid for 30 days, renewable once,
  • the visit visa, valid for 30 or 90 days,
  • the multiple entry visa, valid for 6 months, for stays lasting no longer than 14 days each time.

Transit and visit visas are not renewable.

Visa-exempt countries

Only nationals of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) may travel to the United Arab Emirates without a visa. This means the visa-exempt countries are: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Receiving an entry permit at the port of entry in the UAE

Nationals of the following countries can get a free 30-day tourist visa upon arrival in the UAE: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America, Vatican City.

As this list may slightly change now and then, we recommend you check with the nearest embassy or consulate when you begin to make travel arrangements.

UAE visa application requirements

Are you a national of a country requiring a prearranged UAE visa? You will need to find a sponsor and provide a number of supporting documents.

The sponsor

To get a visa for the United Arab Emirates, you must have a sponsor. In some cases, the sponsor will deal with part of the visa application process on your behalf. There are several types of possible sponsors:

  • tourism companies and organizations,
  • public or private companies or institutions,
  • individuals (relatives or friends).

Requested documents

To apply for a visa, the following documents are requested:

  • visa application form,
  • copy of your passport, valid for at least 6 months,
  • sponsor documents (for instance, documents proving kinship, invitation letter…),
  • ID picture.

If you intend to settle in Dubai, do bear in mind that having medical insurance is compulsory since January 2014. In some cases, your employer might provide the insurance solution.

Visa fees depend on the type of visa you request. For example, though a tourist visa costs AED100, you will spend AED500 to renew it. The cost of the 90-day visit visa is of AED1,000.

To find out more about UAE visas:

Visit the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

Date of publication Dec 15 2015

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