How to get visit visas to Dubai for family and friends
This can be a somewhat tricky procedure if your visitor is not from one of the visit visa on arrival countries and the rules and regulations change regularly. We have summarised as much as possible below and given you links to resources to help you.
Visit Visa On Arrival:
AGCC Residents who are not GCC nationals but who have a high professional status such as company managers, business people, auditors, accountants, doctors, engineers, pharmacists, or employees working in the public sector, their families, drivers and personal staff sponsored by them, are eligible for a non-renewable 30-day visa upon arrival at the approved ports of entry.
Nationals of the following countries can obtain a visa upon arrival at Dubai airport:
UK(with the right of abode in UK), France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Finland, Spain, Monaco, Vatican, Iceland, Andorra, San Marino, Liechtenstein, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and holders of Hong Kong SAR passports will be granted a free of charge visa for a single visit upon arrival in the UAE. It should be noted that this list may vary slightly from time to time and it is therefore best to check with your local UAE embassy or the airline that you are using to fly to the UAE.
If your guest does NOT fall into one of the above categories, you will require a visa and a sponsor for your visit. The sponsor normally applies for the visa on your behalf.
Valid sponsors may be as follows:
Hotels & Tourist Companies can apply, on your behalf, for a Tourist Visa (valid for 30 days); or a Service Visa (valid for 14 days); or a Visit Visa (valid for 30 days and can be extended for other 30 days)
Airlines & Airlines Handlers apply on behalf of their crew members for a 96-hour Transit Visa.
Other Organizations based in the UAE may only apply for Visit Visas and Service Visas.
Individuals (Relatives or Friends) already resident in the UAE may, subject to guidelines, also apply on your behalf for a Visit Visa.
Types of Visa:
Entry Service Permit
An Entry Service Permit applies to the following categories and their families accompanying them: company manager’s representatives, sales managers, account auditors, delegations from companies or establishments to carry out a commercial activity in the UAE. This visa is also available for nationalities authorized to obtain a tourist visa.
The Visit Visa for tourists is applicable for 60 days and is used especially for those coming for family visits as well as those on long-term business visits.
It requires the sponsorship of any UAE citizen/resident or company/hotel licensed to operate within the UAE. A refundable AED 2,000 guarantee from expatriates who wish to sponsor distant relatives is required.
This visa is valid for entry within two months from its date of issue.
The Visit Visa is valid for 60 days and is renewable for a total stay of up to 90 days. A fee of AED 500 is charged for this renewal.
A special category of visas under the Visit Visa type is a Tourist Visa, which can be obtained for individual tourists from East and West Europe who are not entitled to be issued with a visa on arrival as well as visitors and tourists from Thailand, South Africa and China.
The Tourist Visa entitles its holder to a 30 day stay and is non-renewable. The Tourist Visa requires the sponsorship of hotels and tour operators who bring in visitors from the above listed countries.
Multiple-entry Visas are available for business visitors who have a relationship with either a multinational or other reputable local establishments, and who frequent visitors to the UAE. This type of visa is valid for six months from the date of issue and the duration of each stay is 30 days. The validity is non-renewable. The cost of this visa is AED 1,000.
The visitor must enter the UAE on a visit visa and obtain the multiple entry visa while in the country. The visa would be stamped on the passport.
Family Visa Procedure:
Visit visas for immediate family members can be obtained by residents (called sponsors), whose monthly salary is not less than AED 4000 or AED 3000 + accommodation.
Validity of Visa:
Short term visa: 30 days
Long term visa: 90 days
No extensions are permitted beyond this period.
Short term visa: AED 620 application fee + typing fees
Long term visa: AED 1120 application fee+ typing fees
A deposit of AED 1,000 to 2,000 to be paid, which can be reimbursed after your relative has left the country.
Typed Application form
A copy of the sponsor’s passport & family member's passport
1 photo of the family member (may be required)
Marriage contract attested from Ministry of Foreign Affairs or UAE Embassy (for sponsoring a wife or husband)
Attested birth certificates (for sponsoring children)
Relationship proof attested from the Embassy (in case relationship cannot be proved from family names in sponsor and relative's passport)
Attested work contract if the sponsor is working in a private company or a salary certificate if working in government.
1. Go to any authorized typing office & get application form typed.
2. Go to DNRD & submit along with your documents to Visa Section.
3. Send either original or copy to your relative. If only copy was sent, then deposit original at the airport or the DNATA counter at DNRD. It is advisable to deposit visa giving sufficient time for flight to land.
For more information, visit DNRD website or call their friendly Amer Toll free service on 800-5111
When the guest leaves the UAE, the visa is automatically cancelled.
Any overstaying fines are paid on departure - allow AED 100 for overstaying plus AED 200 per day. Entry day and exit day are counted, and remember that the "one month visa" is actually only valid for 30 days. There is possibly a grace period of 10 days but don't rely on it.
After the guest has left, the sponsor needs to go back to the immigration department where the visit visa was issued, and present their deposit receipt to get a refund. Their computer system will be automatically updated when the visitor departs, proof of departure should not be needed.
Friend Visa Procedure:
Residents who earn a salary above AED 10,000 can apply for a visit visa for their friends, but only after getting an approval from the officer on duty. The salary should be mentioned on the attested contract, which should be submitted along with the application. To get the approval, the applicant has to pay a refundable security deposit of AED 1,000 and furnish a health insurance for the friend which is valid for the visit period.
Pre-paid e-form visa application
Copy of the sponsor’s passport and residence visa
Copy of the visitor’s passport
Photograph of the visitor
Employment contract of the sponsor in which the salary is shown. The copy to be attested by the DNRD
Health insurance valid for the duration of visitor’s stay in the UAE
Refundable security deposit AED 1,000
An AED 15 Empost sticker
Additional AED 100 for urgent visa delivery
About The DNRD:
The Department of Naturalisation and Residency Dubai (DNRD) looks after entry permits, visit visas, residence visas, etc for entering and living in the UAE if you come in through Dubai. DNRD is also referred to as the Dubai Immigration Department or Dubai Naturalisation and Residence Department.
DNRD offices offering all services (residency visas, entry permits, UAE passports) are:
• Bur Dubai Head Office near Dubai World Trade Centre roundabout
• Dubai Airport Free Zone
• Jebel Ali Free Zone
Check out the DNRD website for other locations with limited services www.dnrd.ae
Visa rules change regularly so it is best to check with your embassy, travel agent or airline before you fly and check here for changes http://www.dnrd.ae/en/Services/ServicesGuide/Pages/Visitors.aspx