1 April 2013| Last updated on 1 September 2016
Visit & Transit Visa
Obtaining a visit or transit visa in the UAE is not as confusing as you may think...
Here we break down what you need and how to get visit visas and transit visas for yourself, family or 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.
GCC citizens require an e-visa before UAE visit:
GCC residents can now apply for their entry visas to the UAE through an online portal called ‘Fawri’. The Fawri service aims to expedite passenger movement across the UAE’s entry points and streamline the visa process for passengers before they arrive in the country.
The service, which is accessible through the ministry’s website www.moi.gov.ae and smart app, allows those residing in other GCC countries and those accompanying them, such as domestic helpers, to get their UAE entry permits (visas) via the various ports across the country. Other countries forming the GCC include Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Visit visa on arrival:
GCC 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.
NEW 90 DAY VISIT VISA INTRODUCED IN UAE: 29th September, 2015
Visit visas for a stay of 90 days are now obtainable through the Ministry of Interior's e-Services, either via the ministry website www.moi.gov.ae or its smartphone application, UAE-MOI.
TOURIST VISA FEE INCREASE: 1st January, 2015
Effective January 1st tourist visas issued in Dubai have become more expensive. The fee has increased from AED210 to AED330 for a thirty day visit visa.
Furthermore the government has withdrawn the 10 day grace period, as well as the option to extend. This means that people who choose to visit the UAE for longer than 30days should apply for a three month visit visa.
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.
Visas for a visit of 90 days are obtainable through the Ministry of Interior's e-Services, either via the ministry website www.moi.gov.ae or its smartphone application, UAE-MOI.
The new length visa has been introduced by the UAE Government in an effort to reduce applicants' time in applying for entry permits, which require sponsorship from a citizen, resident or investor.
These new three month visit visa's will become particularly useful when a sponsor is organising full residency for an individual, and will reduce visa run's and other complications.
Applicants must have:
- a filled out e-form available from www.moi.gov.ae
- copy of your passport, with a validity of 6 months minimum
Applicants for a 90 day visit visa who are sponsored by someone in the private sector must also have:
- the licence
- e-Gate card
Applicants sponsored by a UAE or GCC citizen must also have:
- sponsor passport copy, with a validity of 6 months minimum
- copy of your passport, with a validity of 6 months minimum
Applicants sponsored by a relative/resident, must also have:
- a copy of a certified marriage certificate
- birth certificates for children (if applicable)
- certified tenancy contract or electricity bill
- bank security deposit of AED 1000
- proof of health insurance
- a copy of your passport, with a validity of 6 months minimum
- e-Gate card with a copy of the sponsor's passport
For more information about the new 90 day visit visa, please call 800 5000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
- Traveller Insurance.
- Go to any authorized typing office & get application form typed.
- Go to DNRD & submit along with your documents to Visa Section.
- 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 changeshttp://www.dnrd.ae/en/Services/ServicesGuide/Pages/Visitors.aspx
Passengers wishing to stop at Dubai International Airport for a minumum of 8 hours, who meet the criterias mentioned below are eligible to obtain a 96 hour transit visa. The conditions are as follows:
- Airlines sponsored only, with prior arrangement
- Applications should have confirmed onward booking to 3rd destination
- For transit passengers or those holding special permits, or for visit or mission, the passport or the documents must be valid for at least three months.
Citizens of the following countries are not eligible for a 96 hour transit visa on arrival: Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria and Yemen.