Visas to United Arab Emirates: Everything You Need to Know
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a popular destination for travelers around the world. Whether it’s for business purposes or a leisurely holiday, there is something for everyone in this part of the world. However, before you hop on a plane and head to the UAE, you need to get your visa in order. In this article, we will delve into everything you need to know regarding visas to United Arab Emirates.
Overview of the United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates is a federation of seven emirates – Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah, and Fujairah. The UAE is located in the Middle East and shares its borders with Saudi Arabia and Oman. The country is known for its thriving economy, stunning landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and lavish lifestyle. With a population of just over 9 million people, the UAE receives millions of visitors each year.
Types of Visas to United Arab Emirates
The UAE offers different types of visas depending on the purpose of your visit. Some of the most common visas include:
1. Tourist Visa – This type of visa is issued to tourists who want to visit the UAE for leisure purposes. Tourist visas are valid for 30 days and can be extended for an additional 30 days.
2. Visit Visa – A visit visa is issued to foreign nationals who are related to UAE residents or are traveling to the country for business purposes. Visit visas are valid for 90 days and can be extended for an additional 90 days.
3. Transit Visa – This type of visa is issued to travelers who are passing through the UAE en route to another destination. A transit visa is valid for 96 hours.
4. Student Visa – This visa is issued to students who want to pursue their education in the UAE. Students must be accepted into a recognized educational institution in order to be eligible for this visa.
5. Work Visa – A work visa is issued to foreign nationals who have secured a job in the UAE. The employer is responsible for applying for the work visa on behalf of the employee.
6. Residence Visa – A residence visa is issued to foreign nationals who have been employed in the UAE for a certain period of time. A residence visa is typically valid for 3 years and can be renewed.
It is important to note that the process for obtaining a visa can vary depending on your nationality and the purpose of your visit. It is best to consult with the UAE embassy in your home country before making any travel arrangements.
Visa Application Process
The visa application process for the UAE can be completed online or in person. Here’s a step-by-step guide to the visa application process:
Step 1: Determine the type of visa you need based on the purpose of your visit.
Step 2: Complete the online visa application form or download the paper application and fill it out.
Step 3: Gather all required documents, including a passport-sized photo, a copy of your passport, return ticket, and proof of accommodation.
Step 4: Pay the visa fees.
Step 5: Submit your application and wait for the visa to be processed. Processing times can vary depending on the type of visa you applied for.
If your application is approved, the UAE embassy will issue an e-visa or a visa sticker that will be affixed to your passport.
In order to obtain a visa to the UAE, you must meet certain requirements. Some of the common requirements include:
1. Passport – Your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of your arrival in the UAE.
2. Proof of Accommodation – You must provide proof of accommodation, such as a hotel reservation or an invitation letter from a friend or family member in the UAE.
3. Return Ticket – You must have a valid return ticket or an onward ticket to a third country.
4. Health Insurance – It is recommended that you have health insurance that covers you for the duration of your stay in the UAE.
5. Background Check – In some cases, the UAE government may require you to undergo a background check before issuing a visa.
It is important to note that the requirements for obtaining a visa can vary depending on the type of visa you are applying for. It is best to check with the UAE embassy in your country for specific requirements.
The fees for obtaining a visa to the UAE can vary depending on the type of visa you are applying for. Here’s a breakdown of the common visa fees:
1. Tourist Visa – A tourist visa costs AED 269 ($73) and can be extended for an additional AED 600 ($163).
2. Visit Visa – A visit visa costs AED 749 ($204) and can be extended for an additional AED 1,000 ($272).
3. Transit Visa – A transit visa costs AED 100 ($27).
4. Student Visa – There is no fee for a student visa, but students must be accepted into a recognized educational institution in order to be eligible for this visa.
5. Work Visa – The fee for a work visa varies depending on the employer and the type of work being done.
6. Residence Visa – The fee for a residence visa varies depending on the type of employment and the duration of the visa.
It is important to note that all visa fees are non-refundable, even if your application is rejected.
Visa on Arrival
Some nationalities are eligible for a visa on arrival, which means that they can obtain a visa when they arrive at the airport in the UAE. The visa on arrival is only applicable for certain nationalities and is valid for 30 days. The fee for a visa on arrival is AED 100 ($27).
Here is a list of the nationalities that are eligible for a visa on arrival:
6. Hong Kong
13. New Zealand
15. San Marino
17. South Korea
19. United Kingdom
20. United States
It is important to note that the visa on arrival is not available for all nationalities, and the regulations can change at any time. It is best to check with the UAE embassy in your country for up-to-date information.
If you are already in the UAE and your visa is about to expire, you may be able to extend your visa. However, this process can only be done in some cases, and you will need to check with the relevant authorities.
In general, tourist visas can be extended for an additional 30 days, while visit visas can be extended for an additional 90 days. The extension process typically involves submitting an application, paying the applicable fee, and providing the necessary documents.
It is important to note that overstay fines can apply if you do not extend your visa before it expires. The fines can range from AED 200 ($54) to AED 1000 ($272) per day, depending on the type of visa.
In conclusion, obtaining a visa to the United Arab Emirates can be a straightforward process if you follow the proper steps. Whether you are coming for a short-term visit or to stay for an extended period, it is crucial to have the correct visa documentation in place before you travel to the UAE.
As regulations can change at any time, it is important to check with the relevant authorities for up-to-date information regarding visa processes and requirements. But with the necessary research and attention to detail, you can enjoy a hassle-free trip to the UAE, one of the most sought-after destinations in the Middle East.
Visit visas – The visit visa, perhaps somewhat unexpectedly, is more closely analogous to the American travel visa/visitor visa.
Tourist visas – UAE visas for purposes of tourism, also unlike normal tourism visas, are not as inclusive as those of other countries, such as the United States. In practice, a UAE visa for tourism is only granted by hotels and tour operators in the United Arab Emirates, is only available for residents of China, South Africa, Thailand, and those European citizens who cannot apply for visas at ports of entry, and only lasts for a non-renewable 30 days.
Multiple entry visas – Again, UAE visas in this category are harder to obtain than their namesake generally is worldwide. A multiple entry UAE visa is only available for business persons with a business relationship with a trustworthy corporate entity in the United Arab Emirates. Special benefits may be afforded to visa holders from Germany and the United States; while normally, these UAE visas are valid for just six months, they may be available for up to two years and ten years, respectively.