Everything You Need To Know About Dubai Visas

Everything You Need to Know About Dubai Visas

The United Arab Emirates, with its modern lifestyle, safe environment, and economic opportunities, has been a magnet for globetrotters, holidaymakers, and ambitious professionals alike. A vital aspect of travelling or moving to this vibrant city-state involves obtaining the right type of visa. This blog will cover detailed insights into the varied range of Dubai visas. 

Types of Dubai Visas 

UAE offers numerous visas depending on your requirement and purpose. The following are the different types of Dubai visas with their eligibility requirements. 

  • Dubai Tourist Visa

Dubai Tourist Visa

Dubai Tourist Visa serves as a pass for global travellers, facilitating visits spanning 30 to 180 days. Whether your intent is exploration, relaxation or conducting business, this visa ensures you can soak up all Dubai offers. The Dubai tourist visa accommodates single and multiple entries, depending on your application specifics. It is pertinent to note that applicants for the Dubai tourist visa must be aged 18 or older. 

And female adventurers below the age of 18 are only accorded eligibility for this visa if they are under the watchful eyes of their parents or legally appointed guardians. The price range for these tourist visas is between AED 250 and AED 1,740. Regarding documents, a bank statement showcasing a balance of at least $4,000 becomes necessary for securing this visa. 

  • Dubai Transit Visa

The Dubai Transit Visa is the perfect solution for voyagers amid lengthy layovers at Dubai International Airport. If you’re not entitled to visa-free entry or a visa upon arrival, this UAE transit visa can bridge the gap. Depending on your needs, you can choose between a 48-hour or a 96-hour version in two formats. However, extending the 48-hour transit visa to the 96-hour version is impossible once granted.

Whilst the shorter, 48-hour Dubai transit visa comes at no cost, you’ll need to shell out AED 50 for the 96-hour variant. Here’s a quick rundown of the documents you’ll need when applying for a transit visa:

    • For the 48-hour transit visa: Your passport must remain valid for at least three or more months.
    • For the 96-hour transit visa: Your passport should have a minimum of six months left before expiry.
    • Updated and clear photograph against a white backdrop.
    • Evidence of your onward journey, like a ticket to your final destination following your Dubai stopover.
  • Student Visa in Dubai

Student Visa in Dubai

Securing a valid student visa is essential for those aspiring to broaden their academic horizons in Dubai. Here are the eligibility criteria you need to meet to qualify for this student visa in Dubai:

    • You must be at least 18 years of age.
    • Passing a medical fitness examination is a mandatory requirement.
    • You must identify a sponsor, whether your university, a relative, or a parent.
    • Your visa application must receive the green light from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA).
    • Remember that your student visa in Dubai will stay valid only for one year. However, it is renewable for equivalent time frames, granted you can provide proof of ongoing studies from your academic institution.
  • Work Permit and Dubai Residence Visa

Securing a work permit is crucial to work legally in Dubai. The organisation or individual sponsoring your stay in Dubai is mostly responsible for handling the intricacies of the work permit application and its prerequisites.

The documents needed are –

    • Undergoing a medical examination
    • Attested academic credentials 
    • Recent photographs
    • Submitting photocopies of your passport with a minimum of six months validity.
    • Once your work permit for Dubai is approved and issued, it also serves as your residency permit, authorising your stay in the city. 

Note – If you plan to switch jobs within the UAE, your permit will be transferred accordingly.

With this visa, you can sponsor your family’s stay in the UAE if you hold a valid residency permit and meet the income requirements. Intriguingly, men sponsored by their wives can apply for UAE work permits. In alignment with the updated rules enforced from September 2022, parents can now sponsor their sons up to 25 years of age and daughters until they marry, broadening family inclusivity within the UAE.

  • Dubai Residence Visa for Remote Workers

Dubai Residence Visa for Remote Workers

Dubai’s recent “Virtual Working Program” permits overseas professionals and their families to live in Dubai while continuing to serve overseas employers. This renewable one-year visa offers the best of both worlds – work and lifestyle.

  • Retirement Visa

Dubai’s Retirement Visa serves as a gateway to the sunset years in the city for those who meet specific qualifications. Aspiring retirees, whether existing residents or international nationals seeking this extended stay privilege, must be 55 years or older and fulfil at least one of the following conditions:

    • Become a homeowner with a property valued at a minimum of AED 1 million, coupled with AED 1 million in financial savings.
    • Possess a nest egg (savings) of at least AED 1 million.
    • Demonstrate a regular monthly income of AED 20,000 (or AED 15,000 for income originating in Dubai).

This five-year visa, which paints a tranquil retirement picture, is renewable as long as the recipient satisfies the relevant criteria.

In-Depth Look : Special Visas in Dubai

Beyond these, Dubai offers a range of specialised visas catering to specific needs. These are as follows: 

  • Golden Visa Dubai

Dubai’s allure extends beyond its sky-high architecture and luxurious lifestyle. The Golden Visa Dubai is a long-term visa initiative,] by the government. It provides a unique opportunity for individuals who meet particular criteria to apply for extended residency in Dubai and the UAE. This privileged visa is split into two main durations – 5 and 10 years. The doors to this extended stay are wide open to diverse individuals. Among these are investors, those with a stake in the real estate market, and trailblazing entrepreneurs who breathe life into new ideas and businesses.

Not just restricted to business minds, Golden Visa Dubai beckons a variety of supremely talented professionals. It includes medical practitioners, ground-breaking researchers, innovators, scientists, and prodigious students who demonstrate exceptional academic prowess. Further, the Golden Visa Dubai extends its reach to individuals in academia, specifically those holding a PhD within the UAE. It welcomes UAE-based doctors, physicians, and engineers specialising in biotechnology, computer science, programming, electronics, and electrical.

This visa also recognises the growing importance of emerging technologies and health sciences, inviting specialists in Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, epidemiology, and virology. Moreover, top-performing students graduating from UAE’s high schools and immediate families can apply for this esteemed visa.

Lastly, it extends its embrace to those who have devoted their lives to religious pursuits. It includes religious researchers, preachers, muezzins, and imams, with a service record of 20 years or more in Dubai. The Golden Visa Dubai, therefore, weaves a diverse tapestry of talent, acknowledging the contribution of various professionals to the UAE’s growth story.

  • Dubai Business Visa

Dubai Business Visa

The Golden Visa Dubai scheme of the United Arab Emirates opens a lucrative avenue for global entrepreneurs with the UAE Business Golden Visa Dubai. This opportunity welcomes business-minded individuals from every corner of the globe as long as they have displayed entrepreneurial initiative at least once in their career journey by establishing their own venture.

To qualify for this prestigious UAE Business Golden Visa Dubai, the applicant must meet certain prerequisites:

    • They must provide proof of their entrepreneurial accomplishments.
    • They must hold majority stakes in a start-up or have served in high-ranking leadership.
    • They must express their intent to legally set up a business and make the UAE their new home.
    • They should have a detailed business plan or innovative entrepreneurial proposals for their venture in the UAE.

Beyond providing the platform for setting up your business in Dubai, the business visa presents a bouquet of additional benefits:

    • It allows securing a long-term residency visa for your immediate family members (including parents, spouses, and children), provided certain conditions are fulfilled.
    • It bestows an initial six-month multiple-entry visa to facilitate smooth and speedy business establishment procedures.
    • It also permits nominating up to three top-tier business employees for residency.
  • Dubai Investor or Partner Visa

The Dubai Investor Visa is the perfect option for international individuals harbouring aspirations to launch their unique enterprise in Dubai or infuse capital into an already thriving business. A testament to Dubai’s pro-business stance, this visa offers a three-year validity period, granting its holders the opportunity to reside, work and sponsor their kin within the borders of the UAE.

To qualify for the Investor/Partner Visa in Dubai, an aspirant must fulfil one of the following criteria:

    • They must possess a stake in a UAE-based company, with a minimum value of AED 72,000 or,
    • They must lay the foundations of a brand-new company supported by a capital investment that equals or surpasses AED 72,000.
  • Job Exploration Entry Visa

For individuals seeking job opportunities in Dubai, they have the option to apply for a specific Dubai visa without the need for sponsorship. This visa is made available to those who fit into the first, second or third skill levels, as classified by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. Moreover, applicants must have graduated from one of the top 500 universities worldwide. This visa carries a maximum validity of 120 days.

  • Green Visas for Investors, Partners, Skilled Employees, and Freelancers

In line with the UAE government’s latest modifications, a new category of visas, the ‘Green Dubai visas’, are issued to investors, partners, skilled professionals, and freelancers. These visas come with a validity period of five years. To be eligible, skilled employees or freelancers must hold a bachelor’s degree, and their income should be above AED 15k. Intriguingly, they can apply for this visa without requiring sponsorship or an employment contract. On the other hand, investors and partners must secure appropriate approvals for their investments and provide the necessary evidence. A unique feature of this category is the provision of a 60-day permit. This short-term permit is designed to facilitate entry while the residency procedure is in progress.

  • Patients and Companion Entry Permits

A patient entry permit can be sought by any non-resident who is seeking medical attention. And alongside the patient, a companion can accompany him or her under a similar entry permit. These medical entry permits in Dubai are divided into two categories for patients and their companions. 

    • One-time Entry Medical Treatment Permit
    • Recurring Entry Medical Treatment Permit
    • One-time Entry Permit for the Patient’s Companion
    • Recurring Entry Permit for the Patient’s Companion

Here, it must be noted that both kinds of medical entry permits in Dubai can be extended. However, the extension for the patient companion permit comes with the condition that the sponsor provides a certificate that validates the necessity of ongoing treatment for the patient and his or her need for a companion in the UAE. 

The documents required for this visa are – 

    • Photocopy of the passport (for both patient and companion)
    • Health insurance coverage (for both patient and companion)
    • Proof of financial means (for both patient and companion)
    • A letter from a hospital registered in the UAE outlining the purpose of the visit (for the patient)
  • E-Visa for GCC Residents

For a resident of the GCC nation, acquiring an E-Visa before their respective journey becomes a major priority. The visa comes with 30-day validity. There is also an option to extend the visa for an additional time frame of 30 days. To qualify for this E-Visa, the applicants must ensure that their respective passports and GCC are valid for at least three months. 

Wrapping Up 

Dubai offers various visas catering to multiple needs and purposes. Each visa type indicates the Emirate’s openness to global talent, investment, and tourism, providing opportunities for those who wish to call it their home, temporarily or permanently. The key lies in understanding and choosing the visa that best suits your purpose and requirements.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do I need a visa or entry permit to enter the UAE?

To enter UAE, you will need a visa, depending on the purpose of travel. However, citizens of the GCC nations, including Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, don’t need a visa. Moreover, citizens of 30+ countries like France, Italy, and Germany can get visas on arrival.

How is a Residence Visa different from an Entry Permit?

Fundamentally speaking, an entry permit is a document which allows foreigners to enter UAE for a specific purpose and duration. For instance, it can include tourism, business, and education. On the other hand, a Dubai residence visa allows foreigners to live in the UAE. Also, the Dubai residence visas are valid for a longer duration, which can be up to 2 years and, as per the need of the person, they can also be renewed.

Where can one apply for a Dubai Visa or Entry Permit?

You can apply for a Dubai visa or entry permit through various channels. These include UAE-based airlines, travel agencies, and hotels.

How long does it take to get a Dubai Visa?

Depending on the type of visa and channel you have applied through, the duration can take 2 - 15 working days.

How does the visa authority in Dubai send the visa to the applicant?

The visa authority in Dubai typically sends the visa through e-mail. When entering Dubai, the applicant must print and present the visa document to the authorities.

Do infants and children require a Dubai Visa?

Regardless of age, every individual requires a visa to enter Dubai.

What are the types of visas in Dubai?

As stated, Dubai offers various visa types, including Tourist Visas, Transit Visas, Student visas, Work/Residence Visas, Dubai Business Visas, Investor or Partner Visas, and Retirement visas. Special visas like the Golden Visa, Green Visa, Patients and Companion Entry Permits, and E-visa for GCC residents are also available.

What are the new visa rules for Dubai?

As per the new rules, UAE now offers a one-time extension of 30 days to people holding a 90-day visit visa, thereby allowing a maximum extension of 90 days. Also, as per the latest rules, all types of tourist visas are now eligible for an additional 30-day extension from within the country. Recently in 2023, the Dubai Residence visa extension also witnessed a change in regulations which allows individuals to extend or cancel their entry permits via personal online accounts.

How much is a 3-month Dubai Visa?

The cost for a 3-month Dubai visa can vary, but it generally falls between AED 1,000 and AED 1,500.

How much is a 2-year Work Visa in Dubai 2023?

For Category 1, the fee amount stands at AED 300. The fee amount for Category 2 can range between AED 600 - AED 2000. For category 3, a fee of AED 5000 is applicable. A 2-year work visa fee in Dubai will be between AED 3000 and AED 7000. Then lastly, for foreign employees 65 years or older, the fee amount is a flat AED 5000 across all categories.

How do I apply for a Dubai Tourist Visa?

Dubai Tourist Visa can be applied via UAE's E-Channels portal or registered travel agencies, airlines, or hotels. You must complete the application form and submit the required documents and other details online.

Do I need a visa to enter Dubai?

Yes, one needs a visa to enter Dubai. However, if you belong to a visa-exempt country or meet the requirements for a visa on arrival, you do not need to apply for a Dubai visa. The requirement varies based on nationality, visit purpose and planned stay duration.

Zilpha Rodrigues Baker by day and writer by night, Zilpha enjoys tackling the unknown and simplifying the complex. A voracious reader with a keen attention to detail, she hopes to fulfill her dream of publishing a cookbook and meeting her idol, Shah Rukh Khan. With a heart of gold and the right amount of spice, she is a force to be reckoned with. Also, she makes bomb cheesecakes.
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