Visa Requirements and Application for Entry Into the United Arab Emirates

Visa and passport requirements for eligible entry to the United Arab Emirates vary based on different factors. These factors include country of origin, nationality of the would-be visitor, passport type, planned duration of stay, and the purpose of the visit to Dubai.

Here are a few useful guidelines for foreign nationals who plan to visit the country.

Nationality and country of origin

With regard to visa application for entry into the UAE, there are certain exemptions. For instance, citizens of GCC nations need not apply for a visa to travel to Dubai. The GCC nations are Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, and Bahrain. The privilege extends to escorts of GCC nationals (e.g. domestic helpers, drivers, personal assistants, etc), but only for a 60-day duration of stay. Residents of GCC countries who are not citizens, but have a good reputation and enjoy a privileged status in their profession, are issued a non-renewable 30-day visa as soon as they arrive at an approved port of entry. These professionals are doctors, engineers, accountants, entrepreneurs, managers, government officials, etc. Their families and any staff or escorts that they sponsor are given the same courtesies.

Meanwhile, advance visa arrangements are also not required for visitors from certain countries for as long as their stay does not exceed 30 days. If these visitors decide to extend their stay, they only need to pay an additional charge. This list is rather long and includes countries/territories such as Australia, Brunei, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Japan, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, New Zealand, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden, South Korea, the United State of America, the United Kingdom, and Vatican City. For the citizens of countries that are not included in this list, they need to arrange a visa well in advance of travel. Nevertheless, it is important to check with UAE visa authorities because this list is updated once in a while.

Online visa application for Emirates patrons

Airline passengers flying with Emirates have the option to submit a visa application online for entry into Dubai. It must be stressed that only confirmed Emirates passengers whose tickets have already been issued are eligible. The flight itinerary must already be available. In this procedure, there is no need to have the traveler’s passport stamped. However, the passport must be valid for at least six months with respect to the dates of travel to the United Arab Emirates. Lastly, this option is only available to visitors whose stay in Dubai is for a minimum of 96 hours to a maximum of 30 days.

What is a “Visit Visa”?

Tourist companies, hotels, airlines handlers, airlines, UAE-based organizations, UAE citizens and eligible residents can apply on behalf of a visitor who plans to spend more than 14 days in the country. Sponsorships of this kind usually apply to foreigners who are flying to Dubai on an extended business trip, or planning to visit friends and family members. Some of the documents that the sponsor is required to submit are a copy of their passport and a copy of their employment contract or salary certificate.

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