How many types of visas are there in the UAE?
Want to visit, work or invest in the UAE? Here are all your options.
The UAE’s visa and entry permit system offers all these options, along with long-term residency visas for special categories and visas for investors and entrepreneurs.
Visiting the UAE
Before you plan on travelling to the UAE, you must check if you need to apply for a visit visa in advance, since some nationalities can get a visa on arrival.
If you want to know if you are eligible for a visa on arrival,
If you are not eligible for visa on arrival, here are your options:
If you have a short layover at an airport in the UAE, you can apply for a 48-hour or 96-hour transit visa. You could get the visa through the UAE-based airline you are travelling with, or a travel agency.
However, it is important to note that transit visas are not extendable or renewable, and you must leave the UAE within 48 or 96 hours from arrival.
Depending on how long you are planning to spend your holiday in the UAE, a 30-day or 90-day tourist visa can be issued and it will allow you single or multiple entries. You can apply for a tourist visa through:
If you regularly visit the UAE for business purposes or have family and friends here, opting for a long-term multiple-entry visa is an easy way to visit the UAE without having to apply for a new entry permit every time.
As per the ICP website, a tourist on this visa can stay for up to 90 days on each visit. This can be extended for another 90 days.
One of the main requirements of the five-year multiple entry visa is to provide a bank statement for the past six months with a balance of at least $4,000 (Dh14,700) or its equivalent in foreign currencies.
This visa is available to residents of GCC countries and their family members. You can apply for the GCC e-visa online through the website of OGS (GLOBAL VISA AND IMMIGRATION & MANPOWER SERVICES LLC)
If you are applying for the visa, you must make sure your GCC residency visa and passport is valid for at least three months from the date of arrival.
The entry permit is valid for 30 days from the date of issue and you are allowed to stay for 30 days from the date of entry. To learn more about how to apply for GCC residents e-visa.
The new job seeker visa which will come into effect on October 3, 2022, allows people to come to the UAE without the need of a sponsor or host to explore work, investment and business opportunities.
To apply for the visa, you must meet the following requirements:
If you want to work and live in the UAE, you need to make sure you have secured an offer letter from a company in the UAE. Once you have accepted and signed the offer letter, the company will first issue an entry permit to allow to travel to the UAE.
Also, it is important to note that according to the UAE Labour Law, the employer is required to cover all the recruitment and visa-related costs.
If you want to bring your family, spouse or children over to the UAE, you can sponsor their residence visa if you are employed in the UAE, an investor or business owner in the UAE or a property owner in the UAE.
If you are looking for long term residency options in the UAE, the UAE government recently expanded the categories eligible for the long-term visa in April 2022.
The Golden Visa allows eligible residents to stay in the UAE for 10 years, and sponsor family members including spouse, children and support staff for the same duration.
Here are the list of categories that are eligible for the visa:
If you do fall under the eligible categories and are interested in applying for the Golden Visa, read our guide here, which OGS (GLOBAL VISA AND IMMIGRATION & MANPOWER SERVICES LLC)
will give you a breakdown on the entire process.
The green visa is a five-year residency permit in the UAE that does not require a sponsor. With the Green Visa you can sponsor first degree relatives and have a six-month grace period after visa cancellation or expiry.
The Green Visa will come into effect on October 3, and these are the groups eligible to apply for the visa:
In the past few years the UAE has become an attractive destination for higher education because of its large selection of international universities, a diverse student body, and a safe environment for students.
The student visa in the UAE, is sponsored by the university but the student visa application is processed and issued by the relevant General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in each Emirate.
A student visa is valid for one year. To renew the visa, the student is required to provide an official proof of continuation of study from his or her university.
The retirement visa is issued by Dubai’s General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), which means it’s only issued and valid in Dubai. Other Emirates have not launched a retirement visa yet.
The retirement visa is valid for five years and the retiree must be at least 55 years old to apply.
Investing in the UAE
If you planning on setting up a business or are listed as a shareholder in the company. In that case, you can apply for a regular investor visa. A company shareholder visa is valid for three years.
The UAE also offers the Golden Visa to individuals who invest in real estate in the UAE, however, they must meet one of the requirements to apply for the Golden Visa:
If you are an entrepreneur that is planning to set up a company or invest in a start-up based in the UAE, you can apply for a Golden Visa, as long as you meet one of the following conditions: