The United Arab Emirates is actively developing tourism, due to which more and more people come here every year; besides, the vast majority of local residents (about 85%) are foreigners with a residence permit (residence visa). Any foreigner other than the citizens of GCC countries must obtain an appropriate visa upon entry. Here we look at different types of visas in the UAE and how to get them.
What is a visa to the UAE?
The government ensures local security and preserves illegal immigrants to flood the country; therefore, they carefully check the documents before issuing a visa, although the procedure itself is quite simple. You can easily deal with a tourist visa by yourself, but applying for a resident visa without some help is quite difficult.
The Immigration State Department of the Emirates takes a decision to issue a visa for a foreigner within 2-3 days (in most cases), but sometimes this process can be delayed, for example, if they have suspicions about your person and require additional verification.
The mandatory conditions for obtaining a visa are:
- A filled out questionnaire;
- Color copy of passport pages;
- Paid consular fee (about $100);
- Paid security deposit (applied in some cases, for example, if a visa is issued to a young unmarried girl).
The conditions for obtaining a visa and the list of required documents may vary depending on the type of document you are requesting. Sometimes employees of the UAE Immigration Service may require additional documents to make a decision, or they may find an error in your scanned papers or a completed application form. If you have no experience applying for a visa to this or another country, you should not deal with the procedure by yourself to avoid mistakes.
UAE visa categories
The government of the United Arab Emirates conducts a sufficiently flexible tax policy to satisfy the needs of both those foreigners who come to the UAE for a long term (for example, for work or study), and those who are interested in a short stay in the Emirates, for example, for tourism. So, let's look at how to get UAE visa for a tourist or guest:
- Transit visa. Such a document is given to those who are not going to stay long in the Emirates. It is valid only for 96 hours. It is issued when you present documents showing that there have more than 8 hours of delay between your flights. It enables single entry to the country.
- Tourist visa. It is issued for a period of 30...90 days, and its cost is respectively from 100 to 500 dollars. In most cases, it is given on arrival at Dubai airport.
- Guest visa. This kind of document differs from the tourist one since it can be ordered for relative foreigners of the UAE citizens. Such visa costs about 1 thousand dirhams.
- Educational visa. Emirates universities are available to foreigners. An educational visa was introduced to them. Initially it is valid for 60 days and then, if necessary, can be extended by the same term 4 more times.
- Medical visa. This visa is given to foreigners who are undergoing treatment at licensed medical facilities in the UAE. By paying a little more than 1 thousand dirhams you get an authorization document for 90 days.
In order not just to visit a country but to work here, you need to apply for a long term resident visa, which will give you the right to work in the UAE for 3 years (with the possibility of extension). You can get a resident visa in the UAE in three ways:
- Open a local or onshore company in one of the free zones (Provides the right to obtain additional visas for family members).
- Purchase residential real estate with a price of at least 1 million dirhams (per person).
- Employment in a local company, in this case your employer issues a document.
An intermediate document to enter the country is a work visa. Its validity period is 30 days. It gives an employee the right to stay in the Emirates, while an employer makes a resident document.