Dubai visa requirements depend on the traveler’s nationality. While GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) citizens do not require a visa in order to enter Dubai, citizens from other countries are required to apply for a UAE visa when coming to the emirates. Before your arrival, you may verify with our company incorporation agents in Dubai what the visa requirements for your country are.
If you want to relocate to the UAE and need to apply for a visa or a residence permit, our company registration agents in Dubai can assist you.
Who must apply for a visa before coming to Dubai?
Apart from citizens of GCC countries who do not need visas, foreign citizens from 47 countries may apply for a visa upon their arrival in the country. Among these are residents of European countries like Germany, France, Italy, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Spain, and Portugal. The visas obtained by the citizens of these countries have a 90-days validity period.
Citizens of countries like Australia, South Korea, Hong Kong, Russia, the United States, and the UK may also apply for a Dubai visa on arrival. These visas will have a validity period of 30 days.
Types of visas available in Dubai
The type of visa one must apply for when visiting Dubai, depends not only on the nationality but also on the purpose and the duration of the visit. Visas can have a 30, 40 or 60-day validity and foreign citizens must be sponsored by a Dubai company or citizen.
One can also enter Dubai with a 14-days transit visa or a visit visa. Dubai visit visas can be short term visas, with 30-day validity, or long term visas, with 90-day validity. The Dubai citizen or company acting as a sponsor will be required to pay a certain fee on behalf of the visitor, money that will be recovered once the foreign citizen has left the city.
Foreign businessmen collaborating with companies in Dubai and who are required to come to the city regularly may apply for a multiple-entry visa. The multiple-entry visa allows them to enter Dubai for a period between 14 days and six months. Visitors transiting Dubai must apply for a special transit visa that has 96-hours validity.
The passports of foreign citizens applying for Dubai visas must have a minimum validity period of six months from the date of their entry into the city. For those with a Dubai residence permit, the passport must be valid for at least three months.
Short-stay visas in Dubai
As mentioned above, there are several types of visas one can apply for, depending on the reason and the duration of the stay in Dubai. Short-stay visas, such as the transit visa (which is also known as the 96 hours visa), the 30-days stay visa, and the 90-days stay visa are the most common types of visas that are usually requested by businesspersons coming to Dubai.
If you want to open a company in Dubai, our consultants can guide you with the type of visa you can apply for and the requirements attached to it.
Before applying for a short-stay visa, one must know that each type of Dubai visa comes with certain particularities. Among these:
- the 96-hours visa has a 30-day validity period from the date of issue, however, it gives access to visit Dubai for 96 hours from the entry date;
- the 30-day short-stay visa has a validity period of 58 days to use, which the actual stay in the country cannot last more than 30 days;
- the 30-days multi-entry short-stay visa is a visa which allows the applicant to enter and leave Dubai several times during its validity period;
- the 90-day short-stay visa has the same 58-day validity period, however, the stay in Dubai is of maximum 90 days;
- there is another type of 90-day visa which is usually granted to tourists, as it is known as the long-term leisure visa;
- the issuance of any of the types of Dubai visas mentioned above takes no longer than 5 days.
If you decide to apply for one of the types of visas above and need information about the requirements related to each one, you can get in touch with our Dubai company formation specialists who can guide you through the application procedure.
Long-term visas for Dubai
While there are several types of short-stay visas for Dubai, when it comes to long-stay visas, the options are limited to the 90-day long-term visa and the residence and work permit. Even these options are fewer, the benefits which come which such visas are more extensive and grants applicants more rights. Among these, the right to reside in Dubai, the right to reside and work in Dubai or the right to start a business while relocating to Dubai.
The visa requirements when applying to a residence permit in Dubai are also more extensive.
It is good to know that most businesspeople applying for visas for Dubai prefer the residence permit which enables them to invest in real estate.
If you want to move to Dubai and set up a company here, you can rely on the support of our company formation advisors.
The employment visa in Dubai
One of the most sought types of visas by foreign investors with companies in Dubai, but also by foreign citizens looking to immigrate to the Middle East for employment reasons is the work visa. The good news is that in the last few years the requirements for obtaining such a visa have been simplified and the procedure of obtaining it has been streamlined. Dubai companies seeking to obtain employment visas for their foreign workers can now complete the procedure online. Moreover, foreign investors opening free zone companies in Dubai have the possibility of completing the company registration procedure and the employment visa process for their foreign workers at the same time.
It is good to know that a work permit is usually issued for a period of 2 or 3 years, which is one of the most important advantages of this type of visa.
Our company formation agents in Dubai can help foreign investors who want to open businesses in Dubai free zones. We can also advise on the requirements related to obtaining a visa for Dubai.
Find out from the video below what the main requirements for obtaining a Dubai visa are:
What are the documents required to apply for a Dubai visa?
Foreign citizens must submit the following documents when applying for a Dubai visa:
- copy of the sponsor’s passport,
- copy of the applicant’s passport,
- copy of the sponsor’s employment contract,
- proof of family relationship, if the sponsor is a family member,
- travel insurance.
The applicant must also submit a letter issued by his or her resident country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs or diplomatic mission in Dubai. The letter will specify who the sponsor is, the type of visa the applicant is applying for and whether the visa is a short, long or a multiple-entry one.
Sponsorship for obtaining a Dubai visa
As seen above, one of the first steps to obtain a visa for Dubai is to find a local sponsor. The General Directory of Residency and Foreign Affairs provides for the following types of sponsors:
- hotels and tourism agencies can sponsor foreign citizens applying for tourist, service or transit visas;
- air transportation companies can sponsor crew members applying for a transit visa;
- companies in Dubai can sponsor citizens coming to Dubai for both employment or visit purposes;
- relatives or friends who hold a valid residence permit may act as sponsors for foreign citizens applying for a visit visa.
The Dubai visit visa is issued in a few working days, while in the case of employment visas the timeframe will be communicated by the company hiring the applicant.
Investing in real estate for obtaining a Dubai visa
Aligning with the international trends in allowing foreign investors to obtain UAE residency through the purchase of the real estate, the Dubai government allows foreign investors to relocate here if certain criteria are met.
As a matter of fact, this option has become quite popular among foreign citizens who meet the requirements for obtaining this type of Dubai visa. The following requisites apply to those who want to obtain Dubai residency through the acquisitions of property:
- the income of the applicant must be 10,000 AED per month;
- the value of the property to be purchased must be at least 1 million AED;
- the applicant must stay in Dubai for at least 180 days per year, if he/she does not want to move here;
- the visa has a 2-year validity period and can be renewed.
The holder of a visa obtained through this program can also sponsor family members who want to move to Dubai.
If you want to travel and need to know whether you are required to apply for a visa, before arriving in the city, please contact our company incorporation agents in Dubai.