UAE Visa Types, Requirements, and Application

Are you considering a UAE visa? About visa requirements? This article is right for you! We will provide you the ultimate guide for registration, fees, some types, and processing time as well as useful tips for applying.

Who needs a visa to enter UAE?

Below are details of who needs a visa to enter Bahrain, classified by visa type:

Visa exemption

If you travel on the passport of a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), you can freely travel into the UAE without a visa. In fact, you don’t even need a passport. Instead, you can travel with a government-issued ID card. GCC countries include: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar andย  Saudi Arabia.

Visa on arrival

  • If you are a passport holder of the country or territory below, you do not need to apply for a visa in advance to visit the UAE. Simply get off your flight at Dubai International Airport and check in, where your passport will be stamped with a free 30-day visit visa:
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฉ Andorra ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต Japan ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฒ San Marino
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Australia ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Kazakhstan ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ Singapore
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ณ Brunei ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ด Macau ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Ukraine
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡พ Malaysia ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง United Kingdom and Northern Ireland
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ China ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡บ Mauritius ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ United States
๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Hong Kong ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡จ Monaco ๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡ฆ Vatican City
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช Ireland ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ New Zealand
  • ย If you are a passport holder of one of the countries or territories below, your passport will be stamped with a multiple-entry visa valid for 6 months from the date of issue and for the period of stay total 90 days:
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ท Argentina ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ช Georgia ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡พ Paraguay
๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡น Austria ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Germany ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ช Peru
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ธ Bahamas Islands ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ท Greece ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ Poland
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ง Barbados ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ณ Honduras ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น Portugal
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช Belgium ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡บ Hungary ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ด Romania
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท Brazil ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ธ Iceland ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ Russian
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฌ Bulgaria ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Italy ๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡จ Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Chile ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Kiribati ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฒ San Marino
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ด Colombia ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ป Latvia ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ธ Serbia
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ท Costa Rica ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Liechtenstein ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡จ Seychelles
๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ท Croatia ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡น Lithuania ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Slovakia
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡พ Cyprus ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡บ Luxembourg ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Slovenia
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Czech Republic ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ป Maldives ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ง Solomon Islands
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Denmark ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡น Malta ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท South Korea
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ป El Salvador ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ช Montenegro ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ Spain
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ช Estonia ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ท Nauru ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช Sweden
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Finland ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Netherlands ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ Switzerland
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท France ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด Norway ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡พ Uruguay
  • ย If you hold a ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ Mexican passport, you are eligible for a multiple-entry visa that is valid for 6 months from the date of issue and has a total stay of 180 days.

UAE visa types

UAE offers several types of visas for foreigners looking to visit, work, study, or live in the country long-term. The type of UAE visa you need depends on the purpose and duration of your stay. The list includes:

  • Tourist visa: A tourist visa allows visitors to enter the UAE for tourism purposes for 30 to 90 days. It is a single-entry visa, meaning you cannot exit and re-enter on the same visa.
  • Transit visa: transit visa allows passengers transiting through the UAE to catch a connecting flight. It is valid for up to 96 hours.:
  • Business visa: A business visa permits foreign nationals to enter the UAE for work-related activities like meetings, conferences, training, etc. It is issued for 30 days and can be extended for another 30 days.
  • Work visa: A work visa allows you to work in the UAE long-term after finding employment with a UAE company. To get a work permit and residency, your employer must sponsor you.
  • Student visa: Student visas permit enrollment at an accredited UAE university, college, or school. The institution will sponsor and apply for your visa.
  • Retirement visa: The UAE retirement visa allows foreigners over 55 years to live in the UAE long-term. You must prove having a monthly income of $5,000+ or assets worth over $1 million.
  • Investment visa: The 10-year investment visa offers investors and entrepreneurs a long-term UAE residency. You must invest in a UAE business or property worth at least $270,000.
UAE visa
UAE visa

UAE visa requirements

General visa requirements

These are some general documents required to be submitted when you apply for UAE visa:

  • Valid passport: Your passport must have at least 6 months validity remaining from entry into the UAE. Some visas may require additional passport validity.
  • Passport photo: A recent passport-size photo according to UAE visa photo standards. Photos should be in color with a white background.
  • Application form: The visa application form needs to be completed online or through a typing center. The form requires personal and passport details.
  • Proof of funds: For visit visa, you may need to show proof of sufficient funds to cover your stay, such as a bank statement.
  • Accommodation details: Some viss require confirmed hotel bookings or a letter from your host in the UAE providing accommodation details.
  • Health insurance: Most visa need health insurance coverage valid in the UAE for your stay. Minimum coverage is usually USD 50,000.
  • Return ticket: Visit, business, and tourist visa require a return flight booking to show you intend to exit the country.
  • Sponsorship: Work, residence, student, and some other visa need sponsorship from a UAE company, family member, or educational institution.
  • Educational documents: Student visa and some work visa require educational qualifications, certificates, and transcripts.
  • Employment contract: Work visa need a copy of your signed UAE employment contract and employer’s trade license.
  • Medical test: Residence visa applicants undergo a medical fitness test at approved centers in the UAE.
  • Entry permit: Most visa first require your sponsor to obtain an entry permit before you can apply for the visa.

In addition to the above documents, there are also some additional documents you need to submit to apply for UAE visa depending on the type of visa. Specifically:

Tourist visa

  • To be eligible for a UAE tourist visa, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from entry
  • Proof of hotel reservations or address of residence in the UAE
  • Health insurance valid in the UAE

Transit visa

  • An onward ticket to your final destination
  • Any necessary visas for your final destination
  • The transit visa fee is around $20-30. You can apply online before travel.

Business visa

  • Health insurance
  • Return ticket
  • Invitation letter from your UAE sponsor
  • Business visas cost approximately $135.

Work visa

  • Educational qualifications and work experience certificates
  • Medical fitness certificate
  • Health insurance
  • Tenancy contract or company accommodation letter
  • Work visa fees start from $200, depending on the profession. Families can also apply for a family visa.

Student visa

  • Acceptance letter from the educational institution
  • Health insurance
  • Finances to cover tuition and living costs
  • Student visa fees are around $135. Families can also come on family visas.

Retirement visa

  • Proof of monthly income or savings
  • Health insurance
  • Accommodation in the UAE
  • Retirement visa fees start at $630 for 3 years. You can bring family members too.

Investment visa

Requirements are similar to the retirement visa, plus:

  • Proof of investment
  • Clear police verification certificate
  • Business proposal (if investing in a business)
  • Fees start at $2,100 for 3 years, including health insurance.

How to apply for UAE visa?

Here is the step-by-step guide for a UAE visa application:

  • Step#1. Determine your visa type: The type of UAE visa you need depends on your purpose of visit – tourism, work, transit, etc. Check the eligibility criteria.
  • Step#2. Prepare your documents: Gather all the required paperwork like passport, photos, insurance, sponsor letter, etc.ย 
  • Step#3. Ensure they meet UAE specifications: Obtain an entry permit. For most visas, your sponsor first needs to apply for your entry permit from immigration authorities. This allows initial entry.
  • Step#4. Fill out the application form: Access the visa application form online or from a typing center. Provide accurate personal, passport, and contact details.
  • Step#5. Pay the fees: Visa fees are paid online or at typing centers. Fees depend on nationality and visa type. Additional charges may apply for services.
  • Step#6. Submit the application: Your sponsor submits the application on your behalf to immigration authorities, either online or in person at a typing center. Once approved, your entry permit or visa will be stamped into your passport. Check that all details are correct before travel. Carry supporting documents when you arrive in the UAE. The entire process can take 3-4 weeks. Plan your application and work closely with your sponsor to ensure a smooth visa application process.
Burj Khalifa - UAE
Burj Khalifa – UAE

UAE visa feesย 

Here are the typical visa fees for some of the main types of UAE visa:

  • Tourist visa: $135-$200 depending on nationality, for 30 or 90 days
  • Transit visa: $20-$30 for 96 hours
  • Business visa: Around $135 for 30 days
  • Work visa: Starts from $200, depending on the profession
  • Student visa: Approximately $135
  • Retirement visa: Starts at $630 for 3 years
  • Investment visa: Starts at $2,100 for 3 years
  • Entry permit: $70-$100

Additional fees

  • Service fee: $13-$54 depending on application method
  • Medical test: $34-$136
  • Health insurance: Varies based on age and coverage
  • Emirates ID card: $27 for first time, $14 for renewal
  • Typing center service charges: $27-$68
  • Fines for overstaying visas: start at $27 per day

Processing time for UAE visaย 

Here is an overview of the typical processing times for different types of UAE visa:

Tourist visa

  • If applying online: usually processed within 1-5 days
  • On arrival: issued instantly

Transit visa

  • Online application: 1-3 days
  • On arrival: issued instantly

Business visa

  • Regular process: 5-10 days
  • Express service: 2-3 days
  • On arrival: issued instantly

Work visa

  • Inside UAE: 2-4 weeks
  • Outside UAE: 4-8 weeks

Residence visa

  • Inside UAE: 2-4 weeks
  • Outside UAE: 4-8 weeks

Student visa

  • Inside UAE: 1-2 weeks
  • Outside UAE: 3-4 weeks

Retirement visa

  • Inside UAE: 1-2 months
  • Outside UAE: 2-3 months

Investment visa

  • Inside UAE – 1-2 months
  • Outside UAE – 2-3 months

Visa extension processing time lasts 3-5 days. Visa processing is usually faster in the UAE, delays may occur during peak seasons and holidays.

Tips when applying for UAE visaย 

Here are some useful tips when applying for a UAE visa:

  • Apply early: Do not leave the visa application to the last minute. Processing can take weeks, so apply at least 1-2 months in advance.
  • Follow instructions carefully: Provide accurate details and required documents. Incorrect or incomplete applications can be rejected.
  • Use reputable agents: Hire an authorized visa agent if you need guidance. Avoid unlicensed agents to reduce the risk of errors or delays.
  • Check documents thoroughly: Double-check all your papers and details before submitting. Mistakes can cause application denial.
  • Get copies: Make copies of all documents in case originals get lost or damaged. Some authorities may keep passports during processing.
  • Pay fees correctly: Have exact visa fees ready. Under or over-payment can stall applications. Keep receipts.
  • Renew early: Do not let your visa expire, renew it in time. Renewal is easier than reapplying if lapsed.
  • Obtain status updates: Follow up regularly with your sponsor or agent to check your application status.
  • Comply with rules: Follow all visa terms and conditions. Violations risk fines, cancelation, or entry ban.
  • Get residence ID: Once approved, apply for your Emirates ID residency card within 30 days of arrival.

Planning and following requirements accurately will help ensure a smooth UAE visa application and avoid potential issues.