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How to Obtain a Visa for Admittance to the United Arab Emirates

To gain access into the United Arab Emirates you must have either a sponsor living in the region already or an employer who is prepared to apply for your admittance into the country for employment purposes. There are a number of different Visas available and the one you will need will only be ascertained when a number of factors are taken into account such as are you coming to work or for a holiday? What is your country of origin?

For those who you are already living and have official citizen status within a recognized Gulf Cooperative Council country then they don’t actually need to apply for a visa for the UAE instead all you need to do is produce your Gulf Cooperation Council country passport when you arrive in the UAE.

Others can receive their VISA at their airport of entry when they arrive these individuals include:

  • Arab Gulf Countries Council citizens who do not belong to the Gulf Cooperative Council but are on a list of professional occupations which include  CEO’s of businesses, people with legitimate business reasons for entering the country and other professionals such as doctors, auditors, accountants, engineers or public sector employees. Family members of applicants or their staff can also gain entry. These sectors will be allowed a thirty day visa.
  • Citizens of approved countries: There are a certain number of countries who are on an approved list who are entitled to a free single visit visa, these countries are listed below but it is always imperative to note that the countries listed often changes and you really need to verify this with a UAE embassy official or your airline before deciding to travel. The United Kingdom and the European Union countries America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japanese citizens and many other countries which can be found listed by Immigration Services within the UAE or from The Naturalisation and Residency Administration of the Ministry of the Interior for the region of Dubai.
  • When you cannot be deemed to qualify through any of the above options you must then apply for a visa through a sponsor before gaining access to the country. It is the sponsor’s responsibility to sort out all the paperwork for you and the following is a list of those eligible to be a sponsor:
  • Those within the Hotel and Tourist Industry: can apply for a 30 day Tourist Visa or a  14 day Service Visa or a  30 day Visit Visa which has the option of being extended for a further 30 days.
  • Airlines can apply for a VISA for airline staff which is a four day Transit Visa.
  • Other sectors within the UAE can only seek to obtain Visit Visa’s and Service Visas but not Tourist Visas.
  • A relative or friend already living in the region can subject to certain rules, apply for a Visa on your behalf.

There are certain countries that are not entitled to the 96 hours visa and these at present include Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Niger and Yemen.

Again it is always best to study the current rules and regulations before considering a visit to the UAE for whatever reason you can always find up to date information from Immigration Services within the UAE or from The Naturalisation and Residency Administration of the Ministry of the Interior for the region of Dubai.

Also always verify what is required with your airline when planning your visit to the UAE before leaving your country of origin.

To avoid future disappointments it is always better to apply for an employment visa before you enter the UAE. The process of getting a visa is straight forward and is managed by an employer.

Employment Visa/ Permit is granted for 30 days. After you have a job offer, according to the regulations, the company should take care of all formal procedures. The rule is that you cannot leave the company that sponsored you without their permission.

Before the initial period of 30 days expires you will need to obtain a residence visa without which you won’t even be able to open a bank account or get your telephone connection. You will also have to take a medical test and have a Health Card ready before you apply for a residence visa. Residence visa is usually valid for 3 years.

If you are thinking to bring your family with you it is possible to do and there are options for sponsoring dependants. Your prospective employer should be able to explain all available options to you.

Please, note that although we are trying to update this information as fast as possible it is always advisable to check latest changes at the Visa Section of the UAE Embassy of the country where you currently reside.