Planning to move to the UAE or the United Arab Emirates? Here are different types of visas to the UAE. Read on to choose a visa to the UAE that suits you best.
One of the most sought-after destinations in the world by international job seekers and business investors, the United Arab Emirates has much to offer to the people seeking to move to this country for a short while or permanently. This nation has always held a positive outlook towards international job seekers, students, tourists, entrepreneurs, and investors.
Do you have plans to move to the UAE be it for a short while or a longer period? If so, read further to understand the different kinds of visas offered by the UAE government for foreign nationals to travel to this country or work and live there as temporary/permanent residents.
Types Of Visas To The UAE You Can Choose From
Given below are the different types of Visas to the UAE.
The UAE offers business visas to foreign nationals under the Golden Visa System. This is a long-term visa for foreigners as well as their dependents. This visa is granted to provide a favorable environment for businesses in the UAE thereby adding to the country’s economic growth.
Criteria For Eligibility
Any foreign national with sufficient experience in entrepreneurship are considered eligible to apply for this visa. She/he must be a person who has built up a business firm personally at some point in their life and wishes to set up their business in the UAE also. To get a business visa you need to satisfy the following criteria.
- Provide valid proof of your entrepreneurial experience
- Proof of your role in a start-up business
- You must have either been a part of the company’s top leadership or
- A major part of the company’s shares belongs to you
- You are willing to relocate to the United Arab Emirates
- Planning to establish your business in the UAE legally
- Have a proper business plan that you wish to build in the UAE
- Successfully meet all the requirements set by the UAE’s Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship
- This includes medical and health assessment
- Legal background verification
Meeting the eligibility criteria does not guarantee that you’ll be granted a business visa in the UAE. Your application and the attached documents will be thoroughly verified by specially authorized committees before approval. Once the documents have been approved you are expected to meet all the requirements set by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship following which your business visa will be issued.
Visas To The UAE – Remote Work Visa
A Remote Work Visa permits a foreign national to live in the UAE while she/he continues to work for an employer who is outside the UAE.
- This visa aims to attract expertise and talents from all around the globe
- The Remote Work Visa permits you to work remotely within the UAE no matter which country you belong to.
- The validity for this visa is one year
- A Remote Work visa permits foreigners to enter this country through self-sponsorship
- You have to make sure that you abide by the terms and conditions that come along with this visa
- You can work in a safe and favorable environment
- You get access to world-class telecom services and utilities as well
Tourist Visa To The UAE
This is one of the most sought-after visas to the UAE. The UAE issues a tourist visa for 30 days or 90 days depending on the plans you’ve set for this trip. Visas are issued for a single entry or multiple entries depending on your plans.
- Tourist visas are issued to those who are not eligible for visa-free entry or visas on arrival
- All tourists from around the world who are eligible can get this visa quickly
- Females below the age of 18 are not permitted to apply for this visa
- Females who are under 18 can get this visa only if they are traveling with their parents
- Children below 18 accompanied by adults are eligible for a free visa from July 15th to September 15th every year (Based on a cabinet resolution passed in 2018)
Multiple Entry Visa (Tourist Visa)
The UAE also issues a multiple-entry tourist visa for all foreign nationals.
- This is a 5-year visa
- Tourists may enter UAE multiple times (Self-sponsored visits)
- They are permitted to remain in the country for a maximum of 90 days
- Tourists are given the option to extend the stay for another 90 days as well
Visas To The UAE – Student Visa
Expatriate students who reside in the UAE and are above 18 years of age are granted a student visa for their higher studies.
- This visa is granted to a student studying in one of the Universities/colleges approved by the government in the UAE
- The student must be 18 years or over to qualify for this visa
- The applicant should attach the official letter for admission received from the university/college where she/he intends to join
- Students who are older need to produce a certificate of continuation of study
- Clear the medical and health fitness test successfully
- A sponsor for the visa (Either parent/ a relative/ the college or university)
- Approval from the GDRFA (General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs)
- The student visa is granted for 1 year (At a time)
- The visa can be renewed for another year on giving proof of continuation of studies
- The proof is issued by the college/university where the student is pursuing higher education
Long-Term Student Visa (For Outstanding Students)
The UAE government issues a long-term student visa for outstanding students.
- This is a 5-year visa
- To qualify for this visa a school student must secure a minimum of 95% from secondary schools (public/private)
- University students within UAE/outside should have obtained a minimum GPA of 3.75 to qualify
- The benefits of this visa also extend to the families of these students
Visas To The UAE – Transit Visa
You require a transit visa in the UAE if you are not from those countries that are eligible for a visa-free entry or visa on arrival. Two types of transit visas are issued by the UAE.
- A visa for 48 hours
- This visa is free of cost
- A visa for 96 hours
- You are required to pay 50 AED for the 96-hour visa
- Only those airlines based in the UAE can sponsor this visa
- The visa needs to be processed and approved before you arrive in the UAE
- The transit visas cannot be extended (Both 48-hour visa and 96-hour visas)
Entry Permits For Patients And Companions
Foreigners and accompanying companions entering the UAE for medical treatment require entry permits issued by the UAE authorities.
- The patient needs to obtain sponsorship from the government/private hospital or the medical establishments from where she/he seeks to take treatment from
- It is the responsibility of the sponsor to process the entry permits on getting a request from the patient
The sponsor (hospital/medical care facility) must be a legal health care facility registered and licensed in the UAE.
Two types of entry permits are issued to foreign patients and companions.
Single Entry Permit – For Patients And Her/his Companion
As the name suggests only a single entry to the UAE for the foreign patients and her/his companion is allowed under this permit.
- The international patient and accompanying companion must enter the UAE within 60 days from the date the permit was issued
- The patient and companion can stay for a maximum of 90 days from the date she/he entered this country
- The single entry permit is extendable
Multiple Entry Permit – For Patients And Her/his Companion
This permit allows the foreign patient and her companion to enter the UAE multiple times for medical treatment.
- The patient and the accompanying companion must enter the UAE within 60 days from the date the permit was issued
- A maximum of 90 days at a time is permitted using this visa
- You may choose to extend your permit in case there is a need
Both these permits for treatment can be extended only once for treatment. The patient needs to submit a certified medical report from the hospital where she/he is getting treated. The report must specify that continuous treatment is required for this patient.
The following documents are required for getting this permit.
- A letter from the hospital where the patient intends t undergo medical treatment
- The letter should state the reason for the visit
- A copy of the applicant’s passport
- Proof of sufficient finances
- Health insurance coverage
E-Visa For Gulf Corporation Council Residents (GCC Residents)
The residents belonging to the Gulf Corporation Council need to apply for an e-Visa to enter the UAE.
- The GCC residents, as well as their accompanying companions, must apply for this visa online
- They must get it before arriving in the country
- The validity of the visa is for 30 days
- The visa is extendable for a single time
- An additional 30 days is the maximum time permitted
Work Permit/Employment Visa
Foreigners who wish to work in the UAE require a work permit or an employment visa to do so. You need to be hired by an employer based in the UAE before applying for a work permit/visa. To get a visa you need to satisfy certain criteria including the following.
- You must be 18 years and over to apply for this visa
- The nature of work of the company hiring you must be similar to the work you are doing in your country
- The company must be legal and its license must be valid
- No records of violations/fraudulence by the hiring company
- Meet the standards set by MoHRE (Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation)
- No maximum age limit for the person to be employed in the UAE
- Companies must pay higher fees for workers over 65 years of age
- Apply for with all the supporting documents
- Passport, academic qualification certificate copies, photographs, employment letter
- Medical and health certificated
- Background verification reports
Foreign workers are classified into three depending on their academic qualifications.
- Category 1: Minimum qualification a Bachelor’s Degree
- Category 2: Minimum qualification a post-secondary diploma
- Category 3: Minimum qualification a high school diploma
When coming to the UAE for employment you require a work permit.
- The work permit is valid for a maximum of 30 days
- It can be extended to another 30 days as well
- During this time the foreign national should get a residence visa, Labour Card, and Emirates ID
- This will give you the right to live and work in the UAE legally
Work/ Employment Visa
After getting hired in the UAE you can enter the country using a work permit which allows you to stay there for a maximum of 60 days. You can apply for the UAE employment visa during this time.
- The employment visa allows you to stay for a longer period in the UAE at a time (1-3 years)
- Your sponsor has to apply through the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in the UAE for this visa
- The sponsor has the responsibility to renew your work visa within 30 days before the date of expiry
- Your sponsor can also renew your visa even after it expires provided it is still within the visa expiry grace period
A foreign national requires a Residence visa to live in the UAE. A Resident visa is granted in the following situations.
- You are hired by a company based in the UAE
- Planning to set up a business there
- Move to the UAE as a student to join a college/University
- Move to the country as a dependent of another UAE resident
- It is the responsibility of the employers to sponsor Residence visas of the foreign employees
- The employers have to take care of all the formalities related including bearing the cost of the visa
- You may also apply for a resident visa by investing in a property in the UAE which has a minimum worth of 1 Million AED
- Depending on where you live your visa tenure could be for 2 years or 3 years
- Business owners/ investors are granted a 3-year Resident visa usually
- Long-term Resident visas are granted to outstanding international students and huge capital investors (foreign nationals)
- The foreign nationals must successfully clear medical and health tests to qualify for this visa
Sponsoring Your Spouse And Family
Once a foreign national obtains residency in the UAE she/he is eligible to sponsor her/his spouse and family. Some of the common requirements to be able to sponsor your family is the following.
- Meet a minimum salary scale to sponsor your family
- You need to sponsor each individual in your family whom you wish to bring to the UAE
- A member needs to successfully clear all the medical and health requirements to qualify for this sponsorship
Retirement Visa For Residents In The UAE
Retired residents of the UAE who are over 55 years of age can get a long-term residence visa in the UAE (5 years). However, there are certain criteria for eligibility.
- Have minimum savings of 1 Million AED
- An active income of at least 20,000 AED per month
- Acquire a property worth a minimum of 2 Million AED in the UAE
The candidates who successfully meet one or more of these criteria are eligible to renew or extend their visa after five years.
Visas To The UAE – Our Two Cents
The UAE offers a wide range of benefits to foreign investors and job seekers including an excellent lifestyle, amazing opportunities for growth and establishment of career, and a proper balance of work and life.
UAE is also home to some of the top-rated universities and colleges in the world making it a favorite destination among international students. No wonder this country is now one of the top choices among international workers, investors, and students that they wish to migrate to.
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