Getting Help with Your UAE Visa Application: Visa Services Available in 2024

Visa Application

In modern times, obtaining assistance with your UAE visa application is easily accessible through a variety of visa services. The broad availability of visa services empowers applicants to confidently manage the UAE visa application process, ensuring they have the necessary support for a favorable result. Even in intricate visa scenarios like employment visas or special entry permits, obtaining guidance from visa consultants or legal advisors guarantee a seamless and precise application process.

In this article, we aim to provide comprehensive and valuable details to assist you in understanding the specific type of visa you need, gathering the essential documents, and navigating through the application process.

Understanding Your UAE Visa Options

UAE has diverse visa options for different purposes and durations. UAE has specific requirements for various types of visas:

  • residence visa
  • work visa
  • tourist visa

These requirements are for:

  • visitors
  • residents
  • expatriates

Knowing the available visa options helps plan a successful experience in the UAE.

Tourist Visas

There are different tourist visa choices for different stay durations.

  • Tourist visas are available for these periods from the date of arrival:
    • 30 days
    • 60 days
    • 90 days
  • Choices for single or multiple entries are offered
  • They are organized through authorized travel agents, hotels based in the UAE, or travel firms in partnership with local tour operators. It is crucial to verify the legitimacy of the travel agents; as well as avoid sharing official documents, until the operator’s credibility is verified.
  • Not to mention, citizens of countries requiring pre-arranged UAE visas apply for their visas; and make payments for their UAE visa fees online, via specified platforms. The visa fees differ according to the duration and entry type, including choices for single or multiple entries.
  • This differs from UAE visa on arrival as that is given to foreign nationals upon their arrival in a foreign country. It is available at entry points and doesn’t need to be applied for beforehand:
    • airports
    • land checkpoints
    • sea-ports
  • It is generally used for short-term visits. Travelers must fulfill the requirements of the hosting country.
  • Tourist visa extensions are available at the airport office. It allows flexibility in extending stays. Cancel all UAE visas through the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) before having a new visa issued .
  • More documentation might be necessary depending on the visitor’s home country.
  • Verify all documents are valid for six months from the expected arrival date in the UAE.

Short-Term Tourist Visa Options (e.g., 30 Days, 90 Days)

    1. Visit Visa:
      Valid for 30 days. Extension available for an extra sixty days.
    2. Tourist Visa or Business Visa:
      Business visas are valid for 14 days. These are not extended. Tourist visas are extendable.
    3. Transit Visa for 96-hours:
      Provided by airlines such as:
    • Fly Emirates
    • Etihad Airways

    It is best for brief visits of less than 4 days.

    1. Multi Entry Long Term Visa. Effective for 90 days, enabling longer stays and multiple entries.

Long-Term Tourist Visa Options

    1. UAE Residence Visa:
      It is for individuals looking forward to living and working in the UAE. The advantages to this visa are:
    • ability to open a bank account
    • access bank loans
    • visa-free entry to many countries
    1. Work Visa. Categorized into various types based on the purpose of travel; such as the UAE Work Visa granted to non-citizens securing employment in the UAE.
    2. Retirement Residency Visa. A five-year visa program in UAE for retirees aged over 55. It has an option for renewal when someone is eligible.
    3. Five-Year Multi-Entry Visa. Introduced to promote extended and frequent stays in the country. It lets visitors enter the UAE many times a year. It enables them to stay in the UAE for 90 days. The option to extend the visa is available for another 90 days.


Residence Visas

It is necessary to understand the specifics of residency visas. Related prerequisites are also important to know. It is true especially for people seeking residence or employment in the UAE.

  • It provides various advantages; such as:
    • the capability to open a bank account
    • access bank loans
    • benefit from visa-free entry to multiple countries
  • There are several requirements in order to obtain a Residence Visa; including:
    • buying real estate
    • signing an employment agreement
    • establishing a company in the UAE
    • pursuing studies in the UAE
    • being a relative of a UAE resident
  • The long-term UAE Investment Visa is for foreign individuals who make a significant investment in the UAE. It has a longer validity compared to other residence visas. It potentially lasts up to ten years.
  • The procedure for obtaining residence visas includes particular steps; such as obtaining security clearance from the UAE government and submitting original passports for visa processing. Individuals are required to enter the UAE with an entry permit and have a sponsor submit the application on their behalf.
  • Sponsored residence visas may have a validity of 1 to 3 years. They can be indefinitely renewed; provided the individual enters the UAE at least once every six months to uphold the visa’s validity. The cancellation of residence visas is generally the duty of the visa sponsor; with specific regulations applying based on whether the individual is in the UAE or abroad.

Work Permits and Employment Visas

It provides individuals with the opportunity to pursue their chosen careers in the UAE.

  • They are usually sponsored by their potential employers. Work permits are tied to the employer. Switching jobs requires a new work permit and employment visa each time.
  • These permits make sure of both employers and employees adhering to the necessary legal and contractual obligations. They contribute to a more organized workforce in the UAE.
  • The process involves multiple stages, such as:
    • obtaining a job offer
    • undergoing medical tests
    • acquiring a residency visa

Investor Visas

For investing in the UAE, there are many investor visa alternatives accessible. These offer investors the chance to live, work, and study in the UAE without a national sponsor.

  • The UAE Golden Visa is the most widely recognized investment-based residency program. It provides extended residence permits for investors. Investors can acquire a 5-year permit:
    • who buy a property valued at a minimum of 5 million AED
    • establish a company worth at least 500,000 AED

For a 10-year permit::

  • invest at least 10 million AED in a company or financial instrument qualify
  • Dubai Partner Visa is for those who invest in or establish a free zone company in designated areas.
  • The validity period of investor visas ranges from 2 to 10 years. It depends on the particular visa category. Renewing investor visas is usually uncomplicated. It causes minimal interference to business activities.

Family Visas

Family visas are for individuals who wish to have their family members live with them in the UAE.

  • Expatriate residents holding a valid residence visa act as sponsors for their families to live in the UAE. The sponsor meets particular financial requirements: a minimum salary of 3,000 AED and accommodationIt will qualify for sponsoring family visas.
  • The terms and requirements for sponsoring family members vary. Stay informed about any alterations by checking with the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) or GDRFA. Submit the application for a family visa at the offices of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in the respective emirate.
  • Family members sponsored over the age of 18 have to undergo and pass medical fitness assessments. This is carried out at authorized healthcare facilities in the UAE.
  • The overall cost of a UAE family visa is determined by the visa type and any additional service charges. The processing period for a family visa in Dubai ranges from 15 to 17 days. The maximum is 60 days in exceptional circumstances.

Retirement Visas

Retirement visas in the United Arab Emirates provide retired individuals with the chance to live in the country for a prolonged duration.

  • Retired residents over the age of 55 can apply for a 5-year long visa. They have the option for renewal if they meet the qualifying conditions. These involve maintaining a financial deposit of at least 1,000,000 AED inside or outside the UAE; or a steady annual income of at least 240,000 AED (or its equivalent in foreign currencies).
  • Obtaining a retirement visa requires submitting documents such as a bank statement demonstrating the necessary deposit; or evidence of a stable annual income. Foreign applicants must present passport copies, and, if applicable, marriage certificates for sponsoring their spouse.
  • Holders of retirement visas are considered as UAE residents and have the freedom to travel to and enter the country at their convenience.
  • The retirement visa is renewable. It offers retirees the chance to easily extend their stay in the UAE beyond the initial 5-year duration.

Streamlining Your Application Process

It is crucial to familiarize yourself with the specific UAE visa requirements, application process and documentation for your particular visa type; whether it is a residence visa, work permit, investor visa, family visa, or retirement visa, in order to simplify the process.

It is vital for a streamlined visa application process to stay updated with any changes in visa regulations and requirements; as well as looking for assistance from reputable legal advisors or immigration consultants; besides ensuring that all necessary documents are prepared and submitted in a timely manner.

Choosing the Right Visa Service Provider

Select a visa service provider in the UAE by taking into account multiple factors to guarantee a reliable experience.

  • Seek referrals from individuals who have previously used visa services to assess the provider’s reputation and trustworthiness. Research online reviews and testimonials. They provide valuable insights into the quality of service offered by various visa agencies.
  • Consider the particular visa type you need; such as a residence visa, work permit, investor visa, family visa, or retirement visa. This may impact the expertise and specialization of the service provider.
  • Assess the provider’s transparency regarding:
    • service fees
    • processing times
    • the extent of customer support

By meticulously evaluating these factors and conducting comprehensive research; individuals choose a visa service provider that meets their specific requirements and guarantees a smooth UAE visa application process.

Official Government Channels

When dealing with visa processing in the UAE, it is advisable to use official government channels to guarantee accuracy and dependability. The UAE government offers multiple official channels for visa processing and associated services.

  • The Official Portal of the UAE Government offers extensive details about different UAE visa requirements, types, and procedures. It is a trustworthy resource for
    • understanding the visa application process
    • accessing pertinent forms and guidelines
  • GDRFA websites and offices provide details about visa applications, entry permits, and residency visas. Their websites facilitate online visa applications and provide services for monitoring and verifying their validity.
  • The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICP) is responsible for:
    • issuing residence permits
    • the administration of visa-related services

Their website offers details about:

  • visa categories
  • prerequisites
  • processes

ICP provides online facilities for monitoring visa applications and checking their validity as well.

  • The DubaiNow app enables users to access a range of government services, including those related to visas. Users even check the status of GDRFA services using this app.
  • Typing Centers registered by ICP or GDRFA have the authorization to process visa applications in person.

Travel Agencies and Airlines

In the UAE, a variety of travel agencies and airlines provide visa processing services. Below are a few options to consider:

  • First, when traveling to or transiting through Dubai with Emirates, you have the option to apply for a UAE visa online; using their “manage your booking” feature after booking your flight. VFS Global processing fees are applicable for this service.
  • Licensed travel agencies and hotels in the UAE facilitate tourist visas for travelers who buy their tickets and maintain hotel reservations through them. It is crucial to confirm the legitimacy of these travel agents and refrain from sharing official documents until their credibility has been established.
  • Local tour operators in the UAE may also partner with travel agencies in your region; in order to provide tourist packages that incorporate visa services. You inquire with travel agencies in your area about these package options.
  • Regal Tours, a prominent travel agency based in Dubai, is renowned for its expertise in visa services. They are recognized for their quick processing, and have gathered favorable reviews from clients.
  • Omeir Travel Agency provides a range of visa processing services with various durations and types of visas available. It is essential to review their specific terms and conditions for visa processing before moving forward.

Third-Party Visa Processing Companies

Third-party visa processing companies in the UAE provide a variety of services; such as:

  • outsourcing for employment visas
  • packages for freelance visas
  • expediting visa processing

These companies specialize in:

  • understanding the intricacies of UAE local laws and regulations
  • offering support with obtaining employment visas
  • presenting all-inclusive visa packages for individuals looking to work and reside in the UAE

Certain companies offer specialized services for particular visa categories; such as domestic worker visas and investor or partnership visas, catering to diverse needs.

Thoroughly researching and verifying the credibility of third-party visa processing companies is crucial to guarantee a reliable and compliant visa processing experience.

Essential Application Documents and Requirements

When applying for a visa in the UAE, the required documents and criteria may differ based on the visa type. Nonetheless, the following are vital application documents and prerequisites to keep in mind in case they are required:

  1. A valid passport is essential for visa processing, with a minimum validity of six months from the arrival date in the UAE.
  2. Passport Photos. Recent passport-sized photographs may be necessary, following the specifications outlined by the visa processing authority.
  3. Visa Application Form. Completing the visa application form accurately and providing detailed information is crucial.
  4. Proof of Travel. Providing evidence of flight bookings for both arrival and departure flights may be required.
  5. Emirates ID Card. Certain visa types, such as residence visas, may need an Emirates ID card.
  6. Entry Permit. Depending on the visa type, obtaining an entry permit from the Ministry of Labor may be necessary.
  7. Medical Screening Results. Some visa types may mandate a medical screening, with the results being part of the application process.
  8. Company Documents. For work visas, documents like a copy of the company’s commercial license and the employer’s company card may be required.

Tracking Your Application Status and Arrival in the UAE

To monitor the status and arrival of your visa application in the UAE, you make use of different official channels and methods. Here are the primary choices for tracking your UAE visa application check online:

  • For the emirates of Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah, and Fujairah; you verify the status and validity of your visa application on the ICP website. To track your visa through this platform, you will require the application number and reference number provided by your visa service provider.
  • If you have submitted a visa application in Dubai; you monitor the status and validity of your visa application on the GDRFA Dubai website. This encompasses providing your information, such as passport number, nationality, visa application number, payment date, and transaction number; in order to continue with the visa verification process. You will also need the application number and reference number to track your visa application through this platform.
  • As mentioned previously, the DubaiNow app also enables users to inquire about the status of GDRFA services, offering a convenient method for monitoring visa applications.
  • If you have any questions about visa issuance, types, or validity, you contact ICP using the ICP Toll-Free Number or the ICP feedback platform.

By using these authorized channels and approaches, you stay updated on the status of your visa application; guaranteeing a hassle-free arrival process in the UAE.


What type of visa do I need for the UAE?

The type of visa required for the UAE depends on your nationality and the purpose of your visit. Some nationalities qualify for visa on arrival for different durations; while citizens of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries do not require a visa to enter the UAE. Tourists obtain tourist visas through licensed travel agents and hotels; and individuals planning to work in the UAE may need an employment visa. It is crucial to ensure that your passport remains valid for at least six months from the date of arrival in the UAE.

For the most accurate and current visa requirements tailored to your specific situation; whether it is for a Dubai visa, an Abu Dhabi visa, or any other Emirate; it is advisable to consult official government channels or relevant authorities.

Where can I apply for a UAE visa?

You have the option to apply for an UAE visa through multiple channels, such as online platforms and authorized agencies. If you are traveling to Dubai with Emirates or transiting through the city; you complete and obtain your UAE visa entirely online. This eliminates the need to physically submit your passport for stamping.

You have the option to request entry permits via the official websites of the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security (ICP). And the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), or through typing centers.

If you are seeking a Dubai visa, the Dubai Visa Processing Centre provides a sophisticated online system for visa applications; and passengers of Emirates and Fly Dubai take advantage of a streamlined online application process. It is crucial to verify that your passport meets the necessary validity and machine-readable standards; and to review the specific visa prerequisites based on your nationality and the purpose of your travel.

Do I need help with my UAE visa application?

If you are familiar with the UAE visa application process and feel confident in navigating the official channels and requirements; you may not require assistance with your application. However, if you are uncertain about the specific visa type needed, the necessary documentation. The application process itself, seeking guidance from authorized visa service providers or consulting with the relevant official government channels offer valuable support.

For intricate visa situations like employment visas or special entry permits; professional guidance from visa consultants or legal advisors may be advantageous to ensure a smooth and accurate application process. Ultimately, the decision to seek assistance with your UAE visa application process depends on your comfort level and the complexity of your individual circumstances.

How much do visa services cost?

The expenses for visa services in the UAE may vary depending on the specific visa category that the applicant is applying for and their nationality. For instance, processing fees. For nonimmigrant visa applications are structured in tiers. With the fee corresponding to the visa category that the applicant is applying for. The UAE visa fee is also known as the “MRV (Machine Readable Visa). Fee” and is mandatory with every visa application.

The ICP has established uniform fines for overstaying in the UAE. Under the new regulations, the fines for overstaying on visit, tourist, and residence visas have been set at 50 AED per day; within the 30-day period. Multiple entry visit visa fee set at 300 AED; the 60-day multiple entry visit visa at 500 AED. And the 90-day multi-entry visit visa at 700 AED.

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