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

In modern times, obtaining assistance with your UAE visa application is easily accessible through a variety of visa services. Additionally, 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 can 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

Whether you are planning a brief visit, exploring potential business ventures, or contemplating an extended stay; the UAE presents a diverse selection of visa options tailored to different purposes and durations of residence.

Ranging from residency and work visas to transit and tourist visas; the UAE offers an extensive spectrum of visa alternatives designed to meet the requirements of visitors, residents, and expatriates.

A thorough understanding of the available visa options is essential in planning a successful and smooth experience in the UAE.

Tourist Visas

If you intend to travel to the United Arab Emirates for tourism or business reasons, there are multiple tourist visa choices in the UAE that cater to various durations of stay.

  • Tourist visas can be obtained for periods of 30, 60, or 90 days from the date of arrival; offering choices for single or multiple entries.
  • Furthermore, they can be 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 prearranged UAE visas can 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. The UAE visa on arrival is a visa type given to foreign nationals upon their arrival in a foreign country. It is available at entry points like airports, land checkpoints, or sea-ports, and doesn’t need to be applied for beforehand. It is generally used for short-term visits, and travelers must fulfill the requirements of the hosting country.
  • In addition, tourist visa extensions are available at the airport office, allowing for flexibility in extending stays. Before a new visa can be issued, it is necessary to officially cancel all UAE visas through the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA).
  • Additional documentation might be necessary depending on the visitor’s country of residence; and it is crucial to verify that all documents remain valid for a minimum of six months from the anticipated arrival date in the UAE.

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

  1. Visit Visa. Valid for 30 days, and can be prolonged for an additional sixty days.
  2. Tourist Visa or Business Visa. Business visas are valid for 14 days and cannot be extended, while tourist visas can be extended.
  3. Transit Visa for 96-hours. Provided by airlines (e.g., Fly Emirates or Etihad Airways) and is suitable for brief visits of less than 4 days.
  4. Multi Entry Long Term Visa. Effective for 90 days, enabling longer stays and multiple entries.

Long-Term Tourist Visa Options

  1. UAE Residence Visa. Intended for individuals seeking long-term residence and employment in the UAE; providing advantages such as the ability to open a bank account, access bank loans, and visa-free entry to multiple countries.
  2. 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.
  3. Retirement Residency Visa. The UAE offers a five-year visa program for retirees aged over 55; with an option for renewal upon meeting eligibility criteria.
  4. Five-Year Multi-Entry Visa. Introduced to promote extended and frequent stays in the country. It enables visitors to enter the UAE multiple times within a year or stay for 90 days at a time; with the option to extend the visa for an additional 90 days.


Residence Visas

Understanding the specifics of residency visas and their related prerequisites is essential for individuals contemplating long-term residence and employment in the United Arab Emirates.

  • Foreigners seeking long-term residence and employment in the UAE require a UAE Residence Visa, which provides various advantages; such as the capability to open a bank account, access bank loans, and 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, or being a relative of a UAE resident.
  • On the other hand, the long-term UAE Investment Visa is granted to foreign individuals who make a significant investment in the UAE. It has a longer validity compared to other residence visas, potentially lasting up to ten years.
  • Furthermore, 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. Additionally, individuals are required to enter the UAE with an entry permit and have a sponsor, such as an employer or spouse, submit the application on their behalf.
  • Moreover, sponsored residence visas may have a validity of 1 to 3 years and 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

Work permits and employment visas not only provide individuals with the opportunity to pursue their chosen careers in the UAE, but also offer access to various benefits, such as the ability to open bank accounts, obtain loans, and enjoy visa-free travel to other countries.

  • These documents are essential for legal employment and residency in the country, ensuring that individuals can work and live in compliance with UAE laws and regulations.
  • Furthermore, they are usually sponsored by their potential employers. As a result, work permits are tied to the employer; and switching jobs requires obtaining a new work permit and employment visa each time.
  • Moreover, these permits and visas play a crucial role in regulating the labor market; ensuring that both employers and employees adhere to the necessary legal and contractual obligations. They contribute to a well-regulated and organized workforce in the UAE.
  • Additionally, the process involves multiple stages, such as obtaining a job offer, undergoing medical tests, and acquiring a residency visa. Besides, particular professions and sectors may have distinct prerequisites or restrictions for obtaining work permits.
  • Therefore, understanding the complexities of work permits and employment visas is vital for individuals contemplating employment in the UAE; and seeking advice from pertinent authorities or legal consultants is essential for navigating the process effectively.

Investor Visas

For those seeking to invest in the UAE, there are numerous investor visa alternatives accessible. These visas offer investors the chance to live, work, and study in the UAE without requiring a national sponsor.

  • The UAE Golden Visa is the most widely recognized residency program based on investment, providing extended residence permits for investors. Investors who buy a property valued at a minimum of 5 million AED or establish a company worth at least 500,000 AED can acquire a 5-year permit. Furthermore, investors who fulfill specific requirements, such as investing at least 10 million AED in a company or financial instrument; may qualify for a 10-year visa.
  • Dubai provides particular investor visa choices, such as the Dubai Partner Visa for people who invest in or establish a free zone company in designated areas. The application process and criteria for the Dubai Investor Visa may differ based on the free zone where the company is situated and the type of business.
  • Furthermore, the validity period of investor visas can range from 2 to 10 years, depending on the particular visa category. Not to mention, renewing investor visas is usually uncomplicated, causing minimal interference to business activities.

Family Visas

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

  • Expatriate residents holding a valid residence visa can act as sponsors for their families to live in the UAE. The sponsor must meet particular financial requirements, including a minimum salary of 3,000 AED plus accommodation; in order to qualify for sponsoring family visas.
  • The terms and requirements for sponsoring family members may vary; and it is recommended to remain informed about any alterations by checking with the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) or GDRFA. Additionally, the application for a family visa can be submitted at the offices of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in the respective emirate.
  • Furthermore, family members who are being sponsored and are over the age of 18 must undergo and pass medical fitness assessments; which can be carried out at authorized healthcare facilities in the UAE.
  • Moreover, the overall cost of a UAE family visa is determined by the visa type and any additional service charges. Typically, the processing period for a family visa in Dubai ranges from 15 to 17 days; with a maximum of 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.

  • This means that retired residents over the age of 55 can apply for a 5-year long visa; with the option for renewal if they meet the qualifying conditions. These may 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. Moreover, foreign applicants must present passport copies, and, if applicable, marriage certificates for sponsoring their spouse.
  • Furthermore, holders of retirement visas are considered as UAE residents and have the freedom to travel to and enter the country at their convenience.
  • Not to mention, the retirement visa is renewable, offering 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.

Additionally, 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.

By actively addressing these crucial factors and seeking guidance when needed, individuals can navigate the UAE visa application process more smoothly and effectively; ultimately resulting in a successful outcome.

Choosing the Right Visa Service Provider

When selecting a visa service provider in the UAE; it is essential to take into account multiple factors to guarantee a seamless and reliable experience.

  • Firstly, it is beneficial to seek referrals from individuals who have previously used visa services to assess the provider’s reputation and trustworthiness. Additionally, researching online reviews and testimonials can provide valuable insights into the quality of service offered by various visa agencies.
  • Furthermore, it is essential to 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.
  • Finally, it is crucial to assess the provider’s transparency regarding service fees, processing times, and the extent of customer support offered can help in making an informed choice. By meticulously evaluating these factors and conducting comprehensive research; individuals can 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 acts as a trustworthy resource for understanding the visa application process and accessing pertinent forms and guidelines.
  • The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) manages visa-related matters in each emirate. Similarly to the previous channel, the GDRFA websites and offices provide details about visa applications, entry permits, and residency visas. Additionally, their websites facilitate online visa applications and provide services for monitoring and verifying their validity.
  • Furthermore, the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICP) is responsible for issuing residence permits and the administration of visa-related services. Their website offers details about visa categories, prerequisites, and processes. Moreover, ICP provides online facilities for monitoring visa applications and checking their validity as well.
  • In addition, the DubaiNow app enables users to access a range of government services, including those related to visas. Users can even check the status of GDRFA services using this app.
  • Lastly, 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.
  • Additionally, licensed travel agencies and hotels in the UAE can 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 can inquire with travel agencies in your area about these package options.
  • Furthermore, 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.
  • Moreover, 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, and expedited visa processing.

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

Additionally, 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 can 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 can 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.
  • Additionally, if you have submitted a visa application in Dubai; you can 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.
  • Lastly, if you have any questions about visa issuance, types, or validity, you can contact ICP using the ICP Toll-Free Number or the ICP feedback platform.

By using these authorized channels and approaches, you can 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 can 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 can complete and obtain your UAE visa entirely online. This eliminates the need to physically submit your passport for stamping.

Additionally, 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.

Moreover, 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 can 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 in 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, or the application process itself, seeking guidance from authorized visa service providers or consulting with the relevant official government channels can offer valuable support.

Additionally, 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 mandatorty with every visa application.

Moreover, 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; with the 30-day 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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