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The Different UAE Visa Types

To avoid any kind of hassle and delay in your trip to the UAE, ensure that you double check the UAE visa requirements and that you possess every required document and have gone through every necessary procedure. See to it that you have a valid visa before departing and, if you’re holding a diplomatic or a special passport, make sure to verify that you’ve satisfied the special requirements before arriving with this type of passport.

You won’t need a visa to enter the UAE if you are a citizen of the following GCC countries:

  1.      Saudi Arabia
  2.      Qatar
  3.      Oman
  4.      Kuwait
  5.      Bahrain

Student Visa

A Student Visa is for a university or a college student studying in the UAE. It is issued to expatriate students who are residing in the UAE under the sponsorship of their parents or relatives or to international students who come from abroad to join one of the higher educational institutes in the UAE.


In order to secure a freshman student visa, the applicant must obtain an official admission letter from the respective university. For older students, a certificate of continuation of study is needed.

Other requirements include:

  • Passing a medical fitness test
  • A visa sponsor – either the university itself or a parent or relative
  • Approval of the relevant General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA)

Tourist Visa

A Tourist Visa is for those who are not eligible for visa on arrival or visa-free entry to the UAE. Tourist visas can be obtained for eligible individual tourists from around the world. Females below the age of 18 are not eligible to apply for this type of visa unless they are travelling with their parents.

Depending on your plan, tourist visas to the UAE can be issued for 30 days or 90 days duration, single entry, or multiple entry. A tourist visa is not extendable.

The UAE embassies do not issue tourist visas. In order to get a tourist visa to the UAE, you need to get in touch with one of the UAE-based airlines, a tour agency, or a prospective hotel in the UAE who will apply for the visa on your behalf to the official visa-issuing authorities in the UAE.


If you are planning to stay in the UAE for more than three months then your documents and passports should be valid for at least three months from the date of access. If your stay is going to exceed that time frame then the validity period should be a least six months.

Minors don’t need to possess passports of their own since they are registered on their parent or guardian’s passport. The passport has to carry the child’s photo and the child must travel with their parent or guardian.

If you possess a normal passport then you can obtain a visit/tourist visa that is valid for 30 days maximum. If you are expecting to extend your stay then you must apply for a visit extension at least two days before the expiration of your UAE visa. You can extend your visit for up to another 30 days.

How do you get a UAE Visa on Arrival

The nationals of some countries are entitled to apply for a visa on arrival which means that a visa application prior to entering UAE is not necessary. The step-by-step application for a visa on arrival is simple. All you have to do is head for the immigration bureau at the airport after descending from your flight. From there the officers will stamp your passport with a visit visa valid for up to 30 days. Visa on arrival applicants do not have to pay during the application process, but if an extension is required then additional fees must be paid.

The visa on arrival can be extended for an additional period of 30 days from the Ministry of Immigration and is available to citizens of the following countries:

  1. Andorra
  2. Australia
  3. Austria
  4. Belgium
  5. Brunei
  6. Denmark
  7. Finland
  8. France
  9. Germany
  10. Greece
  11. Hong Kong
  12. Iceland
  13. Ireland
  14. Italy
  15. Japan
  16. Liechtenstein
  17. Luxembourg
  18. Monaco
  19. New Zealand
  20. Norway
  21. Portugal
  22. San Marino
  23. Singapore
  24. South Korea
  25. Spain
  26. Sweden
  27. Switzerland
  28. Netherlands
  29. United Kingdom
  30. United States of America
  31. Vatican

Furthermore, visas are available to business travellers who intend to take part in training, meetings, and exhibitions.

If your country is not listed above then you will have to file a UAE visa application prior to your trip.