A Visa in every part of the world is an endorsement on the traveler’s passport testifying that he/she is allowed to freely enter, stay and leave a foreign country for a definite time period. Whether you’re on a business travel or a vacation, almost all the countries either require a pre-approved Visa to enter or issues a visa on arrival. Visa is a common practice and with the advent of digital media, now applying and getting an approved visa is a matter of just 3-4 working days.
About Dubai Visa
Traditionally, Visa is a traveler’s entry pass for the respective country. But Dubai has a set of clear guidelines for Visa entries, and contrary to the popular belief, these precise Dubai Visa regulations makes Dubai an extremely travel-friendly destination and allows more travelers to explore the beauty of this Arabian paradise.
Dubai is the world’s fourth most visited city with more than 14.5 million people visiting it every year. The data speaks volumes about Dubai’s easy Visa regulations. Not everyone is supposed to obtain a prior visa to enter Dubai. Yes, having a pre-approved Visa is NOT mandatory for many travelers. The requirement of pre-approved Visa is based on the nationality of the traveler. For example, if a US citizen plans to visit Dubai, all he has to carry along is his passport (with at least 6 months’ validity) and he will be issued a visa on arrival upon landing at the Dubai Airport, whereas, an Indian national must have an approved Dubai visa to enter the city.
Countries eligible for Dubai Visa-on-Arrival
The countries allowed for a free visa on arrival across the entry ports of Dubai are: United Kingdom, United States, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, Portugal, Denmark, Norway, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Monaco, Spain, Finland, Andorra, Vatican, Liechtenstein, Marino, New Zealand, Australia, Brunei, Japan, Singapore, San Marino, South Korea, Malaysia, and holders of Hong Kong SAR passports.
The members of Arab Gulf Co-operation Council(AGCC) member states including Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Oman also do not require a prior visa approval before entering UAE. The residents not belonging to the GCC countries, but holding high professional statuses such as Accountants, Auditors, Doctors, Company Managers, Businessmen, Engineers, Pharmacists, employees paid by the public-sector companies along with their wives, families, and personal staff sponsored by them, are all eligible for a 30-day non- renewable visa-on-arrival in Dubai.
Countries not allowed visa on arrival
Any country that excludes the list of the GCC and the AGCC must have a pre-approved visa, irrespective of the duration of their stay in Dubai. A prior approved visit Visa sponsored by any private sector, family, friends or relatives residing in UAE is a must. A copy of the immigration status and a valid passport valid for at least the next 6 months are the minimum required documents to be carried along at the time of entering Dubai.
Types of Dubai Visas
- Short- term Visa- It allows the applicant to enter Dubai for a stay of 30 days from the date of arrival in the country. It is a non- renewable visa valid for 58 days from the date of issue.
- Long- term Visa- It allows the applicant to stay for a term of 90 days from the date of arrival. It is a non- renewable visa valid for 58 days from the date of issue.
- Multiple-entry Visa- It allows the applicant to stay, leave and re-enter Dubai for a period of 14 days. The applicant should enter the country on a single visit visa only and must apply for multiple entry visas within 5 days of arrival. The visa is valid for 60 days from the date of issue.
- Mostly all the airline handlers and airliners qualify for a short 96-hour transit visa.
Eligibility Criteria for Visa Application
Any ONE of the following criteria must be satisfied to be eligible for Dubai Visa application.
- Applicants with a travel record to UAE emirates or other countries like USA, UK, Schengen countries, European Union, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Canada, Switzerland, and Japan, at least once in the last 5 years.
- Applicants not qualifying for the travel record criteria must submit their financial records coming from business, profession or employment.
- Invitation from immediate family member residing in UAE on family status.
- Newly Married Couple traveling immediately after the marriage with the submission of their marriage certificate and NOC from parents including the wedding card, Photo ID proof and marriage photograph of the couple.
Common Documents required for Visa application
- Passport copies (applicant and companions).
- A letter specifying sponsor, either from the Foreign Affairs ministry or its diplomatic mission.
- Specifying the VISA permission required (tourist, business, etc.).
- Visa classification (short term, long term, multiple entries, complementary).
- The passport should be valid for at least 6 months.
- A clear passport photo, preferably a scanned passport instead of scanning the copy.
Submission and Processing of Visa Application
- Apply for Dubai Visa online. The process is extremely easy with various tour operators and online firms facilitating the visa application process for a nominal fee.
- The applicant can also apply for the visa through exclusive Dubai Visa application centers in the respective countries.
Once the documents are submitted, an application ID is generated, the status of which can be easily tracked online.
Regarding the Visa regulations of Dubai, it is crucial to remember that they are subject to change by the government of Dubai. The applicants must check the current laws and regulations of Visa application either online or through the embassy of their respective country in order to be sure regarding any process change in the visa requirements.