The UAE provides many channels for online visas, some of these are:
Online visit visa to UAE
The visit visa or entry permit into the UAE requires sponsorship from a citizen, resident or investor.
Nationals and residents in the UAE can apply online and acquire 90-day /30-day UAE entry permits or visit visas for their families, friends and relatives through the Ministry’s website- eServices section and the UAE-MOI app on smartphones.
Some of the services which you may apply online include:
The Ministry of Interior provides a service card for each online service which outlines terms and conditions, required documents, payment method and time needed to process the visa application.
Upon approval, visa will be sent to the sponsor’s registered email after the end of the proceedings by the competent authorities.
Refer to the Residency and Foreigners Affairs Services - Entry Service Permit in the Ministry of Interior website for other types of visa services available online.
Note: To apply for a service, please register through the MOI website or the smart APP first.
Online visa through UAE(eChannels)
UAE nationals, residents, and firms can also apply for a new visa or visa renewal through an online smart system 'UAE eChannels' under the Ministry of Interior.
eChannels system allows individuals from the following categories to apply:
- UAE nationals:The system allows them to apply for the individuals they sponsor
- Expatriate residents in UAE:The system allows them to apply for a visa or entry permit, and to renew or cancel them
- GCC nationals living in the UAE:They can apply for the individuals they sponsor
- Residents of GCC:They can apply for entry permit to the UAE
- Visitors:Prospective visitors may also apply for entry permit/visit visa.
In order to apply, individuals must register here first.
eVisa to UAE is compulsory for all expatriate residents in GCC
If you are a national citizen of one of GCC countries, you don’t need a visa or a sponsor to visit the UAE. However, foreigners accompanying the GCC nationals, or GCC expatriate residents must obtain an online visa upfront before arriving to UAE.
The UAE Ministry of Interior provides an online visa system for expatriates residing in GCC countries and need to visit UAE. The online visa application system also features an online payment method.
Upon approval, eVisa will be sent to the applicant registered email.
Note that obtaining the eVisa before you travel to UAE is a must. GCC residents or GCC citizen - accompanies application will not be approved for any family member or assistant categories if the sponsor is not travelling along with them.
Visit visa sponsored by the private sector, friends, family and relatives
If you have relatives or friends residing in the UAE, they can sponsor your UAE visa. They can apply for your entry permit at the office of and the relevant General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) under Ministry of Interior. Its office is located in each emirate. Below are links to the local GDRFA offices.
This process might take few days. After the visa is issued, your sponsor should send you a copy of your permit through fax or email. He should submit the original permit to the airport.
When you arrive at the airport, you can collect it from there. It is necessary for you to receive a copy of your entry permit before you leave your country.
Applicants may also apply for visa online through the websites of:
UAE visit visa requirements for family members
Visit visas for immediate family members or relatives or friends can be obtained by a resident sponsor living in the UAE provided he earns the minimum stipulated salary.
The short-term visit visas are valid for 30 days, while the long-term visas are valid for 90 days.
These visas require the sponsor to keep a stipulated deposit fee with the immigration authorities. The deposit is refunded on showing proof of legitimate exit.
The visa can be renewed against a stipulated fee.
Visit visa application process
Visit any authorised typing office and get the application typed.
Visit residency departments and submit it, along with required documents to the visa section.
Send a copy/original visa document to your relative and submit the original at the airport.
Tourist visa is a special category of visa under visit visa, which could be obtained for eligible individual tourists around the world.
The visa permits the holder to stay for duration of 30 days. The visa requires sponsorship of UAE airlines, hotels and tour operators who bring in visitors. The renewal and visa processing fee of tourist visas depends on travel agency that covers for you.
Tourist visas through the UAE-based airlines
The UAE-based airlines can arrange a visa on your behalf i.e., they can process it through the official visa-issuing authorities.
Each airline has some general or specific conditions, which must be met in order for your visa to bed arranged by them. One of them is flying with them. For more updated and specific information, check the following UAE-based airlines for visa types, facilities, terms and conditions:
Tourist visas through agencies and hotels
Licensed travel agents and hotels in the UAE can arrange a tourist visa for you provided you purchase the ticket through them and maintain hotel reservation with such specific hotel.
You may also contact travel agencies in your country for any tourist packages available to the UAE in collaboration with a local tour operator.
It is important to check the authenticity of travel agents you are dealing with and refrain from paying or sending copies of your official documents until after you are 100 per cent sure the tourist operator is a genuine business, not fraud. You may seek the help of the UAE embassy in your country for verification.
As per the website of GDRFA, hotels and tourist companies can apply, on your behalf, for
- 30-day Tourist visa, which can be extended to 40 day
- 14-day Service visa, or
- 30-day Visit visa, which can be extended for 30 days.
Multiple-entry visas are issued to frequent visitors who visit the UAE for business purposes. This sort of visa is valid for period of six months from the date of issue, with no longer than a 30-day duration period for each entry.
Transit visa for 96-hours
The UAE's airlines handle transit visa for 96-hours valid for 14 days from the date of issue. Transit passengers whose stop is over 8 hours are issued the transit visa by the airlines they are flying with subject to other conditions mentioned below:
- Passengers must have a valid passport and a confirmed onward booking to the 3rd destination
- Passengers must leave the UAE within 96 hours of arrival or 14 days after the visa was issued
- Passengers must have a confirmed hotel reservation in the UAE.
The fees for each type of visa differs. It also changes from time to time.
We advise you to check the official websites of the UAE's General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in each emirate.
You may also revert to the site of the UAE's Ministry of Interior or to the UAE embassies in your country.
If a tourist or a visitor overstays, he will be fined with a certain fee to be paid at the immigration offices or at the airport when exiting.
Updated on 19 Mar 2018