Sunday, 14 February 2010

Visas and Immigration

General Information
Information concerning visa requirements for those wishing to travel to the UAE has been listed below, however visa reulations and costs are subject to change and should always be checked with you travel agent or nearest UAE embassy before travelling (see Useful Addresses for contact details). Do not overstay your visa as this wll result in detention and fines.
The Cabinet has decided to reduce the visit visa period for citizens of 33 countries who are allowed to enter the UAE without a prior visa to one month non-renewable instead of three months. The Cabinet also decided to impose a charge of Dhs100 per visa to be collected on entry to the UAE through land, seaport and airport entry points.
The decision includes citizens from France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Cyprus, Finland, Malta, Spain, Monaco, Vatican, Iceland, Andorra, San Marino, Liechtenstein, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.
Visit Visa
Citizens of the UK (with right of abode in the UK) will be granted a free of charge visit visa on arrival in the UAE: Passports will be stamped with the visit visa as you pass through Immigration at any airport in the UAE. Although the visa may be stamped for 30 days, it entitles the holder to stay in the country for 60 days and may be renewed once for an additional period of 30 days for a fee of Dh500.
Except for citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council who do not require a visa and nationalities automatically entitled to visit visas on entry, all other visitors who wish to stay longer than 14 days in the UAE (see Entry Service Permit below) must obtain a visit visa in advance through a sponsor. The sponsor can be your travel agency, your hotel, the company or department with which you are doing business in the UAE, or an individual (eg. a relative or friend resident in the UAE).
You can pick up this visit visa on arrival at the airport, but there is a fee of Dh100 plus a Dh10 delivery charge for this service. In order to complete your application, your sponsor will require your date of arrival, flight details, and a photocopy of the first few pages of your passport, which should be valid for at least three months.
A hotel will only provide a visa if you are a guest. For an individual to sponsor a visit visa, he or she must earn over Dh4000 per month and hold a valid residence visa. Your visit visa must be deposited at airport immigration one hour before the arrival of your flight. Note that your airline may require evidence (e.g. a photocopy) before departure that a valid visa awaits you on arrival.
Please note that holders of British Overseas Citizens Passport who do not have the right of abode in the UK do need visas to enter the UAE.
Tourist Visa
This special category of visit visa is available for individual tourists from East and West Europe who are not entitled to be issued with a visa on arrival, as well as visitors from Thailand, South Africa and China. The tourist visa, which must be sponsored by hotels and tour operators, entitles its holder to a 30-day stay and is non-renewable. The fee is Dh100, with an additional Dh10 for delivery.
Entry Service Permit
An entry service permit (sometimes referred to as a 14-day stay) is available to businessmen and tourists. The permit must be sponsored by a company or commercial establishment or a hotel licensed to operate within the UAE. The visa, which is non-renewable, is valid for 14 days from the date of issue and the duration of stay is 14 days from date of entry, exclusive of arrival and departure days. There is a fee of Dh120 plus Dh10 delivery charge for obtaining an entry service permit. Allow at least two weeks for processing of the permit.
Transit Visa
If you are flying to or from Europe or the United States, to Asia or Africa and passing through UAE airports, you can obtain a special 96-hour transit visa. You must be sponsored by an airline operating in the UAE and you must have a valid ticket for your onward flight. Your travel documents will be stamped with an entry seal and there is no charge for this visa
Multiple Entry Visa
An option for business visitors who are frequent visitors to the UAE and who have a relationship with a reputable company in the UAE. Valid for six months from date of issue, each visit must not exceed 30 days in total. This visa costs Dh1000. The visitor must enter the UAE on a visit visa and obtain the multiple entry visa while in the country.
German citizens (both tourists and business visitors) may apply to the UAE embassy in Germany for one or two year multiple-entry visa. No sponsor is required. The maximum duration of stay should not exceed three months a year. The visa fee is Dh1500.
US citizens may apply to the UAE embassy in the US for one to ten year multiple-entry visas. A sponsor is required and the visa will be granted free of charge. The maximum duration of stay should not exceed six months per visit.
To obtain a visa from a UAE embassy, you will need the following:
2 photographs
Duplicate application form
Letter or fax from the sponsor in the UAE to the embassy concerned
A letter from the applicant's company plus photocopy
- Abu Dhabi
Saeed bin Tahnoon St.
Abu Dhabi
Tel: 02 4462244
- Al Ain
Aditaba Road, near Dubai Islamic Bank, opposite Carrefour supermarket.
Tel: 03 7625555
- Dubai
Department of Naturalization and Residency, Trade Centre Road, near Bur Dubai Police Station
Tel: 04 3980000
- Sharjah
Department for Naturalization and Residence, near General Post Office
Tel: 06 5726777
- Umm al-Qaiwain
Tel: 06 7666419
- Ajman
Tel: 06 7422255
- Ra's as-Khaimah
Tel: 07 2273333

Home Living Here United Arab Emirates [UAE] Visa Requirements

The main entry requirement of obtaining a visa in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and its seven emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah, and Fujairah) are that your passport is valid for at least 2-6 months before your arrival. Information about the various UAE visa categories are explained in detail below.
Visit Visas
A visit visa applies to tourists who wish to spend more than 14 days in the UAE, whether it is to visit relatives or for business purposes. The categories given below identify whether an individual requires a visit visa before arrival or whether one can be issued to them at the airport or entry point.
AGCC Citizens
Citizens of the Arab Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) member states (Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia) do not need a visa.
AGCC Residents
AGCC expatriate residents may obtain a non-renewable 30-day visit visa upon arrival.
British Citizens
Residents of the UK, with the right to abide in the United Kingdom, may obtain a free visa on arrival, which is valid for 60 days and can be renewed for an additional 30 days for Dhs. 500 (US$ 137). Holders of the British Overseas Citizens Passport, who dont have the right to abide in the UK, will also obtain the free visa.
33 Privileged Countries
There are 33 countries that are given the same on arrival free UAE visa on arrival similar to UK citizens. These countries include citizens of France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Cyprus, Finland, Malta, Spain, Monaco, Vatican City, Iceland, Andorra, San Marino, Liechtenstein, United States (US), Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong. A new law was passed on March 31st 2003, where the citizens of these 33 countries can only obtain a one-month non-renewable visit visa on arrival, which costs Dhs. 100 (US$ 28). Though the government officially passed this law, it does not seem to be always implemented.
Other Nationalities (Tourist Visas)
Citizens of countries that are not mentioned above require the sponsorship of a UAE resident (relative or friend), hotel, travel agency, or company, in order to obtain a visit visa. This type of visit visa is also known as the tourist visa. For a relative or friend to sponsor a tourist visa, he or she must earn over Dhs. 4,000 per month and hold a valid residence visa. A hotel can sponsor a tourist visa, only if the visitor stays at the hotel, and they will hold your passport until all hotel payments are cleared. Procedures involved in issuing a tourist visa require that the visitor fill out a visa application form and submit it to the sponsor along with a first few pages of their passport. With these details, the sponsor can apply for a tourist visa, which will cost Dhs. 650 (US$ 178) and take a maximum of 7 days to issue. The sponsor must deposit the visitor's tourist visa at the airport immigration atleast one hour before the visitor's flight arrivals, which will cost Dhs. 10 (US$ 3) for processing.
Transit Visas
This type of visa is a 4-day (96 hour) visa, which is issued by sponsorship of an airline operating in the United Arab Emirates. A transit visa can only be issued if a visitor has a valid ticket for an onward flight and the issuing of transit visas are normally free of cost.
Other Visit Visas
There are two other types of visit visas issued by the UAE government. The first is a 14-day visa, also known as an Entry Service Permit. This visa must be sponsored by a United Arab Emirates company or hotel and will normally take 2-3 days to issue. The second is a Multiple Entry Visa, which is useful for individuals who are continously visiting the UAE. This visa has special privileges for visitors from Germany and the United States. More information and requirements about these two visas can be found to your right.
Residence Visa
For individuals planning to live in the United Arab Emirates, you have to obtain a residence visa, which is also reffered to as an employment visa. A residence visa will be issued by the Immigration department of the emirate you will be staying in and provided to you by your sponsor (the company or person you are working for). If you have entered the country on a visit visa, you can transfer to a residence visa by either re-enter the country or else make the transfer at the Immigration department.
If you are coming to the UAE with family members, you should obtain a family visa, which will allow you to sponsor your parents, spouse, daughters, and sons under the age of 18. Family visas are only possible if you earn more than Dhs. 4,000 (US$ 1,100) a month.
Residence visas are normally issued for 3-years and in order for it to be processed, you will need to take a medical test and obtain a health card. Individuals who test positive for AIDS will not be permitted to obtain a residence visa. A health card costs around Dhs. 300 (US$ 82) and should be renewed yearly. It can be issued at the Ministry of Health or else at a recognized private hospital.
A penalty charge of Dhs. 25 (US$ 7) - Dhs. 100 (US$ 28) per day is imposed on visitors who overstay. If the overstay extends to a significant amount of time, then a court hearing is issued and the judge will decide what penalties will occur.
Issuing Authority
The Dubai Naturalization and Residency Department (DNRD) is the sole administrative authority of the Ministry of Interior that deals with issuing visas to foreigners visiting the country. Most visit visas issued in the UAE are issued through the Dubai International Airport and are sometime mistakenly reffered to as a Dubai visa. The most Dubai visas are issued during the various events sponsored by the Dubai government, including the Dubai Shopping Festival and Dubai Summer Surprises, as the visa requirements are minimized and obtaining a visa is alot easier.