Visas Guide for Expats and Global Nomads
Types of visas
Applying for a UAE visa can be relatively straightforward. However, for everything to run smoothly, it is important that you know the rules and regulations in advance, and that you have all the necessary documentation ready before you start the process. If you are not thoroughly prepared, the process can become somewhat frustrating.
It is important to note that visa requirements and regulations do change from time to time. As a result, the UAE authorities advise all people planning to come to Dubai to check that they have the most up-to-date information by checking with their local UAE embassy or consulate.
The rules change depending on your nationality. If you are a citizen of one of the 34 privileged countries, you will find the process much easier. The privileged countries are:
Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Britain, Brunei, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United States, and the Vatican.
The type of visa you obtain is very much dependent on your purpose for visiting and the length of your visit.
- Visit Visa – 30 days – a sponsor is necessary for those who are not nationals of one of the privileged countries
- Student Visit Visa – 60 days – for students registered at educational institutions
- Mission Visa – 90 days – for temporary workers in the U.A.E.
- Residence Visa – 36 months – for those who are working in the country and their dependents
- Residence Visa for dependents – 36 months – can only be processed once you have your residence visa
- Residence Visa for parents – 12 months
- Employment Visa – 30 days – allows entry to the country before a residence visa is processed
- Property Owner Visa – 6 months – renewable if property owner leaves the country