Different Types of Visas
If you’re planning on travelling to the UAE prior to looking for work, you can choose to enter the country on a temporary visa and search for jobs during your stay. Once you secure employment, you can then apply for your work permit and resident visa through your employer.
Listed below are the different types of visas for entry to the UAE.
Entry Service Permit
The Entry Service Permit is a non-renewable visa sponsored by a UAE company or hotel licensed to operate in the United Arab Emirates. It costs Dh 120 plus Dh 10 delivery charge and will take at least two weeks to process and issue. The duration of stay is 14 days from date of entry, exclusive of arrival and departure days.
An Entry Service Permit applies to the following categories and their families accompanying them: company manager's representatives, sales managers, account auditors, delegations from companies or establishments to carry out a commercial activity in the UAE, enquirers requested by any of the establishments/companies operating in the UAE assumed to carry out an urgent task.
The Tourist Visa is a non-renewable visa which requires the sponsorship of a UAE resident (relative or friend), hotel, travel agency, or company and entitles its holder to a 30-day stay. It costs Dh 100 plus Dh 10 delivery charge and takes around 7 days to process and issue.
The Visit Visa is a renewable visa which also requires the sponsorship of a UAE resident, hotel, travel agency, or company. It is valid for 60 days and is renewable for a total stay of up to 90 days. It costs Dh 100 plus Dh 10 delivery charge, and Dh 500 for renewing.
The Visit Visa applies to tourists who wish to spend more than 14 days in The UAE, those coming for family visits as well as those on long-term business visits. It is valid for entry within two months from the date of issue.
The Transit Visa is a 4-day (96 hours) visa issued by sponsorship of an airline operating in the UAE. Transit passengers stopping at Dubai International Airport for a minimum of 5 hours are eligible for obtaining a transit visa provided that they have a valid ticket for an onward flight.
This visa is applicable to travellers who wish to embark upon city tours during the duration of their short stay in the UAE.
The Multiple-Entry Visa is for individuals who have a relationship with a reputable company in the UAE and are continuously visiting the UAE. It is valid for six months from the date of issue, and allows the traveller to stay for 30 days for each stay. It costs Dh 1,000 and must be obtained while in the country.
Individuals who plan to live in the United Arab Emirates should obtain a Resident Visa. It will be issued by the Immigration department of the emirate the individual will be staying in and will be provided by the company the person is working for.
Individuals working outside of a Free Zone must stay with the company for a 12-month period starting from the day the visa has been received. If employees leave their employer before the end of the 12-month period and fail to secure another position within the Free Zone, they will receive a Country Ban which forbids them to work anywhere within the UAE for six months.
Resident Visas are valid for 3-years and requires a medical test and a health card. Individuals can obtain a health card for approximately Dh 300 at the Ministry of Health or at a recognized private hospital and should be renewed annually. It should be noted that individuals who test positive for AIDS will not be permitted to acquire a resident visa.
A family visa is an option for individuals with family members, which allows the sponsorship of the individual’s parents, spouse, and children under the age of 18. Take note that family visas are only possible if the individual earns a monthly salary of Dh 4,000 above.
For a relative or friend to sponsor a tourist visa, he or she must earn over Dh 4,000 per month and hold a valid resident visa.
A hotel can sponsor a tourist visa only if you are a staying at the hotel, and will hold the traveller’s passport until all hotel payments are cleared. They require the visitor's date of arrival and flight details, and a photocopy of the first few pages of the visitor's passport which should be valid for at least three months.
The traveller’s visa must be deposited at the airport immigration at least one hour before the flight’s arrival. It must also be noted that the airline may require evidence (e.g. a photocopy) before departure that a valid visa awaits the traveller upon arrival.
Do you have any questions about working in the Middle East? Send MEHJ an email.
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