The UAE government allows nationals of several countries to enter without visas for short stays. You may find out if you need to apply for a Dubai visa or not if you are planning a trip to Dubai.

In this article, we will be providing you with the list of nationals that can enter the UAE without a Visa, the types of UAE visas, how to apply for a Dubai visa, and the requirements for the visa. You can surf through this article for detailed information about Dubai visas.

Nationals That Can Enter UAE Without Visa

Citizens from some countries are allowed to enter UAE for a short period without a visa. Whether you will need a visa or not, depends on your nationality.

Here is the list of the country nationals who don’t need a visa to visit UAE for 90 days:

Argentina, Barbados, Brazil, Chile, Honduras, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, Nauru, Norway, Paraguay, Russia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Serbia, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Switzerland, Uruguay and all the EU member states (excluding the UK and Ireland).

Citizens from Mexico can enter UAE without a visa for 180 days, also Ukraine, Macau, Japan, and China can enter UAE without a visa for 30 days.

However, there are some countries whose citizens are free to visit UAE without a visa but are required to get a visa on arrival.

Here is the list of those countries:

Andorra, Australia, Bahamas, Brunei, Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Hon Kong, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Maldives, Vatican, United States, United Kingdom, South Korea, Singapore, San Marino, New Zealand, Mongolia, Monaco, and Mauritius.

If you are from any of the countries below, all you need to visit UAE is your passport or ID:

Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Oman.

Nationals of the following countries who have a diplomatic or service passport are also exempted from a UAE tourist visa or eligible for a UAE visa on arrival:

Albania, Azerbaijan, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, India, Morocco, Serbia, Turkey, Vietnam, Chad, Guinea, Mali, Uzbekistan, Algeria, Belarus, Cuba, Georgia, Indonesia, Rwanda, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Burkina Faso, Congo Dr, Jordan, Niger, Armenia, Colombia, Egypt, Grenada, Liberia, Saint Lucia, Tunisia, Vanuatu, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kyrgyzstan, and Senegal.

UAE Entry Permit

The UAE Entry Permit is the document you have to obtain if you need a visa to enter the country. It is valid for a certain number of days, depending on your purpose of travel.

Your sponsor has to get an entry permit for you before you travel from by General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA). The number of days you are allowed to stay in the UAE with an entry permit depends on the purpose of your travel:

  • If you are transiting, you will receive an entry permit (transit visa) for up to 48 or 96 hours.
  • If you’ll enter as a tourist, your entry permit is valid for up to 30 days (ie. tourist visa).
  • If you’re entering for employment purposes, your entry permit is valid for up to 60 days.

As such, a tourist visa and an entry permit are more or less the same things.

Types of UAE Visas

There are four main visas that the UAE offer and there include :

  1. Tourist Visa: as the name suggests, the visa is issued for tourism purposes or other purposes for which you may not stay longer than 30 days and does not require you to take up employment and long-term residence in UAE.
  2. Residence Visa: this type of visa is for foreigners who wish to relocate to the UAE. It includes a UAE Student visa, UAE Work visa, UAE Family Visa, UAE Retirement Visa, and Dubai Digital Nomad Visa.
  3. Long-Term  Residence Visa (Investor Visa): this type of visa is issued for a period of 5-10 years and does not require a sponsor. However, you must invest a substantial amount of money in the UAE to qualify for this type of visa.
  4. Transit Visa: This visa is issued to foreigners who have to transit through the UAE. This type of visa is issued for 48 or 96 hours.

Note: Foreigners who want to move to the UAE need to have a Residence Visa. However, prior to that, they must also obtain an Entry Permit. The difference between an entry permit and a residence visa for the UAE is:

The UAE Residence Visa is the document you have to obtain after you are already in the UAE with an Entry Permit and want to stay longer than the number of days the permit allows. Your sponsor (who must meet GDRFA’s requirements) has to apply for your Residence Visa.

UAE Visa Requirements

You must have the following documents when applying for a Dubai visa:

  • Photocopies of your passport and the passport of your sponsor. You need a passport that has at least 6 months of validity.
  • Photocopy of the passport’s relevant pages. In some cases, you may not need to submit your original passport at all. You may include photocopies of the relevant pages of your passport (or all the pages on your passport).
  • Passport-size pictures, in line with UAE visa photo requirements.
  • If you are a female traveling alone: A No Objection Certificate (NOC) from your father or husband.
  • A confirmed round-trip airline ticket or an airline ticket for onward travel. If you are applying through an airline, the ticket must be from that airline.
  • Proof of accommodation, such as your hotel.
  • Proof of purchased travel medical insurance for UAE
  • A letter from you, stating the purpose and duration of your visit
  • Proof of legal residence in your country (ie. your visa or residence permit). This only applies if you are not a citizen of the country in which you are living.
  • If you have a host:
    • Proof of your relationship to the host
    • Proof of their residential status: A copy of your host’s UAE Resident Visa and/or their Emirates ID
    • Proof of their financial status: Certified copy of their work contract or their salary certificate
  • Proof of previous travels:
    • If you have been to the UAE in the last year, submit copies of the entry and exit stamps on your passport
    • Copies of any visas to the USA, UK, Schengen Area, Canada, Russia, Australia, or New Zealand you have received within the past 5 years
  • You may also be required to provide:
    • Proof of your financial status
    • Proof of your current address
    • Marriage certificate
  • Any additional documents required by the relevant visa-issuing authorities in Dubai/UAE

How to Apply for UAE Visa

The UAE, unlike the majority of nations, does not grant visas through its embassies or consulates abroad. Moreover, you cannot apply for a UAE visa on your own; instead, you must have a sponsor in the UAE or work with a recognized organization, such as:

  • A host or sponsor who is living in the UAE.
  • A licensed travel agency through which you purchase the travel ticket. Travel agencies in your country may also be collaborating with a local tour operator in the UAE and offering tour packages. Make sure that the travel agency you hire is reputable and licensed before you pay them.
  • The hotel in which you are staying is in the UAE.
  • One of the following airlines provided that you’ll be flying with them:

Where to Apply for UAE Visa

Applications for UAE visas can be submitted either online or in person at one of the following agencies:

  • Through the eChanel portal of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship – ICA, through which hosts, travel agencies, or other sponsors can apply for a UAE Visa on your behalf. (online only)
  • Through the website of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – GDRFA (online and in-person).
    • The websites of the GDRFA in each emirate:
      • Abu Dhabi
      • Dubai (see also Amer, a website which Dubai citizens and residents can use to apply for family reunions and visitors can use to extend their Visa On Arrival)
      • Sharjah
      • Ajman
      • Ras Al Khaimah
      • Fujairah
    • Mobile apps:
  • Your sponsor or host can also apply through one of the licensed typing centers of the GDRFA in each Emirate or through one of the Amer centers in Dubai.

UAE eVisa Application for GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) Residents

Residents of any of the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries are not exempted from visa requirements like GCC nationals are, but they are entitled to a facilitated online application process if they are traveling with GCC citizens. GCC countries are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

If you are a GCC resident, you can apply for a UAE visa through one of the following websites:

  • Here – For an Entry Permit
  • Here – For a Resident Visa

Once you apply, you will receive your visa at the address you provided. Your UAE visa is valid for 30 days and may be extended once more for 30 additional days.

If you are a GCC resident who will be traveling alone (not with a GCC national) you cannot apply through the online portal.

Note: You don’t need a separate Dubai visa to travel to Dubai. Once you have a UAE visa, you are free to travel to any part of the country; Dubai inclusive.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *