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The UAE has come a long way, in a relatively short span of time, with Dubai key to its promotion of the economy.

The city has made great strides as it looks to promote itself as a business hub, attracting the likes of tech giants i.e. Apple, Microsoft, Google, and media organisations such as MBC, CNN, BBC, Reuters owing to its location and infrastructure.

With Dubai continuing its efforts to attract millions of tourists and travellers with entertainment events like the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) and the ongoing Dubai Expo 2020, here is all you need to know about the kinds of visas and residency permits it has to offer.

Business visa:

If you’re thinking of moving to Dubai to start a business, then applying for a business visa is the answer.

A business visa is part of the Golden Visa system introduced by UAE under which foreigners can obtain a long-term visa for themselves and their dependents.

Professionals from any country with entrepreneurial experience are eligible to apply for a business visa. An eligible entrepreneur is anyone who has set up a business of his own at some point in his career and wishes to do so again in the UAE.

In order to obtain the visa, the applicant must be able to substantiate their experience as an entrepreneur and be willing to relocate to the UAE and legally establish a business in one of the seven emirates.

In addition, applicants must successfully pass the requirements of the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs & Ports Security, including a background check and health assessment.

Furthermore, if you are residing outside the UAE, you will be given a six-month visa to enter the UAE, explore the opportunities and settle.

Remote work visas:

A remote work visa is an innovative document, which allows you to live in the UAE while you continue to work for your existing employer, outside the UAE. The visa is especially feasible in the current volatile situation created due to the COVID-19 pandemic which restricts air travel on and off.

The visa is valid for one year allows foreigners to enter the UAE under self-sponsorship and work in line with terms and conditions issued with the visa.

Tourist visa:

Depending on your plan, tourist visas to the UAE can be issued for 30 days or 90 days for single or multiple entries. Adding to its flexibility, tourist visas can be extended for 30 days twice, without the need to leave the country, and is especially useful for job seekers.

The tourist visa is for those who are not eligible for visa on arrival or a visa-free entry to the UAE, and can be obtained for eligible individual tourists from around the world. Females below the age of 18 are not eligible to apply for this type of visa unless they are travelling with their parents.

Children under the age of 18 years, who are accompanying adults, can get a free visa for their visit from 15 July to 15 September each year.

Student visa:

A student visa, as the name suggests, is issued to expatriate students who are over 18 years and residing in the UAE.

A student visa is for a university or a college student studying in the UAE, and is given for a duration of one year, at a time, renewable for a similar period upon an official proof of continuation of a study issued from the relevant higher educational institute in the UAE where the student is admitted.

However, outstanding students can get a long-term visa of 5 years. As per the rule book in order to meet the criteria of an outstanding student, for school students one must graduate with a grade of at least 95% from secondary schools whether public or private.

Meanwhile, university students must graduate with a distinctive GPA of at least 3.75 from universities within and outside the country.

Visa benefits will also include families of the outstanding students.

Patient and his/her companion entry permits

Apart from travel and business, the UAE allows entry of foreign patients for treatment under the sponsorship of the medical establishment where the one would be seeking treatment.

The entry permit of the patient’s companion can be extended only once provided that a duly certified medical report states that the patient needs to continue treatment and that his companion is needed in the UAE.

In Dubai, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai grants entry permit for treatment on the sponsorship of medical establishments (public and private) to foreigners wishing to enter the UAE for treatment.

Permits are of two types i.e. Medical Treatment Entry Permit - Single Entry(only one time entry is allowed), and Medical Treatment Entry Permit - Multiple Entry (multiple entries are allowed)..

The permit entitles its holder to enter the UAE within 60 days from the date of issue and stay for a period of 90 days from the date of entry


The UAE e-Visa is an electronic visa that enables foreign travelers to visit the United Arab Emirates for short-term tourist stays.

The electronic visa system serves as facilitation in the whole visa handling process since it allows travelers to obtain their travel authorisation documents entirely online.

The UAE e-Visa is a single-entry visa that allows its holders to stay in UAE for up to 30 days (one month) and stays valid for 2 months from issue.

Travelers from the eligible countries can now make their visa applications online using this website and receive the approved document via email within a maximum of 3 business days.

The approved UAE e-Visa can be used to travel to the UAE for tourism or transit purposes.

Retirement visa for UAE residents:

Retired residents over the age of 55 can get a long-term residence visa for a period of 5 years. The visa may be renewed if the eligibility criteria is met.

For a retiree to be eligible for a 5-year renewable retirement visa, he must fulfill one of the following criteria: invest in a property worth AED 2 million; have financial savings of no less than AED 1 million; have an active income of no less than AED 20,000 per month.

The visa is valid for 5 years with the possibility of renewing it if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Transit visa:

The UAE issues two types of transit visas: one for 48 hours which is free of charge, and another for 96 hours for AED 50, and is especially useful for a short stay.

Transit visas are sponsored only by the UAE-based airlines and must be processed and approved before entering the UAE.

This visa is not extendable, nor renewable, meaning if the validity of the visa is 48 hours from entry into the UAE, and you must leave the UAE within 48 hours from arrival.


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