Gulf Cooperation Countries:
GCC citizens can enter UAE from any port of entry by providing their GCC country passport or ID card. They do not need to apply for a visa or entry permit.
GCC residents and accompanying helpers must obtain an entry permit through the Ministry of Interior website, before coming to UAE.
Visa on Arrival:
Citizens of EU and other countries can obtain the entry visa on arrival UAE. To view the complete list of these countries, please visit Etihad Airways website.
The list is subject to change from time to time. It is advisable to check with the UAE embassy abroad or the airline company before travelling to UAE.
Citizens of other countries, not included in the list Exempted countries, need to get an entry permit through a sponsor to come to UAE. The sponsor can be:
· Tourism establishments.
· A company based in UAE.
· An individual (UAE national, or an expatriate who is already residing in the country).
The entry permits are issued according to the purpose of the visit.
Visit Entry Permit:
Companies operating in UAE, or Emiratis or expatriate residents may issue visit entry permits for their family members of first and second degree. The permit can be issued for 30 or 90 days. If the visitor is a friend, he/she can be sponsored by UAE nationals, only.
Tourism Entry Permit:
Tourists can get a visa through:
· UAE embassy.
· Hotels in UAE.
· Accredited travel agencies.
· Airlines companies.
The entry permit is valid for 30 days and extendable only once based on the approval of GDRFA.
Airport authorities issue transit permits to individuals stopping at the UAE Airports for a period of time ranging from 8 hours to 4 days.
The permit is valid for 14 days from the issuance date. The permit is non-renewable.
Temporary Work Permit:
Expatriates can enter the country on a temporary work permit to work or complete a project during a specific time frame.
The permit is valid for 90 days and can be extended for a similar period.
Entry Permit for Studying:
These types of entry permits are useful for students joining short term courses in one of the licensed universities, colleges or academic and research institutions in UAE.
The permit is valid for 60 days and can be extended twice for a similar period.
Entry Permit for Medical Treatment:
Patients can apply for a 60-day entry permit extendable once for a similar period. The entry permit must be sponsored by one of the hospitals in UAE.
Entry Permit for Exhibitions, Festivals or Conferences:
Businesses and individuals willing to attend an exhibition or a conference held in UAE can submit a request for this type of permit. The prospective attendees must be sponsored by an entity licensed by Department of Culture and Tourism.
The permit is non-extendable and is valid for 30 days only.
Business visitors partnering with a multinational or a local company in UAE can get a non-renewable visa, which is valid for six months from the date of issuance.
Employment Residency Visa:
Individuals, who have received an employment contract from a private or public organization in UAE, can get an entry permit allowing them to enter the country. Once the employee enters the country, the employer will approach General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs to process the residency visa, which is usually valid for 2 years.
Both UAE nationals and expatriates residing in UAE are entitled to sponsor their family members. Bringing a family member to live in UAE is a two-step procedure:
1. Apply for an entry permit, which allows the sponsored person to enter the country.
2. Obtain a non-employment residence visa, which permits the sponsored person to legally stay in the country.
Getting a visa for Family:
Obtaining a visa for Family is a two-step process:
1. Obtaining an entry permit for the sponsored from General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners Affairs - Abu Dhabi (GDRFA).
2. Obtaining a non-employment residency permit to live in UAE.
Family Members of Emiratis:
UAE nationals can sponsor their:
· Foreign spouse.
· Wife: Emiratis, who are sponsoring a non-Arab wife, must have their marriage contract duly certified and translated by a legal translator.
· Parents: to sponsor parents, the sponsor must prove that he/she is the sole breadwinner for the parents. He/she should submit a sustenance certificate issued by the court (original and copy).
· Children: to sponsor non-Emirati children, Emirati women need to submit a birth certificate (original and copy). The certificate should be attested by the embassy of the sponsored and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Family Members of GCC Citizens:
To sponsor a foreign wife, the wife needs to hold a valid residency visa in the husband's country (GCC country). In addition, the applicant should provide a duly attested and legally translated marriage contract if the wife is a non-Arab national.
Family Members of Expatriates:
Expatriates, who hold valid employee or investor visa in UAE, can sponsor the following family members:
· Sons, who are under 18 years old.
· Unmarried daughters.
The sponsor should be the only breadwinner for his parents. Individuals falling under the category of domestic help or laborers cannot sponsor their parents.
To sponsor male children, who are above the age of 18 years, the sponsor should obtain a certificate of study continuation from one of the universities recognized by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. In the case of sponsoring daughters, who are above 18 years of age, the sponsor needs to submit a written undertaking that the sponsored daughter is unmarried.
Individuals working in private and public sector should have a monthly salary of AED 4,000 or AED 3,000 plus accommodation in order to sponsor their family. This pre-requisite does not apply to teachers, Imams, bus drivers of schools, universities, and other educational institutions.
If the expatriate is a new resident in UAE, he/she shall first get his own employment residency visa before sponsoring his family.
· Original marriage certificate, duly attested for the spouse. Additionally, non-Arab expatriates need to submit the original marriage contract duly attested and translated by a legal translator along with the application. In the case of sponsoring a second wife, a financial guarantee of AED 5,000 for the second wife has to be provided.
· Attested birth certificate for children.
Adding Newly-born to Residency:
Expatriates can also add their newborn children into the residency. If the child was born in UAE, a birth certificate should be submitted along with the application, which should be processed within 120 days from the date of birth.
Applying for Non-Employment Residency:
The entry permit entitles the holder to enter the country within a period of 60 days from the date of issue. The entry permit can either be sent to the sponsored person or can be submitted to the airport visa counter for the family to collect upon arrival.
Once the person has arrived in the country, the sponsor has 30 days to apply for a non-employment residency visa from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA).
The procedures start with obtaining a medical fitness certificate after undergoing the mandatory health check-up for spouse and children aged over 18 years.
With the exception of children of Emirati women, it is also mandatory to submit a health insurance card or subscription receipt along with other documents to obtain a residency.
Residency visas must be renewed upon expiry, it is also duly noted that staying outside the UAE for more than 6 months consecutively will result in the cancellation of the residency.
For more information visit: www.mofaic.gov.ae