Wednesday, July 30, 2008

New visa rules: the facts

New visa rules: the facts

Last Updated: July 29. 2008 12:18AM UAE / GMT from THE NATIONAL

Exempted countries
Citizens of 33 countries are exempted from any visa fees, no matter what the purpose of their trip, and will be granted an entry visa free of charge at airports, seaports and border crossings. Such visas are valid for one month and can be renewed for another month for Dh500. Those wishing to stay more than two months can apply for a long-term visit visa, which is good for three months. These are issued by the Ministry of Interior and UAE embassies and consulates. Nationals of exempted countries are not required to pay deposits or have health insurance.

These countries are: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vatican City.

Tourist Visas

The tourist visa is initially issued for one month for Dh100. It can be renewed for another month for Dh500. Nationals of all countries are eligible to apply for tourist visas. The visas are issued directly by travel agencies and companies involved in the tourism industry such as hotels.


Expatriates living in GCC countries can obtain a one-month entry visa for Dh100. The visa can be renewed for a second month for Dh500.

Deposit and Insurance

Financial deposits and health insurance are prerequisites for obtaining any of the 16 types of visas to gain entry into the UAE, including tourist visas, except for citizens of the exempted countries.

Visit visas

There are two types of visit visas. Short-term ones, issued for one month, are non-renewable and cost Dh500. Long-term ones, issued for three months, are also non-renewable and cost Dh1,000. The new law allows residents to sponsor their spouses and direct relatives. Distant relatives can only be sponsored after obtaining approval from the Ministry of Interior’s under secretary. Only Emiratis are permitted to sponsor friends. A visit visa does not permit visitors to work in the country. If a person happens to find a job while visiting, they should fly to their home country before entering on a work permit, which the employer should secure. Officials say they will not grant visit visas to those who reapply for one immediately after leaving. The same applies for other types of visas.

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