Employment Visa in UAE: The Definitive Guide

By: Farhan -

Modified Date: May 18, 2024

Employment Visa Types in UAE

Uae employment visa basics, application process for the employment visa in uae, cancellation of employment visa in uae, checking visa status and validity, frauds in employment visa of uae, ministry of labor documentation, table of contents.

uae visit visa to employment visa 2023

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The United Arab Emirates has become a renowned hub for employers and workers, thanks to its more straightforward visa requirements than neighbouring Middle Eastern nations. This unique advantage positions the country as an ideal choice for businesses looking to expand globally and individuals seeking brighter future prospects. While the employment visa UAE is the key to unlocking these opportunities, it’s important to note that there are some specific rules and guidelines that must be adhered to.

Article Summary: You have come to the right place if you are looking for a UAE employment visa process step-by-step guide. Whether it’s the visa application process, fees, sick leave policies, or information about visa cancellation, we have got you covered with all the essential information.

What is Employment Visa in UAE? Individuals and companies wishing to establish themselves in the UAE must possess a valid work permit or employment visa UAE to conduct their operations within the country legally. The duration of stay and work permissions can vary depending on the type of employment visa, ranging from two years to even more. This essential document grants the privilege of living and working in the UAE, ensuring compliance with the nation’s legal requirements.

Before setting foot in the UAE to work, people from other countries need to get a UAE work visa. Foreigners have three different options to pick from.

Standard work visa

For foreigners, employers can opt for a standard work visa in the UAE, typically valid for around two years. It allows them to work in:

  • the private sector
  • the government sector, or a free zone

Further details are given below. 

The Green visa in UAE is open to freelancers, self-employed individuals, and skilled employees. 

Best Points:

  • Valid for five years
  • No sponsor or employer required 
  • Can be renewed on the same terms mentioned below

Here’s what each of them needs to do:

1. Freelancers and Self-employed Individuals:

If you are a freelancer or self-employed and want a Green visa, you must provide:

– Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation permit for freelancing and self-employment in the country

– Proof of education that may include an attested bachelor’s degree or a specialized diploma.

– Evidence of earning annually from your self-employment for at least AED 360,000 for the past two years, or you can show that you have enough money to support yourself in the UAE.

2. Skilled Employees:

Skilled employees must:

– Hold a valid employment contract.

– Have a monthly salary of no less than AED 15,000.

– Be classified at the first, second, or third occupational level, according to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

– Possess at least a bachelor’s degree or an equivalent qualification.

Golden visa

The ‘Golden Visa’ in the UAE is like a special ticket that lets foreign talents stay, work, or study in the country for a long time. It comes with some amazing perks including:

  • Long-term for up to 10 years with renewable options
  • No sponsor required
  • No need to maintain a six-month residence within the UAE to maintain the visa status
  • Permit to sponsor as many domestic helpers as you like 
  • If the main holder of the Golden visa in the UAE passes away, their family members can continue to stay in the country until their permit expires

Who is Eligible:

  • Investors with at least a deposit of AED two million
  • Real estate investors with one or more properties having value more than AED two million
  • Entrepreneurs with the project value more than 500,000 AED stated by auditor 
  • Specialised talents including inventors, doctors, scientists, athletes, executives, doctoral degree holders, science and engineering specialists. 

Anyone who is 18 years of age or older and eager to work in the UAE can apply for a UAE employment visa.

Employment in the Private Sector

Getting a job in the private sector follows a clear path. First, you get a formal job offer. After that, you sign an employment contract. Then, you get a work permit and a work visa. The company can only alter the terms once signed if both parties agree.

Employment in Government Sector

People who work in the public sector have rules to follow. These rules come from the Federal Decree-Law No. 11 of 2008, with some changes made over time. In the public sector, you can have different types of contracts: full-time, part-time, temporary, or special contracts.

UAE Employment Visa Rules

You can enjoy the benefits of working and living in UAE only when the following rules are followed:

  • You need to be at least 18 years old.
  • The company should not have any violations or issues.
  • The company that wants to hire you must have a valid license.
  • The job you will be doing should match the company’s profile.

What is the eligibility to apply for UAE  Work Visa?

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) sets the working standards in UAE. Anyone 18 years old and under the below-mentioned category is eligible to apply for a UAE employment visa. 

Based on the academic classification, expatriates are divided into three categories:

Category 1: Bachelor’s degree holders.

Category 2: Post-secondary diploma holders.

Category 3: High school diploma holders.

Requirements to Obtain UAE Work Visa

To obtain a work visa in UAE, you may need the following documents:

A valid passport and photocopy: A passport that has an expiry for at least six months after you plan to enter the country.

Passport photos: The standard measurement is 43 mm by 55 mm. But, in certain instances, you might also come across requirements for a 2-inch by 2-inch picture, which is approximately 50 mm by 50 mm. 

Emirates ID Card: The Emirates ID card is a special identity card provided by the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs, and Ports Security (ICP). It’s not just any card – it’s a must-have by law for everyone living in the UAE, whether you’re a UAE citizen or a resident. You must apply for it and ensure you always have it with you to stay in line with the rules.

You can apply for the new Emirates ID card online on the ICP website or at an approved typing center. You might have to go to one of ICP’s service centers to give your biometric details. It means you can only apply for it once you reach the country if you are a foreigner. 

Entry permit from the Ministry of Labor: The employer contacts the Ministry of Labour (MOL) for approval to get the entry permit and sends over a work contract. The future worker has to sign the contract first before submission.

Now, the Ministry has to approve the work permit. After that, they hand out an employment entry visa. With both of these in hand, the worker has two months to come to the UAE.

Medical Screening Result: You must not have any contagious diseases like HIV and TB. Also, there are some specific jobs where workers must test negative for syphilis and Hepatitis B. If your results are negative, you are good to go. 

Copy of a company card from the employer: It will have the company’s details; only your employer can provide it to you. 

Copy of the company’s commercial license: Only your employer can give it to you. 

Here is the step by step for the application process that you must follow to get an employment visa in UAE.

1. Apply for entry visa quota approval

Initiate getting your Entry Visa by applying at the Ministry of Labour (MOL), and the employer has to do this work. If your visa is for one of those special free zones, the approval must come before you set foot in the UAE.

Free zone companies have to follow a rule that states they can only hire one foreign worker for every 12.5 square meters of office space they have. Plus, if a company has over 100 employees, there are certain jobs where they can only hire a limited number of foreign workers. 

Usually, this process takes about three working days to get the approval.

2. Submit a signed employment contract

The employer sends over a job offer contract for the employee to sign and send back. This contract needs to be in three languages: English, Arabic, and the employee’s native language if it’s different. This is to make sure everyone understands the job and what’s expected.

This contract shows that the employee is coming for a real job, and the Ministry of Labour (MOL) will take a look at it.

This step usually takes two working days if everything is done online.

3. Submit a Work Visa Application and Apply for an Entry Visa

Before you get your Entry Visa, you have to make sure your work permit application is approved. To do that, the Ministry of Labour checks a couple of things. They want to see if any unemployed UAE citizens could do the job you are getting, and they also check if the company hiring you is a registered UAE business. If everything appears fine, you should get the approval. 

4. Receive an Employment Entry Visa

Once you get the work permit, the Ministry gives you an Employment Entry Visa (sometimes called a pink visa). This special visa lets you legally come into the UAE. It has a two-month validity from the day it is issued, and during that time, you can stay in the UAE for 30 days. You can even extend it twice if needed while they sort out your official work permit. You can receive it within three working days. 

5. Obtain a Work Visa and Residence Visa in the UAE

To start the process and get your work permit, there are two ways to enter the country. If your Entry Visa was ready before you arrived, you can pick it up at the airport when you land. But if you were already in the UAE on a different kind of visa, you will need to apply for a ‘change of status’ visa after they issue the Entry Visa. Alternatively, you can leave the UAE and then come back with an Entry Visa. 

Once in the country, you have 60 days to finish all the paperwork and get your work permit and residence visa. 

6. Apply for an Emirates ID

The process is already mentioned above. You need your original passport and employment entry permit to get an Emirates ID.

7. Get a Medical Checkup

You will be tested according to your job requirements, but mainly for contagious diseases, including HIV and TB.

8. Submit a Labor Contract

As part of the work permit application, you must provide a signed labor contract. There’s a specific timeline for this contract now: you have to send it to the Ministry of Labour (MOL) within 14 days after you get your medical results. You can do this by uploading the contract on the MQL Website. 

9. Get Health Insurance

Having health insurance is necessary in the UAE. Employers need to make sure their foreign workers have it. If the company doesn’t provide it, employees need to get it themselves. Without a valid insurance card, you can’t get your work permit or renew it. 

10. Receive a Work/ Residence Visa and Begin Payroll

When every step runs smoothly, you can begin living and working in UAE with a residence visa. You must have it to own a car, open a bank account, etc. 

11. Application Fees and Type of Permit

These fees are updated on September 20th, 2023

12. Visa Stamping

Formerly, the last step in the visa application process is getting your UAE residence visa officially stamped or placed as a sticker in your passport. To do this, you would need to submit your passport to the immigration office responsible for this.

However, nowadays, when renewing or obtaining UAE residence visas, there’s no more need for the old stamping process. Instead, your UAE visa will be linked directly to your Emirates ID, eliminating the need for a visa sticker in your passport that used to show your residency details.

Cancellation Fees and Permit Types

These fees are updated on September 20th, 2023.

Visa cancellation procedure

How does the employer cancel the visa.

Only the person or company who sponsored your visa can cancel your visa officially. 

If a company wants to cancel an employee’s work visa, they first need to apply for visa cancellation at the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation. They also need to file an application to cancel labour contract and labour card of the employee. The employee’s signature is obligatory on the application.  After that, the company needs to apply to ICP for visa cancellation. The company also needs to cancel the employee’s work permit.

The company also has to ensure the employee gets all their wages and benefits, and the employee must confirm this in writing to the government.

How do employees cancel their visas?

You have two options for canceling your visa if you have no sponsor. 

  • Using Registered Typing Centers:

If you choose to go to a typing center registered by ICP near you, they will fill out the cancellation form for you and send it online.

  • Doing It Online: 

Alternatively, you can initiate the cancellation online by visiting the ICP website or using the ICP app from Google Play or the App Store.

What is the grace period to stay in UAE after cancellation?

In the UAE, residents are given an extended and flexible grace period that can last up to six months after their residence permit has been canceled or has expired. It mainly depends on the visa type.

The ICP in the UAE has simplified the fines for overstaying. Under the updated regulations, the fines for overstaying on visit, tourist, and residence visas have been set at a fixed rate of AED 50 per day. This means that regardless of your visa type, you will incur the same daily fee for overstaying.

What happens after the cancellation of the UAE employment visa?

Following the cancellation of your visa, there is a 28-day grace period during which you can either change your status by obtaining another residence visa or choose to depart from the country. Notably, during this grace period, you will not be subject to any fines or penalties after a visa cancellation. 

How do you get a new visa if the previous one is canceled?

When your previous visa is canceled, you can apply for the new visa. The process is same as before but you need to keep your grace period in mind. There are two ways to do it: you can either exit the country or stay within the country to apply for the renewal.

How to check visa status? 

UAE makes it pretty easy to check your visa status. You can track your application online. 

  • For Dubai visa, you can visit here.
  • For visa to other UAE states, you can visit here. 

How to check visa validity?

If you want to check the validity of the residence visa or work permit, including the issuance and expiry date, you can easily do by calling the toll free number 600522222.

You can also visit the following links:

  • For Dubai, check validity here.
  • For other UAE states, check validity here.

How long does it take to update the status?

The processing time to update your status typically ranges from 2 to 5 working days, depending on the specific circumstances of your application. 

How to transfer from a visit visa to an employment visa in UAE?

It is important for individuals considering working in the UAE to understand that working on visit or tourist visas is not permitted. They must obtain a valid work or residency visa/permit to live and work legally in the UAE. It’s the responsibility of the employer to secure these permits. Engaging in work without the appropriate visa status is considered illegal and can result in penalties and legal consequences. 

With a proper job in your hand, you must go for a medical screening and security check along with the procedure mentioned above to get an employment visa. 

With all the completed documents, it takes around five working days to transform from a tourist to a resident in the UAE.

Individuals intending to travel to the UAE for various reasons, such as work, tourism, investment, residency, or any other lawful purpose, should be aware of the potential risks of falling victim to visa fraud. It’s essential to exercise caution and verify the legitimacy of any visa or immigration services to ensure a safe and lawful entry into the UAE.

What are the major visa frauds in UAE?

The major visa fraud in UAE includes:

  • Providing tourist visas for working – it is prohibited to work on a visit visa
  • Asking for money other than the government and service fees
  • Stealing personal information 
  • Processing residence visas outside UAE before entry permit

How to avoid visa frauds?

To avoid visa fraud, you must do the following:

  • When you are offered a job, you need to make sure you have an official job offer letter from the UAE’s Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE)
  • Once you have put your signature on the offer letter, your employer will send you an employment visa for your entry into the UAE. 
  • It’s important to be aware that, in line with the UAE’s Labor Law, the employer is the one responsible for covering the costs related to the recruitment process.
  • Before you proceed, double-check that the company is a legitimate entity. You can do this by searching for the company’s name in both English and Arabic in the National Economic Register to access its official details and ensure its authenticity.
  • If you suspect fraud, you can contact MoHRE at telephone number 0097168027666 or email [email protected].

What are the working hours in UAE?

According to UAE government, in the private sector, employees typically put in 8 hours a day or 48 hours a week. However, when the sacred month of Ramadan graces the calendar, the working hours shrink by 2 hour.

Your employer might request you to work extra hours beyond your regular schedule, but they can’t ask you to work more than two extra hours in a single day as overtime.

In the public sector, employees follow an eight-hour workday, starting at 7:30 am and ending at 3:30 pm from Monday to Thursday. On Fridays, the workday wraps up at 12:00 pm after starting at the same 7:30 am time. Saturdays and Sundays are the designated weekends.

Government Health Cards

Emirates Health Service allows patients to apply for a health card, a pass that grants its holder access to a range of health and treatment services exclusively provided at EHS health facilities. It is not free of cost, and a service fee of 20 to 50 AED is charged. 

You may need health insurance as a foreigner residing in UAE. How much health coverage you and your family get depends on your job and salary. The more coverage you have and the specific insurance plan or scheme you choose, the more it may cost for your medical services.

In Abu Dhabi, employers and sponsors take care of health insurance for employees and their families, including one spouse and up to three children under 18 years old.

In Dubai, employers handle their employees’ health insurance, while sponsors ensure their resident dependents also have insurance coverage.

Work Contracts in UAE

The labor law recognizes various work arrangements. Your work contracts may depend on the following work arrangements.

1. Full-time: In this setup, an employee commits to working for one employer on a full-time basis.

2. Part-time: An employee can work for one or more employers but for a special number of hours or days.

3. Temporary work: This arrangement involves working on a particular assignment, with the contract concluding upon completing the task.

4. Flexible working: Under this system, working hours or days may change based on the employer’s business needs.

5. Remote work: In this kind of work, all or part of the work is done outside the traditional workplace.

6. Job sharing: The workload is divided among workers, as mutually agreed upon in advance.

Workmen’s Compensation

Employers have a legal duty to provide compensation for employees in case they get sick or have accidents related to their work. The amount of compensation must be at least AED 18,000 but cannot exceed AED 35,000.

Annual Leave Entitlements

According to UAE Labor Law, you get your entire monthly salary when you take a 30-day annual leave after being employed for 12 months. This includes your basic salary and any allowances you receive.

For part-time workers, the amount of annual leave they get is based on the hours they actually work, as stated in their employment agreement.

Employees can take sick leave for up to 90 days each year, but only after they complete their probationary period as per UAE Labor Law. During this:

– For the first 15 days, they get their full salary.

– For the next 30 days, they receive half of their salary.

– However, for the remaining 45 days, they won’t receive any salary.

End of Service Benefits

According to Article 51 of the UAE Labor Law, foreign workers in the private sector receive end-of-service benefits as follows:

  • If they have completed one year of continuous service, they are entitled to a gratuity for the part of the year they’ve worked.
  • The gratuity is calculated based on their last entitled wage, which typically includes the basic salary. Allowances like housing, utilities, conveyance, and furniture are not included in this calculation.
  • In case the worker has any outstanding debts to the employer, the employer has the authority to subtract that amount from the worker’s gratuity.
  • All end-of-service benefits must be disbursed within a strict timeframe of 14 days starting from the conclusion of the employment contract.

Can I sponsor my family on my UAE employment visa?

Yes, if you meet certain salary and accommodation requirements, you can sponsor your spouse, children, and sometimes other family members. The minimum salary of AED 4,000 or AED 3,000 plus accommodation is the basic requirement.

What happens if I lose my job while on a UAE employment visa?

If you lose your job, your employer must cancel your visa within a specific period. You may have a grace period to find a new job or leave the country.

Is changing employers while on a UAE employment visa possible?

Yes, you can change employers in the UAE, but this requires canceling your current visa and issuing a new one by the new employer. You may need to exit the country once to obtain a new entry permit.

What is the duration of a UAE employment visa?

Typically, UAE employment visas are issued for two years. They can be renewed, but the renewal process must be initiated before the current visa expires.

Can I work for multiple employers with one UAE employment visa?

Yes, you can work for more than one employer, but you may need a permit from the MoHRE which is valid for one year

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uae visit visa to employment visa 2023

Last Updated on May 18, 2024 by Abdelkarim Aridj

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New UAE Visa Rules 2024

New UAE Visa Rules 2023

January 24, 2023 | 13 min read

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These recent reforms are among the UAE's major residency and entry permit reforms introduced by the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs, and Port Security (ICP).

The new system has led to major changes in the uae visit visa rules system and introduced new UAE visa rules. In this guide, we will enlist all changes which have taken place since October 2022 to the latest increase in fees to issue Emirates ID, visit, and residency visas in the UAE.

Table of Contents

Icp fee increase, 5-year multiple entry visa.

  • Dubai Out Pass or Leave Permit

Standardization of Overstay Fine Fee

60 days visas resumed.

  • UAE Entry Permit’s to Visit Relatives or Friend

UAE Visa Stamping

Uae visit visa extension, golden visa.

New UAE Visa Rules

In its latest announcement, the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security (ICP) hiked the price of all services by AED 100. According to the new rules, the increase is applied to all services rendered byICP, such as issuing Emirates IDs, visit visas, and residence visas.

After getting the visa, you can enter UAE multiple times on self-sponsorship. The visa allows you to stay for 90 days whenever you enter the country. After the visa expires and you want to stay more days, you can extend the visa for 90 days. It is the ideal visa for people with a loved one living in UAE because you get enough time to spend with loved ones.

When applying for this 5-year multiple entry visa, some of the documents required include a bank statement covering the previous six months with a balance of $4,000 or its equivalent in foreign currencies, proof of UAE health insurance, a copy of the applicant's flight ticket, and proof of residence in the form of an invitation letter from friends or family members residing in the UAE.

Dubai Exit or Leave Permit

When you stay more than the days allowed by your UAE visa, you will be considered overstaying.

If you are exiting UAE via Dubai you must apply for an exit or leave permit to fly out of the country.

Please note that the exit permit is only required when exiting UAE through Dubai. The other Emirates don't require you have an exit pass when flying out.

You can get the Dubai exit permit at the immigration counter in the airport or land borders. You can also get the leave permit through the Al Awir Immigration office. The cost of this exit permit is approximately 200 AED to 300 AED.

New UAE Visa Rules

If you stay longer than the duration permitted by your UAE visa you are overstaying your UAE visa and you will be charged with overstaying fines. The UAE ICP recently announced the standardization of all overstaying fines to 50 AED per day of overstaying.

The overstaying fines add up after your grace period(depending on the visa you hold) has been used up. Please note that you won't be considered overstaying if you can't exit the country because of flight cancellations or airport closures.

On October 3rd, 2022, the ICP introduced the 60 days visit visa after implementing the new reforms. The visa allows holidaymakers to stay more days in UAE for up to 2 months.

UAE Entry Permit to Visit Relatives or Friend

If you have a relative or friend who is a UAE citizen or resident, you qualify to apply for the UAE entry permit to visit a friend or relative. You don't need to go through a travel agency or have a sponsor to be eligible to apply for the permit.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) government discontinued stamping resident visas into passports in preference of issuing Emirates ID cards. As a result, it will no longer be necessary to collect passports before stamping them, and citizens of the UAE will now be able to submit a single application to obtain their Emirates ID and residency visa. This change will simplify the application process and reduce the time required.

The UAE Immigration departments in all Emirates have discontinued extending visiting visas without having to exit the country. Instead, the visit visa holders are required to exit the country, apply for an extension, and, once approved, enter the country again.

The option to extend your visa in UAE is Airport to airport services, where you book a flight through a travel agency like Arabiers to the nearest Middle East country like Oman and wait a few hours at the airport for the visa extension application to be processed. After the extension is approved, you enter with the new visa and book a flight back to UAE.

New UAE Visa Rules

The United Arab Emirates has recently broadened the categories of the Golden Visa and made considerable adjustments to the Golden Residence Scheme to ease the eligibility requirements and expand the categories of those eligible to benefit from the program.

The validity of this visa has been expanded to ten years across the types of Golden Visa categories. The categories of persons who qualify for the UAE Golden visa are business investors, business entrepreneurs, extraordinary talents, scientific researchers, outstanding students and graduates, and talented workers.

Under the new regulations, those awarded the Golden Residence can sponsor their immediate family members, regardless of the ages of their children and spouses. In addition, no restriction is placed on the total number of workers sponsored under domestic support services.

The Golden visa holders and the members of their families are now granted 6 months grace period, which is an increase for the earlier 3 months after the visa expires or is canceled.

During the 6 months grace period, you can either exit the country or change your status to qualify for another type of resident visa.

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Robeena Brown

It’s been amazing journey collecting, organizing & publishing UAE travel related information. We often hear our guests says it was some thing useful when I found Arabiers, that give me motivation to sit hours & hours with subject experts to extract right information that are useful but updated. I would love to write some thing that useful for any travelers, Recidents & locals, we at Arabiers trying our level best provide right information & aiming at updating our information page as much as we can, looking forward your feedback.

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All you need to know about applying for a visa in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

A comprehensive guide to the emirates' visa system.

An immigration official checks documents of passenger at Dubai Airport. WAM

The UAE is offering new types of visa, including options for long-stay tourists, jobseekers, accomplished professionals, star students and high-net-worth individuals. Wam

Shuchita Gautam author image

The UAE uses a visa system to allow foreign citizens to live, work and visit.

The options have expanded over recent years as the government wants to make it easier for people to visit and settle down for longer.

Most foreigners living or working here have a two or three-year visa stamped into their passport which has now been replaced with the Emirates ID .

In April 2022, visa changes were announced by the Cabinet with more categories added. This included an expansion of the golden visas and new green visas , with several aimed at self-employed people and business owners.

It is important to note that these are all optional upgrades and do not replace the standard two or three-year visa that an employer needs for you. Your employer cannot by law ask you to pay the costs of a standard visa – and must provide basic health insurance worth at least Dh150,000 ($40,838)

Here are some of the visas that people can obtain to come to the UAE and make it their home.

Residency visas for people working in the private sector

This is the most common visa and likely the one you will start with when you arrive.

The employment process in the private sector involves receiving a formal job offer, signing the employment contract and receiving a work permit, then a work visa.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation issues a work permit for an employee from overseas. This allows the person to enter the UAE for employment and it is valid for two months from the date of issue. Employers arrange this.

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After the employee comes to the UAE, the employer (sponsoring company) must complete all formalities, such as arranging a medical test and labour card. This should be done within 60 days of entering the country.

The visa cost should be paid by the employer.

For more information on sponsorship, scroll down to the bottom.

What kinds of visas are available?

As a way of encouraging people to live and stay in the UAE for longer, a variety of visas have been established by the government. These include visas that last up to a decade, and one for people who can work remotely but would like to live in the Emirates.

In each case, there are a number of requirements to fulfil as well as costs involved to obtain the visa.

10-year golden visas

You can apply for the 10-year residency permits under various categories. You could be a property investor; entrepreneur; highly talented person; nurse; doctor; director; sportsperson; holders of PhDs and specialists; and outstanding pupils, among other categories.

Here are some of the investment categories:

  • Property investors can get a golden visa if they buy a property worth at least Dh2 million upfront or through a bank
  • An entrepreneur with an SME that generates annual revenue of at least Dh1 million. He can also get a golden visa if the person has obtained approval for a start-up idea from authorities in the UAE
  • A businessperson who has sold their project for a minimum of 7 million

You can apply on the ICA website or the GDFRA in Dubai. It lists all the requirements and takes you through a step-by-step process to apply.

“To get this visa, you must first get a recommendation letter from a relevant authority/ministry. You will then be nominated by them. The ICA visa application fee is Dh50,” said an ICA call centre executive.

An employee at Al Kamal Typing Office in Abu Dhabi told The National that people who wish to obtain a 10-year golden visa will have to pay Dh100 to apply for the nomination (this includes the ICA and typing charges). Once the application has been approved, the entry permit will cost Dh350, Dh600 for visa status change, and Dh1,300 for issuing the visa and Emirates ID.

The applicant will have to pay for the medical tests and health insurance.

In Dubai, the total cost is approximately Dh2,800, which includes the entry permit, change status, and stamping.

Other charges include Dh230 for cancellation of an old visa if it is an employment one; medical test Dh322; an Emirates ID application and issuance fee of Dh1,070; and a Dh100 holding visa fee for each dependent.

People with golden visas can sponsor their family members, including spouses and children regardless of their age, and domestic helpers.

They can also stay outside the UAE for as long as they want without the fear of their visa lapsing. On normal visas, residents who are out of the UAE for more than six months will lose their residency.

Green visas for skilled employees

Green visas are available for skilled professionals, last five years and require a lower monthly salary. Read more about how to apply for one here .

People without a sponsor or employer must have a valid employment contract, classified in the first, second or third occupational level as per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

The applicant should have at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent and should earn a minimum of Dh15,000 ($4,084) per month.

A five-year residency is also available for freelancers and self-employed people without the need to obtain a sponsor or employer in the UAE.

Anyone interested in this must obtain a freelance or self-employment permit from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

They should at a minimum have a bachelor’s degree or specialised diploma. And they must have earned no less than Dh360,000 over the past two years from self-employment, or prove their financial solvency during their stay.

Green visas cost up to around Dh2,500 plus fees. Cost will be higher if you are applying from within the UAE.

Can I obtain a green visa as an investor or partner?

Yes, a five-year residency is available for investors establishing or participating in commercial activities. This replaces the previous residence visa, which was valid for a period of two years.

Applicants must provide proof of the investment. If the investor has more than one licence, the total invested capital will be taken into consideration. They must also obtain approval from the correct local authorities.

A green residence visa holder is allowed to bring his or her first-degree relatives, and in all cases, the residency of family members shall be the same duration as the original residence holder.

Is there a visa for remote working?

In March 2021, the UAE announced the introduction of a residence permit for remote workers , which came into effect in September 2022.

The one-year visa allows people to enter the UAE from overseas under self-sponsorship and work in line with the terms and conditions issued with the visa. It can be renewed for another year.

Employees who want this visa must have proof of employment from a current employer with a minimum one-year contract validity, at least $5,000 salary a month, with last month's salary slips and preceding three months' bank statements.

For business owners, proof of ownership of the company for one year or more, with an average monthly income of $5,000 a month and three preceding months' bank statements is needed.

Health insurance with coverage in the UAE is also required.

The cost of one year visa is Dh2,300 ($625) which includes the application and processing fee, medical costs and Emirates ID. The cost is the same for renewing it for another year.

Sponsorship visa - how can I sponsor my family?

Overseas residents (working and self-employed) with a valid residency permit can sponsor their families in the UAE.

A husband can sponsor his immediate family members, such as his wife and children, if they have a minimum salary of Dh4,000 or Dh3,000 plus accommodation.

The resident sponsor must first get an entry permit for his family and, once they are in the country, he can get residence visas for them in 60 days.

According to Amer visa services contact centre, a copy of the sponsor's passport; visa page; Emirates ID; valid labour contract; Ejari contract or a title deed; latest utility bills; family members' passport photos; attested marriage and birth certificates; and the International Bank Account Number (Iban) of the sponsor are needed.

How much does it cost to sponsor my family?

According to Amer services, to sponsor your wife and children you must first open a registration file. Costs are minimal at between Dh200 to Dh300 if they are still outside the UAE. If they are already in the country, the cost will be up to four times as much with the price of the entry permit and the charge for change of status.

The medical test, Emirates ID typing and visa stamping will all come to around Dh1,000 altogether. The visa will be valid for either one, two or three years depending on the sponsor. All costs are per person and there is no security deposit needed. Medical tests are not needed for children under 18.

uae visit visa to employment visa 2023

My child is 18 and still in school. Can I still sponsor him?

Yes, parents can sponsor sons who are 18 and can continue to do so until they are 25 .

There is no age limit for unmarried daughters. Children with disabilities are granted a residence permit, regardless of their age.

The documents and the visa costs are the same and it is valid for two years.

Can I sponsor my parents?

Expatriate employees can sponsor their parents if there is no one to take care of them back home.

The minimum monthly income required to sponsor parents or underage siblings was Dh20,000, but was reduced in October 2022 to Dh10,000.

This allows the sponsorship of five family members, rising to six if the employee earns at least Dh15,000 a month.

The sponsor must have a dependency certificate attested from his consulate stating that he will take care of his parents in the UAE. This should be attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs , Government of UAE, and translated into Arabic.

The visa charges are the same as for a wife and children, but there is a security deposit of Dh2,500 for each parent.

Can high-school pupils and university students get a visa?

Yes, a high-school pupil who has achieved excellent results can be granted a golden visa for five years without a sponsor.

The child should have a recommendation letter from the Ministry of Education (Emirates Schools Establishment).

The visa for five years may be extended if they are enrolled in one of the colleges in the country that requires them to study for more than five years.

The families of such high-school pupils, including their siblings who are dependents of their father, can also be granted a golden visa for the same period if they wish to live in the UAE.

University students can get a golden visa for 10 years without a sponsor if they are outstanding graduates from UAE universities or the best 100 universities in the world.

Their academic performance (cumulative average), the year of graduation and other criteria will be taken into account.

The parents and siblings of the university student can also be granted a golden visa for the same period.

How much does it cost?

According to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs-Dubai , a five-year golden visa for pupils costs Dh2,280, while a 10-year visa will cost Dh2,790.

Who is eligible for a UAE Golden Visa under new rules?

Who is eligible for a UAE Golden Visa under new rules?

Can a woman sponsor her family?

In Abu Dhabi, a woman can sponsor her husband and children if the request is approved by the authorities, according to a customer service agent of the Federal Authority For Identity and Citizenship – ICA .

“She should have a valid work visa and her monthly salary should be at least Dh5,000. The cost of the one-year visa is Dh2,575 and it can be renewed for one more year,” said the executive.

In Dubai, a woman can sponsor her family, but her monthly salary should be at least Dh4,000 and her request must be approved by the GDFRA, the immigration authority.

“A wife can sponsor the family, but she has to obtain an no objection certificate from the husband. The NOC has to be notarised by the Dubai court notary service,” an Amer customer service representative said.

A single mother can also sponsor her child.

Blue visa for environmental champions

The UAE announced in May the creation of a new blue visa for those who have made a significant contribution to the environment.

The visa, which offers a 10-year residency period, will be available to people who have made exceptional efforts in the field of protecting the environment, whether marine or land.

Work towards improving air quality and sustainable technology will also be rewarded, authorities said.

You can apply by submitting an application directly through the services of the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security.

You can also be nominated by "competent authorities", according to state news agency Wam.

Are there fines for overstaying?

The UAE has standardised fines for those with expired tourist and residency visas.

Fines of Dh50 are levied for each a day a person overstays on their visa.

“The new system unified the amount of overstay fines to Dh50 per day for any type of visa violator,” said a representative from the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security.

Need more help?

The Federal Authority for Identity and citizenship (ICA) has a toll-free number, 600 522222, and a feedback platform .

In Dubai, check https://www.gdrfad.gov.ae/en , or call on their toll-free number, 800-5111.

A version of this article first appeared in April 2022

Donald Trump is a convict. Voters will decide whether it matters

Convert Dubai Visit Visa to Employment Visa

  • Author- Aarohi
  • Publish Date- 26-12-2023

Introduction

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) beckons as a land of abundant opportunities, luring expatriates worldwide with its thriving job market, opulent lifestyle, and iconic skyline. Many individuals initially embark on their UAE journey with visit visas, nurturing dreams of securing lucrative job prospects. Switching from a visit visa to an employment visa is a significant and routine process. In this blog, we are here to guide you, step by step, through this transition for a seamless experience.

Suppose you aspire to travel to the UAE in pursuit of employment or currently hold a Dubai visit visa converted to an employment visa with intentions to travel there. In that case, it's paramount to grasp the timeline involved in this process. A solid understanding of processing times is critical to sidestep any fines arising from visa overstays. Typically, changing a visit visa to an employment visa in the UAE takes approximately 7 to 14 days.

The reassuring aspect is that you must conclude only some of the visa conversion process within this stipulated timeframe to avert penalties. The pivotal factor is initiating the visa alteration process within the prescribed timeframe. This proactive approach ensures that your visa status is in the process of legitimate adjustment, safeguarding against fines linked to the overstay of your visit visa.

Documents Needed to Convert Dubai Visit Visa to Employment Visa

Here's a list of required documents to convert a Dubai visit visa to a work visa .

  • A meticulously completed application form. 
  • The candidate's original passport, along with a photocopy. 
  • Several passport-sized photos of the applicant. 
  • A copy of a valid company card must be provided. 
  • Submission of the applicant's health certificate is necessary. 
  • A Ministry of Labor entry permit is a compulsory requirement.
  • Evidence of payment for the application is required.

Must Read: Apply for Dubai Visa For Job Seekers

A Guide to the Sequential Process of Convert Tourist Visa to an Employment Visa

The following outlines the procedure for converting a  visit visa into a work visa in UAE : 

  • To begin, obtain the offer letter from your potential employer.
  • Ensure you promptly accept and sign the offer letter within a day to confirm your commitment to your employer.
  • Following that, your employer will initiate the process of obtaining a quota and labour contract on your behalf for your employment in the UAE. Once approved, you and your employer must sign the labour contract, which typically takes 2 to 3 working days.
  • Subsequently, your employer will proceed to apply for your residence entry permit, typically a one-day process.
  • Change of status can be completed within a single day.
  • Undergo a medical examination, which typically requires two days for regular applicants and one day for VIPs.
  • After that, biometric data will be collected, and your Emirates ID will be processed, generally taking 2 to 3 working days.

Suggested Read: Checking Dubai Overstay Fine Online

How Long Does a Dubai Employment Visa Remain Valid?

The Dubai entry permit is valid 60 days from the issuance date. Within this timeframe, you must travel to Dubai and complete the subsequent procedures to obtain your UAE work permit , labour card, and Emirates ID. Once these documents are in place, the validity of your tourist visa to working visa in Dubai will depend on the specific visa type, typically 1 to 3 years.

UAE Employment Visa Rules 2024

In 2024, for lawful employment in the UAE, both you and the hiring company must meet the following criteria:

1. Age Requirement: You must be at least 18 to be eligible for employment.

2. Valid Company License: The company hiring you must possess a valid operating license.

3. Compliance with Regulations: The hiring company should not have any regulatory violations to qualify for employing individuals.

4. Job Relevance: Your employment must align with the nature of the hiring company's business activities.

Ensuring these conditions are met is essential for a lawful and compliant working arrangement in the UAE.

How do I Obtain a Work Permit in the UAE?

To acquire a work permit in the UAE via the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) , adhere to these steps:

1. Job Offer: Secure a job offer from a UAE-based employer.

2. Employer's Role: The employer initiates the work permit application process on your behalf.

3. Document Submission: Provide the necessary documents, including your passport, passport-sized photos, educational certificates, and a copy of the employment contract.

4. Entry Permit Application: Your employer applies for an entry permit on your behalf through the MOHRE's online portal.

5. Status Change: Once the entry permit is approved, you enter the UAE and undergo medical examinations.

6. Work Permit Issuance: Your employer applies for the work permit through the MOHRE, issued upon approval.

7. Residence Visa Application: Apply for a residence visa and, if required, for an Emirates ID.

8. Labour Card Issuance: Obtain a Labour Card, another essential document the MOHRE issued, to validate your employment.

9. Continuous Compliance: Both you and your employer must adhere to MOHRE regulations to maintain legal employment status.

Please note that requirements and procedures can vary, so it's recommended to consult the MOHRE or your employer for the latest and most accurate information.

Factors Contributing to Employment Visa Processing Delays

Converting from a Tourist visa to an employment residence visa in the UAE  may entail several days. If your prospective employer mentions any of the following reasons, it is advisable to consider extending your UAE visit visa promptly.

1. Document Verification:

It involves a prolonged process of scrutinizing the authenticity and accuracy of the submitted employment documents. Delays may arise as authorities meticulously review the provided paperwork, ensuring compliance with legal requirements and confirming the integrity of the information provided by the applicant.

2. Quota Limitations:

Employment visa delays can result from quota restrictions imposed by the government, where the allocated number of visas for a specific sector or profession has been reached, requiring employers to wait until new quotas are assigned.

3. Policy Changes

It refers to unexpected alterations in immigration regulations or policies, which can directly impact the  processing time of employment visas . These unforeseen adjustments may require authorities to adapt procedures, potentially causing delays as the system accommodates the new regulatory framework.

4. National Holidays:

National holidays can interrupt the regular workflow of immigration authorities, leading to delays in processing Working Visa as government offices observe closures.

5.   Ramadan Observance:  

During the holy month of Ramadan , operational hours of government offices are often reduced. This can extend the processing time for tourist visas to employment visas in Dubai as the authorities may work slower during this period.

6. Incomplete Documentation at PRO and Typing Centers:

Delays occur when documents submitted to Public Relations Officers (PRO) or typing centres need to be completed or contain errors. Additional verification processes may be necessary, contributing to a prolonged processing period for employment visas.

What is the Procedure for Obtaining an Employment Visa in the UAE?

 Comprehending the UAE Employment Visa Procedure is essential for those pursuing regional job opportunities. The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in the emirate of employment initiates the Residence Visa application after you enter the UAE with MoHRE approval.

Once the GDRFA approves the application, they will imprint an Employment Visa ( Residence Visa for employment purposes ) onto your passport. Additionally, you will receive an Emirates ID with validity aligned to the duration of the visa. Furthermore, a Labour Card will be provided as documentation to authorities that you possess the necessary authorization to work in the UAE. This procedural understanding is pivotal for individuals navigating the intricacies of the UAE's employment visa process.

Conversion and UAE Work Permit Fees

The UAE Work Permit Costs are outlined as follows:

1. Requesting Initial Approval for a New Electronic Work Permit:

AED 200 for all categories/levels

2. Approval of the New Electronic Work Permit (including worker's recruitment, hiring, and Labour Card):

  • Category 1: AED 300
  • Category 2:  Level A: AED 600, Level B: AED 1,500, Level C: AED 2,000
  • Category 3: AED 5,000 For foreign workers over the age of 65: AED 5,000 across all categories

3. Conversion Fee from Dubai Visit Visa to Employment Visa:

  •  Indian Nationals: Dhs. 2,000
  • Other Nationalities: Dhs. 3,000

The Dubai immigration office requires individuals to submit their passports and an application form to begin the conversion process.

A Dubai visit visa can converted to an employment visa , which demands thorough planning and strict adherence to the prescribed protocols. By diligently following the steps in this guide, you can ensure a seamless transition and lawful employment in the UAE. Maintaining open communication with your employer and seeking guidance from the appropriate authorities is essential to guarantee a successful visa conversion process. If you have any queries or require assistance, feel free to contact the Dubai Visit Visa Online team, who will guide and assist you in processing your conversion from a Dubai visit visa online to a work visa.

1. How To Check If Your Dubai Visa Is Real

2. Check Out The Latest Dubai Visa Cancellation Charges

Frequently Asked Questions

Ques- How long does it typically take to get a visit visa converted to an employment visa in Dubai? Ans- If you're looking to work in the UAE or already hold a visit visa with plans to convert it to an employment visa, understanding the processing time is crucial to avoid overstaying fines. The visa conversion process typically takes 7 to 14 days, allowing you to change your status and prevent penalties without completing the entire process.

Ques- Can I convert my visit visa to an employment visa without exiting the UAE? Ans- It is possible to convert your visit visa to an employment visa without leaving the UAE, subject to the applicable immigration regulations and procedures.

Ques- What medical criteria are necessary for obtaining a Dubai work visa? Ans- Dubai's work visa medical requirements may involve a health assessment, including tests for tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. Applicants may be required to furnish a medical certificate affirming their overall health. Verifying these requirements with the relevant authorities or your employer is essential, as they can change.

Ques- What is the process for converting a 3-month tourist visa into an employment visa in Dubai? Ans- To change a 3-month tourist visa to an employment visa in Dubai , secure a job offer, have your employer act as a sponsor, submit required documents, undergo a medical examination, apply for an Emirates ID, and await visa processing by relevant authorities.

Ques- Is it possible to extend or renew a UAE work visa? Ans- UAE work visas can be renewed by submitting the necessary documents and following immigration procedures. Initiating the renewal before the visa expires is crucial to prevent legal complications. Requirements may vary, so consult relevant authorities or employers for the latest information on UAE work visa renewals.

Ques- How can I renew my employment visa in Dubai? Ans- To renew your employment visa in Dubai, submit the required documents to your employer, undergo any necessary medical examinations, pay applicable fees, and await the relevant authorities' processing and approval of your renewal application.

Ques- What is pre-approval for a work permit in UAE?  Ans- In the UAE, pre-approval for a work permit is the first step for employers seeking confirmation from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) to hire a foreign worker. This involves providing details about the job position and ensuring compliance with regulations. Once pre-approved, the employer can proceed with the formal work permit application for the employee.

Ques- What is the Work Permit Number in UAE?  Ans- The Work Permit Number in the UAE is a unique code linked to an individual's work permit issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE). It is crucial for tracking, verifying, and ensuring legal employment authorization, benefiting the employer and employee.

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Eid Al Adha holidays 2024: Seven countries offering eVisa to UAE residents of all nationalities

Living in uae.

A detailed guide on the visa fees, and application requirements for each country.

STOCK VISA / Travel / Holiday

Dubai: If you are a UAE resident planning to travel internationally for the Eid Al Adha break, what are your options if you do not want to go through a lengthy visa process? As long as you have a valid UAE residence visa and passport, you can get an eVisa for Saudi Arabia, Japan, Azerbaijan, Oman, Qatar, Albania, and Madagascar within a few days.

Applying for an eVisa is much easier because you can complete the process online within a few minutes  and do not have to physically go to the country’s consulate for the visa application or go through a third-party agent, either.

Here are the details:

1. Saudi Arabia GCC eVisa

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) residents of all professions can apply for a Saudi eVisa online and stay in the country for up to 90 days .

With this eVisa, you can explore the country, visit family and friends and perform Umrah anytime during the year, except during the Hajj season.

UAE residents must have a valid residency permit of three months and a passport with a validity of at least six months. You can apply through the official online visa platform - ksavisa.sa

eVisa validity

According to Saudi Arabia’s official tourism website – visitsaudi.com – the duration of stay depends on the type of visa you apply for:

• The multiple-entry tourist visa is valid for one year from the date of issuance, and you can stay in Saudi Arabia for 90 days.

How much does the visa cost?

The e-visa for GCC residents costs approximately Dh297.48, excluding the cost of health insurance.   The total cost will vary depending on the health insurance coverage you select.

For a more detailed guide on the Saudi eVisa application process and eligibility criteria, read our article here .

WEB 200725 Rijal Almaa17-1595732751915

2. Japan eVisa

Applying for a visa for Japan is also a lot easier for UAE residents now, as they can apply for a 90-day eVisa , following an announcement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan in 2023

As per the announcement all foreign nationals who reside in the UAE and Saudi Arabia can apply for a short-term tourist visa online through Japan’s official eVisa platform - www.evisa.mofa.go.jp.

Before you apply for the eVisa, you must make sure you have a valid passport, Emirates ID and UAE residence visa.

eVisa duration and validity

• Duration: A short-term visa for tourism is for 90 days , as per Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. • Validity: The eVisa is valid for three months from the day after the date the visa is issued.

According to Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the visa issuance fee is 3,000 yen (approximately Dh82) , but certain nationalities are exempt from paying a visa fee or can pay a reduced fee.

As per the Consulate General of Japan in Dubai, there are over 30 countries exempt from paying visa fees. You can find the complete list here: https://www.dubai.uae.emb-japan.go.jp/itpr_ja/visa_fee_eng.html

Here is a breakdown of the visa fee, as per the Consulate General of Japan in Dubai:

• General cost: Dh80 • For Indian nationals: Dh20 • Free for certain nationalities

Japn eVisa Mount Fuji

3. Azerbaijan eVisa or visa on arrival

UAE residents planning to travel to Azerbaijan can either get a visa on arrival stamped on their passport when they land in the country, or apply for an eVisa in advance. You can stay in the country for up to 30 days on either of these visas.

Recently, Gulf News spoke to Haris Bashir, a travel consultant at Dubai-based travel agency, Chinnar Travels, who explained that the advantage of applying for an eVisa was lesser time spent at the airport, once you land.

“If you are choosing a visa on arrival, you would need to scan your passport at the smart machines that have been installed at the airport, and enter your trip details, to get the visa on arrival. If you have an eVisa, you can directly go to the immigration counter,” he said.

The cost for both of these visa options is Dh140 .

You can apply for the eVisa through Azerbaijan’s official online visa portal - evisa.gov.az and the visa is issued within three days.

Azerbaijan

4. Oman eVisa for GCC residents of approved professions

If you are a UAE-based expatriate planning to travel to Oman, you can apply for an eVisa that allows you to stay in the country for up to 30 days .

The ‘GCC Resident Visa’ issued by Royal Oman Police (ROP), is an unsponsored visit visa, which GCC residents can apply for through Oman’s official eVisa platform - evisa.rop.gov.om

Only professions approved by the ROP are allowed to apply for the online visa. There are over 30 professions eligible for the eVisa. If your occupation is not eligible for eVisa, then you must apply for a sponsored tourist visa from an authorised travel agency.

The cost of a 30-day visit visa for GCC residents is Omani Rial 5 (Dh47.50) .

To find out if your profession is eligible for the eVisa, click here .

Muscat

5. Qatar eVisa for GCC residents

Recently, Qatar announced that GCC residents of all professions can apply for a 'GCC Resident Visa' on the new Hayya Portal - www.hayya.qa and stay in the country for up to 30 days .

To be eligible for the visa you should have a valid UAE or GCC valid residency of a minimum of three months, from the date of arrival in Qatar and your job title must match the profession stated in the residence visa.

The visa fee is around  QAR100 (Dh100.49) . It has to be paid after your visa is approved. The fee is non-refundable.

 National Museum of Qatar Sunset view

6. Albania eVisa

The eVisa for Albania is for all nationalities, and it allows holders to stay for up to 90 days in the country. The application process is entirely online, which means you do not have to visit the consulate in person or apply through a third-party agent.

UAE residents must apply for the visa online through Albania’s official eVisa platform - e-visa.al, and fill out the application form for a ‘Short Stay Visa’ or ‘Type C’.

According to e-visa.al, Golden Visa holders in the UAE can get visa on arrival for Albania. "Foreign citizens who have a 10 year residence permit issued by the competent authority of the United Arab Emirates, valid not less than one year from the moment of entry," according to e-visa.al . For an in-depth guide on the process, click here .

Depending on the type of visa, and duration, the cost can come to Dh300 to Dh700 . The cost can differentiate as per the application detail

The approval process for the visa can take up to 15 working days and in some cases it can take up to 30 working days .

Cave of Haxhi Ali in Albania.

7. Madagascar

All nationalities are eligible for an eVisa for Madagascar. You can register for the tourist visa online through the official eVisa platform for Madagascar - evisamada-mg.com.

According to the website, you can also get visa on arrival - Visitors can fill out the eVisa application at one of the visa countres located at Ivato International Airport in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar.

Before you apply for the visa, you must have a passport with at least six months validity.

Visa validity and duration:

• Validity: The visa is valid for six months . • Duration: The visa is issued for 15, 30 or 60 days .

• 15 days: $10 (Dh63) • 30 days: $37 (Dh135) • 60 days: $45 (Dh165)

You need to visit the eVisa platform - evisamada-mg.com - and first set up an account using your email address and phone number. You will be sent a validation code to your email address, which you need to enter to complete the registration process.

Next, log in using your online credentials, and click on 'Apply for visa'. Select the details, like the duration of stay for which you need the visa and make the payment accordingly, using your credit or debit card.

Once the application is approved, you will be issued an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) in three working days . You must print out the ETA or save it on your smart phone and provide it to border control upon your arrival.

While you may struggle with getting a direct flight to Madagascar, there are several option which include a layover in an African country, from where you can choose to travel to Madagascar.

Madagascar

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Dubai's visa on arrival facility: How to apply online & what documents to carry

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Dubai: Indians travellers with a valid UK or European Union visa or with a US Green Card or residency permit can apply online for the UAE's visa on arrival, at least 14 days before they travel to the country. Dubai General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) announced that this visa could be extended for 14 more days. Meanwhile, Emirates Airlines said the approval of these visas would be as per the discretion of GDRFA.

Visa on arrival facility has been provided at the airports in UAE for eligible Indian travellers for years. Usually, when passengers deboard the aircraft, the visa is stamped on their passports at the immigration counter. However, as per the revised guidelines, flyers must apply for the visa online before they travel to Dubai.

These are the documents that are required for applying for this visa: 1) Valid passport or other travel document to enter the country. 2) US Green Card or the residence visa issued by the UK / European Union. 3) Passport size photograph (with white background) Online application Indians, who are eligible for a visa on arrival, should log into the official website of the GDRFA . They should fill out the application by providing the required details and pay an application fee of 253 dirhams. After the visa is approved, the applicant will receive it via email, hopefully within 48 hours after applying.

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Terms and conditions These are the terms and conditions that are noted on GDRFA’s website: 1) The traveller shouldn’t have any restrictions that prevent him/her from entering the country. 2) The validity of the passport or the travel document should not be less than six months. 3) He/she should have a visa or green card issued by the competent authorities in the United States of America, with a validity period of not less than six months. 4) He/she should have a residence visa issued by the competent authorities in the United Kingdom or European Union countries, with a validity period of not less than six months.

A few Indian passport holders who had booked tickets on Emirates Airlines in February were given a visa on arrival with a validity in advance. This single-entry visa is valid for 14 days and would save the Emirates flyers from standing in long queues at the immigration counters. The advance application fulfils the requirements of the Dubai Visa Processing Centre (DVPC)-VFS Global facility arranged by Emirates Airlines to facilitate visa proceedings in Dubai.

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Golden visa

The Golden visa is a long-term residence visa which enables foreign talents to live, work or study in the UAE while enjoying exclusive benefits. Investors, entrepreneurs, scientists, outstanding students and graduates, humanitarian pioneers and frontline heroes are among those eligible for the Golden visa. Read about the requirements and benefits of the Golden visa, and find digital services to apply for it.

What is the UAE’s Golden visa?

Golden visa requirements, the ‘one touch’ golden visa service, related digital services.

The UAE’s ‘Golden visa’ is a long-term residence visa which enables foreign talents to live, work or study in the UAE while enjoying exclusive benefits which include:

  • an entry visa for six months with multiple entries to proceed with residence issuance
  • a long-term, renewable residence visa valid for 5 or 10 years
  • the privilege of not needing a sponsor
  • the ability to stay outside the UAE for more than the usual period of six months in order to keep their residence visa valid
  • the ability to sponsor their family members, including spouses and children regardless of their ages
  • the ability to sponsor unlimited number of domestic helpers
  • the permit for family members to stay in the UAE until the end of their permit duration, if the primary holder of the Golden visa passes away.

For queries regarding visas, please contact Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security (ICP) or the UAE’s embassies and consulates .

For Dubai visas, contact the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs - Dubai (GDRFAD) .

Related links

  • UAE Cabinet approves Executive Regulations of Federal Decree-Law on Entry and Residence of Foreigners - WAM
  • Golden Residency - Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs & Port Security
  • Golden visa in Abu Dhabi   – TAMM
  • Discover the golden visa and its categories - Abu Dhabi Residents Office

Requirements for the Golden visa depend on the type of residence, whether investor, talent, entrepreneur, etc.

Investors in public investments

If you invest in an investment fund, you may be granted a Golden Visa for a period of 10 years without a sponsor, subject to the:

  • submission of a letter from an investment fund accredited in the UAE stating that the investor has a deposit of AED two million, or
  • submission of a valid commercial licence or industrial licence and a memorandum of association stating that the investor’s capital is not less than AED two million

Additionally, you must:

  • own the invested capital completely; it must not be a loan and
  • provide proof of medical insurance for himself and his family (if any).

Real estate investors

If you own a property or a group of properties, you may be granted a Golden visa for a period of 5 years, renewable on the same conditions and without a sponsor subject to the:

  • provision of a letter from the land department of the respective emirate stating that he owns one or more properties whose value is not less than 2 million dirhams
  • purchase of a property with a loan from specific local banks approved by the competent local entity.

Entrepreneurs

If you are an entrepreneur, you may get a Golden visa for a period of 5 years, if you own an economic project of a technical or future nature based on risk & innovation. In addition, you must have an approval letter from each of the following:

  • an auditor in the UAE stating that the project value is not less than 500,000 dirhams
  • the authorities in the emirate stating that the project is of a technical or future nature
  • an accredited business incubator in the UAE to establish the proposed activity in the country.

Outstanding specialised talents

Outstanding specialised talents include:

  • creative people of culture and art
  • specialists in scientific fields
  • doctoral degree holders and
  • specialists in the fields of engineering and science.

Subjects relating to engineering and science include:

  • epidemiology and viruses
  • artificial intelligence
  • computer engineering
  • electronic engineering
  • software engineering
  • electrical engineering
  • genetics and biotechnology engineering.

If you have an outstanding specialised talent, you may get a Golden visa for 10 years after meeting the requirements mentioned below for each category:

Doctors and scientists

  • an approval Letter from Ministry of Health and Prevention in the UAE to practice the profession of medicine (for doctors)
  • a letter of recommendation from Emirates Council of Scientists or a letter from Secretariat of the Mohammed bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence stating that the applicant has been awarded the Medal of Scientific Excellence (for scientists).
  • a recommendation letter from Ministry of Economy stating that your patent has an added value to the country's economy

Creative people in the fields of culture and art

  • an approval letter from the department of culture and arts in the respective emirate.

Related services

  • Apply for a creative talented accreditation (cultural visa) – Dubai Culture
  • Get an endorsement certificate for creative people – Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism
  • Get a recommendation letter for golden visa request – Ministry of Culture and Youth

Executive Directors

  • a copy of a university degree accredited by Ministry of Education with educational attainment not less than a bachelor's degree
  • a letter of experience of no less than 5 years holding the same position
  • a salary certificate with a salary of AED 50,000 at least
  • a valid work contract. 
  • a recommendation letter from General Sports Authority or one of the sports councils

Specialists in engineering and science

  • a copy of a Bachelor’s or a Master’s degree certified by Ministry of Education and a work contract.

Outstanding Students

High school students

If you are a high school student and a national-level topper, (with a minimum grade of 95 per cent in public or private secondary school) you may be granted a Golden visa for 5 years without a sponsor, subject to submission of a recommendation letter from Ministry of Education (Emirates Schools Establishment).Duration of the Golden visa for students is 5 years and may be extended if he/she is enrolled in one of the majors/colleges in the country that requires a study period of more than five years.

University students

If you are an outstanding university student, you may be granted a Golden visa for a period of 10 years without a sponsor, provided that:

  • the university must be rated either A or B class by Ministry of Education
  • a recommendation letter from the university or an accredited graduation certificate or an accredited academic record stating that the student’s cumulative GPA is not less than 3.5 for A class universities and 3.8 for B class universities is submitted.

it has not been more than 2 years since you graduated.

Outstanding students of foreign universities may be granted a Golden visa for a period of 10 years without a sponsor, provided that:

  • The university is rated among the best 100 universities global according to the rating system recognized by Ministry of Education
  • The student’s cumulative GPA is not less than 3.5
  • It has not been more than 2 years since you graduated
  • Graduation certificate is accredited by the Ministry of Education

Pioneers of humanitarian work

If you are a pioneer of humanitarian work, you may get a Golden visa for 10 years. You must be one amongst the following categories to qualify as a pioneer of humanitarian work:

  • members and outstanding employees who have worked for international and regional organisations for a minimum of five years
  • members and outstanding employees who have worked for civil associations and institutions of public interest for a minimum of five years
  • individuals who have received an appreciation award from a local, regional or international organisation that focuses on humanitarian work
  • funders of humanitarian work provided that the value of the support does not fall below two million UAE dirhams or its equivalent.

Frontline heroes

Frontline heroes who displayed extraordinary effort in crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic also may get the Golden visa with a recommendation from a competent authority. Frontline heroes include nurses, medical assistants, lab technicians, pharmacologists and other cadres approved by the Frontline Heroes Office.

‘One touch’ Golden visa service is a comprehensive service designed to simplify the application and the renewal process for a Golden residence visa , saving the applicants’ time and effort.

The service will assist the applicants with their applications for the visa, issuance of other visas, regularisation of status, the issuance of residency and identity documents, and renewing all of these in one step.

  • eServices related to Golden visa  - ICP
  • Check your eligibility for Golden visa – ICP
  • Golden visa services - GDRFA
  • Apply for a recommendation of a Golden visa (for creatives) - Ministry of Youth and Culture

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