UAE Visa - Definitive Guide

Long stretches of white-sand beaches, magnificent desert dunes, and the stunning skyscrapers; The United Arab Emirates is quite the beauty. With over 10 million people visiting the city of Dubai alone, the UAE is one of the world’s top tourist destinations. To enter the country, however, you would need a UAE Visa.

What is the UAE Visa?

To visit the UAE, you will require a visa, along with your passport. However, for people from most countries around the world such as UK, USA, Schengen countries, etc, the visa is issued on arrival in the UAE. They do not have to apply for it before the arrival. The same goes for people belonging to the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, etc. However, for the other countries, the permit has to be attained before traveling. The UAE visa is in the form of an e-visa, and as a result, is easier to obtain.


Sometimes the UAE issued permits are called by people according to the issuing place. i.e, a visa issued in Dubai is called Dubai visa, one issued in Abu Dhabi is called Abu Dhabi visa, etc. However, these are all the same type, and are valid throughout the UAE regardless of the place of issue.


How to Get UAE Visa?

The process of obtaining a visa is quite different from other countries. To answer the question on how to apply for UAE visa, you will have to first understand that for normal passport holders, the UAE embassy does not issue this. The applications require you to have a sponsor and therefore, is done with the help of UAE based airlines, or a travel agency, or a hotel. These factions apply for a visa on your behalf to the official issuing authority in the UAE. Since the offline mode is no longer used, you will have to apply for UAE Visa online. The procedure is as follows -

E visa & eNTRI (tourist)
  • Choose the method of application that is easier for you. While choosing travel agencies, ensure that they are well-reputed and genuine.
  • Now, determine the type of visa you require.
  • Once you do that, obtain the necessary documents as per your visa type.
  • Fill in the application form available at the airline websites, or at the travel agencies.
  • The necessary documents must be then uploaded to the respective online portals.
  • Proceed to pay the visa fees online.

Your visa will start being processed now. Once your UAE Visa has been approved, you will receive it via email. Always ensure that you provide the correct details along with genuine documents. You may get a visa denial if your application is incorrect. This may cause you from not being able to apply for the visa in the future.

Please note that if you are flying to Dubai via their home-based airlines, you can apply through Dubai Visa Service Centres located all over India. If you are being sponsored by a relative or friend, they can apply for you at a visa issuing authority located in UAE. Diplomatic and special passport holders will have to apply through the UAE Embassy in India.

UAE Visa Types

Based on the different purpose, type of entry and length of stay, the UAE Visa Types can be commonly categorized into the following -

  • UAE Transit Visa - The transit permit for UAE is issued if you are travelling to another country via the UAE, and all you need is to stay in the country for a few days in transit. This type is issued for two periods such as -
    1. 48-hour transit
    2. 96-hour transit
    • Service This type of permit allows you to stay in the country for a period of 14 days from the day of arrival. This is mainly used by people travelling for commercial and business purposes. This is a single-entry type.
    • UAE Tourist Visa The tourist visa allows the individual to stay in the country for a period of up to 30 days. There are two types of tourist permits based on the entry types.
      1. Single-Entry Tourist
      2. Multiple-Entry Tourist
  • Long Term Tourist These are issued for people wanting to stay in the country for a longer period. The visa is issued for a duration of 90 days. Based on the type of entry, these can be classified into the following two -
    1. Long Term Single-Entry Tourist
    2. Long Term Multiple-Entry Visit

Documents Required for UAE Visa

The documents required totally depends on the type of visa. It also depends on the eligibility criteria that makes you qualify for the type. In general, however, the following are the list of documents necessary -

  • A valid Passport - up to at least 6 months from the date of arrival in UAE (ordinary passports)
  • Colour copies of your passport bio page and last page
  • Confirmed round trip flight tickets
  • 2 Coloured photographs
  • Proof of employment

UAE Visa Fees

The UAE Visa fees for Indian Citizens depend on several factors such as the UAE Visa types, the number of entries, the duration of the visit, as well as any express visa processing charges. There may be additional service charges levied based on the mode of application. It is vital to confirm the fees before applying for the visa.

Entry Purpose Stay Duration Validity Fees
Single entry Normal Tourist 90 days 58 days 18000.0
Single entry Normal Transit 4 days 58 days 5026.0
Single entry Express Transit 4 days 58 days 5904.0
Single entry Normal Business 14 days 14 days 8784.0
Single entry Express Tourist 29 days 58 days 6730.0
Single entry Normal Tourist 29 days 58 days 5852.0
Multiple entry Normal Tourist 90 days 58 days 38226.0

UAE Visa Processing Time

The UAE Visa for Indian passport holder is normally issued in about 3-5 working days. However, it can vary depending upon any express option, or UAE Visa types, or any other complications arising with documents. It also depends upon your mode of application. It is therefore essential to apply for your visa well in advance. Your processing may also be faster depending upon certain eligibility criteria such as your passport containing a visa to Schengen, UK, USA, etc in the past 5 years. It can also speed up if you have an invitation letter from a family member in the UAE.

After Submission

Once your UAE Visa application has been submitted, you will receive the update via your email. If it has been approved, you will receive your permit in the form of an e-visa on your registered email. However, being an Indian national, you may have to send a copy of the visa to the airline company while booking your flights (if required) as India is amongst the countries that require an ‘Ok to Board’ in order to travel to the UAE. It is basically permission from the airline that you are free to board the flight. On a successful receipt of a visa, the airline assigns an ‘OK to Board’ with your PNR. All the airlines flying to the UAE require this to be done. Without this, you will not be allowed to board your flight even if you have purchased the ticket. You can obtain this even by contacting the travel agency you applied to.

You can track the status by multiple methods depending on your mode of application. If applied through an airline, you can log onto their portal and check the status. Travel agencies also provide the same facility. Another method would be to send an email to the agency/airline/hotel enquiring about the visa status. However, this method might not always be responsive. If you had applied for a Dubai visa for Indians through DVPC, you can track it by visiting their website with your reference number and passport expiry date.

Where to Apply for UAE Visa?

The UAE embassy only issues the visa for diplomatic and special passport holders. People holding ordinary passports will have to find a sponsor who can apply on your behalf from the UAE. Alternatively, you can apply them through UAE based airline companies, travel agencies, or even a hotel you are going to stay in the UAE.

However, let’s say that you applied for your UAE Visa through the Abu Dhabi based Etihad Airways. In this case, you will have to visit the country via their flight, and land in Abu Dhabi. However, you are free to move throughout the UAE after that. If you apply it via a travel agency, you will get the visa and will be able to travel via any flight to any destination, provided that you book your flight tickets with them. Similarly, if you apply through a hotel in the UAE, you would have to book your stay with them.