Ultimate Guide to Visas in Dubai!

Guide to Dubai Residence Visa – Process and Documents.

Any expat who likes to live, study or work in UAE, requires resident visa. If you are working, your employer usually sponsors your residence visa. If you are studying here, your University or College would be your sponsor. If you are not working, but are part of a family (Spouse, Child), the main income earner sponsors your residence visa. The Residency and Naturalisation Department, part of Ministry of Interior is responsible to process and provide your residence visa. In this guide, I will cover all types of visas that are available in the UAE and explain the documents required and the process.

Process of applying for visas:

Recently the Residency Department (Immigration) has completely overhauled the way in which the visas are processed. You no longer have to visit the Immigration Department to apply for the visa. Everything has been converted into an online process wherein you will have to visit an Authorised Typing centre, who will collect all the required documents, scan the documents, type the necessary online forms and submit to the immigration.

After verifying these documents, the immigration provides online approval. If you wish that your visas to be processed the normal way, Zajil services (Government appointed courier services) will contact you to collect the passport, stamp the visa and return the passport. If you wished to have it done by yourself, you will need to visit the immigration and get it stamped yourself (in case of urgency).

By doing this, the Immigration department has completely eliminated for us to visit the immigration department. All the work of scanning the documents, servicing is done the Authorised Typing centres. I have heard that there were special training sessions held for the typing centres and their eligibility checked in order to approve them.

-Starting March 2016 charges, including Deposits, Guarantees, Courier and file opening fees will be processed through Authorised typing centres. Refund can be processed only to the sponsor’s Bank Account. IBAN (International Bank Account Number) of the Sponsor (applicant) is required.

– You need to visit the Immigration Department only after the approval of your online application. You will receive SMS incase of approval, modification or rejection. White colour Visa will be mailed to applicant’s e-mail address after approval. If you need pink colour visa, you can visit any Immigration Dubai branch after receiving approval SMS. No extra fee. For stamping you will need to visit the Immigration or use Zajil services

Insurance is mandatory for all types of visa. In most cases, your company applies for the insurance. For your dependents, if your company does not provide insurance, you are responsible to provide this out of your cost. The insurance is required before you are issued any type of visa!!

So the process is very simple:

  1. You gather all required documents;
  2. Visit an authorised typing centre;
  3. Handover all the documents;
  4. The typing centre scans documents and types in forms;
  5. Immigration approves;
  6. You receive an SMS saying your application is approved;
  7. Zajil collects your passport or you (your PRO) visit immigration department to get visa stamped.

visa-in-dubai-documents-process

So, it is quite straight forward and easy these days to apply for a residence visa.

NOTE: Before a Company (onshore company) can apply for a residence visa for their employees, they will need following documents ready:

  • Company Immigration Card;
  • Company Labour Card;
  • DNRD Registration;

I assume that companies would already have these documents ready before they can apply for their employees’ visas and labour cards.

Types of Visas: Documents required and Steps

1. New Employment Visa

If you have obtained a new employment here or are changing your job, in order to work and live in UAE, you will require a residence visa which is usually provided for by your company or employer. The process is similar in the Free Zones as well; however in the free zones, yo are not required to obtain Labour Approval through Ministry of Labour.

Documents required for application of new employment visa:

  1. Copy of you valid Passport. Your passport should be current and must have a validity of at least 6 months;
  2. 1 Passport Size photograph with white background;
  3. Copy of qualification certificate attested in the country of origin and stamped at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs  in the UAE. Your Convocation Certificate should be attested by relevant authorities in your country of education and by UAE embassy in your country of education, Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the UAE;
  4. Copy of the visa cancellation Page and cancellation receipt only applicable if person has previously held a UAE Employment visa;
  5. Clear and  colour copy of Emirates ID (if you were resident in UAE and not applicable for first timers).

Additional note:

  • The original passport is required only when the E-Visa has been issued;
  • Please ensure that the passport validity 6 months and empty page on the passport for visa stamp;
  • Status change fees will apply when E Visa issued when employee is within UAE;
  • If the E-Visa is issued when employee is outside , the original visa to be emailed to or sent to the employee to present to the immigration official at the airport when entering the country.

Fees for new employment visa including MOL charges:

ParticularsAED
Quota submission and initial approval265/-
Labour Approval1,553/-
Medical (Blood Test)-Special750/-
Medical (Blood Test)-Normal400/-
Residence Visa420/-
Bank Guarantee (Held by UAE bank and refundable upon visa cancellation)3000/-
Emirates ID card processing fee270/-
Miscellaneous Fees (bank charges, typing0100/-
Fees for issuing E-visa when person is inside country660/-
Fee for changing the status of an E-Visa530/-

Rates are subject to change.

Steps involved in New Employment Visa

  • Step 1: Quota Approval: Once the employee documents are reviewed, their designation is then submitted to the Ministry of Labour approval;
  • Step 2: Initial Approval: Paper work for the individual is submitted against the approved quota. Please note that certain nationalities applying may be forwarded to security for additional checks;
  • Step 3: Payment of Bank guarantee & Labour Approval Fee;
  • Step 4: Submit E-Visa Application form;
  • Step 5: E-Visa issued (manually obtained visa is called ‘Pink Visa’) online;
  • Step 6: Outside the Country: E-Visa is sent via email for the employee to print and present at the immigration counter upon arrival into the UAE
  • Step 7: If employees is inside UAE, original passport is required to change the status of the employee;
  • Step 8: Blood Test and EID: Employee will be required to undergo the blood test and to fill in Emirates ID application at the typing centre;
  • Step 9: Labour Contract: The government issued Labour contract which will be signed by employee in places and the local sponsor or company appointed signatory.
  • Step 10: Visa Stamping: Once the blood test results have been issued and are positive and Labour contract has been submitted and approved by the Labour office the application will be submitted online for visa stamping.

2. Renewal of Employment Visa

Before your employment visa expires (usually every 2 years), you are required to renew the residence visa.

Documents Required

  1. Original Passport must have at least 6 months validity and have one empty page;
  2. Original Emirates ID Card;
  3. 2 Passport size photographs on white back ground;
  4. Completed personal detail form.

Additional Notes:

  • The renewal must take place before the expiry date mentioned on the visa;
  • The passport must be valid for 6 months and have one empty page;
  • All amendment (salary and designation) must be updated.

Fees for the renewal of Employment visa (subject to change)

ParticularsAED
Visa Stamping420/-
Labour Approval Fees (renewal)1553/-
Medical (Blood Test)-Special750/-
Medical (Blood Test)-Normal400/-
Emirates ID card processing fee270/-

Steps involved in Renewal of Employment Visa:

  1. Step 1: Your Labour / Employment Contract must be renewed at the Ministry of Labour;
  2. Step 2: Emirates ID renewal typing at the Authorised Typing centres + Medical examination;
  3. Step 3 : Once positive medical examination results are obtained, your PRO must visit the immigration for stamping or call for Zajil to pick up your passport for stamping.

3. Cancellation of Employment Visa

If you have resigned from your work, terminated or found a new job, your existing labour contract and residence visa must be cancelled. Previously, companies allowed transfer of visas; but off late this is rarely done. Hence, you will have to cancel your visa and obtain a new residence visa. The steps and documents required are very easy.

Documents Required:

  1. Original Passport;
  2. Original Emirates ID Card;
  3. Signature of employee on cancellation form.

Fees: Visa cancellation fees are AED 180.

Important: If your family or domestic are staff under your sponsorship:

  • The family or domestic visas need to be cancelled first only then can the primary visa be cancelled;
  • If you already have approval from another sponsor and do  not wish to cancel your family visas you may transfer all dependents over to your new visa by keeping a deposit of AED 5000 per dependent; Holding family visa is completely at the discretion of the Immigration Department and will only be reviewed if you are changing visas within the same Emirates. A refundable deposit of AED 5000/-must be paid to hold the family visas. This is kept by Immigration Department and refunded when the visa has been reinstated

Visa cancellation employee is outside of the UAE:

Documents required: If the person has been outside the country for less than 6 months:

  1. Original Passport

The original passport must be sent to the company in order to remove from under company’s sponsorship.

Documents required: If the person has been outside the country for longer than 6 months:

  1. Copy of Passport
  2. Copy of Visa

Fees for this kind of cancellation is: AED 300.

4. Mission Visa

What is Mission Visa?

Mission visa is a type of visa that enables individual to work for a company for up to 3 months continuously in UAE. To obtain Mission Visa, a company should have no violations at the Ministry of Labour. The employee should not have any kind of labour ban or immigration ban.

Documents required:

  1. Copy of Passport  and passport should be current and have a validity of at least 6 months;
  2. 6 Passport Size photograph with white background;
  3. Copy of qualification certificate attested in the country of origin and stamped at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the UAE;
  4. Completed personal details form.

Note:

  • The employee must be outside the country at the time of the visa application and must not hold a 6 months labour ban;
  • This is a single entry visa and employee cannot exit country and reenter on the visa;
  • This visa is valid for 90 days and extendable for an additional 90 days;
  • The E-Visa is valid only for 14 days. Employee must enter UAE before the expiry;
  • Medical examinations are mandatory for all employees entering the UAE on valid mission visa.

Fees application for Mission Visa:

ParticularsAED
Application115/-
Work Permit fees for 90 days506/-
Bank Guarantee3000/-
Fees for Issuing Visa from Immigration750/-
Medical (Blood Test)400/-
Renewing the work permit for another additional 90 days506/-
Renewal of Mission Visa1300/-

5. New Residence Visa for Wife

If you would like your spouse to live with you here in UAE, then they must have a valid residence visa.

Documents required for Wife Visa-

Wife’s Document:

  1. Original Passport should be current and valid for at least 6 months;
  2. Original marriage certificate that has been attested and notarized in country of origin and stamped at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in UAE;
  3. 1 Passport Size photograph with white background;
  4. Copy of clear and colour copy of old emirates ID Card (if holder of previous residence visa in UAE);
  5. Completed personal details form.

Husband’s documents:

  1. Passport copy with visa page;
  2. Copy of Labour Contract;
  3. Copy of the Ejari, Original Tenancy Contract;
  4. Copy of latest month DEWA Bill.

Fees applicable for Wife’s visa:

ParticularsAED
File Open220/-
Visa Issue360/-
Issuing Visa Inside country660/-
Visa Stamping420/-
Status Change510/-
Medical (Blood Test)400/-
Fee for registration of lease with RERA195/-
Emirates ID card processing fee270/-

Note:

  • Status change fee will apply if the pink visa issued while person is inside UAE;
  • The application cannot be started until the Husband’s labour contract has been issued;
  • Please ensure that the passport is validly for 3 months and one empty page on the passport for the visa to be stamped;
  • The original passport is required only when the pink visa has been issued;
  • The original visa is to be deposited at the airport on arrival if the visa issued while person is outside the country;
  • Once the status change takes effect the person is not permitted to travel until the visa has been stamped on their passport.

Steps –Family Visa (Wife, Children) Application:

  • Step 1: Prepare the Documents;
  • Step 2: Pink Visa Application Form to be signed by individual sponsor (Father/Mother/Husband);
  • Step 3: Pink Visa Issued;
  • Step 4: Outside the Country-Pink visa to be deposited in the airport immigration and to be collected when family enters the country;
  • Step 5: Inside the Country-Original passport required to complete the status change procedure;
  • Step 6: Blood Test & EID -The wife and any children above 18 will be asked to do the medical test and proceed for the EID application.
  • Step 7: Visa Stamping: Once the blood test results have been issued and EID registration completed you can visit the Immigration department to get the visa stamped or request services of Zajil.

6. Sponsoring Children –under 18 years

Documents required for the child:

  1. Copy of Passport which should be current and validity of at least 6 months;
  2. 1 Passport Size photograph with white background
  3. Original birth certificate that has been attested and notarized in country of origin and stamped at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in UAE;
  4. Copy of clear and colour copy of old emirates ID Card (if holder of previous residence visa in UAE);
  5. Completed personal details form

Father’s documents:

  1. Passport copy with visa page;
  2. Copy of Labour Contract;
  3. Copy of the Ejari, Original Tenancy Contract;
  4. Copy of last month DEWA Bill;
  5. Original EID or Passport.

Fees applicable for Child’s visa sponsorship:

ParticularsAED
Visa Issue360/-
Issuing Visa Inside country660/-
Visa Stamping410/-
Status Change510/-
Emirates ID card processing fee400/-

Note:

  • Status change fee will apply if the pink visa issued while person is inside UAE;
  • The application cannot be started until the Father’s labour card has been issued;
  • Please ensure that the passport is validly for 3 months and one empty page on the passport for the visa to be stamped;
  • The original passport is required only when the pink visa has been issued;
  • The original visa is to be deposited at the airport on arrival if the visa issued while person is outside the country;
  • Once the status change takes effect the person is not permitted to travel until the visa has been stamped on their passport.

7. Sponsoring New Born Baby (when child born and has not left the UAE)

Documents required:

  1. Copy of Passport –should be current and validity of atleast 6 months;
  2. 1 Passport Size photograph with white background;
  3. Original birth certificate that has been attested and notarized in country of origin and stamped at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in UAE;
  4. Completed personal details form.

Father’s documents:

  1. Passport copy with visa page;
  2. Copy of labour contract;
  3. Copy of the Ejari, Original Tenancy Contract;
  4. Copy of last month DEWA Bill.

Fees:

  • Visa Stamping: AED 410
  • Emirates ID: AED 400

8. RENEWAL – WIFE’S VISA

Documents required from wife:

Wife’s Document:

  1. Original Passport  should be current and valid for at least 6 months;
  2. Original marriage certificate that has been attested and notarized in country of origin and stamped at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in UAE;
  3. 6 Passport Size photograph with white background;
  4. Completed personal details form

Husband’s documents:

  1. Passport copy with visa page;
  2. Copy of Labour Contract;
  3. Copy of the Ejari, Original Tenancy Contract;
  4. Copy of last month DEWA Bill

Fees Applicable:

ParticularsAED
Medical (Blood Test)400/-
Residence Visa Stamping420/-
Fee for registration of lease with RERa195/-
Emirates ID card processing fee270/-

Note:

  • Please ensure that the passport is validly for 3 months and one empty page on the passport for the visa to be stamped.

9. Child visa renewal –under 18 years

Documents required:

  1. Copy of Passport  should be current and validity of at least 6 months;
  2. 6 Passport Size photograph with white background;
  3. Original Emirates ID;
  4. Completed personal details form.

Father’s documents:

  1. Passport copy with visa page;
  2. Copy of Labour Contract;
  3. Copy of the Ejari, Original Tenancy Contract;
  4. Copy of last month DEWA Bill;
  5. Original EID or Passport;

Fees for the renewal of Child’s visa:

ParticularsAED
Residency Visa Stamping420/-
Emirates ID card processing fee270/-

10. House Maid Visa

If your salary is AED 8000 and above, you are eligible to employ a house maid. Also note that you must be married to sponsor a house maid, be living with your family and you must not be related to the person you intend to hire as a house maid. Maid’s nationality can only be India, Philippines, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Ethiopia.

Documents required from the house maid:

  1. Copy of Passport should be current and validity of at least 6 months;
  2. 1 Passport Size photograph with white background;
  3. Completed personal details form;
  4. Original Emirates ID Card;
  5. Copy of deposit receipt.

Documents from person sponsoring (sponsor) the maid:

  1. Passport copy with visa page;
  2. Copy of Labour contract;
  3. Copy of the Ejari, Original Tenancy Contract;
  4. Copy of last month DEWA Bill.

Fees for Maid Visa:

ParticularsAED
Medical (Blood Test)400/-
Emirates ID card processing fee270/-
Visa Stamping5460/-

Note:

  • Minimum salary required is AED 8000/- in order to sponsor a maid and sponsor should be married;
  • Please ensure that the passport is validly for 3 months and one empty page on the passport for the visa to be stamped;
  • The tenancy contract should be at least 2 bedrooms and clearly stated on the contract of Ejari;
  • All maids should go under pregnancy test as part of their medical examination;
  • Sponsor can not be a bachelor;
  • If the maid is in the UAE on cancelled visa, Visit Visa or Touris Visa, Dh1230 to be paid extra for Status Change (Dh680 to issue visa inside the country and Dh550 for status amendment).
  • Minimum Wage requirement should be fulfilled as per the origin country’s rules and regulations.
  • If the house maid is from the same country as that of the Sponsor, a No Relation Certificate must be obtained from the Sponsor’s Embassy / Consulate;
  • Usually the minimum age of the maid should be 30 years and Maximum age should be 58 years.

11. Parent’s Residence visa or Parent’s in Law Visa (Mother Visa, Father Visa, Mother in Law, Father in Law visa)

Apart from the online process, the requirement of documentation remains same for the parents’ or Parents in laws’ visas. I have written a post previously. You may read at the following link: Parents Visa Application – Documents required and process.

This article is meant to be a guide and since the rules and regulations change frequently, please consult authorised typing centres or Immigration for any clarification.

This article will be updated regularly!

About Deepak 505 Articles
Deepak is a passionate blogger with interests in bitcoin, online marketing, and writing.

26 Comments

  1. how may days required to remove the discrepancy on apply of the family visa.
    i applied but now application form shows that Rejected to Receive plz guide me .

  2. Would anyone guide me how much time does it take for the renewal of employment visa in dubai? On urgent basis.

  3. I believe it is mandatory to have Ejari in your name.
    However, there should be exceptions. Please call Ejari (RERA) and enquire about this.
    You may also contact Immigration on this.
    Please update others in this forum about your findings.

  4. i got a job recently in dubai and i sent all the rqiured documents for visa processing,it has already been three weeks already and no feedback,wen i contacted my employer he said that the documents have already been submitted and just waiting for approval. i used to work in dubau for 8 yrs and i left in 2016,but before i left i had applied in abudhabi while still in dubai and it got rejected,wen i came home i tried to apply as a visit visa after six months and still got rejected,i have never had any isuue with the law in uae nor the banks,so what could be the isuue and how long does a work visa usuaaly take thanks.

  5. Hello sir, pls if a company apply for an employment visa how long it will take to be ready . Already the candidate is in uea for tourist visa. Thanks sir pls u need ur respond

  6. Thank you, so much for your advice and discuss these major points for Dubai residence visa.
    The points you have listed above, especially appreciable and will really help in process of applying for different visas with required documents and fees information as new, renewal, and cancellation of employment visa, mission visa, new, and renewal residence visa for the wife, child visa renewal, and housemaid visa.

    https://www.vatuae.me/

  7. Hi Iam vijayalakshmi from India. Recently I got an information that to maintain residence visa the maximum number of days one can be outside Abu Dhabi is reduced from 180 days to 175 days. Is the information is right?

  8. Dear sir,
    I am Abu Kashem nationality bangladeshi I have been working since 10 years In the Dubai , my visa type resident employed, company position fire alarm fore man so my salary is very low , that for I wanted to transfer my visa from present company to another’s company, so can I transfer my visa my current company to another company , and what documents required for like this visas …..?

  9. Hello,

    I am due to apply for renewal of visa under my work company. May i know how long does it take for the new visa stamped in your passport? And approximately when can i have my passport back again because i have travel plans. So that i can plan in advance.

    I would appreciate your response.

    Thank you in advance.

  10. Hi sir.. I have a question. My passport is allready less than 6 months at this point is my sponsor can still process my visa? Please response.. Thanks.

  11. My visa expired on 27/1/2016 but till now my company did not renewed my visa. Also my medial expired 3 times. What is the process of renewable of visa after expiry of 3 medial for abu Dhabi.

  12. hi, pleas a friend of mine came in to UAE with a long term visit visa on 28 September. On the 30 of November he got a job and singed offer letter and contract letter with the company. The comppany is passport, visa copy and 8 passport photo for his visa processing. Up till now the visa is not out and the company said that they have submitted the documents already to immigration and my friend is still working with them. So , I want to know how long it takes to do the visa and who are they going to hold responsible . What will happen if the company fails to do the visa.

  13. Hello,
    I would like to ask about a employment visa. I am working in a salon. My boss is get a ban so he has to been cancelled his visa and he went to his country already. Of course the shop isnt working now. Can i stay in Dubai or have to cancell my visa also?
    I hope to receive your answer as soon as possible
    Thank you so much
    Have a great day.

  14. Hello,
    I would like to ask about employment visa. I am working in a salon. My boss is banned and his visa is cancelled already so he went to his country. Of course the shop isnt working now so can i stay in Dubai or have to cancell my visa also?
    I hope to receive your answer as soon as possible
    Thank you so much
    Have a great day.

  15. i have 2 year employment visa but i want to go in my country (india) after 10 Month how can i go ?

  16. Hello, I am risu jaisi. This year I am 22 years old and I am Nepalese, I have been to Japan and have lived for 2 years. I can speak English, Indian and Japanese. I want to go to UAE and work.

  17. Hello Deepak! I am Irshad. how are you and hope you are doing good. I would like to request you to respond me urgent.

    Before question I want to give you some information.
    Rsideance visa expiry date. 26.11.2016
    Profession. Motorcylce driver
    Status visa. Unlimited
    Location. sharjah

    Notice period given date. 01.09.2016
    Visa cancellation Date. 28.09.2016
    Ticket back to country and leave uae.01.10.2016

    In September 2016 I got a employment offer from a new company of a new profession in Dubai.

    I resigned and gave a one month notice period to the company in sharjah and served the notice period too.
    Before my visa cancellation my exiting employer demanded a return ticket to go back counry from me for the visa cancellation. I reserved the ticket and gave ticket copy to the employer. After cancellation he said you must have to go on reserved ticket date and can not stay here if stay it will be abscond. Then i could not inform the new compnay returuned to the home. I am waiting for visa from new company. And new compny said it will take more 2 weeks for visa.

    My question are bellow.
    Q.1 Is there any issue for visa approval to my new company if I am out of the Dubai.
    Q.2. Normally how many days required for visa approval.
    Q. 3 If any problem getting new job or visa please give me a solution.

    Thanks

  18. Hello Deepak ! How are you I hope you will be fine. I need some information and guide and hope you will you will respond me soon.

    I joined a company in sharjah.
    Residence visa expiry date. 26.11.2016
    Profession on visa. Motorcylce driver
    I got a offer letter from a new company of new proffession in Dubai and then I resinged on 01.09.2016 my exiting visa cancelled on 28.09.2016. My employer had demand for return ticket to home country for cancellation and i did. And after cancellation he said you can not stay in sharjah if you stay it will be abscond. But on the cancellation it was mention 30 days of garace stay. Then I give cancellation copy and other other documents to my new company for new visa proccessing and returned to the home after 2 days of my cancellation on 01.10.2016 Now I am waiting for visa from new company. My question are bellow please.

    Q. 1. If I am outside the U.A.E, Is it easily possible for my new company of visa approval for me on new proffestion.
    Q. 2. Normaly how many days take of new employment visa approval.
    Q. 3. Can I marry or resigister a (NIKAH ) with my fiancee if she come on visit visa after I got my residence visa in dubai.

    If any issue please advice me a solution.

    Thanks. Waiting for your reply.

  19. hi i am on an unlimited contract as a security guard in a hotel in uae,if i leave to a free zone company will i get a ban if i have worked for only three months.my contract did not spell out any time frame for my contract only leave dates were in the contract.what should i do

  20. Duration for visiting visa in Dubai. Does UAE require only a single visa or seperate visas for each region.

  21. Hi Deepak I would like to know about persons like myself who have been banned previously due to old TB scars and do not have first degree relatives in the UAE can we apply for a visit visa? I know you have been asked this question many times before, I do not know if the authorities are looking into this matter. I suppose I can apply for a visa in my home country, but that is risky because at immigration they could turn me away.

  22. Hello,

    I’m Algerian and i would asking a question regarding the residence visa
    I’d come to Dubai with a visit visa and searching there for a job, so i’d to know if the authorities give residence visa for Algerians, and how about other emirates like Abu Dhabi, Sharjah…

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