Complete Guide: How to Apply for a Tourist Visa in UAE- Requirement, Fees, Extension and more (Updated 2023)

Tourist Visa in UAE

If you are planning to visit UAE for a tourist purpose or to visit your relative or friends, you need to have relevant visa which must be applied in advance before your travel. However, in some cases you may not need to apply for a tourist visa in advance as some nationals can get the tourist visa on arrival.

Your tourist visa can be issued by:

  • The Airline : In this case the airline may ask you to book the ticket when applying for tourist visa with them. However, each airline has some conditions, which must be met for your visa to be arranged by them.
  • The Licensed Travel Agents and Hotels in the UAE: They can arrange you the tourist visa provided you have the hotel reservation booking and purchased ticket with them.
  • As per the VisitDubai website, UAE residents (friends or relatives) can apply on your behalf subject to guidelines.

What are the requirements to have Tourist Visa in UAE?

Nationals of some countries get a visa on arrival in Dubai. You would need to ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months at the time of entry. You may also need to apply for your tourist visa in advance, depending on your nationality.

All visas are valid for 60 days from the date of issue until entry to the UAE, except the 48-hour and 96-hour Transit Visa, which is valid for 30 days.

The following documents are generally required:

  • 6×6 cm photograph in colour (minimum of 600×600 pixels) with a white background (at least 80 percent of your face must be visible)
  • A colour copy of your passport showing your full name, nationality, date and place of birth, passport number, date of issue and expiry, name of father/legal guardian, and the name of your mother
  • Valid passport with at least six months validity at the time of travel
  • A copy of the flight ticket of your preferred airline
  • For nationals of Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and Pakistan, a national ID is also required

Please note that depending on the airline, minors and children under the age of 18 may be required to present additional documents such as birth certificates and photo IDs of parents or husband.


Does UAE give visa on arrival?

Citizens of more than 50 countries do not require a pre-arranged visa to enter Dubai. As per the website of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), citizens of GCC countries and citizens of the following countries can get a visa on arrival:

  1. Australia
  2. Austria
  3. Belgium
  4. Brunei
  5. Bulgaria
  6. Canada
  7. China
  8. Croatia
  9. Cyprus
  10. Czech Republic
  11. Denmark
  12. Estonia
  13. Finland
  14. France
  15. Germany
  16. Greece
  17. Hong Kong
  18. Hungary
  19. Iceland
  20. Ireland
  21. Italy
  22. Japan
  23. Latvia
  24. Liechtenstein
  25. Lithuania
  26. Luxembourg
  27. Malaysia
  28. Malta
  29. Monaco
  30. Netherlands
  31. New Zealand
  32. Norway
  33. Poland
  34. Portugal
  35. Russia
  36. Romania
  37. San Marino
  38. Singapore
  39. Slovakia
  40. Slovenia
  41. South Korea
  42. Spain
  43. Sweden
  44. Switzerland
  45. The Vatican
  46. United Kingdom
  47. United States of America

Indian citizens

Some Indian citizens may also be eligible for a visa on arrival. This includes Indian citizens holding a normal passport and either:

  • a visit visa issued by the USA or a green card issued by the USA ora residence visa issued by the UK or a residence visa issued by the EU

In such cases, you can obtain a visa on arrival for a maximum stay of 14 days, provided that the visa or the green card is valid for at least six months from the date of arrival into the UAE.


How to apply Three Months Tourist Visa through Travel Agencies?

If you are planning to visit the UAE, there is good news. You can now apply for a three-month visit visa even through travel agencies. This visa cannot be applied for by people who are already in the UAE, the three-month visa is available only for people who are currently outside the UAE.

You can’t apply for it through all travel agencies right now. Only agencies that have the required visa quota are able to apply for the three-month tourist visa, so you will need to check with the agency on whether or not they will be able to apply.

To apply for the visa, you would need to provide the following documents to a travel agency:

  • Passport copy, where the passport is valid for at least six months
  • Passport-sized photograph

How long is a UAE Tourist Visa valid?

UAE’s new visa scheme, all entry visas will now be available for single or multiple entries and will be valid for 60 days from their date of issuance. They can also be renewed for similar periods of another 60 days. Travel agencies are now able to apply for a three-month tourist visa.


How much is Tourist Visa Cost in UAE?

The tourist visas can cost :

  • One month tourist visa -approximately AED 350
  • Two months tourist visa – approximately AED 600
  • Three months tourist visa- approximate range from AED 1,500 to AED 2,000, as the cost includes visa fees as well as service fees and health insurance costs.

The visa processing time is approximate two to three days.

Visa holders will need to leave and re-enter the country to extend their visas and must ensure that the renewal process can be completed before expiry.

The listed amounts are just estimates and the final cost will depend on the Emirate from which you apply for the visa as well as any service fees charged by the travel agency, airline or hotel that you use to apply for it.


How to extend a tourist visa inside the United Arab Emirates?

If you are currently in the UAE on a tourist visa and want to prolong your stay, you can request an extension of your entry permit for an extra 30 days.

The ICP website states that a tourist visa may be extended twice for a total of 30 days.

Extension of a tourist visa through ICP- UAE

If you hold a tourist visa for Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah, or Fujairah ICP Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs & Port Security is the organization in charge of managing visas and The General Directorate of Foreign Affairs Residency – Dubai (GDRFA) is the entity that accepts and issues extensions if you want to prolong your stay in Dubai.

According to ICP, the online application for extending entry permit can only be done by tourism companies in the UAE. The entry permit is granted electronically in accordance with ICP 48 hours after the application has been received and accepted. It also states that a tourist visa may be extended twice for a total of 30 days.

You need a copy of your passport that is still valid for at least six months in order to apply for an extension.

ICP states that three different entry permits may be prolonged for 30 days:

1. An extension of the traveler’s admission permission

2. Extending a visitor’s admission permission

3. Extending entry authorization for citizens of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations

Entry permit extension fees

Here is the breakdown of the cost, as per the ICP website:
• Request fee: Dh100
• Issuance fee: Dh500
• E-Services Fee: Dh10
Total: Dh600

Extension of a tourist visa through GDRFA – Dubai

According to the GDRFA website, gdrfad.gov.ae, only accredited tourism offices in Dubai are authorized to submit applications for visa extensions for holders of Dubai tourist visas.

The GDRFA website states that in order to apply for the service through a tourism office, the holder of a tourist visa must present a copy of a current tourist visa and the visa may be extended by a decision of the issuing authority for one or more times, not exceeding 120 days in total.

Fees for extending an entry permit include a visa extension charge of Dh600 plus 5% Value Added Tax (VAT).

Additional fees (if the sponsored person is inside the country):

  • Knowledge dirham: Dh10
  • Innovation dirham: Dh10
  • Fee inside the country: Dh500

Total: Dh1,120


Do you need a Visa to Transit through UAE?

If you are planning to stopping over in the UAE during a long-haul flight, you might want to step out of the airport to explore the country you have a option to apply for a transit visa Opens in a new tab.in UAE.

The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai provides the following list of countries whose citizens can get a visa on arrival in the UAE:

1. Australia
2. Austria
3. Belgium
4. Brunei
5. Bulgaria
6. Canada
7. China
8. Croatia
9. Cyprus
10. Czech Republic
11. Denmark
12. Estonia
13. Finland
14. France
15. Germany
16. Greece
17. Hong Kong
18. Hungary
19. Iceland
20. Ireland
21. Italy
22. Japan
23. Latvia
24. Liechtenstein
25. Lithuania
26. Luxembourg
27. Malaysia
28. Malta
29. Monaco
30. Netherlands
31. New Zealand
32. Norway
33. Poland
34. Portugal
35. Russia
36. Romania
37. San Marino
38. Singapore
39. Slovakia
40. Slovenia
41. South Korea
42. Spain
43. Sweden
44. Switzerland
45. The Vatican
46. United Kingdom
47. United States of America

Additionally, Indian citizens that are holders of:

• A visit visa issued by the USA or
• A green card issued by the USA or
• A residence visa issued by the UK or
• A residence visa issued by the European Union

This type of a visa, which is available for all passport holders, from 48 to 96 hours, is ideal for a short stopover in the UAE.

The transit visas for 48 hours are issued free of charge to passengers transiting through the UAE’s airports. You need to apply for the visa in advance through a UAE-based airline. This visa is not extendable, or renewable. The validity of the visa is 48 hours from entry into the UAE, and you must leave the UAE within 48 hours from arrival.

If you want to have a slightly more extended stay in the UAE, a transit visa for 96 hours and must be applied in advance through a UAE based airline. This visa is not extendable, or renewable. The validity of the visa is 96 hours from entry into the UAE, and you must leave the UAE within 96 hours from arrival. This visa is issued for a fee of AED 50 to passengers transiting through the UAE’s airports.

In order to get your transit visa you need to present to the immigration counter:

  • A passport or travel document with a minimum validity of three months.
  • A passport size photograph against a white background.
  • An onward ticket booking to a third destination, other than the one you are coming from.

How Can you Apply for a UAE Transit Visa?

You can get the transit visa by Visiting the airline’s website or service centre.

  • Complete your ticket bookings.
  • Visit the airline’s website and select your ticket booking.
  • You will receive the option for ‘Apply for transit visa’. You need to ensure that you are applying for a transit visa with the same airline that you are flying, as itineraries that include flights from other carriers will not be accepted. Also, the itinerary into and out of the UAE airport should be on one ticket (PNR), with the stay in the UAE being within the visa duration.
  • Once you have made the payment for your transit visa, it will be issued by the airlines

The departure fee of AED 30 is levied on each passenger passing through the UAE’s airports.


How can You get 5-year Multiple Visa in UAE?

If you are looking to visit the UAE regularly over the next few years, a new visa option has opened for tourists. The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) has provided details of the five-year multiple entry tourist visa for all nationalities through the authority’s website.Tourists can apply for the visa on self-sponsorship and can stay for 90 days on each visit and can be extended for another 90 days.

You can apply for 5 year multiple by visiting ICA website – www.ica.gov.aeOpens in a new tab. and following the link procedure for applying 5 year multiple visaOpens in a new tab..

The application fee is would be approximate AED 650.

Here is a breakdown of the cost for this visa:

  • Application fee: Dh100
  • Issuance fee: Dh500
  • Electronic services: Dh50
  • Urgent application fee: Dh100 (if requested)

How can you apply for 30 – Day e-visa for GCC residents?

If you live in a GCC country and want to visit the UAE, you can apply for an e-visa online through the ICP or the website of the Dubai General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA). The 30-day entry permit is valid and GCC e-visa holders can stay for 30 days in the UAE from the date of entry.

What You Need:

  • A valid residence visa from a GCC country, with at least three months left before it expires.
  • A passport copy with at least six months of validity left.
  • A colored passport-sized photo that meets specific requirements.
  • If you’re traveling with family, like your spouse or kids, you’ll need to show proof of your relationship.
  • Some nationalities might need to provide their home country’s ID.

Cost:

The total cost for the eVisa application is Dh350. This includes various fees like request fees, issue fees, and service fees.

Steps to Apply Online:

  1. Create a UAE Pass account if you don’t have one. This is a digital ID for people in the UAE.
  2. Go to the website smartservices.icp.gov.aeOpens in a new tab. and log in using your email, password, or UAE Pass account.
  3. Once logged in, you’ll see your personal dashboard.
  4. Select the ICP department of the emirate you’re visiting (like Abu Dhabi or Sharjah).
  5. Find the service named ‘Issue Entry Permit For GCC Resident.’
  6. Click on ‘Start Service.’
  7. Fill out the application and upload the required documents.
  8. You’ll get a transaction/request number that helps you track your visa application’s status.

How to Track Your Visa Application:

  1. Visit smartservices.icp.gov.aeOpens in a new tab..
  2. Enter your 15-digit request number in the ‘Quick Search’ bar on the homepage.
  3. Click ‘Inquiry,’ and you’ll see your application’s status.

When You’ll Get the eVisa:

After your eVisa is approved, it usually takes two to five business days to receive it via email. Make sure you provided the correct email address in your application.


How to apply for a UAE Family Group Tourist Visas?

The UAE now offers a family group visa option for the families who are planning to visit the UAE with their kids, which allows parents and their children to apply for visas together through approved travel agencies.

The best part is that children under 18 can get their visas for free when they’re accompanied by their parents.

To take advantage of this offer, you need to go through authorized travel agencies, both inside and outside the UAE. The family group visa is perfect for families traveling as a group, and it allows for short-term tourist visas that can last from 30 to 60 days, which can be extended to a maximum of 120 days if needed.

When you’re ready to apply, make sure you have these documents ready for the travel agency:

  1. A copy of your passport (valid for at least six months).
  2. A passport-sized photograph.
  3. You can find all the necessary information and documents on the GDFRA website.

For residents of GCC countries and their companions, there’s a convenient service that lets foreigners residing in a GCC country get an entry visa to the UAE for up to 30 days, which can be extended once. You can apply for this online through the website or a smart application.

Here’s what you need:

  1. A valid passport or travel document.
  2. A copy of your residence permit or an electronic document that shows your profession and the validity of your residence.
  3. A personal photo with a white background.

To apply, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the website https://smart.gdrfad.gov.ae
  2. Register as a user.
  3. Choose the service.
  4. Fill in your data correctly, especially your full name.
  5. Pay the required fees.
  6. Once your application is approved, the visa will be sent to your email.
  7. Make sure your residency is valid for more than 3 months, and your passport is valid for more than six months to avoid any issues.

In the past, getting a visa for the UAE involved obtaining a yellow paper and waiting for a couple of hours for approval. But now, the UAE government has made things much easier with a user-friendly website. You can apply for your visa electronically and receive it within minutes, even if you’re outside the country. It’s a fantastic improvement that simplifies the whole process for travelers.


Frequently Asked Questions FAQs on Tourist Visa in UAE

What are the new tourist visa rules in UAE 2023?

UAE has implemented new rules for tourist visas. Travelers can now apply for a tourist visa through authorized travel agencies. The visa options include 30-day and 60-day visit visas. Moreover, visitors who hold these visas have the possibility to extend their stay for an additional 30 days. These updated regulations offer flexibility and convenience for tourists planning to explore the UAE.

What happens if I overstay my tourist visa in UAE?

Individuals who exceed the permitted visa period are subject to a fine of Dh50 per day. It is important to adhere to the visa regulations and ensure that your stay in the country aligns with the approved duration to avoid incurring any penalties.

What are the benefits of UA Five Year tourist visa?

The self-sponsored 5-year tourist visa for Dubai allows for numerous entries into the nation. You may stay for up to 90 days per visit with this five-year visa.

How to extend a tourist visa inside the United Arab Emirates?

If you are currently in the UAE on a tourist visa and wish to extend your stay, you have the option to request an extension of your entry permit for an additional 30 days. According to information provided by the ICP website, a tourist visa can be extended twice, allowing for a total extension period of 30 days. To proceed with the extension, you must contact authorized tourism companies within the UAE. It’s important to note that the extension can only be approved through the ICP in the UAE or the GDRFA in Dubai.

Is tourist visa converted into work permit in UAE?

Foreigners wishing to work in the UAE should be aware that they are not permitted to do so while on a visit or tourist visa. To be able to live and work lawfully in the UAE, they must have a valid work visa or residence permission. The employment and residency permits must be obtained by the employer.

How long does it take to get a UAE tourist visa after completing the application?

In most cases, 4-5 working days will pass before you receive your visa if all the necessary paperwork is presented. 

Do children need a visa to visit Dubai?

Yes, travelers to the UAE of all ages must have valid travel documents, such as passports and visas.

For how long a tourist visa remains valid?

The type of visa you hold will determine how long your tourist visa will last. In Dubai, you can choose between a single entry and multiple entrance visa. The new regulations state that a single-entry visa has a 60-day validity period and a 30-day extension period. 

Do Airlines offer a visit visa in the UAE?

Through airlines like Etihad Airways, Emirates, Fly Dubai, and Air Arabia, you can apply for a visit visa.

Where can I get UAE tourist visa?

You can apply for a tourist visa in the UAE through national airlines and authorized airlines operating within the country, hotels and authorized travel agencies.

Is 3 months visa still available in UAE?

Yes, You can now apply for a three-month visit visa even through travel agencies. This visa cannot be applied for by people who are already in the UAE, the three-month visa is available only for people who are currently outside the UAE.

How much is 3 months tourist visa in UAE?

The three months tourist visa cost approximate range from AED 1,500 to AED 2,000, as the cost includes visa fees as well as service fees and health insurance costs.

Deena

Human Resource professional and writer.

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