Dubai Visas, Permits and Immigration

by Jose Marc Castro on August 11, 2009

costoflivingDUBAI200The visit visa allows foreigners to stay in UAE for thirty days. However, you will be allowed to stay for another thirty days if you apply for an extension and pay 500 Dubai dollars. Your passport will be marked with a visit visa as soon as you enter through the Immigration Section in any airport in the United Arab Emirates.

There are specific rules on visa entry into the United Arab Emirates, with specific countries allowed entry and stay for thirty days without need of a visit visa. All visitors should have a valid return travel ticket and a passport valid for a minimum period of three months for tourists and six months for employment.

Resident visas and work permits are issued by the concerned authorities in the UAE and the application is made through a prospective employer. Other nationals arrange their visa through a sponsor in the UAE.

Visit Visa

A citizen of the United Kingdom will be given a free of charge visit visa in the United Arab Emirates.  British overseas citizens who do not live in the United Kingdom do not need visas to enter Dubai.

The multiple-entry visa in Dubai United Arab Emirates is valid only for 6 months starting from the date it was issued. You are allowed to stay for thirty days per visit and the visa is non-renewable. You may avail of this visa if you intend to have business relationships with any multinational or other honest local establishments in the country. However, one initially needs a visit or tourist visa to enter the United Arab Emirates and eventually get the multiple-entry visa. To obtain this type of visa, you should submit two(2) photographs, a photocopy of the completed application form, a fax letter or  a letter from the sponsor in Dubai to the embassy concerned  , a valid passport, and a letter from your company .

Foreign nationals can get a Dubai United Arab Emirates visa upon their arrival at the Dubai airport of entry by the AGCC residents. Visitors who are representatives or company managers, accountants, auditors, engineers, businessmen or businesswomen and employees working in public sectors are also qualified for this type of visa. Servants and labor categories are not qualified for this type of visa.

The Transit Visa is good for four days or 96 hours. It is issued thru the sponsorship of airlines operating in Dubai. The transit visa may be issued to anyone who has a valid ticket for an onward flight to Dubai free of charge.

Foreign nationals who want to live in Dubai are required to get a residence visa, which is also called employment visa. If you bought a property in Dubai, you are entitled for a residence visa provided that such was stipulated in the purchase agreement and that you actually own the property. The residence visa is valid for three years and for as long as you get medical tests and a health card is issued to you. The health card costs around 300 Dubai dollars and has to be renewed annually. Applicants who fail the aids test shall not be issued a residence visa.

There are other documents issued by UAE to allow entry into the country, such as:

Entry Service Permit

An Entry Service Permit applies to the following categories and their families accompanying them: company manager’s representatives, sales managers, account auditors, delegations from companies or establishments to carry out a commercial activity in the UAE, consultants requested by companies operating in the UAE that are required to carry out an urgent task.

This visa is valid for use within 14 days from the date of issue. The duration of stay is 14 days from date of entry, exclusive of arrival and departure days. It is non-renewable.

In order to complete the application, the sponsor will require the visitor’s date of arrival and flight details, and a photocopy of the first few pages of the visitor’s passport which should be valid for at least three months. This type of entry permit will only be issued as urgent at a fee of AED 220.

The Entry Service Permit holder may enter and depart the UAE through any airport.

Multiple Entry Visas

Multiple-entry Visas are issued to business visitors who have a relationship with either a multinational or other reputable local company, and who are frequent visitors to the UAE. This type of visa is valid for six months from the date of issue and the duration of each stay is 30 days. The validity is non-renewable. The cost of this visa is AED 1,000.

The visitor must enter the UAE on a visit visa and obtain the multiple entry visa while in the country. The visa is stamped on the passport.

Driver’s License

If you have an International license or driving license from your country of origin, you can rent a car to drive even if you have no residence visa. However, you need to acquire as a foreigner a Dubai driver’s license from the Traffic Police Office for a private vehicle. This license has one-month validity. A privately registered car cannot be driven with an international license as the car is insured for a United Arab Emirates license holder only.  To obtain this license, the applicant should complete the following requirements:

  • Original and photocopy of your driving license
  • Photocopy of your passport
  • Traffic police application form
  • NOC from your company or sponsor in Dubai

Driving in Dubai though is not easy, as shared by an expat in the Dubai Expat Forum last September 18, 2009:

I drive to Abu Dhabi almost every day and the only thing I can say is to expect the unexpected. Everyone drives as if they own the road so stay alert at all times. People will change lanes even when you are parallel to them, so you’re gonna be the one that brakes to save you life and your car. I actually prefer driving in Dubai as opposed to AUH! Drivers are still civil in Dubai compared to the behaviour that you witness on the AUH highway!

Yes, it is scary to get tailgated at 160 – 200km/hr but do not panic and take your time to get out of their way. Even when someone is bullying you out of the fast lane, check their position before you move aside cause they might just be about to undertake you.

I had to take a driving test here because my license is different to my passport and they wouldn’t swap it. Here are 2 things I got taught (Nr 2 is highly not recommended!!!)

If a slow moving car is blocking your way, it is ok to flash. This will alert them to your presence and let them know to give you way (Err, I’d hazard a guess that you can see me in your mirror but oh well, apparently, that’s the way to do it here) – I’m against this by the way!!

If you are on a roundabout in the left lane and your exit is coming up, indicate and move!!! (This floored me)

Dubai UAE Immigration Rules and Regulations

All passengers are required to have visas before their entry to Dubai. The only exemptions are nationals of the GCCS or Gulf Co-operation Council States. All the Dubai visas are valid for single entry status and cannot be extended. Anyone who leaves Dubai United Arab Emirates and intends to come back should apply for a new visa.

Immigration Law

Brigadier Obaid Moheir Bin Suroor, Deputy Director of Dubai Naturalization and Residency Department (DNRD), issued new implementing rules and regulations regarding the entry and residency of foreign nationals. This law aims to expand the coverage of entry permits and offers all nationalities a chance to visit Dubai.  It is focused on attracting more tourists to Dubai. The tourist visa to Dubai is valid only for sixty days. The DNRD is the sole authority that deals with issuing visas to foreigners visiting Dubai.

Entry service permit

The Dubai entry service permit is applicable to families, sales managers, and delegations from establishments or companies to conduct commercial activities in Dubai. The permit is valid for fourteen days from the date it was issued.  To get an entry permit, you must complete the requirements such as the flight details, date of arrival and a photocopy of the passport (with three-month validity).

Working Permits

The Minister of Labor, Dr. Ali Bin Abdullah Al’ka’abi, issued new guidelines for temporary work permits. Temporary work permits are now open to all work categories. This new law allows foreign workers to acquire work permits twice within three years. It is an improvement from the previous law that requires foreign temporary workers to acquire their work permits every six months.

The working permit in Dubai is not the same as a residency visa. The residency visa allows any qualified foreign national to live in Dubai. To work in Dubai, a foreigner must apply for a labor card or work permit. The company where you will be working with will be the one to arrange the labor card and the residency visas for you and your family.

{ 166 comments… read them below or add one }

felix romero October 16, 2012 at 8:00 pm

hello!! every body!! I have a question, someone have those places to look for a job in UAE.. Iam a sous chef and I would like to work in dubai, if somebody can help me.. thank you very much..bye


MAHBUB HASAN December 11, 2012 at 5:25 am

Hello, i want to live in Dubai with my full family. How can i get a resident visa? pls help me. Either i want to brought a property in Dubai What is the minimum price to brought a property in Dubai ?


myself January 21, 2013 at 6:01 am

I'm a Indian living in Japan. What is the visa procedures for Dubai?

I will be covering couple of countries and i will be visiting some countries before and after Dubai.


Bosky April 20, 2013 at 4:21 pm

My husband works in dubai and has deserted us a nod is refusing to support me and my 5 year old child citing lack of funds as a reason. Can someone tell me if I can get my husband's employer in dubai or the ministry of employment to give me a proof of his income.

Aren't offer letters filed mandatorily for dubai work visa or residence pr

Can someone help me pls?


Muhammad sana ullah September 27, 2015 at 10:26 am

Please send mi Ur husband contact details and Ur contact details


american June 2, 2013 at 8:19 am

im an american citizen…..i want to go to the uae for a visit for 2 months….i heard they give 30days free of charge visa…..wat about 60 days?


Angelica Talavera July 15, 2013 at 3:26 am

good day Im Angelica living here in the Philippines i want to ask how to get tourist visa from Philippines to dubai if my sponsor is my Father but we are not same in last name? what are the supporting papers that i need to proof that he is my father…hope you response thank you


ramyaj eel tapan July 19, 2013 at 3:38 pm

hi im currently working here in BRUNEI and im planning to resign here on my work and have plan to have tourist visa in DUBAI to visit my uncle and there family,it is okie to travel cross country??is there any requirements for this?but my visa will be processed in dubai by my uncle,please help me.thank you.


bijay August 23, 2013 at 5:42 pm

Hi I'm Nepalese passport holder I have employment visa for Dubai and now I want to go Dubai from Delhi its possible ? please advise me


LUAM April 27, 2014 at 5:34 pm

Hi, does the contrat rigid? mean can I get chance to get out before this 2 years of my work contrat? I Want to change work and place.


Stella April 29, 2014 at 8:14 am

If I am visiting a friend in Dubai, do I have to show an invitation letter
To the visa office for me to get a visitor’s visa?
If I do what should the invitation letter consist of?
What are the requirements?


kimni August 20, 2014 at 7:04 pm

Hi, i have a niece from the philippines and she’s just 6 yrs old. Can anyone of her relatives or parent allowed to bring her to dubai and from there to process her documents to travel to the united states of america? Is it possible or not? Thank you for your assistance.


Gurupreet Singh May 1, 2014 at 8:37 am

Now I am in india. My u.a.e driver visa is valid for one and half years. I donot come back in dubai. My question is how do cancel visa?


dani May 5, 2014 at 12:36 pm

I am working in Qatar under the Company working visa.Can i have working visa in Dubai from another company at the same time.Kindly help me to provide a valid answer as per UAE rules.


ROMEO TADEO May 19, 2014 at 4:34 pm

hi, i was previously working in Dubai last 2007 to 2008,but when i go vacation in my contry Philippines i have encountered family problems that caused of not returning again in Dubai,,now i was ban to go again in Dubai and i cannot even get my police clearance there,,so i emailed my company in Dubai to help me with my situation,,and the H.R. department reply to me and told me that i should pay AED 2,200 for my clearance in Dubai,is this the true process in Dubai?please give me feedback to this matter,,thanks,,


adnan nazir June 12, 2014 at 4:11 am

I need work visa I know work dicor


Bhanu prakash Biswal July 9, 2014 at 11:28 am

Hello… I am indian, I want to work in Arab country which document necessary for my visa and pasport ….Please help me..


mary September 15, 2014 at 6:54 am

i want to work and settle in uae with the entire family how is the procedure.


amrik September 17, 2014 at 9:31 pm


I want to work n settle down in dubai.


Sana September 27, 2014 at 3:44 pm

If visa of dubai is canceled then can a person is permited to dubai with other visa or he cnt permit to dubai for 6months


Kevin October 14, 2014 at 11:12 am

If I am sponsored a entry/work permit by company X and get a better job with company Y can I use the same permit sponsored by company X to go to uae an work for company Y?


anileda October 30, 2014 at 5:44 am

hello, I’m an indian nationals working now in dubai and I would like to visit philippines. Can I get my philippine visit visa here in dubai?

thank you


A K M MOSTAFIZUR RAHMAN November 27, 2014 at 7:34 pm

I am a BANGLADESHI ,Iwant to live in DUBAI with my family members.How can I get a Resident or Investor or Jointly runing Business VISA .I have not much mony/ dollor, So I request how can I get VISA to expend mimimum cost and invest minimum fund.
with best regards
A K Mostafizur Rahman


prakash December 6, 2014 at 6:29 am

Hi I’m Nepalese passport holder I have employment visa for Dubai and now I want to go Dubai from Delhi its possible ? please advise me


Muhammad AJMAL kHAN December 9, 2014 at 5:44 am

I am having a Pakistani passport and had a 5 years multipal USA visa i need 5 days entry permit in Dubai
whats the policy


Erumusele tony December 10, 2014 at 1:59 pm

Hello n please I am a HSE professional with good field experience , I want to work in dubai or any part of UAE, how do I get an emplyment visa , please I am single and very alert ..I am a nigerian
I await your reply , anyone


oluwole December 11, 2014 at 11:28 pm

hello pls he can i get international passport here in nigeria and what ar they request frm me to get it.


joyce anne February 4, 2015 at 12:44 am

can i ask… i am working in hongkong as domestiv helper… i plan to tour in dubai in my vacation time instead of going home in philippines is it ok?the immigration here in hk wont ask me some question about this?thanks


grace scott February 10, 2015 at 11:04 am

Im a filipino citizen living in cyprus maried to a british/cypriot citizen..i want to have a holiday in dubai with my son and husband do i need a visa? How can i get a visa if i do need and how much.
thank you


Omar February 28, 2015 at 11:58 am

What is the law regarding traveling outside UAE, i was employed to a company in UAE. but my work is traveling to a lot of countries and it will take months to comeback, How many months is allowable? to stay outside the country and comeback?

Sincerely Yours


Sabbani phaneendra March 8, 2015 at 5:56 am

Hello..I have Indian passport
I got work permit visa for i need to immigrate my can I apply for immigration and where can I apply…and what will be the immigration many days it will take…plz help me


help seeker August 18, 2015 at 5:10 am

Hi, I have the same doubt as of yours, I have a passport, they say that somewere it would be mentioned yes or no regarding immigration….. I have completed i need immigration ?????… to know whether i am eligible or not….please help me.
Thank you.


raj March 20, 2015 at 6:57 am

I took a long term visa for dubai for 3 months. Is it that I should enter the country within 3o days of my visa approval date or I can enter within that 3 months anytime and from that date, will visa be counted upto 3 months?


namira ahmed April 18, 2015 at 4:08 pm



namira ahmed April 18, 2015 at 4:10 pm

Please please reply as soon as possible to my question


Danny April 27, 2015 at 5:20 pm

Can a Pakistani national (Christian/non Muslim) travel from Pakistan to Dubai on a Visit Visa for 30 days and once in UAE apply to go further to, lets say a place like Delhi, India?


charles B May 12, 2015 at 2:53 am

Pls am from nigeria a graduate I want to work in dubai please what are all requirement I need to avoid harsement from anybody.thanks


RIDOY MIAH May 13, 2015 at 12:02 pm

can you help me. I’m driver


sudarshan sharma June 23, 2015 at 9:56 am

Hello Sir,

I have got a tourist dubai visa which says that it expires on August 15th. I m visiting dubai to write my CPA exam which starts on July 27th and ends on August 17th. I have come to the knowledge that its just entry permit and the Number of days for 30 days period will be counted from the day you land in dubai. is this view correct?


srinivasan July 14, 2015 at 8:41 am

I am a sales representative In Muscat Oman, wants to go to Dubai in a tour visa. I am eligible to go?


Qundeel July 24, 2015 at 11:16 am

Hello, I am Pakistani ans working in a well known Bank in Pakistan as a Operation Manager. I want to settle in UAE . Pl assist how I can get job and settle there with my family. My brother is also an account. We both want to settle there.


Emenike July 28, 2015 at 3:17 pm

Helo please how did u get dubai empolyemt visa and the cost?


Ido August 5, 2015 at 7:57 am

Hi am visiting my brother in Dubai but dew to some personal reasons we can’t fix my return date unless I get there but my visa too is one month visit visa so I want to know if I can enter Dubai with one way ticket while my visa is one month visa. thanks.


philip Enyan August 5, 2015 at 10:25 am

i am an Emergency medical technician i want employment in Dubai can some help. 00233264589715


milon chowdhury August 9, 2015 at 6:14 pm

hi! I Bangladeshi, I want to work & live to Dubai. pls help me.


milon chowdhury August 10, 2015 at 7:37 pm

I want to work Dubai, my need work. pls help & support me. my e-mail-


Sarpharaj khan August 28, 2015 at 4:31 pm

hi I’m Sarpharaj khan from Nepal.Now I have completed my high school. i want come in dubai in student work vissa. so what should i do.


moajjem hossin September 10, 2015 at 5:57 pm

Hello. I am moajjem hossin from India.I want to permit work visa for Dubai country.please help me.


Martin Mudumbi October 30, 2015 at 10:54 pm

I am a congolese(RDC) i need work with cleveland clinic which documents should i posess


jabar ali November 4, 2015 at 3:43 pm

hello can anybody tell me how to check a work permit visa …….thanks
i have a visa and i want to verify this visa my agent gave me a this visa now i want to to verify this visa from the system……plz reply soon thanks…………..


ibeh chiemerie victory January 7, 2016 at 5:15 am

hello my name is victory, I’m Nigeria girl and I need somebody to take me out
side this country pls.


Robert August 9, 2016 at 8:27 am

Hello team, please help me with my query. I will travel Dubai this August 21-30( my returned ticket to Jeddah , 2016.
And i have flight to Georgia from August 25-29. I have only single entry visa, and my flight going back to Jeddah is August 30, is there any possible that they may hold me in the airport even i have flight the following day? Please help me. Thanks.


hi November 5, 2016 at 6:22 pm

does a 16 year old get a resident visa in dubai ?


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: