Dubai Visas & Permits

As a foreign resident, what is my status in your country?
Visa requirements for entering Dubai vary between different nationalities, and regulations should always be checked before traveling since details can change with little or no warning. GCC nationals (Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia) do not need a visa to enter Dubai. Citizens from the countries listed below get an automatic visa on arrival at the airport. The entry visa is valid for 30 days, extendable for an additional 30 days.

Nationals of the following countries may be granted a visa on arrival (subject to change):

  • Australia
  • Andorra
  • Austria
  • Brunei
  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Liechtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • San Marino
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • The Vatican

A passport, valid for at least six months prior to the date of arrival, is required by all.
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What kinds of visas are available?
There are several types of visas one may apply for. The type that a person will need will primarily depend on the individual's purpose for entry into the UAE. Each permit or visa has its own requirements and procedures.

For tourists, there are broadly two types of visas; Visit Visas and Transit Visas. The type issued depends on the duration of stay requested.

  • Visit Visa: Valid for 30 days from the date of arrival, with the option of being renewed for one more month.
  • Transit Visa: issued to individuals at the request of any licensed company, such as a hotel or trading company that holds an authorization for applying for this visa. It is valid for 14 days and it cannot be renewed. It is intended for the short-term traveler or tourist.

There is also a Residence visa, of which there are two types: sponsorship by employer or sponsorship by family. It is renewable every 3 years. Once you become a resident, you must not leave the nation for more than 6 months or the residency will lapse.
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What is required to obtain these visas?
A Residence visa is organized by the sponsor. You will require passport photos as well as your original passport. For a visit visa, if you are not from one of the nations listed above, you will need to apply at your embassy for the permit before entering Dubai.
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Are spouses permitted and/or likely to find work?
Spouses are usually sponsored by the working party for a UAE residence permit. Once a partner has found a job, the spouse is then sponsored separately by an employer and obtains their own work authorization.
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What are the main forms of identification and how does a newcomer obtain them?
Labor card issued by employer (Immigration). Usually the Public Relations Officer of a company will obtain this document on the employer's behalf.
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Are there any other important permits I must obtain, or places where I must register right away?
The only other important permit you might need is the driver's license. Expats cannot drive on an international license forever but those can be easily converted into the UAE one. However, it is always a good idea to register with your local embassy or consulate.
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What items should I avoid bringing into the country?
Alcohol, pornography, ivory items, drugs of various kinds, walkie talkies, remote and cordless telephones, religious items (crosses, Buddhas, videos with biblical images), firearms, ammunition, draggers, knives, swords, spears (even decorative items).
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Is there anything else I should know about entering and remaining in the country legally?
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Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.