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Visa designations in the UAE: What you should know about them

March 21, 2022by Harneet Bhatia0

There are several visa designations in the UAE to accommodate the needs of tourists, expatriates and their families. These visas fall into two main types: visit visas and employment visas. Also, there are different categories that you can obtain for different purposes.

This article will discuss the UAE visa designations and why they are important for the people who want to work in this region. Besides, this is also useful for those who simply want to do tourism.

1. What is a visa designation?

Visa designations in the UAE

Each emirate has specific meanings of visa destinations that serve diverse purposes such as tourism, work, and study. For these reasons, visit this nation is a wise choice.

The tourist visa is the most common type of UAE visa issued to travelers who want to visit the country. A UAE tourist visa is valid for only 30 days from the date it was issued. Visitors can not extend their visas or change their immigration status while in the country. Keep this in mind before starting your journey.

2. What are the most common types of UAE visas?

There are many types of visa designations in the UAE available to expatriates. The most common types that you will find once you apply for one are the following:

2.1 Transit visa

If you are aware of the meaning of this visa designation you should know that this one allows a person to remain in the country for a period of up to 96 hours. To transit through the territory to another destination, you can obtain a transit visa from an embassy or consulate of the UAE.

If an individual needs to apply for a visa in the UAE, they must have a valid passport from a nation on the list of approved countries. Also, he or she must have a confirmed onward ticket to a third country.

2.2 Tourist visa

There are many types of visa designations in the UAE available for people who want to visit this place. The most habitual type of visa is the tourist visa, available to citizens of all countries except for Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, or Yemen.

To apply for a visa in the UAE as a tourist, you must submit an application form, your passport, and a passport-sized photograph. Also, you need to provide proof of the travel arrangements. The tourist visa is valid for 30 days, and you can ask for additional time.


2.3 Residence visa

A residence visa in the United Arab Emirates is a permit given by the UAE government to expatriates who want to stay in the country for more than three months. The residence visa is valid for one year, and you can renew it every year. You may need to show proof of a return or onward ticket and sufficient funds to cover your stay

The residence visa is not valid if the expatriate works in other countries. The fee to apply for a visa varies depending on the nationality of the applicant’s profession. In many cases the renewal is not expensive.

2.4 Student visa

The student visa is issued to foreign young people who want to study in the UAE. It is valid for up to one year, and a student can renew it if they are still in their studies.

People studying at a university or higher institute of education can also apply for a visa in the UAE. However, they must prove that an educational institution has accepted them. This is a great opportunity for those who have good grades and like to experience new cultures and places.

2.5 Business visa

There are many ways to get a UAE employment visa. One of the most popular ways is by investing in a company. However, other options include getting a sponsorship by an employer and obtaining a residence permit.

An employment visa is important when you intend to apply for a Dubai Visa for professionals. It will allow you to work and stay for up to three months without limitations. The UAE employment visa can be renewed for two years, depending on your contract.

2.6 An entry permit for patients and their companions

Foreign patients requiring treatment in Dubai should know about the two main types of medical permits. The first type is a single entry permit with only permission to stay in the country for a limited period.

To extend your UAE visa designation, you need to apply for one within 60 days from the date of issue. This second type of permit is only available for entry to the same country and has all features of the single-entry.

2.7 E-visa for residents from GCC

GCC residents and their companions must obtain visas ahead of their arrival by applying online. They need to ensure that they have a sponsor with them when traveling.

This visa designation has a validity of 30 days, and the permit holder has permission to stay in the UAE during that time. Also, there is an option to extend it for another 30 days.

2.8 Mission visa

Short-term employment options in the Emirates are often limited. Besides, this practice ends after 90 days. Note that you cannot extend the validity of this visa.

2.9 Remote work visa

UAE’s government is currently focusing on attracting talents from all over the world with remote work visas, enabling employees to work remotely from the UAE. This one-year visa allows foreigners to enter the territory under a self-sponsorship while working under certain conditions issued with the visa.

3. How to apply for a visa online?

The process of applying for one of the diverse visa designations in the UAE is relatively simple. However, there are things that you should need to make the process easier. The most important thing you want to do is check whether you are eligible for an online visa process or not.

Once you have the result, you can move on with your application. As for the conditions, here is a list of what you need to provide to the government entity:

3.1 Passport

All travelers must have a passport that remains valid for not less than six months from the date of arrival in the UAE. If your document expires sooner than six months, you will need to renew it before entering the country.

3.2 Passport scan

A passport scan is a digital photo of the front and back of your passport. If you are applying for an online visa in the UAE, you need to submit a passport scan as part of your application. Note that the format of the photo needs to be in JPEG.

3.3 Passport photo

A passport-type photo needs to meet the standards set for important documents like this one. Take it against a plain white background and make sure your face is at an angle rather than straight ahead.

Also, you must not wear glasses or headgears, except for certain special exceptions due to religious reasons.

3.4 Valid email address

When you apply for an online visa, you will receive a printable copy of it via email.

3.5 Means of payment

The most common way to pay for any of the several visa designations in the UAE is by using a credit card. You can also use debit cards, but they are not as widely welcome as credit cards.

There are others ways to pay for your online application, but they are not as popular or well-known. These include bank transfers and cash payments.

4. Why do you need a visa in the Emirates?

Visa designations in the UAE

To live and work in this country, you need to apply for a Dubai visa for professionals. The best way to get a visa is by applying for it at the nearest embassy of UAE in your homeland.

A visa is a document meant for the authorities of a country to allow its holder to enter or reside in their territory. In the UAE, it is necessary for people who want to stay in for more than 90 days to apply for a Dubai visa for professionals.

5. What benefits can you obtain with a visa in the UAE?

Obtaining one of the different visa designations in the UAE is beneficial for many reasons. First, some visas allow you to work with a company in the Emirates without applying for a work permit. Second, obtaining an employment visa helps increase your chances of obtaining a work contract and getting a sponsorship.

Also, if you have obtained a UAE employment visa, you do not need to worry about renewing your residence permit every year. Finally, you can travel freely throughout the nation and enjoy all the beautiful places that this country offers you.


6. How to get a visa designation?

There are strict requirements for obtaining visa designations in the UAE. For example, you need to have a work permit and a sponsor to get a work visa. You also need sponsorship from your employer and have the necessary qualifications for the job. If you do not have any of these requirements, your application will not be accepted by the local authorities.

7. Why is it important to choose the correct designation for your visa application?

Choosing the correct designation for your UAE visa application is critical because you will guarantee a longer stay if you are looking to apply for another type of visa once you get there. This is the case of those who visit the nation hoping to get a visa sponsorship from a local company.

You must also provide the correct designation, as choosing the wrong one could lead to deportation and a denied entry into the country.

8. Can the embassy cancel my UAE visa?

No, UAE embassies do not have the authority to cancel a visa. Only the person who sponsored your visa can cancel it. If you want to visit one of the emirates, be careful about accidentally cancelling your old visa before receiving a new one.

9. Is it necessary to get a visa for children and infants in the Emirates?

To obtain a visa for children and infants, they need to have a UAE national sponsor. This sponsor has to be the child’s father, mother, or legal guardian.

In addition, the sponsor has to submit an application form which includes the following requirements:

  • A copy of the birth certificate of the infant
  • A copy of their passport
  • Copy of their residence visa

10. How can we help you find the right visa designation for you?

If you want to know more about the current visa designations in the UAE and which one you should apply for, it is better for you if you talk with professionals who can help you. In Connect Middle East, our legal advice team can answer any question regarding this matter.


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Would you like to learn how we can help you travel to the UAE legally and safely? If you have questions about this or another matter we cover, please call us at our phone number +971 433 16 688 or email us at

Harneet Bhatia

Harneet Bhatia is the Sales and Compliance Officer at Connect Group. She is specialized in Company Setup Services , golden visa uae , Business Consultancy and Sales Assistance. She is working within Middle East and UAE. Also she has done her Master of Business Administration in Literature.

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