The United Arab Emirates, often known as the UAE or the Emirates, is a popular ex-pat destination due to its comparatively easy visa requirements when compared to the neighboring Middle Eastern nations. As a result, the country is a great choice for businesses looking to grow overseas. However, just like any other nation, there are particular immigration, residency visa, and work permit procedures that must be followed.
You may not have time to study how to acquire a UAE work visa for each person if your firm is expanding internationally. Fortunately, if you work with Chiltern Travel and Tours, a worldwide PEO, we can manage the entire procedure for you. We’ll hire personnel through our UAE subsidiary, set up payroll and compensation, and make sure your business is compliant right away.

UAE Visa Categories

Whom is a tourist visa for?

Tourist visas are issued to people who do not qualify for a visa on arrival or visa-free admission into the UAE. Individual visitors from all around the globe who meet the criteria can apply for a tourist visa. Females under 18 are ineligible to apply for this sort of visa unless traveling with their parents.

According to a Cabinet resolution approved in July 2018, minors under 18 who adults accompany can obtain a free visa for their stay from July 15 to September 15 of each year.

Multiple entry tourist visas for all nationalities

A new multiple-entry tourist visa may now be given to all nationalities, easing the process for tourists and visitors. The five-year visa allows visitors to enter the country several times on self-sponsorship and stay for 90 days on every visit, which can be extended to another 90 days.

How long does a tourist visa last?

Tourist visas to the UAE can be given 30 days or 90 days, single entrance or multiple admission, depending on your plans. In addition, the UAE recently authorized a five-year visa that allows visitors to enter the nation numerous times on self-sponsorship and stay for 90 days on each visit, which may be extended for another 90 days.

Who is eligible to apply for your tourist visa?

Tourist visas obtained through airlines Each airline has certain requirements that must be satisfied for them to arrange your visa. One of the requirements is that you fly with them. See the following UAE-based airlines for visa types, facilities, and terms and conditions for more up-to-date and specific information:

  • Visa services from Etihad Airways
  • Visa Services offered by Emirates Airline
  • Visa services from Fly Dubai –
  • Visa services from Air Arabia –

Tourist visas obtained through agencies and hotels

In the UAE, licensed travel companies and hotels may arrange a tourist visa for you if you book your ticket through them and keep your hotel reservation with the specified hotel.

You may also call travel companies in your nation to inquire about any tourist packages available to the UAE through a local tour operator.

It is important to examine the legitimacy of the travel agencies with whom you are working and to abstain from paying or submitting copies of your official papers until you are certain the trip operator is legitimate. For verification, you can contact the UAE embassy in your country.

UAE embassies do not issue tourist visas. For a tourist visa, contact one of the UAE-based airlines, a tour operator, or a hotel (where you want to stay) in the UAE.

Renewing or extending a tourist visa

All types of visit and tourist visas can be extended for 30 days twice, once upon application and acceptance by the proper authorities and once upon renewal. This is achievable without having to leave the nation.

Visitors and tourists can renew their visas a second time before the first one expires for AED 600 per time.

Overstayers who do not renew their visas as described above will be fined AED 100 every day of their overstay, beginning ten days after the visa expires.

The new extension regulation, however, does not apply to the below categories:

  • visitors or tourists who are residents in GCC nations;
  • residents accompanying GCC nationals;
  • those on special entrance permits; and
  • those on 96-hour permits for special missions.

If you are not one of the citizens eligible for visa-free entrance or visa on arrival in the UAE, you will need a transit visa.

Only the airlines located in the UAE will be able to arrange your transit visa in advance. If you plan your trip through a travel agency, the company can also help you get a visa; nevertheless, all visas are handled through the airline. Airline agents can apply for transit visas online using one of the following methods:

  • the ICA UAE eChannels webpage
  • the ICA UAE eChannels app for iOS and Android 
  • online channels provided by each emirate’s appropriate General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA).

Duration of transit visa

Transit visas are available for 48 or 96 hours. Please keep in mind that after a 48-hour visa has been obtained, it cannot be extended to 96 hours.

Transit visas for 48 hours

Transit visas for 48 hours are granted free of charge to travelers passing through the UAE’s airports. You should apply for the visa in advance through an airline located in the UAE. This visa is not renewed or extendable. The visa is valid only for 48 hours from the date of admission into the UAE, and you must depart the UAE within 48 hours after your arrival.

To obtain a Transit visa for 48 hours, you must have the following documents:

  • a passport (minimum validity of three months)
  • a photo of yourself against a white backdrop 
  • an onward ticket booked to a third location other than the one from which you are departing.

Transit visas for 96 hours

Transit visas for 96 hours Passengers passing through the UAE’s airports can get transit visas for 96 hours for a cost of AED 50. You must apply for the visa in advance through an airline located in the UAE. This visa is not renewed or extendable. The visa is valid only for 96 hours after admission into the UAE, and you must depart the UAE within 96 hours after your arrival.

To get a Transit visa for 96 hours, you must have the following documents: 

  • a passport or travel document (minimum validity of six months)
  • a photo of yourself against a white backdrop
  • an onward ticket booked to a third location other than the one from which you are departing.

Take heed of this:

Any federal, state may impose no fees or extra sums, or municipal government or private organization. However, each traveler traveling through the UAE’s airports must pay a departure charge of AED 30.

What is a business visa?  

The Golden Visa program includes a business visa, allowing foreigners to get a long-term visa for themselves and their families. It strives to provide an appealing environment for companies and economic growth in the UAE.

Eligibility criteria

Professionals with entrepreneurial expertise from any nation can apply for a business visa. In addition, anyone who has previously established their firm and intends to do it again in the UAE is considered an eligible entrepreneur.

To obtain the business visa, you should:

  • be able to provide evidence of your business experience
  • has been a majority stakeholder in a start-up or a member of its senior management;
  • be willing to migrate to the UAE and open a legitimate company in one of the seven emirates; and
  • Have a business concept or a business plan that you want to bring to life in the UAE.
  • have a business idea or a business strategy that you want to implement in the UAE

In addition, candidates must satisfy the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship’s criteria, including a background check and a health evaluation.

The applicant’s qualification for a business visa does not ensure that the visa will be granted. Specialized committees evaluate the application and any attachments and provide approval if needed. Once accepted, the applicant must comply with the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship criteria to get the visa.

Applying for a business visa

To apply for a business visa, your application must be recognized by a UAE government-sponsored incubator (currently, AREA2071 in Dubai and HUB71 in Abu Dhabi). After your nomination is approved, you will be asked to apply for a visa through the Federal Authorities for Identity and Citizenship. The nomination method is as follows:

  • Create a new account at
  • Log in when your account has been validated and apply for nomination.
  • Submit your application in its entirety. Your application may take up to 30 days to be reviewed.


  • If your nomination is accepted, you will be sent a link to upload the necessary papers and finish your visa application.
  • If your nomination is denied, please reapply within 90 days.

Receiving visa

Your nomination will be approved after it has been authorized. Then, you will be requested to complete the visa application on the Federal Authorities for Identity and Citizenship website. After submitting the visa application form, you will get an email with details on obtaining your visa.

If you are not in UAE, you will get a six-month visa to enter the country, investigate opportunities, and settle. After that, you must change your temporary visa into a residence permit before it expires.

If you are already in the UAE, you will be issued a temporary one-month visa that must be transformed into a residence permit before it expires.

In all situations, you may swiftly and easily convert your visas into residence at SERVICES1 in Emirates Towers, Dubai, or directly through the Federal Authorities for Identity and Citizenship.

Benefits of a business visa Once the visa is approved, the applicant is permitted to:

  • visit the country for six months with a multiple-entry visa to ease the procedures of establishing the firm; and
  • designate up to three of his company’s top personnel for residence.

The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship will allow all visa holders to sponsor their dependents, subject to the restrictions and procedures laid forth by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship.

The UAE cabinet authorized a new Remote Work Visas plan to allow employees from all over the globe to work remotely from the UAE to attract talents and skills from worldwide. The one-year visa permits foreigners to visit the UAE on their own and work under visa terms and conditions.

The significant step, considered the first of its type in the region, allows entrepreneurs and talents to develop in the UAE’s safe and appealing business environment, with access to all essential facilities, including world-class utilities and telecoms.

You can relocate to Dubai (from outside the UAE) and continue working remotely for the organization you now work for under the virtual working program.

Who is the virtual working program for?

The virtual working program is designed for persons who live and work outside of the UAE, satisfying the qualifying requirements. However, if the UAE authorities accept your application to live in Dubai, you may bring your family with you.

Duration of the virtual working program

The program is for one year and can be renewed upon reapplication.

How to apply for the virtual working program?

To apply for the program, you must have a valid passport for at least six months and good health insurance covering your stay in the UAE.

If you are an employee, you must: 

• show documents of employment with a one-year contract from your current company; 

• receive a monthly income of at least USD 5,000; 


• submit a salary slip for the previous month and bank statements for the previous three months.

If you have a business, you must: 

• show proof of ownership of the firm for one year or longer; 

• have an average monthly income of USD 5,000; and 

• Show bank statements (last three months)


The virtual working program costs USD 287 per participant. In addition, you must pay the cost for UAE-valid medical insurance as well as the processing fees. It should be noted that paying the processing fee does not guarantee application acceptance.


You may obtain all services, including telecommunications, utilities, medical, and education, through the virtual working program. In addition, you may benefit from Dubai’s robust and smooth digital infrastructure, worldwide networking possibilities, and individual income tax exemption. Learn more about the advantages of working from home in Dubai.

On November 24, 2018, the UAE government passed a resolution to offer outstanding students a 5-year visa.

• School pupils must graduate with a grade of at least 95% from secondary schools, whether public or private, to be eligible for a 5-year visa.

• University students from both within and outside the nation must graduate with a distinguishing GPA of at least 3.75.

Families of exceptional students will also be eligible for visa advantages.

Who is a student visa for?

A student visa is issued to a university or college student(over the age of 18) studying in the UAE. 

Key requirements of a student’s visa

To get a freshman student visa, the applicant must first receive an official admission letter from the university where he would be studying. In addition, a certificate of continuation of study is required for older students. Other criteria include: 

passing a medical fitness exam, having a visa sponsor, either the university or a parent or relative, and receiving permission from the appropriate General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA).

What is the duration of the student visa?

Currently, a student visa is provided for one year, renewable for a comparable term upon formal document of continuation of studies issued by the appropriate higher educational establishment in the UAE to which the student is accepted.

Who can provide a student’s visa?  

Student visas can be obtained in the UAE by either local sponsoring their children or attending one of the UAE’s recognized universities/colleges. Visa authorities process visa applications in each emirate, represented by the appropriate General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs.

How can universities and colleges help their students obtain visas?

Accredited institutions and colleges in the UAE can get visas for their students, whether they are overseas students or residents of the UAE. To learn about the exact requirements for admission and the visa procedure, students can consult the terms and conditions specified in each institution or college.

Admission to one of the UAE institutions does not ensure the issuance of a visa. While certain conditions must be met before a visa may be issued, including passing a medical fitness exam, a security check, and permission by the GDRFA in the appropriate emirate. These are the options for applying for a student visa in the UAE.

How may UAE expatriates obtain a student visa for their children?

UAE legislation prohibits a resident expatriate from continuing to sponsor their male offspring above the age of 18. However, male students who continue their studies at a higher educational establishment in the UAE or abroad are exempt. As a result, male students above 18 can continue to be sponsored by their parents for a residence visa as long as they produce documentation of attendance at a higher educational establishment for a minimum of one year’s course. Regardless of their children’s age, expatriate parents may continue to support their female offspring for education.

Note: New rules for children’s visas sponsored by parents Beginning on October 21, 2018, students who graduate from their universities or secondary schools or reach the age of 18 will be granted a one-year residence visa, renewable for another year from the date of graduation or attaining the age of 18.

Parents are not needed to make bank deposits for this sort of visa. However, the visa will cost AED100 for the first time it is issued and AED100 for renewal.

Parents must provide legally documented graduation diplomas from colleges or schools located in the United States or overseas to be eligible for this service.

Become a member of the ChilternTNT team.

ChilternTNT can assist you in expanding your company’s activities into the UAE. By getting the appropriate work permits and visas for everyone on your staff, we’ll ensure that your firm is compliant from the start.