So you have made your mind to visit the stunning global city of Dubai and are pretty excited about chalking out a travel itinerary, picking out iconic landmarks and attractions to visit. But there’s a catch – you are skeptical about how to get your Dubai visa done. Travel visa feels like a tiresome task in every travel planning, but the knowledge on what visa you need to apply and how to follow the procedure along with the right guidance through expert travel assistants makes it quite an easy task. UAE has different versions of travel visas for different emirates; Dubai being one among them makes it necessary for its visitors to be clear about what is their purpose of travel and duration of stay in Dubai. To know more about Dubai visa, take a look at the following points.
- Know your Dubai visa type
One of the basic step to consider before any visa application procedure is to understand what kind of visa you would be requiring for your travel. This can get confusing to many travellers visiting Dubai as there has many options to choose from. First and foremost, you should decide which Dubai visa suits your travel plan. If you are on a visit for tourism or social purpose, you would need a Dubai tourist visa. For conference, meetings and business purposes, you would require a Dubai visit visa. You also need to look at your nationality to consider if you need a visa or not before arriving in Dubai.The GCC nations and following nationalities do not require a visa before arriving in Dubai:Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Vatican, United Kingdom and the United States of America.
Those countries exempt from this list need to possess a valid visa prior to arrival in Dubai. There are different categories in Dubai visa that vary as per travel purpose and duration. They are as follows:
Short term single entry visit visa – This visa is a single entry visa given for a period of 14 days. This visa is non-extendable and valid for 14 days from the date of issue.
Transit visa for 96 hours – This is a single entry visa valid for less than 96 hours. If you are planning on a short stopover for a couple of days in Dubai and continuing your holiday in other countries, then this visa is a good option. Do note that this visa is provided only by the airlines.
30 Days Dubai Single entry Tourist visa – This is a short-term single entry tourist visa with validity of 30 days. This visa is popular among visitors travelling to Dubai for short holidays or for visiting family or friends. The visa is non-extendable.
90 Days Dubai Single entry Tourist visa – If you plan to stay in Dubai for more than a month, then this single entry visa is what you will be needing. It is valid for 90 days from the date of entry into Dubai, up to 60 days from the date of issuance. Citizens of South Korea, Argentina, Bahamas, Solomon Islands and Nauru do not require a pre-arranged visa and can obtain this visa on arrival with the facility of extending their validity.
30 Days Multiple entry Dubai short-term visa – For those visiting Dubai for a short term but would be leaving the emirate to travel to other destinations and returning back to Dubai can opt for multiple entry Dubai visa. The multiple entry short-term visa comes handy to those who want to arrive in Dubai, club other destinations or UAE emirates to their visit and return back to their home country from Dubai. The visa is non-extendable.
90 Days Multiple entry Dubai long-term visa – Similar to 30 Day Dubai Multiple entry short-term visa, this visa is for a longer duration of stay. With the long-term Multiple entry visa, you can enter and exit Dubai multiple times for 90 days from the day of your first entry into Dubai.
- Basic requisite documents for applying for Dubai Visa
Once you have decided on which travel visa you require for your Dubai trip, the next step would be to arrange all necessary documents required to process your visa. The basic documents needed are:
- A passport with validity of at least 6 months before arrival in Dubai and enough pages for visa stamping. Handwritten passports are no longer valid and will be rejected.
- The visa application form can be filled online. The information on the application form should be accurately filled and duly signed.
- Colour photograph with specifications size of 35 mm x 45 mm in plain white background. 70% of the photograph should be covered by the applicant’s face and it should be straight front facing. Photographs should be clear and undamaged. Face masks, spectacles, headgear such as hats and scarfs should not be worn. Religious headgear is allowed but it should not cause hindrance to facial features in the photograph.
- Bank statements as proof of finance to indicate that sufficient funds are available to cover the expenses of your trip.
- Confirmed return flight tickets and details of accommodation during your stay in Dubai. The flights booked should have entry and exit from Dubai airport only.
- Duration of Visa processing
It normally takes about 3 to 5 working days excluding Friday, Saturday and UAE holidays for a normal Dubai visa to get processed and approved. There is also an option of getting an express visa which gets approved faster, in about 36 hours from the time of submission. You can get the visa emailed to you or you can collect the same from the visa processing centre. It is recommended to apply for Dubai visa minimum 4 working days and maximum 2 months prior to your date of travel. Once you have applied for the visa, you can track your visa status via an application number.
- OK to Board
You will come across the term ‘OK to Board’ while you are making inquiries on your Dubai trip. Ok to Board is basically a clearance status given by the airlines that will allow you to board the flight to UAE. For this, once you have received your Dubai visa, you will need to send a copy of the same to the airline with whom you have booked your flight tickets to Dubai. It is essential that you get your ticket verified and stamped for Ok to Board status as you will not be allowed to board the flight without this clearance even if you have a valid Dubai visa in your procession. Not all airlines flying to Dubai need an Ok to Board verification, hence it is essential to know if the flight you have reservations with, need an Ok to Board clearance or not. You can approach your visa servicing agent that offers Ok to Board services so that you would not miss this important step.
Some essential points to remember while applying for Dubai visa to ensure that your visa approval procedure goes smooth:
– Female travellers and children above 18 years old travelling unaccompanied would need to provide a NOC from husband or parents/ guardian along with their respective photo ids proofs.
– Depending upon your purpose of travel you will have to submit additional documents to support your visa application. If you are visiting Dubai and staying with family, close relative or friends, then you will have to provide your host’s passport copy, a covering letter stating the nature of the visit, relationship and a security deposit.
– If you are visiting Dubai for a honeymoon trip, include your marriage certificate, wedding card, marriage photograph and NOC from parents.
– Make sure your application is complete and error-free which will make the visa processing smoother and avoid unnecessary rejection of your Dubai visa. Be honest about the reason for visiting Dubai. If you have any cases of a criminal offense, deceitful financial transactions or you have submitted false documents, your possibilities of visa rejection are more and there is a chance to get blacklisted from entering the destination.
– Keep in mind that the final outcome of your Dubai visa lies in the sole hands of the consulate and the decision to grant entry for any traveler to Dubai lies with the immigration authorities of Dubai. So even if you have provided all necessary Dubai visa requirements, you may get a rejection. Even with a valid visa in hand, there may be chances of not being allowed to enter the emirate due to various reasons. However, if you have a decent record and present genuine documents and the intentions of your visit are conveyed clearly, then you need not worry about it and can eagerly look forward to your Dubai holiday without any hassles.