uae tourist visa

UAE Tourist Visa - Definitive Guide

Be it the UK, USA, African countries, or even EU countries, most of the flights to these places from India involve a stopover or transit at a UAE airport. For an individual to stay in the UAE for more than 8 hours for transit, they require a UAE Transit Visa.

What is UAE Tourist Visa?

The tourist permit is used by individuals to visit the Emirates. However, for people belonging to the GCC countries, as well as the other visa-exempt countries, a visa on arrival will be issued. India, however, does not belong to this list, and as a result, a UAE tourist visa for Indian citizens is required. This permit can be issued for a duration of 30 days with single or multiple entries, as required. There is also a different long term tourist permit if you wish to stay for up to 90 days.

How to Get UAE Tourist Visa from India?

The process of obtaining a visa for the UAE  is quite different from that of other countries. As per the UAE tourist visa rules, the UAE embassy in India can only issue visas for diplomatic passport holders. For all other passports, the applications have to be done through a UAE based airlines, a reputed travel agency, or a hotel you will be staying at, who can act as your sponsor and apply for the visa in UAE. The UAE tourist visa online application process is as follows -

  • Decide on the method you will be using. 
  • Once you do that, obtain the necessary documents for your visa. 
  • Fill in the application forms available at the airline websites, or at the travel agencies. Alternately, you can visit their offices, and have them do it for you.
  • The necessary documents must then have to be uploaded to the respective online portals. 
  • Proceed to pay the fees online. 
  • Submit your application.

Please note that you provide the correct and genuine information in the application. Any fake documents or false information may lead to a refusal. A rejected visa stamp on your passport can have an effect on your future applications.

If you are travelling to Dubai by one of their flights such as FlyDubai, or Emirates, you can also apply at one of the Dubai Visa Processing Centres (DVPC). 

Eligibility for UAE Tourist Visa

You must meet the following criteria to be eligible to apply for the permit. 

  • You must have a passport valid for at least 6 months from the day of travel.
  • You must not be a citizen of the GCC countries or one of the visa exempt countries.
  • You must possess an ordinary passport.
  • Your sole purpose of visit must be tourism alone. 
  • Females below the age of 18 must be accompanied by family members. 

When You Have This Visa

Once you obtain your tourist permit, keep in mind the following key points - 

  • You will have to take a print out of your visa and keep it with you as a part of your travel documents.
  • Ensure that you have all the necessary travel documents such as passport, identification documents, and visa.
  • Ensure that you obtain your ‘OK to board’ if required.
  • Make a note your UAE tourist visa validity as staying back in the country beyond the expiry is a criminal offence and may attract hefty fines and penal action. 
  • If you are applying via a UAE based airline, you will have to fly with them to the UAE.
  • While you are in the country, you can visit any of the different Emirates.
  • While you are on a tourist permit, you cannot work or take part in business activities.
  • You can extend your visa by applying for a UAE tourist visa renewal.

Documents Required for UAE Tourist Visa

The documents to be submitted for the application is as follows - 

  • A passport valid for up to at least 6 months from the date of arrival
  • Colour copies of your passport 
  • Confirmed round trip flight tickets
  • 2 Coloured photographs
  • Proof of occupation

Photo Specification of UAE Tourist Visa

  • Dimensions: 35X45 mm
  • Recently captured
  • Face: directed towards the camera
  • Eyes: open, and looking straight at the camera
  • Background: plain white
  • Headgear: allowed for religious purposes
  • Glasses: only  prescription eye-wear
  • Neutral facial expression

Processing Time of UAE Tourist Visa

The permit is normally issued in about 3-5 working days. However, it can vary depending on factors such as any express processing options, the length of the visa, the entry type, or even upon any complications arising with documents. It also depends upon how you chose to apply. Your processing may also be faster depending upon your travel history such as your passport containing a visa to Schengen, UK, USA, etc in the past 5 years. It can also be processed faster if you have an invitation from a family member in the UAE.

UAE Tourist Visa Charges

The UAE tourist visa fees depend on factors such as the number of entries in the visa, the duration of the visa, as well as any additional charges due to express option, and can also vary based on the service charges of the airline/hotel/travel agency.

After Submission

After your application has been submitted, you will receive updates via your email. If it has been approved, you will receive yourpermit in the form of an e-visa on your email. You are required to take a print of this and carry it along with your travel documents. You should also email the visa to the flight operator you booked a ticket with, to get your ‘OK to board’(if required). Even if you have a valid permit, you will not be allowed to board if your PNR is linked with it. 

How to Check Visa Status

You can check the status of your application in several ways. If you have applied through an airline, you can log in to their portal and check the status. Travel agencies also allow you to track the status in the same way. Alternately, you can send an email to the agency/airline/hotel enquiring about the status. If you had applied through DVPC, you can track it by visiting their website with your reference number and passport expiry date.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Extend the UAE Tourist Visa?

The UAE government has implemented provisions to extend the short term visas such as the tourist permit. In order to do this, you can apply at the immigration offices across the UAE along with the application fees. You may get an extension up to 2 times and for a maximum duration of 60 days. Alternately, you may contact the travel agency through whom you have applied.

After Expiring My UAE Tourist Visa How Long Can I Stay?

You cannot stay back any longer after your visa expires. You must leave before the expiry. Staying back without valid permission is considered an offence and can attract fines and possible deportation. If you do wish to stay longer, you may do so by applying for an extension.

What is the Medical Test for UAE Tourist Visa?

As per the requirements, there is no mandatory medical test necessary for this short term category. However, it is suggested that you get a medical check-up done before travelling to a foreign country for your own safety as well as the safety of the individuals living in the UAE.

Can I Convert My UAE Tourist Visa into Work Visa?

You cannot directly convert a tourist permit into a work permit by yourself. If you require an employment visa, your employer must apply it for you. He may do this while you are in UAE. However, you may have to leave the country and enter again after you get the work permit. You will also have to get the necessary medical tests done.


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