Dubai Visa

This will give you an overview what a Dubai residency visa is. It is somewhat quite easy to get comparing to many other countries, so basically there is nothing to worry about.

To live and work in Dubai you will need an entry visa to enter the country and a Dubai residency visa stamped in your passport to live and work there.

Tips: Dubai tourist visa / Dubai entry visa

To enter the country you will have to have a valid UAE visa. It is called visit visa or entry visa. Normally it is issued for the period of one month.

If you are lucky enough to be a citizen of one of the countries listed below you won't have to think about an entry visa.

List of countries those citizens may receive their visit visa upon arrival

UK (with the right of abode in UK), France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Finland, Spain, Monaco, Vatican, Iceland, Andorra, San Marino, Liechtenstein, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and holders of Hong Kong SAR passports will be granted a free of charge visa for a single visit upon arrival in the UAE. It should be noted that this list may vary slightly from time to time and it is therefore best to check with your local UAE embassy or the airline that you are using to fly to the UAE.

Check the official information for more info.

Otherwise, your Dubai visa needs to be sponsored by someone in the UAE.

There can be 3 options:

  • If you are visiting Dubai for tourism purpose or an 'orientation trip' and will be going to stay in a hotel, the hotel will be applying for a visa for you. Normally it will take about 1-3 working days.
  • If you are going to Dubai for employment your employer will need to request a Dubai entry visa for you. On the visa you will see something like "employment" meaning that you are coming to be a Dubai resident.
  • If you are going to visit your friends or family residing in Dubai, they can sponsor your visa. They will need to apply to Department of Naturalization & Residency of Dubai (DNRD). I've not had a chance to do that, but my colleagues claim it is a very easy procedure that can be finished in less than an hour time. The only thing that is needed is to put a deposit (quite some money by the way) that is a kind of insurance for leaving the country before the visa's expiration date (your sponsors just won't get their money back if you don't leave on time). Also check out this article.

If you are a lady from none of the countries above, you are below 30 and your home country is not a Muslim country, there may be issues. Check with your sponsor who will apply for visa for you.

Once the visa is ready, normally it will be sent to you by e-mail. Print it out and show to the Dubai airport customs officers. They will do a stamp in your passport and you are in the city.

Dubai airport has got a lovely duty free in arrival zone which is quite unusual but very convenient! Don't forget to pass through.

Dubai residence visa

Dubai residence visa can be a work permit or just a permission to live in the UAE (your spouse will get that if he/she is not planning to work)

There are 2 types of Dubai residency visas: free-zone visa and 'regular' residence visa.

  • Dubai free zone visa will be issued if you are employed with a company inside one of Dubai free zones like Jebel Ali (JAFZA), International Airport (DAFZA), Internet city or others. Dubai free zone visa is easier to get as it does not require approval of the Ministry of Labour. Your sponsor will be the free zone, not the company you work for. You can also change jobs with a little chance to be banned.
  • Non free zone visa will be issued if you are going to work for a non Dubai free zone company. Your employer will be your sponsor and there is a kind of limitation out there. If you decide to change your job and your employer is not happy with that, he can ban your for entry in UAE for 6 months. So, be careful if you want to move to Dubai for a job that you don't like hoping to change it for something better later. That may not work out.

Normally, the company should take care of your Dubai residence visa and organize the whole process for you. You will need to do an x-ray test and a blood test to prove that you are healthy enough and here you go. After about 2 weeks you will get your stamp.

After that you will need to sponsor your wife's visa. Everything for my wife's Dubai residence visa was organized by the company, so I didn't have to worry about that. She also passed a blood test and an x-ray test and got a visa in about a week time. She can't work though. If she wants to work she will need to find a job and then convert her visa to a work permit.

Some formalities for spouses

Even if your wife or husband falls under category that can get a visa upon arrival you will still have to complete some formalities to get a Dubai residence visa for her or him.

In order to get a Dubai residence visa for your spouse (or even to get a visit/entry visa to Dubai if he or she has not got the 'right' citizenship) your marriage certificate needs to be attested by your country authorities and also attested by the local UAE embassy or consulate (here is the list of UAE embassies and consulates worldwide).

If it is not in English or Arabic, it will have to be translated into either language.

This is not a problem if you know about that. But it might a painful experience like we had. Read the whole story at the end.

Arriving in Dubai

If you've got a Dubai entry visa, don't fly into the country via other emirates. Well, it may work out, but it would be better if you fly directly into Dubai.

My story of getting a Dubai visa

We were supposed to go for a 2 days visit to Dubai in the middle of November 2008. We had booked and paid tickets for discounted price and then it got to getting visas.

There the problems began...

The hotel that was supposed to get visas for us just refused to apply for a visit visa for my wife, because she was under 30 years old. They required a marriage certificate in either English or Arabic attested by a UAE embassy or consulate.

I found out what needed to be done: the marriage certificate should have been translated, attested by my country’s Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Justice and then passed to the UAE consulate for final attestation. Getting that done with local authorities took about a week. After that I brought the document to the UAE consulate, paid the fee and collected the document back the same day after lunch.

We had to cancel flight bookings, paying the return fine (the tickets were bought at a discounted price) and buy new tickets after everything had been done.

The hotel received visas in just a couple of days when we had all documents ready.

At Dubai International Airport we went to the customs officers, they scanned my wife's eyes (they said I didn't need to go through that procedure), and there we go. All airport formalities were quite quick. We went in after a very short while.


My husband currently works in Dubai and we are deciding whether we should relocate the whole family. I would not be happy to relocate if I was not able to work, but have been told by others that it would be incredibly difficult for me to get a Visa that allows me to work unless I secure a job PRIOR to relocating. Is this the case? I have citizenship of both The UK and Australia.

Hi Kristy. You do not necessarily have to have a job prior to relocation. Once you relocate, you will get your dependent's visa, which does not allow you to work. But once you find a job, you can easily switch to a work visa. The wife of a colleague of mine managed to find a job after the relocation and after she found a job, she just got a new visa and that was it.

Really useful information. Thank you for taking the time to put it up.

Hi, it is important to be married at the very moment you apply for a visa. So I don't see any issues here


I would think this is a gray scheme and you can be banned for that.

Hi again,
I think you will have to. In Dubai they are very picky. We couldn't even get a tourist visa to visit Dubai without the attested marriage certificate!

It is a great site and after going through your articles, it seems quite simple to get into dubai. Actually i am working in kuwait for the past 3 years, staying here with my wife and 8 months old daughter. I will be moving to dubai (another job). For dependant VISA (wife) attestation of marriage certificate is required in kuwait also, but for me fortunately the officer didnt really check and so my wife got the dependant visa without attestation. But now since i will be moving to dubai, should i get my marriage certificate and my child's birth certificate attested. Please suggest,by the way i am from india.

I have a job offer in a logistics company for 7000 AED, the employer said he can offer required docs for family visa. And my wife is an IT professional.
My question is,
1. Am I eligible for a getting Family Visa?
2. Can my wife work under my sponsorship? or if she converts to another sponsorship, is it possible to revert back to mine?
3. If not under what circumstances can she work?

I really appreciate to receive comments from an expert like yourself.

Thanks and awaiting your earliest reply.

Hi Bubiz,
1. Yes you are.
2-3. She will have to find a job and get the employer to sponsor her visa to work in Dubai. Spouse visa doesn't give her the right to work.

Hi ! are doing fantastic job. This website was the most useful of all the lot that is available on net.

My husband is being offered 14 K per month salary + 30 % performance bonus in a multinational company. But the company is sponsoring only his visa and medical insurance.

1. How much would be the comprehensive medical insurance & family visa for me & my 6 months old kid incase we are not able to negotiate that

2. Our expenses as per your calculator (excluding the point 1) was 8600 Dhs per month. Is it worth accepting the offer as we intend to save atleast 5000Dhs per month

Can some one transfer his Jebel Ali free zone work visa to another employer in Dubai Air Port free zone with out exiting UAE. Normally, inside Jebel Ali Free Zone if you wish to switch to another employer, this can be done in one day without any hastle of leaving UAE.

Hi Prema! Yes you can.

im,my sister and my friend will visit dubai this coming ied september 9, 2010 til 13....we r working here at KSA and we are FILIPINOS anyway...we have all the exit and re-entry visa,,we have the official letter from our hospital that we are working in that hospital..and we have also our photocopy iqama with official stamp of the hospital...but we dont have yet hotel and dubai friend said that we can get our visa and hotel upon arrival at the airport.....pls help us...what else they need to get visa or important things we need to we will not have any problems...hoping for ur kind reply...thank u so much.more power!

i got a job offer in dubai . And my company will sponsor me . my question is, can both me and my wife go to dubai same time and then I sponsor her ?

Hi There,

I got and a job in dubai and am planning to move my family with me. I have completed the marriage certificate( an aggrement in my case)attestation from Home department,MEA india and UAE embassy in india. Is there still any chances of getting her dependent visa rejected.


Hi Imran,
If the documents are alright, normally there are no issues with the dependants' visas. Wish you good luck!


What are the options if you are not married & have a family. We have lived together for over 10years & have 2 children but are not married. My partner has been offered a job - will i be allowed to go? ( I will be looking at working too)

Hi Lorna,
I know that everyone in the company I worked for had to do all these tricky formalities for their wives despite the citizenship. I think the answer would be no unless you have a job. Also, if you are not married, you won't be allowed to live together.

Hi, no lawyer is needed. Consult residency and naturalization agency.

My Girlfriend just got a job in Dubai and I would like to visit her, cn she sponsor me for a 90days visit visa?
Or how can she manage to get one for me, can she ask one of her employers?
And if I go through emirates, can they give me a visit visa or they only issue tourist visa?
I would like to stay with her as much as possible (90days)
bw I'm Mexican

Hi, she can sponsor your visit visa. She should contact the UAE Naturalisation and Residency authority

I am working in dubai now, i want to invite my wife to here, is it easy to do by myself or, i should find someone like a lawyer?


I am an indian just got a job in dubai and plan to get my wife and kid here, my name is there in her passport and my kids passport, is it still neccessary to get the certificate attested, please reply soon


Hi , I'm an Iranian single girl , I have a request for work in a logestic company in Dubai . Theys ent my documents to Approval Labor , i need to know is there any limitation for me to get Working visa or not ?!

Thanks for an early & clear answer.

Hi Azade! There shouldn't be any limitations unless you broke the law in past. Please let us know if you got the visa.

Hi, thanks for your information it is very helpful. I am considering a position in a hospital in Dubai but am not married to my partner. If we don't marry before I go, will there be any difficulties in him coming to join me once we get married?

Hi Gary! The money is definitely good, I would take it. Regarding your case on the ban for DUI you will need to check. Personally, I doubt that they can get hold of this information from UK :)

I am currently in the process of securing a post in Dubai on 22,300 AED per month and my wife has also managd to secure a part time coaching job on 9900 AED per month. A couple of queries that you may be able to assist with:

Is the combined salary enough to live a decent life in Dubai?

The second point, is that I was convicted for drink driving in the UK 7 years ago. It was a fine and a driving ban. Would the UAE authorities allow me to get a residence visa?

Many thanks in advance for your help and what a great site.

hi i am on jebel ali free zone visa & i have family visa now i am going to cancle & applying dubai visa i wana know procidure.

Hi Shan, try contacting authorities responsible for visas. You might be able to arrange a visa yourself but you need to check.

my husband is working in dubai.i and my kid want to join him. His comapany doesn't give him family status.what can we do to get a family visa?

Hi John, experience suggests it takes 2 weeks. When all of our staff relocated, we were explicitly asked not to plan any meetings abroad during first 3 weeks.


Wish to find out how soon would I be able to get my work permit/residence visa done? I really need it fast hopefully in less than two weeks time from date of arrival in Dubai because I will have to leave for the States for meeting. Many thanks.

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I am ammu, am an Indian. My husband is working in dubai jebel ali free zone. He is on a project work. His salary on Salary certificate is 5000 AED. i am on tourist visa now. it ll be expired on 7th oct. Please help me if i can com on visit visa again immidiately or should i exit out of UAE for 1 month? Or can my husband apply for my residence visa? What are the documents and fees for getting residence visa for wife in JEBEL ALI FREE ZONE as per 2012 rules. PLEASE HELP ME....WAITING FOR UR REPLIES.....



I am ammu, am an Indian. My husband is working in dubai jebel ali free zone. He is on a project work. His salary on Salary certificate is 5000 AED. i am on tourist visa now. it ll be expired on 7th oct. Please help me if i can com on visit visa again immidiately or should i exit out of UAE for 1 month? Or can my husband apply for my residence visa? What are the documents and fees for getting residence visa for wife in JEBEL ALI FREE ZONE as per 2012 rules. PLEASE HELP ME....WAITING FOR UR REPLIES.....



Your first point of contact would be the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs in Dubai -

Hope this helps.

Thank You so much for ur response.

But please if u can tel me in brief it ll be better. I saw the above website but dint find answer to my question. PLease help me....


I would be happy to but I don't want to misguide you - I don't have the latest details. You need to reach to the officials if you need to know the answers. Try calling them and talking to them directly.

Hi,  I've a residence visa from RAK freezone but it's still not cancelled by my company, 'am currently in India and my visa will be expiring automatically (stayed more than 180 days outside UAE) by this monthend, my company said they'll cancel the visa once it expires as I don't have to send my original passport for that. I need to know the implications of the visa getting expired automatically,  'am planning to come back to UAE on other company's work permit in near future?

Looking forward to your reply.



Hi Babu, this is a very specific request. My wild guess would be that there should be no issue but I would suggest you check directly with officials in RAK.


One compani from Dubai wants to going in Dubai to work there as a cosmetic worker .

My problem is that i am married and i have two children .Can my family comes with me in Dubai  or i need to go alone there?

Pleace answer me wath can i do to get my family in Dubai .




Hi Maja, yes you can get your family to Dubai on dependant visas. Normally your employer should provide you with the necessary support.


Thanks for this very useful website. I'm Iranian and I have a job offer from a chinese company that registered in the Jebel Ali free zone. But they have an office inside the dubai and I should work in this office. The first question is "Do you know that it is possible for getting the visa ? I'm little worried because of my nationality?" and second question is "After getting the visa by this compnay is there any problem to live and working inside the Dubai city?"

Best Regards,


First of all thank you for the all useful informaton. I want to know one thing, that i have taken a visiting visa to Dubai, can i cancell it ?  and if possible can i get back the money which i paid for the visa?



I am planning to re-locate to Dubai where my boyfriend works. However, I don’t have a job yet, so we are thinking of getting married in the Indian consulate (he is from India, I am not) and then getting a residence permit for me based on that. I know it takes 30 days for the marriage to be arranged at the consulate but I was wondering if you know what the procedure after that is. Does the marriage certificate need to be attested back in India as well and will it be recognized by the UAE authorities. How long will the whole process take, as we only have 30 days.

Thanks a lot for your help


Hey I see you helping everyone its great

I have a doubt thought u could help me too, I was born and brought up here,my whole family is here.  Im studying out of UAE now and my VISA is going to EXPIRE in February 2013

My dad has his own company, so I was wondering if he could give me a "company visa" so as to make it easier for me to come after Feb. and to get a liscense etc.

Is it ILLEAGAL to do so ?

If not, then can you please tell me how ?

Well i got Long Term Visit Visa , which says sponsor  is some Company . But the Date of issue is 16-Dec-2012 and valid upto 13-Feb-2013. I wanted to know if this Long term visa is only 60days valid or 90 days? Is it extendable or not? Or is there anything wrong with my visa?Because i was told its valid for 90days . Please help soon.


Hi, I've got a question..or two :) If me or my spouse get a job in Dubai, how long does it take before the other one can move there too?

And another one, can a female even work in UAE if is 22/23 years old? (I must be 24 or married to even get a tourist visa)

We're planing on going there to visit a friend and look for jobs..


Thanks ,