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Mon 28 Jul 2008 04:56 PM

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How the new visa rules will affect you

Arabian Business guides you through the new UAE visa maze which has left many people confused.

The UAE’s new visa regulations, which will be introduced on Tuesday, have created a lot of confusion among local people and visitors.

Here is the Arabian Business guide to how the changes will affect you.

Citizens from the 33 countries which currently receive entry permits on arrival will largely be unaffected by the new rules. No matter what the purpose of their visit they will be granted an entry visa free of charge which is valid for one month.

The only difference is that these entry permits can only be renewed for an additional 30 days rather than 60 days at a cost of 620 dirhams

Those wishing to stay more than two months can apply for a long-term visit visa which is valid for three months.

Nationals from exempt countries are not required to pay deposits or have health insurance.

The following nations are exempt: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, UK, US and Vatican City.

Nationals of all countries that are not exempt are eligible to apply for a tourist visa. A tourist visa is valid for one month at a cost of 100 dirhams. It can be renewed for a further month for an additional 500 dirhams. The visas are issued directly by travel agents and companies in the tourism industry such as hotels.

Expatriates living in the GCC can obtain a one month entry visa for 100 dirhams which can be renewed for a second month for an additional 500 dirhams.

Visit visas: There are two types of visit visas. Short-term visit visas can be obtained for one month for 500 dirhams. Long-terms ones, issued for three months, are non-renewable and cost 1000 dirhams.

The new regulations allow residents to sponsor their spouses and direct relatives. Distant relatives can only be sponsored after obtaining approval from the Ministry of Interior’s under secretary.

Only Emiratis are permitted to sponsor friends.

A visit visa does not permit visitors to work in the country. If they do find a job they must return to their home country before returning on a work permit. Officials will not grant visit visas to those who reapply immediately after leaving.

Financial deposits and health insurance are prerequisites for obtaining any of the 16 types of visa, including tourist visa except for citizens of the exempt countries.

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Scot Danner 12 years ago

Kudos for at least TRYING to clear up the confusion, but your article contradicts itself at least once. That isn't a reflection on you so much as the poor information that surrounds the new rules. Frankly, I welcome the new rules. The "system" of endlessly-renewed visit visas and flights to Kish island is a joke. Please, let's have intelligent rules and follow them. The new rules should be carefully watched and swiftly amended to correct any problems that arise. Please, PLEASE, let's not have a new set of rules and then ignore them because they make no sense, as we did with the old rules. Monitor and adjust the new rules until they work properly in any circumstances, and most important of all, have an official channel to consider exceptions, which should be rare, and grow more rare as the system adjusts.

Graham Plater 12 years ago

Thanks for trying (unlike the chronically uninformed uniformed at the airport) . However, if you think that you have brought light into this mess, think again. It may be a minor detail to you, but why don't you mention that nationals of the 33 "exempt" states have to pay AED 100 on arrival for their 30 days of bliss?

Babar mustafa 12 years ago

Thanks for clearing the confusions, I was worried to understand the process, how ever I am still confused about any possible issues for GCC residents, who use to get visit visa on airport by showing GCC visa or on the borders.

Hoshedar Cooper 12 years ago

Thanks for trying to clear the visa issue. Two points. Does the tourist visa cost AED 100 or AED 220? And how does one sponsor friends? Which visa allows this? And what are the fees and the deposit?

Harry Barracuda 12 years ago

As I don't stop at a passport desk (this is one of the principles of eGate), does this mean I'm exempt? And if I'm not, they might as well rip the eGate out. It's a really great idea that this stupid new system has just screwed up. It's like letting children plan your future, isn't it?

Khalid Rahman 12 years ago

Thanks for making an attempt to clarify the new rules . First the cost of issuing a tourist visa is it AED 100 or AED 210 valid for 30 days! Secondly the visit visa you apply for 60 days and get it for 30 days ...how much do you pay for the first 30 days? See editor's note on previous article. We are endeavouring to get the answers. Not so straightforward!

Bonovox 12 years ago

Wasn't the Tourist visa supposed to replace the existing visit visa? According to newspaper articles, the new Tourist visa will cost AED 500 for 1 month and for an additional AED 500 one can get and extension of 2 months (3 in total). In one para you state a tourist visa is AED 100 but three paras later, the article states "cost of issuing a tourist visa is 210 dirhams if processed online and 220 dirhams if submitted by hand at the DNRD office". Editor's note: With so much contradictory information around, our story was based on facts published on the official government website only.

george thomas 12 years ago

I appreciate your efforts to sort out the confusion - but one thing you (and The National newspaper) say is in direct contradiction to Gulf News, all other newspapers and indeed, the Government's own website. It is this: "Citizens from the 33 countries which currently receive entry permits on arrival will largely be unaffected by the new rules. The only difference is that these entry permits can only be RENEWED FOR AN ADDITIONAL 30 DAYS RATHER THAN 60 DAYS at a cost of 620 dirhams". I'm sure this is wrong as, before I got my residency, I renewed my entry permit on several occasions - and it was never for 60 days. It was a 30 day extension only. So, under the old regulations the deal was 60 day entry permit plus 30 day extension - total uninterruped stay 90 days. Under the new regulations it is a 30 day entry permit plus 30 day extension - total uninterrupted stay 60 days. IN A NUTSHELL: It is the entry permit that is being reduced from 60 to 30 days - NOT the extension period. And this DOES APPLY - even to those 'exempted nationalities' (The exemption as I understand it is only from the tourist fee, visa deposit and medical insurance) . Please try to clarify this information. I'm SURE my info is correct but, on the other hand, I would be surprised for The National (and especially Arabian Business) to get such a fact wrong. I don't care who's right or wrong - I just want to have the correct information. In particular can you try and get an answer for the following. (1) I have a UK relative who entered the UAE in mid July, planning to stay for 90 days. Because he entered under the old regulations, will he still be able to get the 30 day extension when his 60 day entry permit expires - or will he have to curtail his stay?

Jaya Gupta 12 years ago

What do the new Visa Rules say about job change vis a vis: - labour and/or immigration bans - anti competitive clauses in labour contracts Do the new laws make job change and workforce mobility easier?