Visa and Working Permits

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

HOW TO APPLY & GET VISA IN UAE

Visa and Emirates ID Visit visas, work permits, entry permits, residency visas and Emirates IDs

TYPES OF VISAS

The UAE Govel types of visas and entry permits based on the purpose of your visit. Business Visa, Tourist Visa, Transit Visa, Student Visa, Retirement Visa, eVisa for GCC Residents and Patient companion’s entry permits.

VISA INQUIRE ISSUES

You can always track UAE visa application and check its validity through the UAE Government's online and offline facilities. For any queries on visas and residency permits issued by the governments of Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah, contact Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) on the toll free number 600522222 (from within the UAE) or through its feedback platform. You can also check about visa issues through GDRFA - Dubai

WHERE TO APPLY?

You can apply for entry permits or visas through the website of Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship- ICA (the eChannel for residency and citizenship), or the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) which works under the ministry. While ICA offers only online channels, GDRFA offers both online and offline channels.

VISA APPLICATION

Check your visa validity on the website of Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship- ICA (the eChannel for residency and citizenship). If you already have an entry permit/residence visa in Dubai, check your visa validity through Amer-GDRFA in Dubai

THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE COMING UAE

If somebody offers you a job in the UAE, he/she has to give you an offer letter issued by the UAE’s Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE). The prospective employees/candidates can verify the job offer’s validity at the UAE embassy in their country. You can use the job offer number to verify employer’s validity at the MOHRE’s website (enquiry service - application status). After you sign the offer letter, the employer will send you an employment visa to enter the UAE. Refer to points 8 and 9 below to verify visa/entry permit validity. Visit or tourist entry permit/visa does not give you right to work in the UAE. Working under visit or tourist visa will bring you penalties and deportation. You should know that the sponsor (the employer) is responsible for payment of recruitment expenses as per the UAE’s Labour Law. Make sure that the company legally exists. You can search the company’s English and Arabic name in the National Economic register and get company details. Get your queries answered by MoHRE at telephone number 0097168027666, email ask@mohre.gov.ae or chat service. If you have entry permit/visa issued from Dubai, please verify its validity at the GDRFA’s website. Verify validity of an entry permit/visa issued from Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah or Fujairah at the eChannels platform. Tourist visa is issued by UAE-based airlines like Emirates, Etihad, Fly Dubai and Air Arabia. It is also issued by the UAE-based hotels and travel agencies. Get more information on visas and entry permits issued from Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah through the chat service of ICA. There is nothing called an independent employment visa. You are supposed to work for your sponsor/employer. Your sponsor may give you a permit to work for another employer under approval of the MOHRE. A residence visa cannot be processed for anyone while the applicant is outside the UAE. A residence visa can be issued only when the applicant is inside the UAE having entered the country on entry permit.

VISA FEES

check the validity of your visa on the website of Ministry of Interior track your visa application on the Ministry of Interior’s smart services system eChannels check Dubai visa validity on the website of General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs-Dubai enquire about overstays, entry and residence permits through the Moblie Services 150 service enquire about visa status, issuance, expiry and validity through the Amer website Track your the status of visa/entry permit application submitted at Amer centers in Dubai send a message or chat with Amer office enquire about the status of GDRFA service through the DubaiNow website track your visa application through Etihad Airways’ TT Services website track your visa application through Emirates Airline’s visa application centre. GDRFA - Abu Dhabi GDRFA - Dubai GDRFA - Sharjah GDRFA - Ajman GDRFA - Ras Al Khaimah GDRFA - Fujairah. Cost of visas Ministry of Interior published a visa application fees list (in Arabic) which includes the various types of entry permits and residency permits applicable across all Northern Emirates and Abu Dhabi. Note that the fees differ slightly in each emirate. An additional fee of AED 100 applies if the visa service is requested on an urgent basis. If you are applying for visa online, you can check the time required to process on the service card of the visa applied for.

RENEWAL OF WORK PERMIT

During this period of containing the spread of COVID-19, labourers and support service staff such as domestic workers whose work permits have expired would be exempt from medical tests for renewing their work permits and residence visas. Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation and Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) announced that the work permits and residence visas of labourers and support staff will be issued and renewed automatically. The fees for these services will be collected through the authorised payment channels. Once the fee is paid, the workers will remain legitimate residents of the UAE. Read news coverage on WAM. In April 2020, ICA took a decision to extend the visas of foreigners in the UAE and residents whether inside or outside the UAE. This was done to support the residents and visitors following the suspension of air traffic. The decision specifies: residents whose residence visas expired in early March 2020 or are due to expire later will receive an extension of their visas until the end of December 2020. This measure applies to both residents inside and outside the UAE. foreign visitors to the UAE who couldn’t leave the UAE and whose visas expired in early March 2020 or are due to expire later, will also have their visit visas extended until the end of December 2020.

UNITED EMIRATES ID

What is Emirates ID? Emirates ID is an identity card issued by Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship. It is a legal requirement for all UAE citizens and residents to apply for one and carry it with them at all times. The Emirates ID is used: to get government services to vote in the elections of Federal National Council as a travel document for UAE citizens to travel within the GCC as a document to pass immigration through the eGates and smart gates at several airports in the UAE. Read about the Emirates ID’s features and benefits. Note: As per Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, it is against the law to seize the Emirates ID card of other people. Companies are not allowed to withhold the Emirates ID cards of their employees or their customers and visitors. They are only allowed to take the personal data on the ID cards. In case of violation, cardholders should refer the case to the judicial authorities. ID card features The Emirates ID card consists of the following components which provide the highest levels of accuracy and security. The components are: Smart card Public key infrastructure (Digital signature and authentication certificates) Fingerprint biometric. Identification number The identity card is featured for its identification number known as the identity number which sticks with its holder forever. By this number, he may benefit from all the governmental and some of the non-governmental and private entities services, which require the identity card as an evidence of who is accessing the service. The identity number is featured for its sole and un-repeated number. It includes 15 digits. Electronic chip It contains personal data of the holder. This data can be read by a machines built for this purpose and authenticate the user’s credentials. Some of these data are encrypted and only readable/writable/updatable by the authorized authorities in order to protect the privacy of data. This chip may store up to 32,000 letters of information. Refer to the FAIC website for the application process, documents required and fees for getting an Emirates ID for: UAE nationals GCC nationals residing in the UAE Expatriate residents. FAIC offers bundled services for newborns and foreign prospective residents arriving into the UAE. Next, track your Emirates ID application. The service is available for all age groups for UAE nationals and GCC nationals officially residing in UAE and can be obtained for: first time registration renewal of expired cards lost or damaged cards. As for the expatriate residents other than GCC nationals, they are entitled to the urgent service only in case of replacement of their identity cards because the issuance or renewal of identity cards is linked to proof of residency and related procedures. To obtain this service, visit the FAIC Customer Happiness Centres without prior notice and present the documents specified. The time limit to renew an expired ID card is 30 days from the date of expiry, after which late fines of AED 20 per day will apply, with a maximum of AED 1,000 (one thousand). Note that after the Emirates ID expires, the ID holder must apply for its renewal. Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (FAIC) will send you a notification via SMS requesting you to renew your ID card. You will need to submit your renewal application in person at an accredited typing centre or online via the website of FAIC. You might need to visit one of FAIC's service centres or preventive medical centres to provide your biometric details. How early can the Emirates ID be renewed? UAE nationals can apply for renewal of Emirates ID between six and one month before the expiry date. UAE residence visa holders can only apply for renewal when their residence visa is renewed or reissued. The following links outline renewal terms and conditions for UAE nationals, GCC nationals and residents: Renew citizen ID card Renew expat ID card Customer guide to use the eForm. Replacing a lost, stolen or damaged Emirates ID card If you have lost your Emirates ID card, or suspect it has been stolen, or it has been damaged, you must soon request a replacement of Emirates ID card from Federal Authority for Citizenship and Identity (ICA). Here are the steps to get an Emirates ID card replaced: Report the incident Approach the nearest ICA Customer Happiness Centre and report the incident so the stolen or lost card will be deactivated immediately. Ask ICA for ID number confirmation or a copy of the lost ID, in case you don’t have one. In case of damaged cards, bring the old card with you. When reporting the incident, remember to bring along your identification papers to prove your identity. UAE nationals must bring in an original valid passport and a family book. GCC nationals must provide a document proving their residency in the UAE. Expatriate residents must bring their original passport stamped with a valid residency permit. If the lost ID belongs to a child under 15, the parent must provide an original birth certificate of the child along with his coloured passport photo against a white background. Apply for ID card replacement After reporting the incident, fill in an application form at any of ICA’s Customer Happiness Centres or fill it through the eForm on the ICA website or the ICA UAE app available on iTunes and Google Play and request replacement of ID card. Pay the fees Applicant must pay AED 300 for replacement of a lost or damaged ID, in addition to application fees of AED 70 in case of applying through typing centres, or AED 40 in case of applying through the eForm on the ICA website. These fees apply to all UAE nationals, GCC nationals and expatriate residents. You may get an express ID replacement service at ICA main’s Customer Happiness Centre against AED 150 extra. Collect your new ID card You will receive a text message from ICA about the status of the submitted application and the expected delivery date. ID card will be issued within 48 hours from the time of submitting the replacement application. Those who applied for the express service will receive the ID card within 24 hours from the time they submit the replacement application. Contact Emirates Post to receive the card after receiving a message from ICA on the availability of the card.