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| Updated on Nov 2, 2018

What is the UAE visa policy?

Each country has its own visa policy, and each government determines the rules by which foreigners need to abide in order to go across the borders. The United Arab Emirates is no different. The UAE visa policy is not the most lenient, but it is not the most severe either. It is somewhere in-between. It has multiple categories of people that can travel under different rules, but one of the things that we can all appreciate is that the UAE visa policy embraces the electronic visa system, which means that some nationalities can apply online for a UAE visa.

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Visa-exempt countries

Just like any other country, UAE has a list of countries whose citizens can visit the country without a visa. However, not all nationalities on that list can stay inside the country for the same amount of time. The timeframes start at 30 days, continue with 90 days and 90 days within a 180-day period, and lastly, there are just a handful of nationals that can stay in UAE indefinitely. The last category refers to citizens of the other GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries, except Qatar. They can enter UAE only with their ID card and stay as long as they want.

Nationalities that can apply online

If you are interested in learning about the UAE visa policy, you will notice that there is no mention of an electronic visa per se. That is because there is no such thing. Instead, UAE issues visas on arrival, but they have an unconventional way of doing it. That is because travelers can apply online for a visa on arrival. However, there is a catch. You need to apply with one of the approved airlines that fly to UAE. You have probably heard of Emirates, Etihad, Flydubai, Turkish Airlines, and so on. For example, if you apply for a UAE visa with iVisa, you will actually be making a request with Etihad, which is the second largest airline company after Emirates.

How does that work? It is pretty simple. As a traveler, you do not have too much knowledge of how the system works, and you need a place where you can find everything you need. That place is iVisa. Once you provide all the information and documents they need, and you fill in the application form, iVisa will forward everything to Etihad, which in turn, will apply with all other airlines to find precisely what you need. After all, not everyone lands in Dubai. Once that is solved, you will receive your visa via e-mail in PDF format. It is as simple as that.

Transit visa

According to the UAE visa policy, all travelers on international airlines can enter UAE for 96 hours after they obtain a transit visa at the airport. However, there must be an 8-hour difference between the two flights, and the passengers require a hotel booking. There is no entry fee for the first 48 hours, but if you want to extend your stay to 96, you will be charged Dhs50.

As you can imagine, the UAE visa policy is far more extensive, but the information provided for you above covers about 95% of the people who are interested in a UAE visa.

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