This article has been reviewed by Wego’s editorial team to ensure that the content is up to date & accurate. 

Updated March 2024

The UAE provides multiple options for obtaining a visa. Depending on the purpose of your visit, the government of the UAE issues several types of visas, including a Visa on Arrival. Travelers who are eligible for a visa on arrival in the UAE can get one at the immigration checkpoints of the airports once they arrive in the country by air.

Read on as Wego offers details about available visa-on-arrival facilities, their validity, visa requirements, extensions, and more.

UAE visa on arrival news

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the UAE has introduced sweeping changes to its visa exemption policy, aiming to facilitate travel for tourists. Citizens from 87 countries are now permitted to enter the UAE without the need for a pre-entry visa, making the visitation process more accessible.

Upon arrival, eligible travelers can secure a valid entry visa for 30 days, with an additional grace period of 10 days for their stay. Moreover, citizens from specific countries have the option to extend their visa to 90 days upon arrival, providing added flexibility for more extended visits.

To determine eligibility, you can review the list of countries exempted from visa requirements and their respective entry regulations via the official Ministry of Foreign Affairs website or contact the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Ports Security, and Customs (ICP) for further details.

 Eligibility & cost

According to reports, Indian citizens holding a standard passport with a minimum validity of six months are eligible for a visa-on-arrival in the UAE. To qualify, Indian passport holders need to possess a US visa or green card or EU or UK residency valid for at least six months.

Since 2017, eligible travelers have been receiving visa-on-arrival at UAE airports. This visa is typically stamped at the immigration counter upon arrival. With a new service introduced by Emirates, customers can now pre-arrange their visas, streamlining their arrival process and allowing them to “breeze through customs.”

The service comes at a cost of USD 47, along with a service fee of USD 18.50. As stated by Emirates, the issuance of visas remains at the “absolute discretion of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs”.

Emirates Airlines Introduces Pre-Approved Visa on Arrival for Indian Passport Holders


UAE visa on arrival countries list

Several nationalities are eligible for a visa on arrival, which means they are not required to make advance visa arrangements before entering Dubai and the UAE. If you are arriving from any of the countries or regions listed below, you do not need to apply for a visa before traveling to the UAE. Upon landing in the UAE, you can simply proceed to immigration to receive a visa.

In addition, nationals of GCC nations (Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE) can enter the UAE visa-free by presenting a valid ID Card or GCC country passport at the point of entry.

If you are a citizen of the countries listed below, you are eligible to apply for the UAE’s visa on arrival (VoA) facility:

  • Australia
  • Swiss Confederation
  • Czech Republic
  • Slovak Republic
  • French Republic
  • Hellenic Republic (Republic of Greece)
  • Hungary
  • Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • United States of America
  • United Mexican States
  • Japan
  • Principality of Andorra
  • Principality of Liechtenstein
  • Principality of Monaco
  • Ukraine
  • Barbados
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Solomon Islands
  • Republic of Azerbaijan
  • Republic of Estonia
  • Argentine Republic
  • Eastern Republic of Uruguay
  • Republic of Albania
  • Federative Republic of Brazil
  • Portuguese Republic
  • Republic of El Salvador
  • People’s Republic of China
  • Republic of Maldives
  • Federal Republic of Germany
  • Republic of Austria
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Republic of Iceland
  • Republic of Italy
  • Republic of Paraguay
  • Republic of Bulgaria
  • Republic of Poland
  • Republic of Peru
  • Republic of Belarus
  • Republic of Chile
  • Republic of San Marino
  • Republic of Slovenia
  • Republic of Singapore
  • Republic of Seychelles
  • Republic of Serbia
  • Republic of Finland
  • Republic of Cyprus
  • Republic of Kazakhstan
  • Republic of Croatia
  • Republic of Korea
  • Republic of Costa Rica
  • Republic of Colombia
  • Republic of Kiribati
  • Republic of Latvia
  • Republic of Lithuania
  • Republic of Malta
  • Republic of Mauritius
  • Republic of Nauru
  • Republic of Honduras
  • Georgia
  • Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
  • State of Israel
  • State of Kuwait
  • State of Qatar
  • Vatican City State
  • Russian Federation
  • Romania
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Sultanate of Oman
  • Commonwealth of the Bahamas
  • Canada
  • Malaysia
  • Kingdom of Spain
  • Kingdom of Bahrain
  • Kingdom of Denmark
  • Kingdom of Sweden
  • Kingdom of Norway
  • Kingdom of Belgium
  • Kingdom of the Netherlands
  • Montenegro
  • New Zealand

Indian nationals holding a visit visa or a green card issued by the USA that has a validity of six months or holding a UK or EU residence can obtain a visa on arrival for a maximum stay of 14 days for a certain fee, and it is extendable for a certain fee as well.

Please note that lists of countries eligible for visas on arrival may vary from time to time; therefore, please check with the UAE embassy in your country before traveling to the UAE.

UAE visa on arrival validity

30‑day visa on arrival eligibility:

Citizens of the following countries/regions are eligible for the 30-day VoA

Andorra, Australia, Brunei, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Monaco, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, San Marino, Singapore, Ukraine, United States of America, Vatican City, United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.

90‑day visa on arrival eligibility:

Citizens of the following countries/regions are eligible for the 90-day VoA

Argentina, Austria, Bahamas Islands, Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Kiribati, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Malta, Montenegro, Nauru, Netherlands, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Uruguay.

180‑day visa on arrival eligibility:

Mexican passport holders are eligible for a 180-day multiple-entry visit visa, which is valid for 6 months from the date of issue.

UAE visa on arrival requirements

Eligible applicants for the Visa on Arrival will receive either a 30-day or 90-day visa, which can be extended if required. The visa is issued upon arrival at any entry point and is also issued online to skip the long immigration queue upon arrival in the UAE.

To get a Visa on Arrival at the airport, you must fly with any of the approved airlines. You can also apply for a visa in advance using the electronic visa system that the UAE has approved. With the electronic visa system, you will receive your visa via e-mail, and you will not have to pick it up once you arrive at the airport.

Before applying for a visa via the electronic visa system, travelers must ensure they can support themselves (and any dependents) during their visit.

  • the traveler’s passport should be valid for 6 months from arrival in the UAE.
  • an image of the biographical passport page
  • a valid e-mail address
  • a valid credit or debit card to pay the UAE tourist visa fee

If applying for a pre-arranged Dubai or Sharjah immigration tourist visa (for family members, friends or relatives), the sponsor/host in the UAE must have the following:

  • a minimum salary of AED 3,000.
  • passport copy and residence visa with a minimum of 3 months validity
  • bank statement of the previous 3 months stamped by the bank, or the latest salary certificate and tenancy contract (with a minimum 3-month validity).
  • visitors’ passport copy (6-month validity).
  • two photographs of the visitor with a white background.
  • a cash deposit of AED 2500 (for each visitor).
  • proof of relation such as a copy of Marriage / Birth certificate attested from the ministry of UAE and translated to English or Arabic.

Those who do not have a sponsor/host in the UAE can still apply for a visa. Check out our article on which visas and permits you can apply for without a sponsorship.

UAE Visa Without Sponsors 2024: Which Visa and Permit Can You Apply For With No Sponsorship?


Residents of any GCC nation may apply for a UAE visa online through ICP Smart Services or the GDRFA website only if they are traveling with a GCC national. Such visas are valid for 30 days but can be extended further for 30 additional days.

UAE visa on arrival application process

Citizens of the eligible countries mentioned above can obtain a Visa on Arrival once they land in the UAE. Eligible nationals do not need to apply for a visa in advance. Once you land in the UAE, you can proceed to the immigration counter at the airport and go through the required biometric procedures.

The immigration authorities will then stamp your visa on your passport and update it in the ICA and AMER systems, after which you will be issued your Visa on Arrival.

Arrivals not eligible for a visa on arrival

The United Arab Emirates does not issue any visas through its consulates or embassies overseas. Hence, if you are not a citizen of the countries mentioned above, you will require a pre-arranged visa before you enter the UAE. You cannot submit a UAE visa application yourself. All pre-arranged visit visas are processed inside the UAE through any one of the following:

  • a sponsor/host who is residing in the UAE.
  • a licensed travel agency (through which you purchase the travel ticket).
  • the hotel in which you are staying in the UAE.
  • any airline authorized to issue a visa (provided that you’ll be flying with them), such as:

Those not eligible for a visa-free entry or a Visa on Arrival will need to get their visit visa processed inside the UAE through their UAE sponsor/host. Please ensure you have a visa copy from your sponsor before departure.

Please refer to the UAE’s official government portal for more details on the visa on arrival application process and entry permits/visas to enter the UAE.

UAE visa on arrival processing time

If you are not eligible for a UAE visa on arrival, the processing time for pre-arranged UAE visas is approximately 3 to 4 working days after approval. 

UAE visa on arrival cost

The 30-day, 90-day, and 180-day on-arrival visas are free of cost. The fee for a 14-day on-arrival visa is 120 AED.

UAE visa on arrival extension

Only a 30-day visa on arrival can be extended once for another 30 days, and a 14-day visa on arrival can be extended for another 14 days. However, a visa extension should be applied before the current visa expires; otherwise, you will be fined for overstaying. To extend a UAE visa, you will be charged a fee of AED 600. Those who fall under any of the categories mentioned below need not apply for a UAE visa extension:

  • visitors or tourists who are residents of a GCC country
  • GCC residents accompanying a GCC national
  • individuals who have a special entry permit
  • individuals who hold a 96-hour permit for special missions

The “disease-free certificate” is now a requirement for providing an entry permit for citizens of nations exempt from visa requirements to enter the UAE. This certificate must be presented with the other required documents for entry permits, such as the original passport and a colored personal photo according to the latest update from the Federal Authority for Identity, Nationality, Customs, and Ports Security.


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