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Updated January 2023

The UAE provides multiple options when it comes to obtaining a visa. Travellers from South Africa looking to enter the UAE for different purposes can now choose from a wide range of available visas.

Keep reading to know more about the available types of UAE visas for South African citizens and passport holders, ranging from tourist visas, business visas, remote work visas and student visas, and the prices of the visas in the UAE.

Dubai & UAE visa for South African citizens

South African passport holders need to have pre-arranged visas before arriving in Dubai or the UAE, as they are not eligible for visas on arrival.

They can apply for a visa via the following:

Dubai & UAE visa requirements

To apply for the pre-arranged visa from South Africa, you’ll require:

  • a passport, valid for a minimum of six months
  • passport size photos
  • a copy of your completed and signed visa application form
  • details about your itinerary.
  • onward and return flight tickets
  • invitation letter (if any) from the host company in the UAE
  • female applicants and students above 18 years and travelling alone will require a NOC from parents or husband, photo ID of parents or husband. Coloured copy of the host passport or residence visa
  • applicable visa fees in cash, DD or credit card
  • a cover letter with all the required details about your itinerary
  • statement from your bank for the last six months to prove you have enough finances to fund your visit
  • address proof

Please make sure to consult with your nearest UAE embassy regarding the specific documents required for the different visas.

Book cheap flights from South Africa to Dubai

 

Dubai & UAE visa cost

The cost of the UAE & Dubai visas varies for different types of visas. Read ahead to know the specific cost of the visa you intend to apply for.

Dubai & UAE visa types for South Africans

The following is a list of visas available in the United Arab Emirates for South African citizens.

UAE tourist visa

A  tourist visa is required to enter the UAE if the traveller is not from the list of countries available for the visa-on-arrival scheme. In principle, the tourist visa is obtainable by eligible tourists from around the world. However, as per the UAE’s official government portal, female travellers below the age of 18 are not eligible to apply for this type of visa unless they are travelling with their parents.

The tourist visa is valid for 60 days. The UAE also provides a 5-year visa which allows tourists to remain in the country for 90 days on each visit.

Application process

The UAE tourist visa can be applied for both online or through the approved airlines, hotels, travel agencies or tour operators.

Applicants will simply need to provide the required information and documents and pay the visa fee online without having to send documents by email or visiting the office in person. Once the visa application is approved, they will receive an approved e-visa copy via email.

For more details, visit our article on Dubai & UAE Tourist Visa 2023: How to Apply for Tourist Visa to the Emirates?

Cost

The price for obtaining the UAE tourist visa depends on the individual airlines and is subject to change. It’s best to consult individual airlines for the latest fees and updates.

But to give you an idea, Emirates Airlines currently charges USD 90 (ZAR 1,531) for a short-term single-entry visa and USD 177 (ZAR 3,011) for a long-term single-entry tourist visa. Etihad currently charges USD 95 (ZAR 1,616) for a short-term single-entry visa and USD 176 (ZAR 29,994) for a long-term single-entry tourist visa.

UAE multi-entry visa

As a part of the UAE’s new visa scheme, a new multi-entry tourist visa has been introduced, which can now be issued for all nationalities, in a step that aims to facilitate the process for tourists and visitors. The 5-year visa enables tourists to enter multiple times on self-sponsorship and remain in the country for 90 days on each visit, which can be extended for another 90 days.

Dubai’s tourism body is working with authorities to roll out the five-year multiple-entry tourist visa on a much bigger scale to attract more tourists. Currently, the visa is being rolled out softly. Initiatives are being taken to roll out more visas and make applications accessible via the Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing digital platform.

Application process

Tourists who wish to apply for the UAE five-year multiple-entry visa from immigration departments in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah, Al Ain and the Al Dhafra (Western region), can do so on the ICP website. Please note that the GDRFA will authorize the five-year multiple-entry tourist visas issued by Dubai.

  1. Upload the required application information such as your name, service beneficiary details, address inside the UAE, and address outside the UAE.
  2. Attach your passport copy, photograph, medical insurance, bank statement and any other required documents.
  3. Review your application.
  4. Pay the required application fees.
  5. Visa applications will be processed online, and you will receive your five-year multiple-entry tourist visa via your registered email.

Fees

The fees breakdown for the 5-year UAE multi-entry visa is as follows:

Request fee: USD 27 (ZAR 460)
Issue fee: USD 27 (ZAR 460)
E-service fee: USD 7 (ZAR 120)
ICA fee: USD 6 (ZAR 102)

UAE business visa

Travellers looking to enter the United Arab Emirates to promote, establish, or negotiate business-related activities or to establish contact for future business relations are allowed to travel on a business visa. However, the business visa should not be confused with the employment visa, which is to be applied by those entering the country to work as employees or on a contract basis, drawing a regular salary.

The visa is part of the Golden Visa system and allows entrepreneurs to enter the country for 6 months with a multiple-entry visa.

Application

To obtain the business visa, applicants must be:

  • able to substantiate your experience as an entrepreneur
  • have been a majority shareholder of a start-up or a member of its senior leadership
  • willing to relocate to the UAE and legally establish a business in one of the seven emirates
  • have a business idea or a business plan that you wish to bring to life in the UAE.

In order to apply for a business visa, applicants will need to have their nominations approved by an incubator supported by the UAE government (currently, AREA2071 in Dubai and HUB71 in Abu Dhabi). Once their nomination has been approved, they will be invited to apply for the visa through the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs & Ports Security.

Please note that if the applicant’s nomination is successful, they will receive a link to upload the required documents and complete their application for the visa. In case their nomination is not approved, they will have to apply again after 90 days.

Fees

According to some sources, the fee ranges from USD 177 (ZAR 3,046) to USD 210 (ZAR 3,573) depending on the type of business visa.

Please make sure to consult your embassy to know details regarding the price of the UAE business visa.

Remote work visa

The remote work visa allows individuals to live in the UAE and continue to work for their existing employer outside the UAE. Remote work visas are valid for 1 year and are renewable upon re-application.

Remote workers may enter Dubai under self-sponsorship and are eligible for zero income tax.

Application

After establishing their eligibility, applicants can simply apply online for the visa. They will be contacted by the relevant authorities with further instructions concerning the application.

For more details, visit our article on 1-Year Visa: How and Where to Apply for UAE’s Coveted Remote Work Visa?

Fees

The fee for a one-year remote work visa in UAE is USD 287 (ZAR 4,884) per applicant. However, keep in mind that you are also required to obtain an insurance policy and will be liable to processing and Emirates ID fees. The total cost of obtaining the Virtual Work Permit is approximately USD 610 (ZAR 10,380).

UAE student visa

The student visas are valid for one year from the date of issuance and are renewable for a similar period upon presenting official proof of continuation of study in the UAE. It is issued to expatriate students who are over 18 years and residing in the UAE.

Application

Student visas in the UAE must be sponsored by a higher education institution or by a local relative. The applicant’s college or university will apply for their UAE student visa at the GDRFA office of the relevant emirate in which they will live.

If their application is approved, the GDRFA will affix a Residence Visa to their passport. They will further receive an Emirates ID, which will be valid for the same duration as the visa. An entry permit can be applied through one of the Online or Offline portals.

For more details, visit our article on Study Abroad in the UAE 2023: How to Apply for a Student Visa in the UAE?

Fees

The visa will cost USD 272 (ZAR 17,210) to USD 816 (ZAR 51,631) for first-time issuing and renewal. This amount is usually paid at the time of registration.

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