Updated January 2023
An entry permit to the UAE is a document either issued by the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs & Ports Security (ICA) or the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), and it allows foreigners to enter and stay in the UAE legally for a short period of time.
The UAE issues different types of entry permits, depending on the applicant’s purpose for entering the UAE. Keep reading to find out more about the UAE entry permits for the year 2023.
UAE entry permit news 2023
As per the latest development, it is no longer possible to extend the UAE visit visa from within the country. Instead, travellers are now required to exit and re-enter the UAE before being allowed to apply for an extension.
As of now, no official confirmation about the new visa extension rule has been provided by the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security (ICP), but visa extension applications made from within the country have reportedly started being rejected.
Do you need a UAE entry permit or visa?
Depending on the applicant’s purpose of entering the UAE, there are various types of entry permits, including:
- entry permit – employment
- entry permit – family visit
- entry permit – tourism/transit
- entry permit – treatment
- entry permit – mission
- entry permit – attending conferences.
Moreover, according to UAE’s new visa rules, some new entry permits will be introduced starting on 3 October 2022, which can be applied without the need for a host or sponsor.
An entry permit to the UAE is a document either issued by the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs & Ports Security (ICA) or the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), and it allows foreigners to enter and stay in the UAE legally for a short period of time. The entry permit may be presented in a physical or electronic form.
Please note that the entry permit transactions will be handled through GDRFA’s online and offline channels by the party sponsoring the person who wants to enter the UAE with an entry permit. The sponsor could be a company from the private sector, a public entity, a relative, a UAE-based airline, a hotel and so on.
How to apply for the UAE entry permit?
The applicants can apply for entry permits through both the websites of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA). and through the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) of the individual emirate.
However, while ICA offers only online channels, GDRFA offers both online and offline channels.
The eChannels portal
Through the eChannels portal, individuals and companies registered in the UAE can apply for a new visa or visa renewal. In order to apply, individuals and companies must first register themselves. Note that eVisa can be used at the entry port in the UAE without the need to put the original visa in the entry port before the arrival of the sponsor.
GDRFA – Dubai website
You can apply online for a visa through the websites of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) Dubai.
GDRFA of Dubai provides one more website Amer.ae, through which Dubai nationals and residents can apply for entry permits and residence visas for their families. Visitors can apply for an extension of visas on arrival.
You can apply for a UAE entry permit and residence visa through:
For more information, please contact the UAE Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs & Ports Security or the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, Dubai.
The offline visa application can be processed through licensed typing centres where the visa application is typed and processed through the GDRFA of the respective emirate. Upon approval, the sponsor will receive a message about the approval and the original entry permit.
Dubai Government stipulates that all entry permit and visa transactions must be carried out through its Amer centres.
Entry permit to visit relatives or friends
A visitor can apply for an entry permit to visit friends and relatives if they are a relative or a friend of a UAE citizen or resident. It does not require a sponsor or a host.
You can find out more about the UAE family entry permit by visiting the article below:
Entry permit for a temporary work mission
Visitors who have a temporary work assignment like probation testing or a project-based mission and are sponsored by the employer can apply for an entry permit for a temporary work mission. A visitor can apply for this entry permit if he/she is a relative or friend of a UAE citizen or resident.
Some of the requirements include the following:
- a temporary work contract, or
- a letter from the employer clarifying the visit purpose
- proof of health and fitness to work.
Entry permit for study and training
The entry permit for study and training is primarily intended for those attending training and study courses or participating in internship programs. The sponsor for this type of permit can be universities or educational or research institutions licensed in the country or government or private entities.
The requirements include a letter from the entity clarifying the details of the study or training, or internship program and its duration.
Residence permit for humanitarian cases
Residence permits to the UAE will be issued for the following humanitarian cases:
- a female resident whose husband of UAE nationality passed away in the country and has one child or more will be eligible for a residence permit.
- parents or children of a UAE citizen who holds foreign passports
- spouses and children of Gulf Corporation Council (GCC) state citizens who hold foreign passports
UAE entry permit for GCC residents
Residents of the GCC must apply for an e-Visa, also known as the UAE entry permit, and obtain them before travelling to the UAE. They can apply through GDRFA if they wish to enter from Dubai, and they can apply through Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Ports Security (ICA) if they wish to enter the other Emirates in the UAE.
UAE entry permit validity
In the UAE, entry permits have a validity period, which refers to the period in which they must be used after entering the country through one of the entry points at land borders, airports, or seaports. Generally, the validity for the majority of entry permits is two (2) months.
The duration of stay for each entry permit will vary depending on the type of entry permit the applicant is applying for. For instance, holders of entry permits for transit are allowed to stay in the UAE for four (4) days, whereas entry permits for employment allow the employee to stay in the country for two (2) months, during which his sponsor must change the employee’s status into a residence visa.
Please note that if the entry permit holder does not change their status to a residence visa, they have to leave the country upon the lapse of entry permit duration to avoid fines and penalties or renew within the prescribed periods.
UAE entry permit status check online
UAE entry permit status check via ICA
Applicants applying for an entry permit to Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah can check the status and validity period of their entry permit on the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship-ICA website.
UAE entry permit status check via GDRFA
Applicants applying for an entry permit to Dubai can check the status and validity period of their entry permit through the AMER GDRFA portal by following the steps mentioned below:
- Visit the AMER GDRFA official website link given here.
- Under general enquiry select “File Type” – entry permit or residence.
- Select “Entry Permit”.
- Enter your details, including your first name, visa number, nationality and date of birth.
- Enter the captcha code and hit submit.
If all your details are correct, your entry permit validity details will appear on the screen.
UAE entry permit cost
For the various types of entry permits and residency permits applicable across all the Northern Emirates and the emirate of Abu Dhabi, the service catalogue issued by Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security states the fees.
However, for various types of entry permits applicable in Dubai, the fees of some of the entry permits, as stated by the Amer.ae website, are as follows:
- Entry Permit / New / Sponsor Registration – Walking – AED 268.90
- Entry Permit / New / Sponsor Registration – PRO – AED 218.90
- Entry Permit – Entry Permit / Cancel / Residence – AED 188.90
- Entry Permit – Entry Permit / Cancel / Work – AED 209.65
- Entry Permit – Entry Permit / Extend / Short Term Visit – On Arrival – AED 899.65
- Entry Permit / Extend / Long Term Visit – On Arrival – AED 83.15
- Entry permit /Extend Indian -US permit – AED 545.65
- Entry Permit /New /Entry permit Job Seekers – AED 615.75
- Entry Permit / Extend / Visit – AED 858.90
Find out the complete list of UAE entry permit fees from the Amer.ae website.
UAE entry permit extension
All types of UAE visit visas may be extended for 30 days twice. Typically, to renew each visit visa, you will be charged a fee of AED 600 (USD 163.39).
As mentioned, tourist visa holders will need to leave and re-enter the country to extend their visas and must ensure that the renewal process can be completed before expiry.
Tourists and visit visa holders have a grace period of 30 days. Please take care not to overstay your tourist visa, as a fine of AED 50 per day will be levied for those who do.
If you’re looking to find budget-friendly ways on how you can extend your UAE entry permit, please consult our article below.