Nationals of the UK and some other countries like Australia, United States of America, Canada and Japan (see the full list here can stay in United Arab Emirates without a pre-arranged or resident visa for no more than 30 days a year. Nationals of most of European countries are allowed to stay in UAE for 90 days without a pre-arranged visa. At the airport their passports are stamped with a 90-day visit visa free of charge.

But what do you need to do if you want to stay in UAE for over 30 or 90 days? How to stay in UAE for more than 90 days?



The visa regime between UAE and other countries is quite simple. Today there are eight types of permits that are obtained for various purposes of staying in the country.

  1. Transit visa. If the transfer in United Arab Emirates during the flight to another country lasts longer than a day, then you need to issue a transit visa, which is valid for 96 hours.
  2. Tourist visa. This is one of the most common types of entry permits to United Arab Emirates, all travellers from other countries who visit UAE for tourist purposes need to get this visa. The duration of a tourist visa varies from 30 to 90 days depending on the traveller's citizenship.
  3. Cruise visa. This type of visa is needed to visit the Emirates as part of a sea trip. It allows you to stay in the country for four days.
  4. To visit relatives or friends who live in United Arab Emirates, you need to apply for a visit visa. With this visa, you can stay in the country for no more than 30 days. However, you can stay for a longer period by extending it. In this case, your relatives or friends you are visiting need to make a visa extention request to UAE Migration Service.
  5. A business visa is required for business travel, and your employer, a company registered in UAE, applies for your visa. This visa allows you to stay in the country for 60 days.
  6. During this period you need to apply for a work and residency visa through your employer.  This type of visa is valid for two years. However, the rules may vary depending on the nationality of the applicant.
  7. Residency visa or residence permit in UAE. This type of visa is issued for different periods from two to 10 years, depending on the basis on which the permit is obtained. For example, after buying real estate in UAE with a certain price tag, you can apply for a residency permit for 10 years.
  8. A visa obtained on arrival allows foreigners of about 50 countries to stay in United Arab Emirates for no more than 30 or 90 days depending on the nationality of the traveller. The visa starts from the moment it is stamped upon arrival, that is, from the date indicated in the seal. A 30-day visa can be extended for the next 30 days so its total validity is 60 days. To get a stamp at the airport, you need a passport valid for at least six months from the date of entry into UAE.

On July 7, 2020, the Dubai authorities opened the borders for foreign tourists, but other emirates, for example, Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Sharjah, cannot be entered directly, at least legally.

At the airport, an immigration officer may ask you where you are staying (your hotel reservation), and they also have the right to check your medical insurance. To cross UAE border, you must have travel insurance with you, which will cover the treatment of coronavirus if needed.

For tourists, the following rules now apply:

  • From August 1, 2020, all travellers arriving in Dubai, including those making a transit transfer here, must show airport employees a certificate of having passed a polymerase chain reaction test (PCR test).
  • After you leave the airport, you will have to get tested for coronavirus again. To receive the results of your test upon arrival, right at the airport, you need to install a mobile application, where the test results will be sent. The immigration officer will instruct you in this matter.
  • The test results will be available within 24 hours after getting tested, and before that you need to self-isolate in your apartment or hotel.
  • If a traveller is tested positively for coronavirus, then they go through a two-week quarantine in a hotel or treatment in a hospital in United Arab Emirates.

Many tourists are interested in staying in UAE for more than 90 days. What can you do in this case?

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How do you extend your stay in UAE for more than 30 days?

In order to legally stay in United Arab Emirates for longer than 30 days of a the visa upon arrival, you need to extend your visa. You can extend the period of your legal stay in the country by a maximum of 30 days.  

To increase the period of stay in UAE, you need to contact the migration service, where you will be asked to fill out an application. In this application, you need to indicate the personal number of your current visa and the extension period, which, as already mentioned above, cannot be more than 30 days.

After that, you will need to pay the visa fee, which is AED 100.

If you do not extend your visa and stay in the country, then you will be fined in the amount calculated according to the following scheme: AED 200 for each day of stay in United Arab Emirates with an expired visa, that is, illegal stay in the country, and AED 100 dirhams for each subsequent day.

Those who are going to stay in the Emirates for more than three months (90 days) need to apply for a visa before arriving in the country.

If you applied for a visa, but during your visa period did not enter United Arab Emirates, most likely, you will be assigned a fine of $2,000. Moreover, in the future there may be problems with obtaining a permit to enter UAE.

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