Dubai Visas in 2024: A Complete Guide to Everything You Need to Know


From a tranquil desert haven, Dubai has evolved into a vibrant, global city. Today, it stands as a melting pot of cultures, attracting individuals worldwide. To cater to its diverse populace, the Dubai government offers a spectrum of visas, each designed for specific needs—be it tourism, business, or a fresh start. 

Explore our complete guide to know the right Dubai visa for you. Yet, bear in mind, visa norms can change; always refer to official channels or seasoned visa experts for the latest insights.

Different Visa Types in Dubai 2024

Depending on the nature and duration of your stay, you can choose from different types of visa categories. Each visa type is meticulously designed to cater to specific purposes. Let’s break down the available options.

Investor Visa

The Investor Visa is a special residence permit tailored for real estate investors in Dubai. It grants a two-year renewable residence period to those who own a property in the city. The primary advantage of this visa is that it allows the holder to sponsor their spouse and children, ensuring that families can stay together.

Eligibility Criteria:

  1. The investor must own a property with a purchase value equal to or more than AED 750,000 at the time of purchase.
  2. In cases where the property is mortgaged, a minimum of 50% of the property value (or an equivalent of AED 750,000) should have been paid to the bank. Additionally, a no-objection letter from the bank is required, indicating the bank's consent for the residence based on the property. The mortgage account statement should also be provided.
  3. Spouses can jointly own a property, but its value should be AED 750,000 or more. In such cases, a certified copy of the marriage contract must be presented.

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Required Documents:

  • Passport
  • e-Certificate of Title / Title deed
  • Personal photo
  • Health insurance
  • UAE ID (if available)
  • Copy of the current residence or entry visa (if applicable)
  • A certificate of good conduct issued by the Emirate of Dubai, addressed to the Dubai Land Department.

Service Fees:

  • Investor Visa: AED 9,912.50
  • Family Residency (2 years):
  • Wife/Daughter over 18/Husband: AED 7,082.25
  • Children under 18: AED 6,382.25
  • Son over 18 (for 1 year): AED 6,701
  • Parent's Residence (1 year): AED 8,882.25
  • Sponsorship File Opening: AED 318.75

UAE’s Golden Visa

The UAE's 'Golden Visa' is a unique long-term residence visa tailored for foreign investors and talents, offering a plethora of benefits that make living, working, or studying in the UAE more accessible and advantageous.

Exclusive Benefits

  • Six-month entry visa with multiple entries to finalize residence procedures.
  • Renewable long-term residence visa for 5 or 10 years.
  • No need for a local sponsor.
  • Ability to remain outside the UAE for more than six months without losing visa validity.
  • Sponsorship rights for family members, irrespective of their ages.
  • Sponsorship for an unlimited number of domestic helpers.
  • If the primary Golden visa holder passes away, family members can stay in the UAE until their permit's end.


The criteria for the Golden Visa vary based on the type of residence, such as investor, talent, entrepreneur, etc.   
Investors in Public Investments:

Invest in an accredited UAE investment fund, with:

  • A deposit of AED two million, or
  • A valid commercial or industrial license with a capital of at least AED two million.
  • Annual payment to the government of no less than AED 250,000.
  • Full ownership of the invested capital (no loans).
  • Medical insurance for the investor and family.

Real Estate Investors:

  • Own property or properties valued at a minimum of 2 million dirhams.
  • A letter from the respective emirate's land department confirming property ownership.
  • If the property is purchased with a loan, it should be from specific local banks approved by the competent local entity.

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  • Own an innovative, risk-based technical or future economic project.
  • Project value of at least 500,000 dirhams, confirmed by a UAE auditor.
  • Approval from the emirate authorities that the project is technical or future-oriented.
  • Approval from an accredited UAE business incubator to establish the proposed activity.

Tourist Visa

Some nationalities enjoy the privilege of visa-free entry or visa on arrival to the UAE, making their travel arrangements seamless. However, not everyone falls under these categories.

The UAE offers tourist visas to eligible individual tourists from around the world. This type of visa serves as the entry pass for those who do not meet the criteria for visa-free or visa on arrival entry.

Tourist visas are typically issued for 30 or 60 days, with the possibility of extensions.

Student Visa

For those looking to pursue their studies in Dubai, the emirate offers a dedicated student visa, ensuring a smooth academic journey.

Sponsorship Options:

  • A student can be sponsored by a parent who is a resident of the UAE.
  • Alternatively, the accredited university or college where the student is enrolled can also act as a sponsor.

Visa Duration & Renewal:

  • The student visa is issued for a one-year duration.
  • It can be renewed annually, provided there's proof of ongoing studies from the educational institution.

Age & Sponsorship:

  • Expatriate residents can sponsor their male children for studies up to the age of 25.
  • Male students above 25 can remain under their parents' sponsorship if they can prove enrollment in a higher educational institute for a course lasting at least one year.
  • Female students can be sponsored by expatriate residents for studies irrespective of their age, and this continues until they get married.

Key Requirements for Student Visa Application:

  • A certificate from the university or institute detailing the study duration.
  • Fulfillment of other general requirements as outlined in the provisions for the residence visa.

Support from Universities:

Most universities in Dubai have dedicated Student Affairs offices that assist students in navigating the visa process, ensuring a hassle-free experience.

Green Visa

The UAE's Green visa is a type of residence visa that offers a unique opportunity for individuals to sponsor themselves for a duration of 5 years. This visa eliminates the requirement for sponsorship by a UAE national or employer, providing greater independence for the visa holder.

Who Can Apply for a Green Visa?

  1. Freelancers and Self-Employed Individuals: Freelancers and self-employed individuals are eligible to apply for a Green visa. To do so, they need to provide the following documentation:
  • A freelance or self-employment permit issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.
  • Proof of holding at least a bachelor's degree or a specialized diploma.
  • Evidence of annual income from self-employment for the previous two years, amounting to no less than AED 360,000, or proof of financial stability to cover their expenses during their stay in the UAE.

     2. Skilled Employees: Skilled employees can also apply for a Green visa by meeting the following criteria:

  • Holding a valid employment contract.
  • Being classified in the first, second, or third occupational level as per the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.   
    Having a minimum of a bachelor's degree or an equivalent qualification.
  • Earning a monthly salary of not less than AED 15,000.

Work Visa/Residence Visa

Aside from the Green visa, individuals in the UAE can also obtain a standard employment visa, typically issued for a duration of two years. The eligibility for this visa depends on the sector of employment:

Employees in the private sector can apply for a standard employment visa.

Those employed in the government sector or within a free zone can also apply for a standard employment visa. In these cases, the employer is responsible for initiating the application for the standard residence visa.

Retiree Visa

The UAE offers a retiree visa designed for individuals aged 55 and above or those with 15 years of work experience, inside or outside the UAE. To qualify, retirees must meet specific financial criteria, including property ownership, financial savings, or a monthly income.

To be eligible, individuals must meet specific criteria:

  1. Age or Years of Service: Applicants must either be at least 55 years old at the time of retirement or have a work history of no less than 15 years, whether inside or outside the UAE.
  2. Financial Requirements: Retirees must meet one of the following financial criteria:
  • Own property or properties within the UAE valued at a minimum of AED 1 million.
  • Possess financial savings of no less than AED 1 million.
  • Have a steady monthly income of AED 20,000 (or AED 15,000 per month for Dubai residents).
  • Provide a bank statement covering the last six months as evidence of their financial stability.   

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