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Going to Dubai? Need a Visa?

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Flying into the UAE to see the wonderful sights of Dubai (where most foreigners go) an event to see from high above. The modern skyscrapers are among the best, its uniqueness for architecture, having an indoor ski resort under a roof, visiting the several gigantic malls, taking a day trip to the sand dunes, are things to do. Of course, your very first issue even before arriving is do you need a visa?

The UAE, like all countries, have their list of preferred status countries. Those in this category do not need a visa because they are issued upon arrival or not all. In this case, no worries. However, there are many countries on the list that are NOT in the preferred list, so a visa should be applied for and received before arrival.

Unlike many countries, where the visa is obtained through the embassy, the UAE allows certain entities to handle the visa application process, in addition to the UAE embassy. One such entity is with Emirates Airline, which acts as a sponsor and allows one to do the visa process via their website AFTER the airline ticket is purchased through them. One MUST purchase the ticket through their website and not through a third party that also offers their flights.

UAE offers many different visas. The first thing you need to do is to determine if a visa is required before or if it will be issued upon arrival in Dubai. For instance, if you are a US citizen or one with a Green Card, a visa is not needed and may be issued (depending on length of stay) upon arrival. If you are from the Philippines, that is not the case, you need to get a visa.

You can either apply at an Emirates local office in your country of residence or via Emirates website. Once you book your airline ticket, go to: Manage A Booking menu, input the Emirates Booking Reference number and the family name of the passenger, the system will open the Return / Onward ticket details that are under one booking reference number. At the bottom of the webpage, you will find the option Apply for your UAE visa menu. Click on this link to apply for your visa.

Once the VFS page appears and you have accepted the terms and conditions, proceed using the following steps:

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1. You will be asked to select the itinerary for which you require the visa for and the names of the passengers who require the visa. Also, passport details, your current nationality and current country of residence will have to be entered.

2. On the next page, enter an email ID along with the relationship of the applicants applying together. Please ensure this email ID is correct and accurate because all correspondence with regards to your application will be done on this email ID only. Also, the visa copy, when approved will be sent to this email ID.

3. The applicant will receive an email on his designated email ID. This email will carry a hyperlink which is clicked to open the applicant’s visa application form will open up.

4. Any documents requested have to be uploaded after the form is complete. If there is more than one client applying, then the first applicant will have to complete the visa application form and upload the documents before proceeding to Person 2 and so forth.

5. After the documents are uploaded, payment needs to be made via debit/credit card. Only Visa and MasterCard’s are accepted.

6. The applicant will receive a payment confirmation email if the payment is successful. You are done.

However, the visa approval is still conducted through UAE Immigration and any notifications will be from them but available via the Emirates website in the same manner you applied for it. Tracking it is also done using the same menu.

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