United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates

The below provides a high level summary of immigration requirements for the United Arab Emirates. Whether a traveler may enter as a business visitor or requires a work permit depends on the traveler's nationality, duration of stay and activities in the country.

Allowable Activities

  • Attending business meetings and discussions 
  • Attending a seminar, exhibition, auction or show
  • Presenting at a conference or seminar, if unpaid

Basic Requirements

 To be considered a business visitor, the foreign national must show:

  • That the purpose of the visit is specific, determined prior to applying, and limited to 30 or 90 days (depending on the visa originally requested by the host company or the term of the visa-on-arrival, as applicable)
  • Proof of hotel reservation and round trip airline reservation
  • Passport valid for a minimum of 6 months past intended departure from the UAE

Maximum Period Stay

The maximum amount of time a visitor is permitted to be in the UAE Free Zone areas on a regular business visa is 30 days or 90 days initially. 30-day visas can be extended for another 30 days in the UAE if the company is authorized to provide extensions. This will be on a case-to-case basis and based on the ability of the sponsoring company. The maximum amount of time a visitor is permitted to be in the UAE Mainland on a regular business visa is generally 14 days. However, in the Mainland, a business visa can be requested through a travel agency or tourism company, which can issue visas valid for stays of 30 days or 90 days, single-entry or multiple-entry. The 30-day visa can be renewed twice in-country for 30 days each time for a maximum stay of 90 days. The 90-day visa can be renewed once in-country for 90 days for a maximum stay of 180 days.  Foreign nationals eligible for a visa on arrival are eligible for maximum stays of 60 to 180 days, depending on nationality.

Work Permit Types

There are three main types of work permits available in the UAE: the Free Zone Employment Permit, the Mainland Employment Visa and the Mainland Mission Visa.

Maximum Period Stay

Maximum periods of stay range from 90 days for the Mainland Mission Visa, to two years for the Mainland Employment Visa and three years for the Free Zone Employment Permit.