For many people in India, a trip to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) offers the feeling of travelling to another state in our country, thanks to the presence of numerous friends, family members and more. At the same time, from various architectural marvels to naturally beautiful spots, the country has enough to excite tourists from any part of the world.
The UAE has now announced a multiple-entry tourist visa, with a validity of five years. It enables travellers to enter the country more than once a year without a sponsor and stay up to 180 days during a year. The visa is issued for stays lasting 30, 60 or 90 days, totalling a maximum of 180 days a year.
Applications for the visa could be submitted through the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai. The visa would be of immense benefit to firms deputing their staff to the UAE for meetings, conferences and other events; people travelling to the UAE to visit family members regularly and tourists.
The GDRFA says applicants should meet the following conditions to be eligible for the multiple-entry tourist visa:
Their passport should have a validity of at least six months.
They should have booked a round trip ticket to the UAE.
A valid insurance in the UAE is another requirement.
A bank balance equivalent to US Dollars 4,000 (Rs 3,26,841) during the six months before the date of the application.
How to apply
The procedures to apply for the five-year visa are rather easy as the online applications could be submitted through the website of the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security (ICP) or the GDRFA portal.
Those who wish to apply for the visa from within the UAE can approach the Amer247 immigration service centres or other recognized typing centres.
The GDRFA website says that different fees are charged for the visa depending on the information provided in the application and period of stay in the UAE.
For instance, the visa fee for a visit lasting 30 days is UAE Dirhams (AED) 300; for a 60-day stay AED 500 and for a 90-day stay AED 700. VAT at 5 per cent is charged in addition to these amounts.
Other expenses to avail the visa are a guarantee of AED 2,000 and warranty service fee of AED 20.
The cost of health insurance to be granted the five-year visa is as follows: AED 40 for a 30-day visa; AED for a 60 for a 60-day visa and AED 90 for a 90-day visa.
These fees have to be paid if the sponsor resides in the country: Knowledge fee – AED 10; innovation fee – AED 10 and interior fee – AED 500.
Time to issue visa
According to the GDRFA website, it would take two to five working days to issue the visa.
Steps to avail a five-year visiting visa:
Step 1 – Create an account on GDRFA website:
Visit the official website of GDRFA – gdrfad.gov.ae/en click on ‘login’ in the menu bar.
Individuals should click on the option ‘Register’.
Register with your email ID and submit your name and password.
Submit your full name, email ID and date of birth.
Click on send OTP. A one-time password (OTP) will be sent to your registered e-mail ID.
Submit the OTP. Click on the captcha box.
You have now officially registered with the GDRFA.
Step 2 – Choose multiple-entry tourist visa service
You can now reach the GDRFA smart services platform.
Click on ‘New application’ on the dashboard.
Select ‘New five-year tourism entry permit’ in the drop-down menu.
Click the ‘Apply button.’
Step 3 – Fill online application form
A – Provide details related to your journey and personal data.
For the purpose of visiting, choose ‘Tourism.’
When the ‘Tourism’ option is chosen, GDRFA platform will self-fill validity as ‘five years’ and ‘multiple’ entry permit.
B - Give passport details – category, number and nationality details.
C – Details of applicants to be submitted. If applying from the UAE, you should pay additional fees to change the visa status.
D – Add personal details such as full name of mother in English and Arabic. When the name is filled in English, the Arabic name will be auto-filled.
Specify if married.
Provide the religion and faith of the applicant.
Add the educational qualifications and current employment.
Enter the mother-tongue.
Specify the country from which you would be travelling to the UAE.
Fill in the contact details such as e-mail ID and mobile number.
Choose the language to receive SMS alerts.
E – Provide your address in the UAE, including the emirate, city, area, street, building or villa, the floor, flat/villa number and ’makani’ number or the nearest landmark.
F – Give your address outside the UAE – country, city, address and mobile number.
Step 4 – Upload documents
Upload the necessary documents sought by the website. They should be in the PDF or jpeg format.
Step 5 – Pay fees
After the application form is filled, pay fees on the GDRFA platform with a debit or credit card.
Step 6 – Submit application
After payment of fees, submit the application and you will receive a reference number with which you can track the application.
Step 7 – Receive your visa
When your application for a multiple-entry tourist visa is approved, you will be informed through SMS and e-mail. You will also receive a digital copy of the permit in your email.