Difference Between An Entry Permit And A Residence Visa In The Uae

Types Of Visas And Entry Permits in UAE

An entry permit in the UAE is a document that allows foreigners to enter and stay in the UAE legally for the period mentioned in the document. It is a document containing official and legal permission to enter the UAE if you are not a citizen.

A residence visa is issued to the foreigner when he/she is already inside the UAE having entered using the country’s entry permit. It is a card allowing a foreign national to reside in the country for a fixed or indefinite length of time. It could be temporary or permanent.

Dubai Entry Permit

The entry permit is issued by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship and may be in physical or electronic form. Before applying for one, it is important to check if you need an entry permit as you might get it on arrival. The person or body sponsoring the person who wants to enter the UAE is required to handle all the entry permit transactions through GDFRA‘s online and offline channels. The sponsor could be a company from the private sector, a government entity, a family member, a UAE-based airline or a UAE-based hotel.

Types Of Entry Permits In Dubai

There are several types of entry permits and they are issued depending on the purpose of visits. They include:

  • An employment entry permit
  • A family visit entry permit
  • A treatment entry permit
  • A student entry permit
  • A maid entry permit
  • A special mission entry permit
  • An entry permit to attend conferences and so on

What Is The Validity Of A Dubai Entry Permit?

A validity date refers to the period within which the entry permit must be used to enter the UAE through one of its entry ports at the land borders, airports and seaports. Every entry permit has one. For most, the validity is two months. It is crucial to know that the validity of entry permits cannot be extended. They automatically expire upon the lapse of their duration.

The duration of stay for each entry permit depends on the type of entry permit. For instance, entry permits for transits permit the holder to stay in the country for 4 days. The one for employment allows the employee to stay in the country for two months, during which the employee’s sponsor must change the employee’s status into a residence visa otherwise, the employee will be trespassing by exceeding the duration of stay. In which case, the permit holder has to leave the country upon the lapse of the entry permit duration to avoid fines and penalties.

On the 21st of October 2018, the UAE government allowed all types of visit visas and entry permits to be extended for 30 days twice, upon renewal without having to leave the country. People who exceed their visa duration without applying for a visa renewal as stated above are mandated to pay AED 100 fine for each day of their overstay. This fine is to be calculated from 10 days after the visa expiry.

However, people who fall under the following categories are exempted from this rule. The categories are:

  • Residents accompanying GCC citizens
  • Visitors and tourists who are residents in GCC countries
  • Visitors on special entry permits
  • People on 96-hour permits for special missions

Dubai Residence Visas

A Dubai residence visa is issued to a foreigner when he is already inside the country having entered using the country’s entry permit. Only sponsors that meet the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) requirements can apply for the foreigner’s residence visa.

A person that wants to apply for a residence visa is required to undergo a medical test and prove that he/she is medically fit and must pass a security check.

The validity of stay on a residence visa is dependent on the type and the sponsor. It could last from 1-3 years.

Once the process is approved, the GDRFA will paste a residence visa on the holder’s passport which will enable the holder to travel freely in and out of the UAE within the validity period of the visa.  However, the duration of travel must not exceed six months, or else the residence visa will be automatically annulled.

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